Batam Day 1: Harris Resort Waterfront

The resort island of Batam belongs to Indonesia, just an hour south of Singapore’s shores by ferry. It’s one of the popular weekend getaway destinations for the Singapore populous I suppose, promising a quiet seaside respite from the concrete jungle, cheap duty-free shopping, and relaxing massages. Ottie and I spent days researching on which island we wanted to visit (contenders being Bintan, Bali, Phuket)… or should I say, I spent multiple days fretting over our travel plans until Ottie put a stop to it by basically saying, alright we’re booking this hotel, now let us not worry about it until we get to it.

And so it was that we booked a 4D3N stay at Harris Resort Waterfront via Expedia for a grand total of SGD $203 inclusive of taxes. Pretty worth it if I must say so myself. There were, of course cheaper deals in the area, but we were looking for a quiet place to vegetate and so this seemed the best fit.

I also procured our ferry transportation from Singapore to Batam through Groupon for a slightly discounted price of SGD $35 per person for a 2-way journey through Pacific Ferry. Buying from Groupon tends to stress me out, since there’s a lot of terms and conditions tacked on to the discounted prices. But the only thing that I had to worry about was to send an email to Pacific Ferry with my requested departure date and time from Singapore. The office assured me that I’d be able to book my return date and timing at their branch at the ferry terminal in Batam, which we did immediately upon entry since we knew how many days we wanted to stay for.

Storm clouds rolling in.Saw a pretty sight of the skies split into two – it was raining on the right side in the distance.

We took a cab from Sekupang Ferry Terminal straight to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, since we were famished. The cab driver charged us a flat fee of 90,000 IDR (SGD $9) for the journey. It seemed reasonable considering that he would have to bear the burden of ferrying us under such turbulent weather.

Motorcyclists through raindrops in Batam, Indonesia.

Flooding on the roads in Batam, Indonesia.A significant portion of the journey saw us travel through incredibly flooded roads. Here, the waters went as high up as the curb – Ottie and I even felt the rushing waters through the cab floor at one point! Our cab driver had to take a few longer routes to escape the worse-off portions of the roads. It was such an adventure.

We dined at the crowded May Star Restaurant on a lark. The food there was amazing. Very much worth the 212,300 IDR (SGD $21) bill:

Panoramic view at our 10-seater table for the 2 of us at May Star Cuisine dim sum for lunch at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam, Indonesia.It was amusing that they sat the both of us at a ten-seater table though. We even had a lazy susan all to ourselves.

Chinese tea at May Star Cuisine dim sum for lunch at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam, Indonesia.The only item that lacked was the 铁观音 (Tie Guan Yin) tea I ordered, which tasted a tad funny.

Lava custard bun and beef with vegetables at May Star Cuisine dim sum for lunch at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam, Indonesia.Our favourite items from lunch had to be the 流沙包 (lava custard buns) and beef with vegetables. They were so addictive.

Dripping custard from a lava custard bun 流沙包 at May Star Cuisine dim sum for lunch at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam, Indonesia.LOOK AT THE PRECIOUS 流沙 (LAVA CUSTARD) YUM YUM YUM.

Hunger sated, we hailed a cab from Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall to Harris Waterfront Resort for a flat fee of 150,000 IDR (SGD $15):

Welcome drinks at Harris Waterfront Resort - a chilled concoction of lemongrass and ginger.We were served chilled refreshing drinks as we filled up the necessary forms at the check-in counter. I was pretty proud of myself for discerning the concoction of lemongrass and ginger.

View of our room at the corner of the older section of Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.We got a pretty spacious corner room. Whoopee!

View of the pool from our corner room at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.View of the pool from our balcony. It’s so pretty~

Complimentary bottled water, coffee, and tea at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.Complimentary stuff. They refilled the bottles of water every day, which was very much appreciated. We also made sure to tip the guy who serviced our rooms to spick and span conditions, especially since we’d always leave our room after housekeeping at noon.

Complimentary toiletries at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.Toiletries were also provided, and can I just say that their jasmine-scented shampoo and body wash smell heavenly.

Wearing complimentary orange slippers at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.Orange seems to be the theme of this chain of hotels, further accented by the flip-flops provided. I loved our room.

Rooftop massage beds at H'Spa (managed by Tiara Mustika Spa) at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.

