Mutiara Beach Resort A Travellers Oasis on Bintan Island – Indonesia

This is our third visit to Bintan Island and second stay at Mutiara in 12 months, one of the reasons we are back is because Bintan Island is so close to Singapore just a short ferry from the big city. More importantly though, we love the simplicity and ethos of Mutiara Beach Resort. It isn’t big and fancy, it sits within nature on secluded beach shared with local fishermen.

Unlike many of the big flashy resorts in Bintan, Mutiara Beach Resort tries to incorporate and involve the local community they employ staff from the nearby village and the resort shares the beach with the nearby village and fishermen without intruding or taking over the beach.

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For families, I would say this is one of the most perfect places to unwind, to take a break from technology and just enjoy the simple pleasures of life. In this post I’m going to explain what we as a family enjoy doing on a perfect day at Mutiara Beach Resort. 

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Wake up to the sounds of Nature

Wake to the sounds of nature, the simple bungalows let in the light and sounds of the coconut plantation. If Marco or I wake early we take advantage of the many Yoga Platforms and practice 30 minutes of Yoga or meditation or catch up on some writing. 

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Freshly Made Breakfast

Then we eat a freshly prepared breakfast, complete with fresh fruit juice or freshly picked coconut. The resort is small so there is a quiet, calm and peaceful atmosphere, with enough room for all guests to have their own space and privacy. Our two daughters are probably making the most noise. After breakfast  we take a stroll down the quiet beach, spotting crabs and and beautiful shells brought in with the tide.

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Paddle Boarding and Snorkelling to the reef to find Nemo

Mid morning once we have digested our breakfast, we hire a paddle board and take our snorkel equipment and paddle out to the reef located just 50m from the shore, located just behind the fishing platforms, follow the reef up the west side to see a a big array of tropical fish.

Marco and I would paddle out with the Bella and Maya sat on the front of our boards and then take it in turns to snorkel with the girls whilst the other holds on to the boards. Although the corals isn’t in brilliant condition the reef is teeming with life and actually in quite condition considering the amount of fishing that goes on in the area.

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During our last visit we spotted Nemo and were determined to find him again, to show the girls. This time around after a little searching Marco spotted a few, which delighted the girls and they eagerly jumped off the paddle board to see them. If you are strong swimmer and use fins, it’s also possible to swim out to the reef form the shore without the paddle board, but always go with another person and tell the staff at the resort where you are going.

Lunch on the beach – coconuts and Woodfired pizza

After a couple of hours on the water we head back to Mutiara Beach Resort for lunch, which you can enjoy beach side or at the main restaurant. Remember in order not to experience any delays its best to order lunch before you head out onto the water and let the staff know what time you would like it to be served.

After spending so much time on the water we love to drink down a freshly picked coconut with our lunch, the perfect way to rehydrate our bodies.

Although the lunch and dinner menu is simple, there is variety of options of both western and Indonesian dishes. At both lunch and dinner you can enjoy freshly cooked wood fired pizza, which is surprisingly good and even Marco the Italian expert approves it!

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Siesta for the kids and Spa treatment for Mum and Dad

After a busy morning on the water the girls take siesta, whilst Marco and I catch up with some reading or work. At about 2.30pm, Either Marco or I, will head to the Aroma Spa for a treatment although Mutiara Bintan Resort is not 5* . I can confirm the Spa is 5* standards,  let me explain the setting, the spa is located at the back of the resort on built on the mangrove river with separate treatment rooms built over the river connected by a wooden platform.

All the staff are recruited from the nearby local village and trained to a very high standard, Marco and I have both experienced the full body massage and scrub. Which were both relaxing and professional the spa uses only natural products and essential oils from Indonesia, if you ask the staff they will suggest an oil which is most helpful to any ailments you might have.

As a special treat for Bella’s 5th Birthday, we took Bella to the Aroma spa to enjoy her first foot massage, which she wasn’t sure about in the beginning but she soon relaxed into. Actually she loved it so much she asked for one the next day as well.

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Healthy Afternoon Tea or Coconut

After a very relaxing massage, we head back to our bungalow to wake the girls, for their snack, which usually consists of a milkshake or fresh coconut.

Afterwards we usually head to the beach again for another swim or just to enjoy another walk and play on the beach. The girls love exploring the big tidal pools for crabs, shells and starfish.

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Beach stroll or swim and collecting shells on the beach

When the tide is out the water is knee deep and perfect conditions for young kids to learn how to paddle board, which our eldest daughter loved, actually it was the one thing she couldn’t wait to do on our return to Mutiara Beach Resort.

As a special treat for Bella’s 5th Birthday, we took Bella to the Aroma spa to enjoy her first foot massage, which she wasn’t sure about in the beginning but she soon relaxed into. Actually she loved it so much she asked for one the next day as well.

In the tropical climates the mosquitos are the worst between 5pm and 7pm so we try to stay inside our bungalow at this time, showering and getting ready for dinner and reading books or playing board games.

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Dinner and Birthday Celebrations

Dinner at the the Warung, we can recommend the fried calamari to start and the spring rolls the girls love the fish and chips and Marco and usually try one of the local Indonesian dishes. Fresh simple food is always best in our opinion.

To end the perfect day at Mutiara Beach Resort with fireworks and a bonfire on the beach. This was a special treat we finished off our perfect day with a celebration for Bella’s 5th Birthday with birthday cake, fireworks and a bonfire on the beach organised by the staff at Mutiara. 

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Before a bed time story, some star gazing and watching the Moon.

This was our routine at Mutiara for 7 days and whilst staying at the resort we felt recharged and refreshed. This time we were privileged to meet the adventurous owner of the resort Marc. Who explained the full story of how he ended up on Bintan and we exchanged some interesting travel stories. Marc is passionate about Indonesia and has inspired us to travel and explore the country more.

Check out our suggestions below to enjoy your stay at Mutiara Beach Resort, if you enjoy the quiet and simplicity of beach life this is the place for you.  

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Tips

DO – Have a spa treatment at the Aroma River Spa. I can recommend the scrub and massage.

EAT – Try the wood fired pizza

DRINK – Coconuts: the staff will go and cut one down from the palm trees for you. You can’t get much fresher than that.

PLAY – Go paddle boarding and snorkelling, so much fun especially for kids.

WATCH OUT FOR – Sand flies primarily out at sunset, especially when the tide is out, to protect yourself cover up your back and the backs of your legs, as this. The resort provides free mosquito repellents too.

Also be careful of other insects and wild life, we saw snakes and monitor lizards in the river, most are harmless but do inform the staff it you see a snake and they will check it for you.

GETTING THERE – Take a ferry from Singapore Tanah Merah ferry terminal to Bintan Resorts Ferry terminal. Book online in advance as you save money, guaranteed. Check on google for ferry to Bintan Islands and few options will come up. The ferry can be expensive if booked on weekends or public holidays, so, if you can, try to travel during the week as fares can be as low as 20 US$ return. From the airport to the ferry terminal is 10 minutes ride.

The guesthouse is on Bintan’s east coast. Take a private taxi to the resort (Mutiara can arrange this for you) which is about 50 minutes journey and costs 650 Rupiah approx 45 US Dollars.

 

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Eternal adventurer and wanderlust seeker! Always thinking about (and planning) our next adventure, hence the name"Thinking Nomads"! Wife to Marco and mamma to Isabella and Maya. India, Nepal and Vietnam are my top three countries! Norway, Iceland and South Africa are top of my bucket list!

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