Monday, July 31, 2017

[REVIEW] THE CANOPI RESORT, BINTAN INDONESIA: The Glammed-Up Camping Experience!



One of the things I never fail to look forward to whenever I’m having my doze of Harry Potter movie-marathon are the scenes where I see those unbelievable tents. You know what I'm saying? I'm talking about their magical tents, which look like your run-of-the-mill tents outside but lo and behold an unexpectedly big and fully furnished interior. Whenever I watch HP movies, I can't help but always imagine how thrilling and amazing it would be to really stay in one of those in real life. It would be awesome! Imagine my exuberance when my hubby showed me for the first time the website of The Canopi Resort.




The Canopi, for me,  opens the gate to the world of glamping. Glamping? Ah-huh. Simply put glamorous getaway and normal camping together and boom! You get GLAMPING. Their website stated that the inspiration of The Canopi's luxurious safari themed tents was drawn from the 18th century colonial experience. Now, I won't pretend I'm familiar with it (coz I suck at history, big time), but whatever the 18th century colonial experience looks like, the people responsible for the design of the resort did a great job in creating a setting as distinctive and as cool as The Canopi.




We initially wanted to book a stay at The Canopi for our 6th wedding anniv but sudden changes of plans happened and so it didn't push through. We then decided to go for it on my birthday. We booked their Glam Deluxe Tent but only for 2 days and 1 night, just enough to fit my hubby's 2days off. Since we didn't have much time to spend there, we didn't bother booking for any of their activities. Speaking of, they actually have a lot to offer. It'll just be up to you whether you want to engage in water activities or explore their land attractions more. If you go to their website and click on the ATTRACTIONS menu, you’ll see three different categories namely: WATER EXPERIENCE, LAND EXPERIENCE and OTHER EXPERIENCE. I won’t go in full details but just to give you an overview, here are the list of activities available for each category based on their website:



WATER EXPERIENCE:
-       Solar Boat Ride | Jetovator (with coaching) | Water Sports Park
-       Water Tricycle | Sea Scooter | Water ZOVB
-       Bumper Boat | Mangrove Kayaking Tour | Aquaglide Sailboat
-       Inflatable Kayak | Bintan Wake Park | Stand Up Paddle
-       Mangrove Pontoon Cruise | Slip and Slide | Mangrove Firefly Pontoon Tour (Night Only)

 
LAND EXPERIENCE:
-       Classic Car Fun Ride | Mini Electric ATV | 2-Wheeler Personal Transportation
-       Electric Scooter | ATV Off-Road Trail | UTV Off-Road Trail (2-seater)
-       Airsoft Gun | Wishing Sky Lantern | Rodeo Bull | Bon Fire (night only)



OTHER EXPERIENCE:
-       SPA Massage | Little Village – Pujasera | Dinner at Kampoeng Kelong
-       Bintan Island Tour | Golf at Ria Bintan Golf Club | BBQ


If we had friends with us and if we stayed there for a longer period of time we're sure to sign up for at least 2 of their attractions/activities. We did enjoy our free electric scooter, though, and had we only gotten more time, we could have also tried their ATV Off-Road!

Anyway, let’s go back to our tent! It comes with Four Poster King-Sized Bed, Day Bed, Air-Conditioning, Standing Fan, LCD Television, Mini Fridge, Tea and Coffee Making Facilities, Private Bathroom with Shower, En-suite Whirlpool, Hairdryer, Towels, Private Patio with Outdoor Setting, WiFi Connection and Safe Deposit Box.



The amount we paid for also includes:
i)               Complimentary 2-way transfer service between Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal and The Canopi Resort
ii)             Complimentary breakfast for 2 pax
iii)            Complimentary entry to Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan


OUR EXPERIENCE


Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the humongous swimming pool, which they call "Crystal Lagoon". It's the largest swimming pool I've ever laid my eyes on. This man-made lagoon is really a beauty to behold.  


 

Nothing's extraordinary with their reception area, though. I also didn't like their welcome drinks. I can't describe how it tasted but I just remember that I didn't like it enough to finish it.




We were brought to our tent by one of their staffs thru their buggy. We were given GD91. Before we arrived to our tent we passed by the others' and just the view of it, I was already super excited to see ours.



Without a doubt, I love the concept of The Canopi. It's a design idea I would like to work on if I were still an Architecture student. Upon seeing how our tent looks like from outside (which actually looks exactly the same as the rest of them haha), I was instantly thrilled. I specifically liked the table and chairs outside our tent covered by an arched trellis which looks like one of those I usually see in weddings. I also love the swing, which I planned to sit on, but totally forgot to do, LOL. 



