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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!

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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!

Book a stay at Best Western Premier Panbil here!

Our Preferred Massage & Spa Partner- Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya Hill

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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!

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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.

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

 

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.

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

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.

Our comprehensive guide to Batam has been a hit with many Singaporeans and we want to thank everyone for all the questions that have been constantly pouring in.
In this blog post, we will be sharing with you some recent key updates and developments in Batam and some of the new and interesting places that we have just visited last weekend.

Apart from that, we will also be addressing some of the most common questions that we get from our readers about Batam.

To begin with, here are some common questions that we have received about Batam:

How much do you need for a 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam?

For a 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam, you don’t exactly need to bring a lot of money unless you intend to buy a lot of things back. In fact, changing SGD$250 to spend in Batam is more than sufficient.

Do you have any contacts for Traditional Kueh Lapis (Layered Cakes) in Batam?

Yes, we often buy our Traditional Kueh Lapis (Layered Cakes) from Diana Layer Cakes Batam and you can contact them via the phone at +62 778 466906. In our previous post about Batam, we mentioned that Diana Layer Cakes Batam accept Singapore Dollars but do note that as of last year, they have stopped collecting Singapore Dollars and they only accept Indonesian Rupiah now. The reason why we always buy from Diana Layer Cakes Batam is because they offer free delivery to our hotel and their layer cakes are the best that we have tasted so far. A 1KG original  Kueh Lapis cost 250000 Rupiah (SGD$26) and a 1KG prune Kueh Lapis cost 300000 Rupiah (SGD$31).

Is it easy to get around in Batam?

Yes, it is easy to get around in Batam. Taxis are abundant but like we always say; don’t flag off the taxis that are plying the roads. Always book a taxi or approach a taxi counter to get a taxi. Do note that taxis have a minimum fare of 25000 Rupiah (SGD$2.60) and taxis from Silver Cab or Blue Bird can no longer stop at Nagoya Hill . There are taxi counters available at most hotels or shopping Centres and you can just probably go there to pay for your cab fare in advance. It’s more expensive but better than having to haggle the prices.

So last weekend, we went on a short 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam and we visited some new dining places (at our own expense) and tried doing some new stuffs like watching a movie at their local cinema.

We arrived in Batam at about 0915, cleared the immigrations that took about 45 minutes (weekends are always the peak season), and the very first thing we did was to make sure that we got a prepaid mobile line at the counter.

With a prepaid mobile line, getting around Batam is a breeze because the taxi is just a phone call away.

We walked to our hotel (Harris Hotel Batam Centre) which was nearby the ferry terminal to pick up the Kueh Lapis that we have ordered just 2 days before and since there weren’t any rooms available just yet, we headed to the nearby Mega Mall Batam Centre to walk about. By the way, if you plan to book a room at Harris Hotel Batam Centre, it will be cheaper to book through Agoda than via the Hotel Website direct and opt for just the room only because the hotel’s buffet breakfast isn’t that fantastic as compared to the food you could get at the nearby shopping malls.

For lunch, we went to Barletta Dining and Lounge at Da Vienna Boutique Hotel and from the table setting to the personalised service, we could tell that it was somewhat a place for fine dining. The food however, was a real disappointment. An online search revealed some positive reviews about the restaurant but seriously, we won’t want to dine there again because the quality of the food is so-so and isn’t value for money.

After lunch, we booked a taxi to Nagoya Hill where we spent the entire day there. Contrary to what most people would plan to do in Batam (go-karting, sea sports, and the likes), our plan was to simply eat, shop, and relax.

At Nagoya Hill, we went to catch the movie, “Independence Day: Resurgence” at Cinema 21 and the price for a movie ticket is just 35,000 Rupiah (SGD$3.50) per ticket! The fabric seats are comfortable and the theatre is not as run down as we thought it to be.

The cinema is located at the top floor of Nagoya Hill Mall and here’s a picture of the entrance leading to the cinema.

There is a small arcade corner located near the tickets counter but I wouldn’t suggest having a go at it because the (shooting games especially) controls are faulty.

Since we had a lot of time to kill, I decided to be more adventurous and went for a haircut at Willy Salon in Nagoya Mall. The haircut which includes washing cost me 120000 Rupiah (SGD$13) and I must say, it was overall a pleasant experience!

Bule, my hairstylist; is pretty good and if you happen to go to Willy Salon, look for him!

That radiant and fresh look after a refreshing haircut.

For dinner, we went to Taste The Crab @ Hill Cafe Batam which is within walking distance from Nagoya Hill. The food there is pretty awesome and we had the medium seafood combo which consist of prawns, clams, squid rings, and crab. In case you’re wondering, the medium seafood combo cost 190000 Rupiah (SGD$20) and the portion was actually rather small for us. The next time we visit, we will definitely get the large seafood combo which cost only 220000 Rupiah (SGD$23).

Oh, and having a pint of beer is a must because it really goes well with the seafood and it cost only 40000 Rupiah (SGD$4.20)!

The dinner pretty much concluded our first day in Batam.

For our second day in Batam, we booked for a half-day spa package with Spa Central Batam which cost SGD$88 per person for 3 hours. It was our 2nd time visiting Spa Central Batam and there are quite a number of changes since the last time we were there. Even the spa package and service menu has been updated and we were quite surprised to learn that the ownership of the boutique spa has been taken over by a Singaporean (yes you read that right).

The half-day spa package included a foot bath, our choice of 3 different categories of treatments (1 x 90 minute massage and 2 other treatments (one at 30 minutes and the other at 60 minutes excluding Galvanic Facial) from their spa menu. The half-day spa package also include free transfers to and fro the spa by taxi (only if you have a minimum of 2 people taking up a 2-hour treatment session).

The treatment room is very comfortable and clean. For couples, couple room is available as well.

If you plan to visit Batam on a free-and-easy basis and have the intention to include a spa treatment package on your itinerary; I would suggest that you book your ferry tickets directly with Spa Central Batam because it cost SGD$38 nett 2-way instead of the usual SGD$48. That is SGD$10 off in savings which you can use to spend on sumptuous food in Batam!

Needless to say, we ended our trip to Batam with our usual ritual of having an A&W meal!

For more information about Spa Central Batam, do visit their website where you can find more details about the various kind of spa package they have and the costs for the different treatments as well.

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