Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where to stay in Batam : Novotel Batam Hotel

If there's one thing that both Paul and I are quite nit-picky about whenever we travel, it would definitely be our choice of accommodation. Yes, we can definitely save on the plane ticket or would rather pack light to avoid paying extra for checked-in luggages and saying no to ordering meals on board but when it comes to choosing what would be our home away from home, then rarely do we put on our Mr. and Mrs. Scrooge McDuck hats for this.

Why?

The reason is simple. Yes, it's true we would go shopping or exploring the city for most parts of the day. If you really think about it, we spend no more than 10 hours per day in the hotel. However, we just love the idea of being able to retire back to our room after a fun yet physically tiring day outside. Nothing beats being able to comfortably shower and to peacefully sleep without having to deal with bugs, mites, weird noises and terrible service. That's basically why Paul and I give so much regard to our travel accommodation as this can really make or break a vacation.

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In Batam, true, there were a lot of resorts and 2-3 star hotels that offers really cheap room rates. For us though, we chose Novotel Batam Hotel. A 4 star hotel located at the Nagoya district of Batam. It feels pretty much like the central area with the Nagoya Hill mall nearby, the one and only McDonald's store a few blocks around the corner and the famous Harbour Bay seafood area just a 3 minute drive away. We were not able to walk around much but the hotel has a taxi service available as well as a free shuttle ride that can take you to a couple of nearby malls every 11AM, 2PM and 6PM.

We initially got the Superior King Room (est. S$40) for two nights. However, we were upgraded to the Executive Room instead. How lucky! This placed us immediately in a better mood coming from such a stressful cab ride from the ferry terminal.

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The hotel is 5-storey high so you can actually access the stairs should you prefer to do some climbing exercises. Our floor, which was at the 4th floor, has a mini library where guests can hang out and read the books on display.

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Come take a peek at our room! I got to admit it may not be very modern-looking but it was clean and very spacious. Not bad considering it was very reasonably-priced plus we got an upgrade! We love the comfy king sized bed and the study area the most.



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The TV was a bit too small for such a spacious room though that it looked quite weird against the wide wooden panel.

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Checking out the bathroom, they have filled it with the basic toiletries which was fine for short-time visitors. I just find it odd that they didn't include packs of cotton buds which is pretty much common in all hotels. What I love about the toilet though is that they have installed a bidet! +1,000 points for hygiene!

After showering and unwinding in bed, I slept like a baby which was uncommon as I normally have a hard time sleeping on the first night outside of home. Zzzzz...

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The next day, I woke up earlier than Paul did and thought of just checking out the hotel on my own. The first stop was at The Square -- the all-day dining restaurant of Novotel Batam where a breakfast buffet spread is also available. I peeked through the choices and noticed that it wasn't much. Our room package didn't include breakfast and even after seeing what was available, I felt like I'm better off having a sandwich or a muffin elsewhere.

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Since we really intended to have a relaxing weekend at Batam, Paul wanted to go swimming in the afternoon so I went to look for the pool. It wasn't easy to find as it can be accessed after crossing The Square or through the gym located at the Basement Level.  The pool was very simple, not quite inviting but at least we had it all to ourselves. Wish they can adjust the water temperature though as it was freezing cold!

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For those who would rather build muscle or do some stationary cycling, the hotel also has a gym which is open to all in-house guests to use. It's just so sad that these two amenities are empty during the time that I went. Could it mean that the guests are not so much into leisure activities or there might be a need to improve on their in-house amenities to make it more inviting.

Over-all, we enjoyed our stay at Novotel Batam that when we were told that we got an extra hour before we need to check out, we happily made the most of it by sleeping an hour more. I was actually sad when we checked out as it signalled the end of our Batam getaway too.

Check out Novotel Batam Hotel at Jalan Duyung Sei Jodoh 29432 Batam, Indonesia. Book your room online now!

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