It’s been more than a year since we last visited Batam and during our most recent trip that took place last week, we noticed that there were a couple of changes that took place in Batam and it is about time that we refresh our travel guide to Batam.
Read on and get the latest update and information about Batam here in this post!
Travelling Within Batam- Grab/Private Driver
In the past, we mentioned that it was easy to travel around Batam by booking a taxi (Blue Bird or Silver Cab). However, It seems that booking a taxi that goes by the meter is no longer the way to go because there are now taxi counters located at major landmarks i.e. Batam Centre Ferry Terminal, Batam Megamall, Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall and etc. Legit taxi companies that run on meters like Blue Bird or Silver Cab are now not allowed to pick up passengers at these major landmarks and it is so disappointing that things have turned out this way because it is really not helping the taxi industry as a whole.
Just so you know, the taxi counters at these major landmarks charge 3 times more the usual price to get around Batam. You can still book a metered taxi like Blue Bird but do note that you will have to walk to the designated/authorised pick-up points which can be some distance away.
Although you can use Grab to get around, do be a little cautious as you don’t want to end up getting into a situation like this. If you want to use Grab, make sure that your pick up location has got no taxi counters around and that there isn’t a line of parked taxis idling.
If you were to ask us for our opinion on how best you can get around Batam, we suggest that you hire a private driver for the entire day. This way, you can save money and time, cover more grounds and visit more places.
Data SIM Card
A lot of our local Telcos like StarHub are offering affordable Data Roaming rates at SGD$5 for one GB of data. If you’re heavily dependent on data like us, one GB is definitely not enough and we would rather you get the Indonesian Data Sim Card which costs SGD$7 for 6GB worth of data.
Our Accommodation- Best Western Premier Panbil Hotel
It was our second time staying at Best Western Premier Panbil and this time around, we booked for an Executive Room that costs $112.15 a night, inclusive of breakfast for two persons.
The Executive Room
The comfortable 53 square metres room features a choice of king or twin size bed with 55-inch flat screen television, safe deposit box, and complimentary mini bar. Although the bathroom is very spacious and is equipped with a bathtub, I was pretty hesitant about using it because when I turned on the bathtub tap, brownish water came out of it and I didn’t want to soak myself in murky waters. If you want mesmerising views, be sure to request a room that overlooks Duriangkang Lake & Forest! You will probably enjoy the large room space that comes along with a living room and a kitchenette.
The Hotel Facilities i.e Swimming Pool, Restaurant, Rooftop Bar
If you have the habit of doing some morning exercises to kickstart your day, you will be pleased to know that the hotel has an infinity pool that overlooks the mesmerising Duriangkang Lake and if you like to do some weightlifting, the hotel has a fitness centre equipped with a basic setup for you to pump some iron.
Best Western Premier Panbil’s full-service restaurant, Andaliman Restaurant, serves Asian and International specialities, including buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Compared to other hotels that we have stayed at in Batam, the buffet breakfast spread at Best Western Premier Panbil is one of the best that we have tried and tasted. Offering multicultural cuisines, from western-styled cereals and bakery goods to local cooked selections and fresh tropical fruits, we were pretty much spoilt for choices as there are also live stations for eggs, noodles, and even Japanese sushi too!
One of the best spots that we like about the Best Western Premier Panbil hotel is the La Bella Vita Rooftop Bar that is located on the 15th floor of the hotel. Offering the best rooftop view in Batam, La Bella Vita Rooftop Bar serves a variety of alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages & Ala Carte Menu. If you were to ask us, Best Western Premier Panbil hotel is definitely one of the best for a group retreat or get-together session!
The Mini-Bus Shuttle Service
Best Western Premier Panbil offers a mini-bus shuttle service that accommodates hotel guests between the hotel and major landmarks such as Batam Centre Mega Mall and Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. If you’re keen to use the mini-bus shuttle service to get around Batam, be sure to reserve your spot with the hotel staffs at the front desk/concierge desk as they get filled up pretty fast!
Our Preferred Massage & Spa Partner- Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya Hill
This may sound bias but the folks at Spa Central Batam have been our long-time friend for many years now and it is always a pleasure for us to visit them whenever we’re in Batam.
There are plenty of massage and spa operators in Batam and it can be quite hard to decide which one to go because there are just so many options. Now, if you haven’t been to Batam or if you have been frequenting Batam but you haven’t found the perfect massage and spa place, may we suggest that you consider Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya Hill?
Spa Central Batam has got two outlets; one in Sukajadi (Batam Centre) and the other in Nagoya Hill. If Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is part of your itinerary, you might want to consider including a massage and spa session at Spa Central Batam (Nagoya). With sessions as short as 30 minutes to a long session that can occupy you for half a day; there are a lot of options for you to choose from.
Why we love Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya?
Firstly, Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya is Spa Central Batam’s latest outlet and the entire spa experience is designed from scratch. Owned by a Singaporean couple, you can expect 5-star service and treatment, all at a very affordable price! For the Top-to-Toe spa package lasting 4.5 hours that we experienced, it costs only about S$145 per person and it consists of a foot bath, 90-minute aromatherapy massage, 30-minute body scrub, 60-minute hair spa, 60-minute facial, 30-minute foot reflexology and a lunch main course with a drink!
Secondly, the massage and spa therapists are all professionally trained and the ambience is really soothing, cosy, and clean. With a social mission to equip women and single mothers with massage therapy skills to make a living and help them break out of the poverty cycle, be rest assured that the money you spend at Spa Central Batam will go towards charitable causes.
Last but not least, all you married couples with children/toddlers can now rejoice! Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya will soon be equipped with childcare facilities that will keep your children engaged and occupied so that both of you can enjoy a temporary respite from the busyness of life while indulging in a pampering spa massage and therapy session.
The Number 1 Restaurant in Batam- Anchor Café and Roastery
Anchor Café and Roastery has overtaken Bella Italia Restaurant as the number 1 Restaurant in Batam on TripAdvisor. Offering a hearty menu that comprises appetisers, main courses and desserts; Anchor Café and Roastery should definitely be on the itinerary for Café Hoppers.
When we were there, we had their All-Day Breakfast Sets, Chicken Tenders, a Lemon Meringue Pie, and a cup of Mocha Coffee. The portions are really huge and for the price that we paid, we felt that it was pretty worth it. Furthermore, Anchor Café and Roastery’s coffees are really exceptional because the owner has built direct trade relationships with coffee farmers throughout Indonesia.
The Best Souvenir to Get in Batam- Kueh Lapis
Layer Cakes (Kueh Lapis) remain the best souvenir to get in Batam and the best place to get it would be Diana Layer Cakes. They don’t take in orders through Facebook anymore but you can still drop by their place or give them a call. For a 1KG layer cake from Diana Layer Cakes, the cost is about S$25 and it is one third the price of what you can get in Singapore.
Well, we hope that this refreshed guide to Batam has been helpful and if you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to drop us an email or comment.