Eight Personal Travel Managers have tasted their way through Singapore and Bintan on a six day famil (courtesy Viva Holidays and Singapore Airlines) – part of TravelManagers’ commitment to product knowledge through firsthand experience.
Staying at Singapore’s Novotel Clarke Quay, the group spent the first morning on a guided tour of some of the best foodie gems.
Theresa Kwong, representative for Hughesdale VIC, named the Foodelicious Tour as one of her highlights.
“We tasted traditional Malay food at Geylang Serai, and followed that with a laksa meal at Katong Laksa (to whom Gordon Ramsay lost during his ‘Hawker Food Challenge’).
“I will definitely recommend taking Tour East’s Foodelicious Tour to any of my foodie clients, for the chance to just sit back, relax and be taken to various eateries for delicious and traditional local cuisine.”
Erin Beckford, representative for Anna Bay NSW, who had previously only experienced Singapore on a stopover, found that the city far exceeded her expectations as a destination in its own right, singling out Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands as particular must-see highlights, along with the food!
“A Singapore Foodies Tour is a must – to immerse yourself in the local food culture that sets Singapore apart from other Asian destinations. There is a plethora of amazing restaurants and eateries, although it was useful to discover that food and beverages in Singapore are quite a lot more expensive than many of its neighbours.”
The group also travelled by ferry to Indonesia’s Bintan Island.
“It was great to experience the ferry terminal and ferry to Bintan, as it has given me the confidence to reassure clients who are concerned about the procedure being difficult or stressful,” said Debbie Bean, representative for Tarneit VIC.
“Everything went smoothly, the air-con worked well and the quality of seats onboard the ferry was good. The journey only lasted 45 minutes and we were settled at the resort in no time for a yummy Indonesian barbecue lunch!”
Bean and her colleagues were impressed with the beauty of Bintan, and by the quality of both the accommodation and the service they received there.
“It was just divine,” she said. “We were treated like kings and queens, with all the staff going out of their way to help us without being intrusive. If you didn’t want to indulge in the plunge pool on your balcony, the infinity pool was equally fabulous.”
As well as sampling some of Bintan’s top eateries, the group had the opportunity to inspect several resorts, a beach club and the newly returfed Laguna Golf Course and Club. Early morning yoga and an afternoon of kayaking and windsurfing were also offered for those who were not content to spent their free time poolside.
On their second night in Bintan, they were treated to dinner at Banyan Tree Bintan’s signature restaurant, Kelong, which is a traditional fishing house that is built on stilts out over the water and serves fresh local seafood in a spectacular setting.
Continuing with the food-lovers’ theme, which was present throughout the itinerary, the group’s time in Bintan concluded with a cooking class where they learned to make light Indonesian food such as chicken on lemongrass skewers, vegetable rolls and salad.