Batam, to most Singaporeans, is a sleazy sleazy place. But I have also heard of very cheap massages available in Batam. And recently I have been coming across this one resort in Batam being mentioned repeatedly. Saw a newspaper article about it, read about it on Tripadvisor, saw FB posts about it and the list goes on. So these were signs that we should go to Tempat Senang.
However, having just returned from Europe about 2 months ago, it was tough to justify to the husband that a holiday is much needed. After much scheming on my part, I managed to persuade him to spend the weekend at Tempat Senang, in celebration of my birthday! 😛 Sometimes, I think I’m real good at scheming. Though its probably the husband who is real nice to me. 😀
Tempat Senang offers free land transport from Sekupang ferry terminal as it is the nearest to the resort and it also provides a form for easy purchase of ferry tickets from Singapore to Batam. However, as we wanted to have a quick look at the shopping mall in Batam, we opted for a ferry to Batam Center. We had to pay an additional SGD10 for the transport from Batam Center to Tempat Senang. I had thought of getting a cab but was cautioned against it, hence we took up the offer by the resort.
We picked up our ferry tickets about 2-3 hours before the ferry was to depart. I was surprised to see so many people heading to Batam. 😕
Batam is one hour behind Singapore time and when we reached there, we found out that the shops at Batam centre don’t accept Singapore dollars, so we headed to a money changer to get some rupiah.
We weren’t very hungry so we shared some fast food.
There wasn’t much that caught our eyes in the mall, although it is quite big. So we headed to the supermarket at the basement in hope of getting tidbits in case we needed some. I had thought we would be able to get lots of keropok but oddly, we didn’t find any that suited our fancy. 🙄
Very soon, it was time to meet up with the driver for our ride to Tempat Senang.
On our way to the resort, which was about 20 mins ride away, we got to see the real Batam. Batam appears to be very highly under developed. It’s definitely not Bintan. And yet it doesn’t have the rural appeal of Bali (not that I had been to Bali at that point in time).
I was glad to finally reach the resort after what seemed like a long ride.
We were greeted by the staff and after our luggage was taken from us, we were shown to the spa reception room for selection of our spa package and dinner (not inclusive in package). Thereafter, we were shown around the resort and to our room.
I had booked a Thai room for us because I liked the decor best amongst all the rooms available. The Thai room however is suitable for a party of more than 2 because there are actually 2 king size beds in 2 rooms. Its kinda weird though as the two bedrooms share the same bathroom.
We were left alone and we decided to explore the grounds of the resort on our own. The resort is small and we were assured we would be found in time for our spa when its time.
The resort has lots of trees and plants and there is a sense of zen all around. Its totally different from the Batam we saw on the roads outside.
When it was time for our spa, the staff found us crouched over plants. They must have thought we were so geeky. 😎
So for the spa, we could choose 3 treatments to be had. I chose a balinese massage, a hot stone massage (always can’t resist it) and a facial. The husband chose a balinese massage, facial and foot reflexology.
We were to have our treatments in a couple room. However, the husband has to go to a separate area for foot reflexology.
So I started with Balinese massage. The massage was relaxing and that was enough to lull me to sleep. The massage took an hour and I was almost done with the massage when the husband entered the room. There is no sound proofing in the spa area and sounds from the corridor filtered into the room easily. It was a good thing that everyone else was having the spa treatment at the same time.
Then the husband had the Balinese massage while I had the hot stone massage. Using hot stones for massage is definitely different from hands massage. The stones are round and smooth and hence they fit the contour of the body well. In addition, I quite like heated stuff so I do prefer hot stones. The problem with hot stone massage is if the quality of the spa/ masseuse is not good, then one could get ‘burnt’ by the hot stones. I tried the hot stone massage in Bintan at a very low price and throughout the session, the masseuse was letting low cries as the hot stones ‘burnt’ her. I also tried the hot stone massage at Silks Place in Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, and that was excellent. Of course, the spa was an expensive one but I had the massage without guilt as the the masseuse was very proficient in the use of the hot stones.
Here at Tempat Senang, the masseuse seemed to handle the hot stones well but sometimes, the stones nearly ‘burnt’ me. The pressure of the stones’ application was at times a bit too strong and the duration at which the stone was used to massage an area was too long and thesemade me go ‘ouch, pain’. Of course the masseuse was very apologetic and since she was very responsive when I told her the stones were hurting me, I thought it all went well. 🙂
Finally we had the facial. Hmmm, if one is used to the sophisticated facials in Singapore, well, this might not be the one for you. It was kinda weird, very amateur kind. But I understood why this was so. It takes some training to give a good facial. I would rather have this kind of facial that was used by Tempat Senang than to have one done by someone totally unqualified to do so. This facial has cleansing and uses the steaming machine but there is no extraction. To be honest, I was really worried if there was going to be extraction carried out as I wasn’t sure that the extraction would go well. So I was relieved there’s no extraction. There’s some sort of a scrub and there’s a mask made of…I don’t know. It wasn’t cream, was not a sheet of mask either. Anyway, I’m glad to say that the facial didn’t do any damage to our faces; it was more of a general pampering of the face type of facial. I probably might skip the facial should we go there another time. You can try the facial if you are not particular about the facials we have in Singapore.
Probably because I was worrying during the facial, the 3 hours session seemed very long to me. I’ve had longer spa sessions before and never felt that way.
Anyway, we continued our ‘sightseeing tour’ of the resort.
And we got a peek into this vacant room. I think its the Indian room.
Somehow times flies when we are doing nothing…..Soon we felt hungry and headed for dinner.
The portion was huge though. We got the Nasi Campur although I was really tempted to get the beer can chicken.
It was a filling dinner although not every part of the dish was yummy. The prawns were overcooked but the rendang and spring rolls were nice. We were stuffed and headed back to our room after dinner.
The husband fiddled with some stuff in the refrigerator and the next thing I knew, I had a cake in front of me 🙂 The very resourceful husband had contacted Tempat Senang in advance and arranged for a cake to surprise me 🙂 The cake wasn’t nice but it did melt my heart.
All too soon, it was daytime and time to check out and have breakfast and then head back to Singapore.
One last look at the reception at Tempat Senang. Its really quite nice.
The price per pax was quite steep. It had cost at least SGD250 per pax, which is inclusive of the meals and spa but not the ferry tickets. Hence one weekend at Tempat Senang is really quite costly. Oh well, at least I know where to head to for a nice and quick getaway when we need to get out of Singapore 😎