Elliott, our little roving reporter, checked into The Canopi Bintan for two nights during the June school holidays. Here’s all the fun he had at this kid-friendly resort just 60 minutes away from Singapore!
Glamping is a form of camping with accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Recently, glamping has become increasingly popular with Singaporean families. If you’ve already experienced all the glamping options within our little red dot, it’s time to look beyond our shores… to Bintan!
Our 2.5 year old roving reporter Elliott checked into the The Canopi Bintan last month. At this 338-hectare resort, he and his “big kid” friends had loads of fun! Read on to find out what they did during their 3D2N stay there. Will you be tempted to book a stay here after reading about their adventures?
We arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal two hours ahead of our departure (2pm) to check-in and have lunch. After a smooth 60-minute ferry ride, we were in Bintan! The Canopi Bintan is just a five-minute ride away once you arrive at Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal.
Check-in time at The Canopi Bintan is 3pm. If you’re early, deposit your luggage at the reception and explore till it’s time to check into your luxurious safari themed “tent”. Upon check-in, one person per room is given a waterproof wristband. This is your ‘wallet’ during your stay. You’ll charge your meals and activity costs to your room with it.
The Crystal Lagoon
The massive Crystal Lagoon is Asia’s first and largest manmade seawater lagoon. It is essentially a ‘beach’ with a sloping concrete ground and a ring of sand around it. Don’t worry, the sand pit is separated from the water by a border so the water stays clean and clear all the time. Perfect for photos! Another thing that’s photo-friendly? The large fancy floats that you can hire. If you guessed that the big unicorn is the most popular one here, you’re absolutely right.
The Seafood Kelong
The resort can help you to organise a trip to Kampoeng Kelong for a seafood dinner. We were ferried to the kelong in a speeding sampan and this was Elliott’s very first sampan ride! He was so excited he kept saying, “Wow, wow, wow!” the minute the sampan started moving. As there were no child-sized lifejackets, Elliott had to wear an adult lifejacket, which was – obviously – oversized for him.
Unfortunately the sampan ride turned out to be the best part of dinner. Firstly, the restaurant had run out of many ingredients so most of the menu items were unavailable. Secondly, the only drinks they had were extremely syrupy versions of smoothies which tasted like sugar-laden Slurpees.
Our first day ended with the younger kids turning in early while the older children stayed up to play for a while. The adults gathered outside one of our tents for chit-chat and drinks. I’ve heard some people complain about mosquitoes but with four mothers in our group, we had more than enough patches and coils to ward them off.
(See also: The Most Kid-Friendly Hotels in Sydney)
Activities at The Canopi Bintan
Breakfast at The Canopi Bintan is served from 7am till 10am. Elliott enjoyed his omelette, a danish and some cereal very much! After eating, we met up with the rest of our group to check out the activity centre on the other side of the lagoon, a ten to 15-minute walk away. Don’t want to walk? You can get a buggy to ferry you over.
The activity centre is offers a range of activities for children of all ages (and adults too, don’t worry!). You can choose to rent a scooter or a Segway (both fixed at a maximum speed of 20km/hour) to explore the resort. If you’re feeling adventurous you could try riding your scooter into town. Be warned though that there are no street lamps at night and your mode of transport has a maximum speed of 20km/hour! So… maybe not. There is also a Classic Car Fun Ride available and this is free for all hotel guests!
The UTV Off-Road Trail
The grownups and big kids decided to try the UTV Off-Road Trail rides. Elliott, another mum, and I chose the Solar Boat Ride around the perimeter of the lagoon. We had to wait an hour before it was our turn for the boat ride so we rented a scooter to explore the area surrounding the lagoon first. If your children are above four years old, they can rent a Mini Electric ATV to ride around the area too!
The UTV Off-Road Trail is nestled within a private jungle across the lagoon so be prepared for a bumpy ride! Manoeuvre your vehicle up a little hill and end off by splashing into a large puddle of muddy water – best not to wear white! If you do get dirty, fret not as there are plenty of shower points along the lagoon to have a quick rinse-off.
Lunch was at the resort’s Bora Bora Beach Bar. The food was average. Service moves at a relaxed pace here so be prepared to wait. You can request for your kiddos to get theirs served ahead of yours, but do bring something to keep them entertained while waiting.
More Water Park Fun
Following lunch, the kids were raring to have more fun under the sun. There is an inflatable Giant Water Sports Park right in the middle of the lagoon. However we did not try it as we imagined that the rubber floats would probably be very hot to the touch and extremely uncomfortable for the kids. We did not spot anyone else playing on the floats at that time; our suspicions were probably right.
Elliott’s friends Zann and Isaac tried out the Water ZOVB and they had a ball of a time (no pun intended)! What’s the Water ZOVB, you ask? You enter a transparent inflatable ball to experience the excitement of “walking” on water! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? According to the boys, it’s all about synchronising your movements with your buddy so that the both of you don’t end up rolling over each other!
Then there’s the Slip & Slide where you slide down 7.5 metres before being lifted into the air and plunged into the crystal blue water! If you’re not much of a thrill seeker, there is also a modest three-metre long slide to have a go on. The best part of it all? It’s just $5 per person for unlimited slides all day long!
All the kids loved the Slip & Slide but do note that it has a minimum height requirement of 1.1metres. The kids also enjoyed playing in the Inflatable Bear Slide Pool and a large bouncy castle by the lagoon. The only problem? The heat and the lack of shade, which made sliding rather painful after a while!
While the older children played on the inflatable slides, Elliott stayed in the outdoor jacuzzi outside our “tent” with bubbles and a ball. After the sun had gone down, we headed for the lagoon again until it was time for dinner.
The Canopi Bintan offers in-room spa services, so why not treat yourself to a pampering session? We adults booked a massage for ourselves on our last night at the resort. Post-massage, we gathered for more chit-chat and drinks on the patio to make the most of the time we had left there.
After breakfast, the little ones and the adults spent their last few hours in the outdoor jacuzzi while the older children headed over to Bintan Wake Park to try out inflatable rafting. Wake boarding, water skiing, and kneeboarding are some other water sport options available here. Children have to be at least five years old to participate in these water sports. Parents will also have to sign their approval on an indemnity form.
Pick a Tent for Your Glamping Adventure
Each safari-themed tent boasts more than 40 sqm of interior space, a private garden, and modern day luxuries. Choose from a Garden Tent, Safari Tent, Lagoon View Tent, Lagoon View Deluxe Tent, or a Glamping Deluxe Tent.
We stayed in a Lagoon View Deluxe Tent which was situated on slightly elevated ground. It had an outdoor whirlpool tub in which we could relax while enjoying stunning sunset over the Crystal Lagoon. Each tent accommodates four and has the following amenities: a four poster king-sized bed, a day bed, air conditioning, standing fan, LCD television, mini fridge, coffee and tea making facilities, private bathroom with shower, hairdryer, towels, private patio, outdoor whirlpool tub, wifi, safety deposit box. Infant cots are available on request.
NOTE: The mini fridge is really a wine cooler so it does not keep your drinks very cold. But the hotel offers each room a free first bucket of ice.
Your room rate will include complimentary:
- Two-way transfer service between Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal and The Canopi Bintan
- Daily breakfast for two
- Entry to Chill Cove @Treasure Bay Bintan
Remember to pack these:
- Mosquito coils
- Mosquito patches
- A pair of sunglasses
- Child sized lifejacket (if you opt for the Seafood Kelong dinner)
- Bubble bath (for the jacuzzi!)
- Sandpit toys for the kids
- Snacks for the kids
Ready to book your stay for the September school break? Have fun!