Picture this: A virtually desolate island. Unspoilt views of pristine sand beaches. Gentle waves splashing against rocks dotted in a clear azure sea. Sumptuous luxury at your fingertips. All served with the finest Indonesian hospitality.

This place, my friends, is Banyan Tree Bintan. A mere hour’s ferry ride away from the South East coast of Singapore, this is a perfectly concealed tropical paradise which doubles up as a holiday resort.

A short ride from the ferry station transports guests to the reception set on a lush green hill, against a secluded bay and amidst an organic rainforest. From here, golf buggies transport visitors around the villas, spa and restaurant all designed with due respect to the local Balinese and traditional fishing village heritage of the archipelago.

People are the rarest commodity here. Disappearing into their villas following a breakfast of local and international cuisine, washed down with freshly squeezed tropical fruit juices. If solitude had a price tag, it would be worth every penny here.


The villas, built on stilts against the hill, are vast, pristine and exquisite. Some have private infinity pools complete with the promise of picturesque views and stunning sunsets overlooking the South China Sea. For those without the pool, there are two at the resort – one carved entirely from rock. There is also a small, but perfectly formed beach for those so inclined.

The food is delicious – In Room Dining and an award-winning Thai restaurant Saffron, a signature venue of the Baynan Tree Hotels and Resorts. Serving an eclectic collection of the finest in Thai cuisine, Saffron has a contemporary setting with views of shipping routes into Singapore. Dinner of a spicy Red Curry with twinkling lights of ships in the horizon makes for a perfectly romantic dinner setting worth leaving the confines of the sumptuous villa.

Combine this with Banyan Tree’s award-winning spa massages, and Bintan is a must visit. The perfect place to lose yourself. Or, perhaps, find yourself instead.