Holiday Inn Batam
Came to Batam for a 5 night stay to escape the extraordinary expense of Singapore hotels, which seem to be universally more expensive than London in Olympic year!
I chose the Holiday Inn as I have Platinum membership of priority club...for this year at least. The hotel was booked at the last minute and an email was sent asking for a pick up from the ferry. The hotel replied and seemed to suggest hey would meet us but upon arrival there was no one there. A taxi was then used for he 20 minute ride from Sekupang to the hotel.
Check in was a problem as the reservation was apparently made for he day before, I have to take some responsibility for this, however the booking was made on the hotels own site at at 3am local time, how it could then book a room for the previous day I am not sure but it did. It took the receptionist about 25 minutes to resolve and get us off to our rooms.
Status was recognised but nothing tangible was offered by the hotel. Reference was made to a free newspaper, a turn down service and 15 minutes extra in the spa. Nothing ever materialised and once again the priority club failed to deliver any meaningful benefits.
Reception is a grand affair with a huge sweeping staircase and gives the hotel a sense of grandure but that is where it starts and ends.
Rooms are located in several blocks around a large tropical pool area, our room was in block 4 and on the 3rd floor. It was a two bedroom suite with separate sitting area. I had hoped for something higher up but it was not offered and I had not been aware of the hotels layout before checking in.
Our room was clean though a bit tired but for the price paid, around £80/US$125 a night including breakfast it would be hard to complain. There were two bathrooms and two flat screen TVs, one in the sitting room and one in the main bedroom. The sitting area also had a dining table and four chairs plus minibar. The was free tea and coffee and some mineral water that was replenished each day.The second bedroom and two single beds making it perfect for a family. There was air conditioning to each room but not the bathrooms and it was fierce. The room also benefits from a balcony with a view over the pool.
Breakfast was included and the food on offer was perfectly acceptable. The buffet provided hot western and Asian food as well as a good selection of cereal, pastries and breads. The coffee was very good indeed prepared using a coffee machine on an individual basis. How they would do this when busy I cannot tell but as the hotel was very quiet service was not an issue.
The hotel has tennis courts,table tennis, bikes and a separate lap pool. There was a games rooms that always seemed closed and when we did ask to use it discovered there was a charge!
There were a wide range of food outlets including Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and the coffee shop. Food quality could not be faulted but prices were exhorbitant. In particular the price a children's food and drink with milkshakes 3 times the cost of coke. Even sharing lunch the bill was never less than $50US and this was outrageous. Dinner was worse with bills averaging US$80 without alcohol.
My issue main issue with food is this is a Holiday Inn, but it is the first Holiday Inn I have used that does not have kids eat free programme. Now this is not always very good as the menu can often be ' anything with chips' and there is rarely a vegetable in site. However why this is not standard across all hotels I just do not understand.
Neither is free WIFI which in the USA is universally free but not everywhere else and the rules are not clear. This type of product differentiation is frustrating and it extends also to the other priority club benefits.
Wifi was available in the lobby but never worked anywhere else in the hotel. There was cable in the room however I have an iPad and had not brought the connector, in any event the costs were ludicrous in a resort hotel. You cannot even access the ICHG web pages to make bookings and that is simply bad business!
The staff were universally friendly and helpful and that meant a lot, from the receptionist who checked us in, to the pool attendant who provide my son with plasters and the staff in the restaurant, they were very good indeed.
My main concern was that i was seen as revenue on the hoof rather than a guest and the attempts to charge for every conceivable extra was irritating. The kids wanted to us ethe games room while we waited for mum to get dressed for dinner. The hotel wanted $5 an hour per item they wished to use and that was ridiculous. The games included air hockey, pool a wi and an x box.
This type of greedy approach is common in hotels in Asia and in Indonesia. I am at a loss to explain it as in most other respects they are very hospitable and eager to please. I have even found some hotels, thou not this one where they charge for access to gyms and sports facilities.
This hotel has a great spa and the treatments were reasonably priced. The is also a sauna and steam room for both men and women and a jacuzzi which is shared.
The area immediately around the hotel is very run down and one night we went to what we were told was waterfront city. It is a series of bars and whilst the staff were all helpful and charming (and the food cheap) I did not think it an appropriate place for young children and we did not go back..........the rats, clearly visible on the walk back to the hotel did not help.
The hotel charged us for the 45 second taxi ride to this area without telling us we could walk in 2 minutes.
Overall a good hotel for a short stay, I simply could not imagine being here for more that 5 days. The hotel is comfortable, the food good but the prices a high.
The are no real benefits for being a platinum priority club member here and this is now a significant issue for me and a very considerable deterrent from continuing with Priority club. Indeed it will be difficult to retain my membership this year.
There is a lack of consistency to the offer and to the rewards. Compared to Hilton for example who now offer free WIFI to all gold cad holders and above worldwide and free breakfast. They endeavour to upgrade to a club or executive room and so far with 100% success rate for me. When they cannot, breakfast is still free. Priority club offer nothing like this and unless you have ambassador status with Intercontinental you will not find many benefits consistently delivered at any of the ICHG hotels be they Indigo, Crowne Plaza holiday Inn or whatever. Each hotel makes it own rules leading to confusion and in the end, few if any benefits.
Food prices are high and no kids eat free!!!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC