What We Love
- The decor is a contemporary take on colonial style
- Old World gentlemen’s club feel in the dining room
- The range of signature massages, special teas and essential oils at the spa
- Cool personalized “no menu” cocktail concept at the bar
What To Know
- The island is a 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore (guests can check in prior to arrival at the terminal’s VIP lounge)
- There are no elevators at this two-story property
- The resort is made up of 21 villas and nine suites
- Cigar smoking is permitted in the bar
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Step back in time at this lavish colonial-style resort, which faces the flawless beaches of Lagoi Bay on the serene island of Bintan. Inspired in part by European salons of the 18th and 19th centuries, the property fuses Old World grandeur with breezy tropical charm. Guests can curl up on a leather sofa and sip tea out of fine china at high tea in the posh dining room, or chill out by the 165-foot infinity pool while gazing at the South China Sea through the swaying palms. The 30 villas and suites are filled with Asian artifacts, textiles and artworks, set against contemporary black and white decor, and all have soothing views of either the ocean or the manicured gardens. Herringbone hardwood floors, bamboo screens and gleaming chrome fixtures further lend the hotel a Europe-in-the-tropics vibe. Hobnob with the other guests before dinner in the swanky bar, where the resident mixologist will whip up whatever cocktail your heart desires (part of the bar’s fun “no menu” concept), then retire to the stunning Tasanee Grill, an alfresco restaurant right beside the pool that serves fancy versions of Thai street food and fresh-caught fish.
In the Area
Discover the world of Bintan below the water on a dive trip with Tasik Divers, a local outfit that takes visitors in speedboats to explore the coral reefs around Bintan, as well as farther out to Mapur Island. Practice your swing on one of the golf courses in the northern part of the island; Ria Bintan offers 18 stunning holes facing the South China Sea, along with a lush nine-hole forest course. Afterward, nosh on some of Bintan’s renowned seafood at one of the traditional kelongs (restaurants on stilts), where you can try such local specialties as chili crab, steamed fish, drunken prawn and “Gong Gong”: pearl conch, a Bintan delicacy. The Kelong Seafood Restaurant at the Nirwana Resort Hotel is an upscale version offering spectacular sunset views.
How to Get There
Stayed at the Sanchaya for 4 nights in August 2018 for my partner’s birthday. Booked a suite but we were upgraded to a villa. We've stayed at many 5-star resorts; this is one of the most luxurious and beautiful resorts we’ve stayed at in SE Asia. From arrival at the Sanchaya lounge at the ferry terminal to departure our holiday couldn’t have been more sublime. Aside from the stunning and tastefully furnished property and all the facilities, the staff (particularly the bar staff – Arif and Ichsan, who were so sweet to arrange a surprise birthday cake for us) were incredibly warm, friendly and professional, making our stay all the more wonderful. The food was exceptional – delicious and with plenty of healthy options. It’s not cheap but well worth every penny (or dollar) to relax in this little piece of heaven. We’ll definitely be planning another visit.
I had the great pleasure of staying at The Sanchaya recently and highly recommend you do the same. You’re made to feel incredibly welcome; the service is top notch and personalized; the rooms and common areas are exceptionally well-decorated and designed; the food is top notch and well, you get the idea.
The resort is an easy one-hour ferry ride from Singapore. If I was a Singapore resident I would make this place a home away from home. The experience begins when you arrive at the ferry terminal on Bintan Island, are whisked away to the Sanchaya’s private welcome lounge. Check-in is taken care of there, so when you arrive at the property you can take a quick tour if you like and then you’re on vacation without any of the normal formalities of check-in. Notably the resort is only an 8-10-minute drive from the Ferry terminal so in less than 90 minutes from departing Singapore you’re in another world. Surprisingly most of the people I met in Singapore who I told about my stay hadn’t heard of the Sanchaya.
