Sunday, June 21, 2015

Telunas Resort Review: A Paradise Within Reach

Media Invite

I admit, I’ve been bitten badly by the wanderlust bug.

Almost everyday, I am dreaming about travelling to somewhere with my family. A few months back, I chanced upon Telunas Beach Resorts in Batam while surfing on Facebook and I randomly thought of writing to them to ask for a chance to review the resort because it seemed like a really beautiful place to go to with my family. I did that and was surprised to get a quick reply that a media visit scheduled for June just happened to be cancelled and they could fit us in if the dates work. So, everything seemed to click and in a matter of days, we were confirmed for a media visit during the June school holidays. The girls were elated! We initially had no plans of travelling in June because we would be going for a family vacation in September, but Batam seemed like a perfect choice - Little travelling time, and minimal cost!

Little did we expect that it would be one of our most relaxing and memorable family vacation to date!
Telunas Resorts is located in Batam, accessible by a 1.5-hour ride in a wooden boat from Sekupang Jetty. I admit it’s a little more tedious than visiting the usual places in Batam that most Singaporeans go to (where the shopping malls are), the journey is definitely worth it. I went with the expectation that it would be another beach resort, likely infested with mosquitoes, flies and all kinds of bugs. I was armed with a huge bottle of mosquito repellent, but Telunas Resorts was nothing like that. It is a paradise! Mosquito-less, clean, cosy and windy.

Our journey began from Harbourfront where we took a 45-minute ferry ride to Sekupang Jetty in Batam (We booked out tickets online here for $186 for 2A2C including surcharges & terminal fees), and then transferred to a wooden boat for our 1.5-hour ride to Telunas Resorts. We were welcomed by our friendly hosts at Sekupang Jetty and they escorted us from there all the way to the resort.


Once on board, our hosts handed out simple lunchboxes that they prepared for us because we would reach Telunas Resorts way past lunch time. It was a simple lunchbox but very delicious!


If you are worried about sea sickness, you can pop motion sickness pills before your journey. But personally, I found the wooden boat ride to be very steady and smooth. There were some moments when the sea got rough, but most of the time, it was a nice and peaceful ride. My kids fell asleep during the ride to Telunas Resorts, while I admired the beautiful skies and seas. 1.5 hours passed by really quickly.


Telunas Resorts offers two types of options for its guests – The beach resort and the private island. The resort was built with groups and large families in mind. There is good service coupled with just the right amount of comfort for those seeking a simple escapade from urban life. The private island, on the other hand, was purposely built for couples and families. All their chalets are built over water, featuring utmost exclusivity with all the amenities needed for an ultimate private island escape. If exclusivity is what you are looking for, the private island would be a perfect option. Between the two, the latter is higher-priced, of course.

We were being hosted at the beach resort and we were really happy with that. The kids would love to stay on the beach 24/7 if I let them, so having the beach at close proximity was a big plus for us. Upon reaching the beach resort, we rested at the main dining hall and communal area before we were escorted to our chalet by our host. Don’t expect to see a check-in counter at the resort, as there is none. Every guest who steps onto the resort feels like a part of the Telunas family rather than a guest. That’s how welcoming and comfortable the resort is.



The chalets were built on stilts above the sea, so we walked these platforms to get to and fro our chalets and to the beach everyday.


The chalets at Telunas Beach Resorts are non air-conditioned, but there is really no need for air-conditioning because it gets freezing cold at night with the sea breeze coming through. It’s extremely cooling and the beating sounds of the sea waves, very therapeutic.

We stepped into our chalet and LOVED it!
A huge and comfortable bed for the husband and I, that faces out to the sea!


And a most delightful wooden bunk bed for my girls! Perfecto!


Bathroom was basic with wash basin, toilet bowl and standing shower area. I absolutely love the wooden-planked walls and flooring. We later learnt that the entire resort was built by the locals. Outstanding workmanship!


But what got us really excited was the patio with a hammock!


We could hang out at the patio all day long, staring at the wide blue sea in front of us! It was so cooling and therapeutic for the soul!


It was slightly drizzling when we arrived, so we took a slow stroll around the place, just to see what’s available.


The pathway brought us to the beach. If not for the rain, my girls would have jumped into the sea! Still, we were happy to stand on the sand and feel the waves hitting our legs again and again. The skies became a dramatic blue, with the looks of an impending thunderstorm. Time seemed to have come to a standstill in that place. This was paradise, and we were really glad we came.


The drizzle continued on for the rest of the afternoon and I snoozed on my big and comfortable bed in the chalet with the sea breeze howling at me the whole time. My face and limbs became icy cold because of that, but I didn’t care. I didn’t even want to swing a blanket over me – Such cool and crisp air cannot be found in sunny Singapore, and I was determined to enjoy it to the fullest. Like I said, this was paradise.

Our first meal at Telunas Resorts was quite an experience. As there are no other eatery or restaurants in the vicinity of the resort, all meals have to be consumed within the resort. Meals are included as additional cost to your chalet price. At three fixed timings of 8am (breakfast), 12pm (lunch) and 6pm (dinner), a staff would hit this wooden ‘gong’ with a wooden stick to announce the start of the meal times, and everyone in the resort would make their way to the dining hall. It was so much fun! Make sure you don’t stand too near when that happens – The gong’s really loud! It’s our wake-up call every morning because we could hear it loud and clear all the way from our chalet!


The food served at Telunas Resorts way exceeded my expectations. I thought that it would be simple fare, and possibly Indonesian cuisines for every meal. I was wrong! Food was yummy and there was a good mix of western and Indonesian dishes everyday! This was what our first meal looked like:
Beef salad


Soft rolls served with butter


For the mains, we had grilled chicken, grilled fish, spaghetti and grilled vegetables!


There were also desserts and fruits at every meal. :)


Not too shabby, isn’t it? And there was a nice and cosy feeling when everyone ate in the same dining hall. In fact, we look forward to every meal time because the kids would eat and then hang out with their little friends while the adults would have a relaxing time going for second and third servings. The food was constantly refilled until everyone has had their fill. Here are some of the other meals we had over the 3 days. Breakfasts were always good – There would be a staff helping to cook eggs the way we want them, and every family would have a tray of freshly-pressed coffee delivered to them. Superb!


Ohhh I’m beginning to miss Telunas Resorts again! Need. to. go. back. In my next post, I would share about the family-friendly and FOC activities you can enjoy at Telunas Resorts. Stay tuned! :)
Check out this amazing clip of Telunas Resorts, and perhaps you can also try imagining how awesome my experience was. :)

Disclosure: We had been sponsored a 3D2N stay at Telunas beach resort, boat transfers and meals for two adults and two kids. The ferry tickets from Harbourfront to Sekupang and back were at our own expenses. All photographs and text in this post are as usual my own.