Friday, April 15, 2016

Lotus Desaru Beach Resort

There are not many resorts at Desaru beach and under the recommendation of a friend, I decide to stay overnight at Lotus Desaru Beach Resort while in the area.

 
From its facade, the resorts resembles a castle and I am amazed with its size. It has 17 blocks of accommodation (A to S) and shall able to accommodate massive crowd during the school holiday. Fortunately, I was here during normal day and there aren't many occupant at the resort.

The lobby/reception has been shifted to what it used to be the club house in order to cope with the number of visitors during peak hour. The former reception area at the front is inadequate to handle the crowd.

 
 
 
I opt for one bedroom type (RM 220 per night) and its interior impressed me. The living room, kitchen and balcony is located at the lower level and the ladder steps lead to the bedroom and toilet on the upper level.

I never came across such arrangement before but I think it is ideal if not travel alone as one can sleep while the other watch television at the same time. Overall, the room is alright but some items need some maintenance all kitchen utensils should be in order.

Breakfast here is alright although not to my expectation in term of variety and taste.

 
 
 
The resort is best explored on foot although coaster is available to ferry visitors to intended location. Its has water theme park, swimming pools and arcade. I reckon these attractions are a big hit with children and should be packed during school holiday.

 
There is a stretch of beach behind the resort where a few operators offered a few water sports activities. It is not one of the best beaches around but one can still enjoy sun bathing and sea breeze here.

With the recent mega project in Pengerang, this resort has been heavily booked by the contractors and the project owners to accommodate their staffs.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Nagoya Citywalk Batam

Nagoya Citywalk Batam is one of the newest shopping places at Nagoya area in Batam Island. It is located just behind Formosa Hotel.

Nagoya Citywalk reminds me of Setia Walk in Puchong with its open air concourse with 2 rows of shops lining in between the open concourse. The Sunboss has a huge department store here which offers a wide variety of clothes.

Most of the lots here are still empty but the place still offer a decent international and local food & beverage outlets as well as pharmacy. 3D museum is also located here and worth a visit.

The open concourse is mainly occupied with food stalls with decent space for recreation and relaxation. The place is clean and quiet which made it an ideal place to unwind.

 
 
 
 
 
One of they main attraction here is the indoor amusement park. I am taken away by the types of amusement devices they had set up here like a mini roller coaster, jumping star, carousel, bumper cars, swinging tower to name a few. Those devices appear to be in good condition and all are imported from Europe. Hence, one could have a peace of mind when the young ones wish to take a ride on them.

There is also an arcade which could keep everyone entertained. As there are less people here, one can have better air quality as compare to Nagoya Hill Mall where most people smoke while in the arcade.

Nagoya Citywalk is also a base for the Indonesian Red Cross. I notice the cross is used without much issues compare to Malaysia.

 
Nagoya Citywalk Batam is a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as other crowded malls here. It is a great place for kids and offers great choice of foods especially at the lower ground floor. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Prost Beer (Indonesian Beer)

Prost Beer is new brand of locally brewed beer in Indonesia. From the packaging at first glance, one would had an impression it was a foreign brand beer. That was what I thought in the first place until I dig more research on it.

It is priced at IDR 16,100 in Hypermart, which is a little bit higher than the usual Heineken or Carlsberg beer in the country.

It is brewed with basic ingredient such as water, malt and hop. According to the packaging, the beer is triple hops and triple cold filtered with alcohol content around 4.8%

It is a typical lager beer which is smooth and easy to drink. Nothing out of the ordinary. I would have been expecting more due to its price tag which is slightly dearer compare to other international beers. Anyway, this beer is worth a try for those avid beer drinkers.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rezeki Seafood Restaurant, Batam

If one is hungry and looking for seafood restaurant while in Nongsa or Batu Besar area in Batam, Rezeki Seafood Restaurant is the best place to go. The restaurant is located at the Batu Besar beach with no specific road name leading to it as well as the absence of any big sign board indicating the restaurant. However, the locals should able to point any visitors to the right location.

The restaurant is not far away from the resorts (Montigo and Turi Beach Resort) in Nongsa area as well as Hang Nadim International Airport. The journey from either of those 2 places are well below 10 minutes. When the car/taxi was parked outside the restaurant's vast parking lot, always bring along your valuables and never leave them inside the car.