When we entered our tent for the very first time, it gave me the HP feels. I love it. Although, I think it's more of the fact that I've been waiting for such a long time to experience something like this and finally did than of pure amazement of the tent, you know what I’m saying? It was more like goose bumps for a wish-come-true kind of thing, if you catch my drift. To our relief, the tent looks the same as what was shown on their website.





The bathroom was nice. Imagine a tent for camping that offers a fully glammed-up bathroom equipped with an epic Jacuzzi, wouldn't you also be astonished?


I personally like the choices of accessories for the bathroom like the choice of lighting bulbs, which I think, was customized exclusively for them as well as the handles for the faucets and showers. I can honestly say that it was well thought-out of.
 



That said, we didn't appreciate the lack of partition for the toilet bowl. It's okay for the Jacuzzi and the shower area to be in that open concept design but we didn't expect the same for the toilet bowl.


MY THOUGHTS/FEEDBACK

-      We arrived there on my birthday (July 11th). I didn't know my hubby requested for a birthday cake to be ready in our tent before we checked-in. He told me that they assured him it would be ready before we get to our tent but when we arrived there and my hubby checked with them if the cake was already in the room, they answered "what cake?" So he had to remind them about it and when they remembered, that's the only time they acted on it. So we got to finally check in to our tent about 15-20 minutes later than expected.


-      There's some dirt on the outer part of the toilet bowl. I don’t know exactly how to describe it so just see the photo below. I had to clean it first before using it. It was kinda disgusting. I didn't trouble them for it because I didn't want to wait and I needed to use it already. Ugh.



-       Just an observation: There were not enough shower areas despite the size of the lagoon. It also looked so weird that the shower area was just at one side of the lagoon. Or probably we just didn't see the others? I really hope I'm wrong about this.

-       Some of the tents were situated quite far from the restaurants and when it rains, it was kind of a hassle to go out to eat but they don't do room service. If you want to eat in your tents, you gotta go to the restaurants and order some takeaways. That's the only way you can eat their food in your tents.

-    When we're having dinner at our table right outside our tent, there were of course some mosquitoes lurking around so my hubby decided to bring out the electric fan. Unfortunately the socket was kinda loose and so the electric fan didn't want to stay plugged in. He called reception (2001#) to request for extension cord and they said they'd bring one. After about 15-20 minutes, there was no sign of them so I decided to call them to follow up. When I called, it's like that was the first time they've been told about it and the guy wasn't even sure he understood what we're requesting. He said, he'll check with their "engineering department." After about 5 minutes, I got a callback verifying what we we're requesting. I was starting to get a bit irritated at that point so I told him to just send someone at that instant because we need the assistance since about half an hour ago and we still have not received any help from them. Their staff arrived within 10 minutes and when the guy saw the situation, he immediately understood what we’re asking for and knew exactly what he needed to do. Whew!





-       Our ferry was scheduled at 2:25PM and their standard checkout time is 11:30AM. I called if we could extend until 1PM coz that's what we normally request for when we're in other hotels in Bintan. The lady who answered my call immediately informed me that we can only extend until 12PM and anything beyond that time is chargeable. Wow. Really? On a weekday? I didn't insist. Yes I was expecting they'll be as accommodating and considerate as the other hotels/resorts we've visited in Bintan especially because we booked our stay on weekdays, but nope. I am plain disappointed.

-       The "hot" water only works at random. Most of the time it doesn't heat up at all. We don't really mind if the weather's hot but it was raining and the design of their bathroom allows air from outside to freely flow inside making it all the more difficult to take a bath because the water's cold.

-       When I asked the staff who fetched us during our checkout if they have lots of guests, he said "not so much." Then I asked him why we couldn’t extend until 1PM. He immediately said that there are already customers waiting for our tent. Hmmm... Okay.


FINAL WORDS

If you want to take a break but you're tired of the normal hotel accommodations and you want to try something new, this glammed-up camping experience could be the right getaway choice for you. The camping vibe is legit plus they offer lots of fun activities for those of you, active people out there! And even if you're looking for some peace and quiet, it is still an option because you can just stay in your tent, get cozy with a book or watch movies on their provided TV. You can also do BBQ! We didn't have enough time to do that, though.

Overall, it's a place we might want to visit again because we really adore the idea of camping and there were really lots of fun things we wanted to try if only we had more time. That said, we feel like it's overrated. Yes, the idea is cool but there were some mishaps with the site development plan of the resort and there were many areas, we believe, they need to improve on. Moreover, with the kind of customer service we received, it might really take us a while to consider going back.

***

Have you been to The Canopi or have tried any other venues that offered Glamping? Please share your experience in the comment section below. 


The Canopi Resort
Address :
Jln. Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan
Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi,
Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152
Indonesia.
Phone :
(+62) 770 - 69 - 2252 / 2253
(+65) 315 - 28 - 010 (SG Toll Free)
Email:
reservation@thecanopi.com

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