A super long weekend

Hari Raya Pusa and the National Day were just side by side. Plus the weekends, we had four holidays in a row. I think, this must be the first in my lifetime. We decided to have a short holiday but not too faraway.
A good friend of mine gave me a special package to Batam. The last time I visited Batam was way before even Kai was born. That was a long time. I wasn’t expecting much but just a few days of taking life slowly. What really amazed me was this bunch of staff at the hotel was simply out of this world. I think I wrote my most appreciative comment ever in Trip Advisor. The hotel is Holiday Inn Resort, Batam

My family and I spent 3 days 2 nights( 8 to 10 Aug) at this hotel recently. We have been to many places and have stayed in many hotels but we all agreed that Holiday Inn Resort, Batam wins hands down in terms of staff work attitude. The time we were there it was a long holiday in Singapore and Malaysia. The hotel was running at 100% occupancy rate. All the F&B outlets were running at full steam yet, the staff served with such great attitude. They continued to smile and chat with us, they cleared tables quickly so that the later guests could have a clean place to eat. Even their F&B Manager, Mr Leslie Tan was busy clearing tables. Very often, behind a team of good staff, is a very good leader. He led by example. At the front office, the staff served with a smile. Helping guests to open the door was their GM, Mr Frank Schoenherr. You will probably now understand why this is such a great team. From the GM to the Manager to the staff, everyone was doing their bit to make their guests happy. Transportation service was 1st class. The shuttle was on time to pick us at the ferry terminal and was punctual to fetch us there on the last day. Housekeeping was punctual and the amazing thing is that in spite of a huge crowd, no one staff was without a smile. 

The place is a bit old, the d├ęcor is a bit outdated, it definitely needs some touch up. For a start, I would suggest that they removed all fabric sofas from the rooms and replaced them with PVC ones. That is the cause of the musty smell as mentioned by some reviewers. They have served their time, time to let go. However, it is still a clean, proper room for sleep and shower. We booked the 2 bedroom suite and it came with two bathrooms and it was useful. Teppanyaki dinner is a must try. BBQ dinner was excellent with very fresh seafood served!

In spite of the rooms, I will still give this hotel the two thumbs up. Rooms are just bricks and mortars, it is the people who give it life and soul.

You know how housekeeping always slack when hotels are running at 100% occupancy rate. Here, housekeeping was punctual even though all rooms were packed to the brim. Who has the best workers? No, it is no longer China. It is Batam. Hats off to them.

Nice comfortable ferry to Batam. I was really out of time. I didn’t know that so much have changed. Book through Batamfast.com. It was a breeze.

View from our room

View of the whole hotel. That white slide was awesome!

From the front of our room. Reminded me of the desert in Arizona

Yummy seafood bbq. You can imagine how fresh they were, the sea is right at the doorstep

Do everything at your own risk, I find this so ticklish. Just do what you want to do lah, don’t blame the hotel if anything happen!

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Towel counter. Cute!

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Go kart time!

Don’t mess with this girl, she is rock solid!

Then we headed for a kelong lunch, well, not exactly a real kelong but still, it was a seafood lunch.
Then I witnessed this…

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They threw plates and plates of left-overs into the sea to feed the fishes. Oh please, do fishes eat chilli-crabs. When there were no more left-overs, she took white rice from the pot to feed the fishes and the adults made no attempt to stop her.

Ok, Singaporeans are not perfect. We are kiasu, kiasi. We are termed the ugly Singaporeans but seriously, we know our limit. Do we defaced people’s historical artefacts when overseas? We are so kia cheng-hu that we obey rules like there is no tomorrow. I am not xenophobic but with such behaviours, it is really difficult not to keep my distance.

The amount of food that have been left behind. The crabs and the clams were literally untouched. Scary, right. *Haiz…*

The dinner at night was more enjoyable.
These two chefs were so cheery. They were under tremendous stress. They had to feed about 60 guests but they held the fort professionally!

These two “chefs” look terribly familiar!




A short but fabulous getaway…well, not exactly a getaway!

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