Covering a sprawling 300 hectares and more, fringed by a swathe of white sand beaches brushed by the South China Sea, the Nirwana Gardens in the north-west coast of the island of Bintanappears to have it altogether for the perfect holiday or the most romantic honeymoon.
This all-inclusive and self contained upmarket Resort offers beach activities, fun, natural forests, rest and recreation for the whole family. Nirwana Gardens is also where the annual Tour de Bintan has its Headquarters, where participants race across tracks within and from these extensive premises.
Approaching the main entrance of this resort hotel you will be welcomed by – surprisingly – huge statues of elephants. Elephants in Bintan? Well, yes. Though these pachyderms no longer roam free in the wild, but here in Nirwana Gardens you can, not only admire their life-size bronze statues, but you can also feed and ride on real living Sumatran elephants: such is the diversity and the fun presented by this resort for its guests. From activities at sea, outbound nature explorations and adventures, to playing Golf, – professional or otherwise – ; swim in the sea or in the swimming pool that comes complete with pool bar; go biking or trekking, just name it, they have it.
And, to pamper your tastebuds are secluded Japanese and Thai restaurants, while the coffee shop serves Indonesian and International popular dishes. In the evening enjoy sumptuous Chinese style seafood in the “Kelong” restaurant that juts into the sea. Be accompanied by the soft lapping of waves, while you watch the twinkling of lights in the distance. And at the end of an exhausting day, relax with your favorite drink and music at the Calypso Floating Bar by the sea, or indulge in a soothing body massage at the Andindya Spa. All these are readily available for guests in the Nirwana Gardens own site.
Although Bintan receives plenty of tourists, you will not feel hemmed in since crowds will seem to quickly disappear among this wide expanse of land.
Nonetheless, for those looking for a facility to accommodate office meetings far away from disturbing phone calls, Nirwana Gardens also offers convention facilities in rooms for small groups of 20, to larger meetings for 2,400 guests at the Plaza. The Plaza is also popular for wedding receptions.
At Nirwana Gardens you will find Indonesian, Korean and other International Cuisine.
There is a special Japanese Restaurant called “Rin “ and a Thai Restaurant called “ Baan Aariya” serving authentic Thai cuisine.
For Seafood dining head to the Kelong Seafood Restaurant that serves freshly caught seafood in most delicious Chinese culinary style.
In addition you will find bistros, La Luna Restaurant and Beach Bar and more.
Besides staying at the more conventional hotel building, Nirwana Gardens has also other types of accommodation, from chalets to de luxe villas that are all located within these premises. They comprise:
The Nirwana Resort Hotel
This main building of the Resort has 245 Deluxe, Superior and Nirwana suites.
Mayang Sari Beach Resort
This resort has 50 single-storey air-conditioned chalets with thatched roof and private veranda. The Anindya Spa by Andari is located near here.
Nirwana Beach Club
Situated on the water’s edge this resort has 50 air conditioned cabanas and has a sea sports center with access to all facilities in Nirwana Gardens.
Banyu Biru Villas
These exclusive villas are great for families. They consist of 4-bedroom, 3-bedrooms and 2-bedrooms villas. The Japanese restaurant “Rin” is located nearby.
Indra Maya Pool Villas
These are 14 exclusive and ravishingly beautiful pool villas luxuriously furnished with exquisite interior design fusion of exotic Indonesia, Thai and Chinese architectural elements. You can choose between 4-bedrooms, 3-bedrooms or 2-bedrooms villas.
Take your pick from lazing in the sun reading a book amongst a serene seascape, or start your day with an invigorating round of golf by the sea at the manicured Ria Bintan Golf Course. Here are two 18 hole championship courses designed by Gary Player. It has also a well appointed clubhouse atop a knoll that commands panoramic views of the sea.
At the entrance of the hotel you will also see parked buggies to take you anywhere in this sprawling complex, or rent an ATV to cover rougher terrains. Sports activities here include flying fox, gym, riding an elephant, horse riding, archery, air rifle shooting, futsal, bowling and plenty more to keep you healthily occupied the whole day.
If you wish to see more of the world outside Nirwana, take the boat trip into the mangrove forestsand see the wonders of nature. Or if you are the more adventurous type, go to Lagoi Bay and try out the light aircraft plane, that allows you to shoot on camera from the air the unparalleled views of Bintan Island and beyond.
But if you are curious about the activities of the local population, just rent a car and head to Trikora Beach, which is a half hour ride east from Bintan Resorts. At Trikora you will see rows of “kelongs” or fish traps along the coast from which local villagers hang their nets to haul in their catch. Some kelongs are now also built specially for tourists to stay overnight, so that they can leave from here by boat at night or before the crack of dawn to catch the larger fish at sea.
Surprisingly, in this predominantly Muslim island you will find nearby: the Grotto of Mary and the Way of the Cross. In a beautiful cave hung over by blooming Bougainvillea flowers, the grotto of Marywas originally built by Vietnamese refugees. Complementing the grotto is a small picturesque church that is until today faithfully attended by its congregation.
Along the route you will, of course, at times hear the muezzin call the faithful to prayers from the many mosques on the way.
With its new modern airport at Tanjung Pinang, Bintan is now easily accessible by air from Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia flies Boeing 737-500 aircrafts daily between Jakarta and Tanjung Pinang; while Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air serve the route several times a day.
From the Raja Haji Fisabilillah (RHF) Airport it takes between 45 minutes to one hour to reach Nirwana Gardens, that used to take over two hours via the old road. The new road is wide and smooth. Although there are taxis available at the airport it is best to ask the hotel to also provide transfer services.
The majority of tourists enter through Bintan’s Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal (BBTFT) in the north of the island, arriving by ferry from Batam or Singapore. There are several ferries a day from Singapore, the first leaves at 09.10 am and the last ferry at 20.00 hrs on weekdays. On weekends and public holidays there are 7 departures starting at 08.10 hrs Singapore Time. The ferry leaves from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) and reaches Bandar Bentan Telani (BBT) ferry terminal in around 45 minutes. Then from here to Nirwana Gardens takes around 10 minutes.