Few weeks ago, we did a short trip to Batam cos it has been ages. This time we stayed at Harris Barelang since reviews were better now. There were quite a few bad reviews in their early days which is totally understandable cos that place is huge.
We took the morning ferry ride via Majestic Ferry. Because we took our own sweet time, we were one of the last few to board and no surprise there were no seats available cos it was a Saturday morning. Also cos there were some inconsiderate human beings who think their bags deserve a seat as well.
So we were just standing in the middle of the ferry, kinda resigned to our fate that there won’t be seats available but the crew were so nice, they immediately opened the VIP Room and told us we can utilise it. So grateful cos it was super comfortable for families with young kids like ours. I think i might just take the VIP Room for our next trip to Batam.
Horizon Ferry offers VIP room as well at additional $10 per pax. I think the price is more or less the same for Majestic Ferry. U gotta call them and check cos they don’t have the rates online.
They have reclining sofa seats and a TV. The 4 seats were housed in a small room / cabin so it’s great for families with young and restless kids.
We reached Batam Centre Ferry Terminal after an hour. I would actually prefer to arrive at the Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal cos lesser crowd there but Harris Barelang Shuttle service is only available at Batam Centre.
Also.. if you have young babies / pregnant, there is a priority lane! I got to know cos Raees started fussing in the carrier cos the weather was really hot and stuffy. One of the immigration staff noticed me & told me to follow him. So i got Rusly to follow me as well and i saw this Priority Lane for families with young kids & pregnant ladies. Please use this lane cos it can be quite frustrating to queue up at the immigration with young kids.
Here’s the shuttle timing for your reference cos they don’t have this on the website etc.
We arrived Batam Centre at about 11.45am, went to the Mega Mall across to have a quick bite.
At about 1.30pm, we head back to Batam Centre to wait for the shuttle service. Just look out for a guy in white uniform holding a Harris file. Just let him know the registered guest name to book seats with him. Don’t approach at the last minute especially on weekends cos they have limited seats available. It’s just a mini van for abt 18-20 pax?
Just wait near the Information Coubter there k. Like Raees like that. Macam paham.
It’s about 45mins journey from Batam Centre to Harris Barelang. We reached just in time for Check in at 3.00pm.
First thing we saw from the lobby was this view. So nice. It got Nadya so excited for sure.
Check in was quite fast. We were done in 15mins. We saw a Mini Mart, checked it out and bought some drinks & snacks. Omg so expensive!!!
Please remember to buy your essentials & drinks etc from the Hypermart at Mega Mall or at least the Minimart at Batam Centre.
6 x 500ml bottled drinks.
2 x 1.5l mineral water
1 x Pringles
1 x Kinder Surprise.
The bill came up to S$26.00.
Whaaaaatttttttt. So yeah that was the only time we stepped in the Mini Mart.
We were brought to our room on the buggy. By right, the buggy can only be used for check in / out. However, if u have young kids / baby / elderly in your entourage, just let them know and they will oblige.
They will not mention this during check in etc and when you call reception to call for buggy, they will tell u that it’s for check in & check out only but just quickly tell them have a baby / elderly and they will come. Also, the reception will always tell u the buggy can only bring u to the lobby only. Just answer yes but when the buggy comes, tell them to bring u to the swimming pool etc. Cos the hotel ground is really huge. Walking around with kids can be tiring cos you need to uphill / downhill.
The view from the room is fantastic. I think you cannot go wrong with any room. Sunset is absolutely beautiful here.
We rested for awhile before we head off for a swim.
We love the pool area! There are few pools staggered around the place, a sand playground, a waterplay area and a Kids Club.
After washing up, we wanted to grab dinner. Now this is a story to tell.
I know the hotel is pretty close to a seafood restaurant, Barelang seafood but i wasn’t sure where exactly. But i arrnged for a Gojek ride to pick us up and the fare reflected was S$1.10 so i thought must be really near lah kan. Then a private car driver was loitering around at the lobby area, asking where we wanna go. I told him Barelang Seafood and he said he can bring us there for S$20 but he recommend Kopak Jaya instead cos it’s cheaper and nicer than Barelang Seafood and i hate this kind of touting culture. Cos i know they get commission from bringing customers to the place and it’s usually not nice and overpriced so i refused.
But we got cancelled by the Gojek drivers twice and i got frustrated, i asked the Reception if they have any dinner etc and they happen to have a BBQ dinner so we had that instead. It was ok but overpriced.
And then a friend msged me on IG to tell me to go to the Seafood restaurant next door cos its cheap and good. I asked her what’s the name and she said Barelang Seafood. Hahahahahha.
Barelang Seafood is just next door guys. You can even get the buggy to send u there for free. It is THAT near.
That taxi driver wanted to charge me S$20 for that ride?! Wahlao.
So i told Rusly we will go over the next day and try.
I was also told the hotel does not allow Gojek / Grab to come in to deliver food and pick up hotel guests. We can only use their shuttle service etc. Urggh.
So yeah you might want to take note of that cos we were quite disappointed that we couldn’t order anything off Gojek cos we ordered food delivery like crazy in Bali.
So after all that Gojek cancellation and my refusal to pay that taxi driver an obscene amount for a short ride, we decided to stay & eat at the hotel. They were having this BBQ night and i think we ate a lot of lamb chops cos it was quite good!
We returned to our room after that and was greeted with fireworks display.
I don’t think this happens every weekend. More like there was a company D&D happening that day and it was probably part of the package. Not complaining cos Nadya enjoyed the fireworks. It was a nice ending to our long day.
We woke up the next morning, had breakfast & checked out the Kids Club first.
It’s a small place but enough to keep the kids occupied . Can be a little stuffy though cos not much air circulation and the aircon is not that strong.
We moved on to the beach after that. My only gripe is the coarse sand. So if yoy’re expecting powder fine sand, you will be disappointed. But it is still a nice play to hang around, especially during sunset.
We then took the buggy to go to the Barelang Seafood Restaurant and it was really next door guys. Dekat gila.
And that place is huge. Not much crowd cos i think most of the crowds came from the tour group fro. lunch.
I didn’t take much pictures cos i was hunvry and was handling two hungry and cranky kids.
But this plate of Cereal Squid costed us $7.00 only. We ordered Prawns, Kangkong, Squids, Chicken Soup, 2 plates of Seafood fried rice and the total $31.00 only including drinks. We ordered smallest portion of everything but they all came in big portions enough to feed 4 pax at least.
Also sneaky us, always up to no good.
We placed an order for Burger Ramly through Gojek and got them to send it to us at Barelang Seafood instead of to the hotel. We ordered before we ordered the seafood and by the time we were done, the Gojek order arrived, just in time. So we brought back the burgers back to our room for dinner. So yeah, hotel didn’t allow food deliveries, we’ll have it delivered outside then.
The kids got to sleep really early that night. Else we could have brought them down to the Movie Screening at the lawn area.
We checked out the next morning about 9.30am, had breakfast and then waited for the 11.00am shuttle bhs to bring us to Batam Centre.
Check out was fuss free too and we were the only one in the shuttle bus.
It was such a good trip and we love trips like this. No shopping etc. Just wake up late, swim and play all day.
So if u love this kind of trips, Harris Barelang is perfect. We would definitely plan another trip here maybe with my other family members.
And here’s a short video of our trip.