 
 
Although this area are predominantly Muslims, it is obvious the restaurant is owned by Chinese based on the new year decoration which is still apparent. Like any seafood restaurant in Batam, it adopts an open air concept where diners can appreciate the sea breeze and its surrounding.

Surprisingly, it was not as hot as expected on a sunny afternoon as the sea breeze pretty much negate the current equinox heat wave. The restaurant offers a clear view of the beach with some fishing boats lying around. On a clear day, one can even see Bintan Island from here.

As I was seriously dehydrated from the incoming flight and the scorching sun, I had ordered a mango juice (IDR 25,000) and a coconut juice (IDR 20,000). The mango juice is great and pure. There aren't ice or water added to it which show their sincerity in the drink preparation. The coconut size was huge but nothing out of the ordinary.

 
As there is only 2 of us, we were unable to order as much as we like to. So, I end up with a sweet and sour fish (IDR 100,000) and water spinach stirred fried with belacan (IDR 30,000).

The fish is fresh and the gravy is thick. Maybe it is just me but I am more used to sweet gravy. Still, it is a decent presentation and generous serving.

The water spinach is alright and I guess they are using a different type of belacan which are less spicy then what we normally had here. Still, I find it appetizing and goes great with the rice.

The restaurant also serve crab, gonggong, clamp and shrimps which I reckon are good based on what I observed from the other tables.

The restaurant has its own website with a comprehensive menu in it. Another thing to note is there will be a 10% tax on the total bill when one received its bill. The restaurant is still considered as one of the cheaper seafood restaurant here and is worth checking out if one is nearby the area.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Spa Secret Batam

There are many places which offer massage service in Batam and the best so far I came across is The Spa Secret Batam.

It is located at Nagoya area and directly opposite Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre by crossing the busy road.

The waiting area is spacious and have ample of seats. This spa is always crowded and advanced booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. I always opt for online booking and usually get a confirmation in a few hours. Reservation will be cancelled if there was a no show after 15 minutes of the appointed time.

 
So far I had tried 2 types of massage here, flat stone massage (420,000 Rupiah for 2 hours) and Balinese aromatic massage (330,000 Rupiah for 90 minutes). The therapists are professional and enjoy each of my session here. For flat stone massage, it will be carried out in a private room which is equipped with shower facility.

 
The therapist will usually put an aromatic incense just right below the head while lying down. Should the smell is too hard to bear, just notify the therapist but it works just fine for me as it kind of giving me the soothing effect as the treatment progress.

The spa also offers free wifi to kill some time should one come here with reservation and the queue is long. With its ideal location, good facility and skillful therapist, I will definitely be back again whenever I am around Batam.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Grand Margherita Hotel

In my many visit to Kuching since I was a child, I never stay in Grand Margherita Hotel (previously Holiday Inn Kuching). So, when the opportunity present itself, I decided to stay in this hotel while in Kuching.

Dubbed as Sarawak's first international hotel, the facade suggests that it had stood at its current location for quite sometime now. Its location could not get any better, at the heart of the city centre and beside Kuching Waterfront. Even one of the famous cat statue is right at the door step with Sarawak Plaza just right beside it.

The lobby area is spacious and comfortable. The management has renovated it in order to stay competitive with other 4 star hotels in the city. Check in was a breeze.

Deluxe room (RM 180 with breakfast, RM 160 without breakfast) is modern and comfortable. The only thing I don't like is the old carpet at the walkway leading to the room. However, I notice some of the floor had its walkway's carpet changed.

 
The room has more than enough pillow one can ask for. They are pretty soft and comfortable. The bed is nice and the room temperature is just right.

The room is what to be expected of any 4 star hotel. One can choose between the city view or river view. I would recommend the river view as it offers a breathtaking view of the Sarawak River, the State Assembly Hall, Mount Santubong and the villages across the river.

There are small swimming pool at the ground floor, one for adult and another one for children. One can walk to the waterfront via an access gate from the swimming pool.

 
The breakfast here is a pale shadow of what the hotel used to offer in the past. There seems to be lack of variety when it comes to the main dish. Well, I guess that is all part of the austerity measures in uncertain time like this.

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