Have you ever heard of the word glamping? No? Glamping is a relatively new term that comes from two words – Glamour and Camping. You can experience Glamping at The Canopi Resort in Bintan, an island in Indonesia’s Riao Archipelago.
The Canopi Resort boasts air-conditioned tent-suites that can accommodate 4 persons in a 4-poster bed, a day bed and an extra bed. The resort allowed a fifth person in the same tent provided it is small kid.
Other than the LCD TV and free Wifi, the furnitures and decor in the room made us feel like we were on an Indiana Jones expedition. We loved the chest of drawers that looked like a giant suitcase, the lamp shade and the study table.
We loved the ensuite toilet that was partially open air.
There are three types of tents. The top picture is that of a lagoon view tent. It was closest to the lagoon and had an outdoor swing. Right behind the row of lagoon view tents were the jacuzzi tents. You can see the blue outdoor jacuzzi to the right of the picture below.
Behind the row of jacuzzi tents were the safari tents. The safari tents were grouped in clusters of 4 tents (see picture below). It is great to get an entire cluster if you are travelling in a bigger group.
The Canopi Resort is located in Bntan’s Treasure Bay which had an enormous man-made salt-water lagoon called Crystal Lagoon.
A strip of man-made beach with lots of deck chairs could be found on one side of the lagoon.
The Crystal Lagoon was quite impressive. This was probably the first time that I have seen guests arriving at the hotel and did not bother to rush to check-in. Instead, everyone instinctively whipped out their cameras and started taking pictures of the lagoon.
Apart from swimming, the Crystal Lagoon also offered several water activities like the Jetovator (S$180), the Water Bumper Boat (S$12), a floating watersport park (S$9), Boat Ride (S$5), Zorbing and more.
You could also try Wakeboarding at S$37 for an hour on a weekend.
The resort also had several types of rides that you could take around the Crystal Lagoon like the Classic Car Ride pictured below, and the Vespa Scooter. You don’t need a valid riders licence to ride the scooter unless you wanted to ride on the main road outside the resort.
My two kids and I tried the Segway while my little girl rode on the mini-ATV. A resort staff guided us around the Crystal Lagoon.
There were also other activities outside of the resort like kayaking, nature walks, jungle tours, ATV off-road nature trails, and Air Adventures (pictured on the left).
Bora Bora Beach Bar
There is only one restaurant within The Canopi Resort called the Bora Bora Beach Bar. Apart from breakfast, the restaurant also served western and local food throughout the day. The non-alcoholic margaritas, coladas and mojitos smoothies were a great way to cool down after spending the day in the sun.
For lunch, instead of eating at the resort, we went to the Pujasera food centre nearby for delicious and authentic nasi padang.
This is how nasi padang is traditionally served in Indonesia. All the dishes are laid out for you and you are charged only what you eat.
There are a few ways to get to Pujasera. You can pay for a 2-way transportation from the resort at about S$18 per trip, rent the resort’s scooters (if you have a rider licence), or take a long walk (approximately 1.5 – 2 km each way). If you intend to do a traditional body massage, a foot reflexology or have an Indonesian hair spa called Creme Bath, you could arrange for free transportation with the spa. The spa had both male and female masseuse.
In the evening, you could have a barbecue dinner at your tent-suite, eat at the Bora Bora Beach Bar or head to a Kelong for a seafood dinner. You could also go for a fireflies tour around Bintan’s mangroves.
The canopies around the Crystal Lagoon was also a great place to chill out after dinner and gaze at the stars.
After a fun and adventurous day out, we all had a great night sleeping in our cosy tent.
How to book a stay at The Canopi
The Canopi Resort can be booked from Booking.com (The Canopi).
You can book the ferry transfer online at booking.brf.com.sg. The Canopi provides free shuttle to and from the ferry terminal.
If Glamping is not your thing, you could also stay at other resorts. You can find the list of Bintan Resorts on Booking.com.
Tips on staying at The Canopi
- Even though the check-in time is 3pm, you could take the ferry in the morning, check-in, and deposit your bags with the front desk. You will get a special wristband for each tent with which you can start using the facilities and charge the activities to your room through the wristband. However, do note that towels are not available until you check-in. We managed to get our room 1 hour earlier than check-in time.
- To maximise your stay, after you check-out of the hotel, you could still hang around Bintan and do activities outside the resort as listed above.
- The shop selling Kek Lapis (Layered Cake) in Pujasera had quite nice layered cheese cake and layered chocolate cake. Although it was out of stock when we visited the shop, we were able to order them and have them delivered to our hotel. You need to give the shop at least one day notice before your departure.
- If you want to try the Air Adventure, go to their website at airadventuresasia.com.