Monday, May 18, 2015

Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall

It is the biggest mall in Batam. Opened in 2007, it consists of 3 floors of rental shops. It has an eye catching facade which make it quite recognizable from a distance.

A hypermarket occupies mainly the ground floor with various other shops selling hand phones, accessories, gadgets and liquor. Moving up to floors, most of the shops are selling clothes, watches and etc. Even Ace Hardware store is located inside the mall.

The island is a duty free area, just like Langkawi and Labuan. Hence, the liquors sold here are consider cheap although a quick comparison indicate they are a bit pricier compare to Langkawi. 

The food arcade took almost half of the 1st floor. I am amazed with the food selection here. There are familiar fast food outlet such as KFC, Pizza Hut, A & W to Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese food here. There is even a shop selling Bak Kut Teh!

The mall houses the Matahari Department Store which complement what the mall has to offer.

It is always worth to check out the modern shop lots outside the mall. I notice there are some interesting massage services, entertainment outlets and restaurants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Formosa Hotel Batam

In my last visit to Batam, Formosa Hotel is my choice due to its location in Nagoya, Batam. From its facade, the building looks old and moderate in term of the size. It is only a four storey building and probably lose out on first impression compare to the other new and modern hotels in the island.

Formosa Hotel is just next to Lucky Plaza (to the right of the hotel), the most popular electronic mall (equivalent to Low Yat Plaza in KL) for its best bargain especially for mobile phone products.

Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is virtually in the vicinity of the hotel with just about 5 minutes walk away (just walk straight from the hotel's main entrance). However, one need to cross 3 treacherous main roads to get here as the motorists sped along the roads and will not stop at the zebra crossing.

Behind the hotel is the Nagoya Citywalk which can lead to Plaza Avava and all the way to the Harbour Bay jetty if one is willing to walk.

To the left of hotel, about 7 minutes walk away is the sleazy Nagoya Entertainment District (a.k.a NED) which came alive at night.

The hotel started its operation in 1999 and is owned by a Taiwanese. Trails of Taiwanese influence are evident here such as Alishan KTV (Alishan refers to a mountain resort in Taiwan) and the name of the hotel itself reflect the country itself (Taiwan island was previously known as Republic of Formosa) The hotel underwent major upgrade in 2012 with rooms renovated, carpets replaced and wifi facilities installed. I must admit they have a very good wifi here and easily put Malaysian wifi system to shame.

The hotel itself is manned by a few Indonesian Chinese which is useful for Chinese speaking visitors. The other staffs also converse quite well in English.

Lobby area is huge and spacious with modern touch. I would rate the hotel as a 3 star hotel. It is connected to a souvenir shop, Tea Story Cafe and 24 hours Vienna Restaurant from the lobby.

On the 4th floor, there is a fitness center, spa and ktv

There are a few room types offered here and Deluxe Room (580, 000 Indonesian Rupiah) is the cheapest option. Nevertheless, they are generous with the space. My only complain is the water heater is slow to kick in and the air conditioner is not cold enough to my liking. Also, the room have strong cigarette smell which might take some time to accustomed with.

For those who plan to stay here frequently, one can sign up for its free membership which will entitle the member to enjoy 10% discount on other facilities/restaurant managed by the hotel and room rate of 560, 000 Indonesian Rupiah for a Deluxe Room.

It has a comprehensive mini bar with biscuit and waffle which is chargeable when consumed. Still it is much better than most 3 stars hotel in Malaysia which I came across.

The toiletries is neat and complete. They even has a custom made storage area for the toiletries.

Overall, it is a decent hotel to stay while in Batam. With its strategic location and taxis are always available around the clock in front of the hotel, I would probably come back here to stay again in the future.

Formosa Hotel
No. A8 City Plaza,
Nagoya, Batam,