I stayed in a Sanchaya Suite which is in the main building. The room was large and beautiful and featured a separate living area with a sofa, table, bar and wine cabinet. There was a large TV equipped with an Apple TV which was a nice touch that I ended up using one evening. The bed was large and comfortable, and upon check-in I saw my request for extra pillows was fulfilled. The room had a large wrap-around terrace with views of the pool and ocean.
I had dinner in the Tasanee Grill one evening which is Thai street food inspired and which was very nice. You sit outside in the open air, ocean breezes keeping it cool and circulating the aromas of one delicious dish after the next. They have a pretty nice wine list (and definitely check out their beautiful wine cellar), although prices are somewhat high. I do think that’s largely a function of costs associated with getting wine to the island and ensuring it’s been properly treated in transit. One evening I had a wine tasting with Jeroen, the head bartender/beverage director. He’s extremely knowledgeable about wine and cheese, and their pairing, and made for a really interesting conversation as well.
When I was there the beach wasn’t as inviting as the beautiful pool was, and indeed it seemed most guests chose to lounge there instead of out on the sand. The water was a nice temperature and service poolside was attentive. The Sanchaya also features a nice gym and a great spa.
Everybody there seems to know your name and remembers little details about what you like. The level of service and interest seems wholly genuine and is something of an art form here. It’s all very well organized, and is testament to Magnus the G.M. and the management team as well as every single employee there. The day I departed, I’m sitting in their lounge at the ferry terminal, when one of the staff walks over to me looking at something on their phone. It’s a picture, and he asked me if the item in the picture was mine. It was mine, and the item in question was a small bottle of travel-sized face wash that I had inadvertently left behind in my room’s bathroom. He told me they had retrieved it from my room and were driving it over to me at the lounge to ensure I had it. Not even remotely necessary but simply amazing service.
In terms of what it remined me of, the service is on par of, or even exceeds Four Seasons quality, but the resort is much more boutique, so perhaps Segera Retreat in Kenya, or other small and well-curated five-star experiences like a Mombo Camp in Southern Africa (safari component notwithstanding, obviously) are good comparisons. High praise from my perspective.
While only a short stay the Sanchaya made a lasting impression. I hope it never changes and I greatly look forward to returning someday.
An amazing experience since the first second on Bintan Island. We spent one night at the hotel during the last week of December coming from Singapore. First of all, the hotel has an executive lounge at the ferry terminal so we were met with a hotel representative once we disembarked the ferry who guided us to the lounge while the staff finalized the immigration procedures and collected the luggage. While having a drink in the lounge, the receptionist finalized our check in process so we can go directly to our villa once we arrive. A complementary car drive then took us to the hotel (10 mins away from the ferry terminal). Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the management team. Special thanks to Mr. George William - Front Office Manager who made our stay even more special. The whole team is very very helpful and friendly. The resort offers a very exclusive experience as it has only 29 units.We stayed in a Thai Villa which was overlooking an artificial lake.The junior suite though which is a smaller unit has a better view as it is directly overlooking the ocean. The hotel facilities are of a very high standard and very well maintained. It has two restaurants, bar, a nice spa and a library, a very nice pool and a wide beach. While it is monsoon season we were still able to swim in the ocean despite some waves. The resort is more for relaxation or honeymoon so except a very relaxed evening as there is nothing much to do other than a drink at the bar (which was the kind of experience we were exactly looking for) We would definitely stay there again if we visit Bintan once again.
Hospitality at its best.. I was at the property last week to celebrate my daughters 1st birthday and believe me it was worth it.. What an experience it was ...!
Thank you Mr. Williams & the team for making this stay memorable for us.. 😇
The decadent Sanchaya possesses every element of elegance and colorful Indonesian tradition that one can imagine. It exudes a harmonious blend of colonial ambiance spiced with the allure of exotic island seclusion. There is no paving through the pristine paradise as plush grass lawns and teakwood decking provide a more in tune ambiance to the natural feel of the property.