How much better can life get?
If you need a place to go to for quiet relaxing off-the-beaten-track getaway. Or a safe place for your kids to romp around getting to know nature. It's much cheaper than the over S$150 a night rooms in most places and definitely more bang for your buck. Because for about S$40 per night, you get to spend lazy afternoons under a dappled sky on an idyllic river, run with Toby (the sometimes guard dog but alltime fun dog, even during sleepy time) round the coconut grove & jump into the blue South China Sea and muck around on a powder white sandy beach.
And, you can have all this breezy coastal space to your own sweet self. No need for sharing and rushing with other guests because most of the times (especially on weekdays) you'd be the only guest in the laid back Mutiara guesthouse set in 8 hectares of beach front on the East coast of Bintan Island.
For those not familiar to Bintan Island, it's about 45 minutes by ferry from Singapore. And Mutiara is about an hour from the Bintan Resort's ferry terminal.
I visited my friend Marc on my last trip back to Singapore. He's the guy responsible for turning this little piece of paradise into a place where city folk can take wander back into the simpler, peaceful & charming kampung days.
Since February, he's added two more fun rustic bungalows to the existing guesthouse. The PONDOK, is built like a traditional fisherman's hut with attap & wood and can accommodate 4 people. It has a generous covered porch in front facing the sea and the most marvelous place for you to hang up your hammock for the afternoon snooze. The day rate if S$80 for 2 persons and this includes 3 meals.
The other addition is just brill. Called The KELONG, it's a unique floating eco-bungalow. Kelongs are traditionally used by Bintan fishermen for extended fishing stays out at sea. They raise anchor & paddle to move to the next fishing spot. This one has been modified to house 4 guests who want the novel experience of sleeping with colourful marine life dancing about under them. I'm told that the sunrises & sunsets are spectacular here. The day rate for the Kelong is also S$80 for 2 people. Since the Kelong is in the water, it's only available during the non-monsoon season from April to October.
If you'd like more info on these hidden gems so nearby Singapore, send Marc an email. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org