Rooftop massage beds at H'Spa (managed by Tiara Mustika Spa) at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.We went to explore the rest of the facilities, and I was wowed by the beautiful rooftop massage beds at H’Spa. We didn’t get a massage though, it was pretty expensive (compared to those in town). I’m also ridiculously ticklish.

We finally settled for dinner at their main cafe after exploring the small resort. Surprisingly, their thin-crust pizzas are one of the best we’ve had. We got ourselves an All Meat Pizza for 110,000 IDR (SGD $11), which was perhaps slightly cheaper than what you’d find in Singapore. We heard that eating at resorts were expensive, but in fact it’s all relative. The same pizza could probably go for way cheaper in town, but absolutely-speaking, it was still quite affordable.

Complimentary bread and butter for every mealLightly-toasted bread was served complimentary with every meal. We were so drawn to them that we requested for more slices whenever we dined at their cafe because the bread was just too yummy. The friendly waitstaff even went along with our request for a small plate of olive oil for us to dip our yummy bread in. They must have thought that we were crazy gorging on bread like so for the four days that we were there.

Thin Crust Pizza for dinner and Jasmine Tea at Harris Waterfront Resort, Batam, Indonesia.Our yummy wood-fired pizza and Teh Poci that came in a super cute tortoise clay teapot. Unfortunately, the tea proved way to sweet for me. I usually drink my tea without sugar.

Finally, here’s what I wore! We didn’t know what our plans were for the day, so I dressed for a pool-ready outfit which could just as easily be worn to places that sported a distinct lack of chlorinated water. It’s not the first time I’ve worn a bikini top as a bra, and I doubt it’ll be the last – laundry day can be unexpectedly uncooperative sometimes.

Resort Island Outfit: Forever 21 navy blue maxi dress, Osewaya daisy bunny-ear headband via JRunway, Street Sox llama toe socks, Taobao white platform sandals.

Resort Island Outfit: Forever 21 navy blue maxi dress, Osewaya daisy bunny-ear headband via JRunway.

Resort Island Outfit: Forever 21 navy blue maxi dress, Osewaya daisy bunny-ear headband via JRunway.

Street Sox llama toe socks, Taobao white platform sandals.Loving my new toe socks featuring an Alpaca that loves to relax. It’s been a while since my sock drawer has seen its kind.

Resort Island Outfit: Forever 21 navy blue maxi dress, Osewaya daisy bunny-ear headband via JRunway, vintage gold earrings.

Animated gif of me attempting to do a bodyroll.Here, have one of my failed attempts as I wriggle myself into a bastardisation of a bodyroll. Ironically, we spent a good portion of the day tuned to MTV Asia, where multiple Kpop songs were featured. We don’t even watch TV at home. Also, I got muscle aches in various places from an afternoon of body roll attempts. There is a reason why I do not dance. :P

Maxi dress – Forever 21
Daisy headband – Osewaya via JRunway
Earrings – Vintage
Alpaca socks – Sox Street
Platform sandals – Taobao

Outfit photos assisted by Ottie.


  • Bivisyani Q. (@alivegurl)

    Oh wow, I didn’t know that Batam is so popular among Singaporeans! I’ve never been there myself, almost ashamed to call myself an Indonesian. These pictures look great, by the way, hope you had a tremendous time there.

    Those socks are the cutest and quirkiest things! You always have an eye for whimsy ;)
    Please come to other islands of Indonesia sometime and let me know when you do!

    P.S: love that gif!

    Alive as Always

    • ✿ren

      Haha it’s one of the closest to Singapore, that’s why! I did, and thank you! I thought those socks were apt with the relaxing Alpaca and such… XD Aah I will in the future! xoxo

  • Irina

    Dear Ms. Ren ,

    I’m Irina , I’m Marketing Communication of HARRIS Resort … I would like to thank you so much for your posted on your blog about HARRIS Resort Waterfront Batam . I read it the article and it is very nice and amazing article i had read it … i told also to my General Manager and we are pleased to ask you for visit us again … Cheers ;)

  • christie

    nice post ! If im not wrong the spa has many outlets ! their main branch at Nagoya has cheaper price ! Can try can try :D

    • ✿ren

      Hey Arnold! We don’t remember how much exactly, but I THINK we changed about 200sgd for 4 days? We used our card for quite a few transactions though.

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