“From the moment you step off the ferry from Singapore, the Sanchaya experience begins, starting with the private reception area in the terminal. Observant guests will notice that along with the attentive, welcoming staff and delicious coffee, there is a collection of old typewriters and a sense that something different awaits. The Sanchaya “Estate” (as it is called by its staff, known as “Artisans”) is a stunning collection of 30 villas and suites, set in lush, landscaped grounds, with its own pristine, palm-fringed beachfront and with every detail, perfect. The Artisans even move around the estate on charming old-fashioned “Papillionaire” bicycles. With so many superb resort properties in Asia claiming to offer the best possible holiday experience, it is difficult for a hotel to truly stand out, but The Sanchaya, with its beautiful and quirky mix of East and colonial West interiors and an almost obsessive attention to detail to ensure guest comfort, really does manage to do so. Many of the architectural features are bespoke – floor tiles evocative of Edwardian England but actually “Peranakan”, were specially made for The Sanchaya and whilst the colour palette throughout the hotel is similar, using soft shades of cream, grey and white, all the rooms have different and unique decorative features. The hotel likes to create a feeling of home – a number of guests actually visit every month – and you are asked on arrival how you would like to be addressed. Just two nights at the Sanchaya leaves you feeling as though you’ve been on a long holiday. Imagine what a week would do for your well-being.”
Written by Ros Lovell
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
The Sanchaya is luxury at its most luxurious. We are the only property on Bintan Island with our own VIP lounge in Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal, specially created to ensure guests enjoy a seamless arrival and departure experience.
The Sanchaya’s beachfront is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. It’s reminiscent what you get in The Maldives. Our award-winning facilities also include a croquet lawn, wine-cheese-and-cigar lounge, 50-metre long infinity pool and beachside yoga pavilion.
Our management style is highly personalised, resulting in our guests being made to feel like they are coming home or coming to visit a close friend’s luxurious estate. Our staff, whom we refer to as “companions” and “artisans”, already know our guests by name and remember their preferences, contributing to unsurpassed levels of service and hospitality and attention to detail.
What is there to do in the area?
A host of recreational activities are on offer both at The Sanchaya and beyond in the nature lovers’ paradise that is Bintan Island. Capture a bird’s eye view of Lagoi Bay by taking to the sky in an open cockpit ultralight seaplane. Play croquet with tea or Pimm’s on The Sanchaya’s Croquet Lawn overlooking the ocean, as well as Petanque with pastis and archery with a traditional bow. Residents can also undertake golf, a bicycle tour, go mountain hiking, scuba diving, or cruise along the Sebung River to marvel at
Bintan’s mangrove forests, home to macaques and silver leaf monkeys.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
The Sanchaya Bintan lavishes the most important meal of the day with the attention it deserves, all to a backdrop of powder white sands, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and picturesque islands. Fancy sous vide egg innovative with soft-boiled egg, crab meat, yuzu hollandaise, parsley, toasted sourdough and black caviar? Or bo ne, comprising a sizzling wagyu steak, fried egg, grilled tomato, shallots and soya sauce? It’s a treat in itself determining what a la carte creation to indulge from a menu drawing on a mélange of Western, Japanese, Vietnamese and Malaysian influences, not to mention the chef’s ‘harvest table’ packed with granola, home-made yogurts, sourdough breads, preserves, honeys and fruit, as well as traditional Indonesian Jamu Gendong tonics served by a roving herbalist. Yet if you cannot find exactly what you want, talk to the estate’s ‘culinary artisans’ who will create a bespoke dish for you not featured on the menu.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
Located at the heart of the estate in the Great House, The Dining Room’s all-day dining enables residents to indulge in the finest bistronomic fare at their convenience. Amidst a home-style setting featuring French doors, rattan chairs and linen curtains, the restaurant serves contemporary European and Southeast Asian delicacies including Indonesian fare a la carte for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The menu is regularly updated based on fresh, seasonal ingredients and its wine list comprises an array of premium vintages straight from the estate’s wine cellar, Decanter. Among The Dining Room’s signature dishes is the Berkshire Korobuta Pork Belly, slow cooked in five oriental herbs, caramelized and served with braised soya egg paired with warm pickled red cabbage. During breakfast at The Dining Room, healthy and refreshing traditional Jamu Gendong drinks are served with the compliments of the estate. Jamu is an Indonesian natural medicine based on indigenous tradition passed down the generations using local spices and root-tubers.
Positioned outdoors in a beach setting adjacent to the 50-meter infinity pool by the ocean, the Tasanee Grill serves up delectable authentic Bangkok street cuisine in the evenings. Succulent sliced beef tenderloin, the centerpiece of The Tasanee Grill’s signature dish Yum Nua (Thai beef salad), is pan fried for just a few seconds and mixed with chili, coriander, cucumber, spring onion, onion and garlic, with a dash of lemon lime juice and fish sauce.
A good place to eat out locally is Bintan Island’s Kelong Seafood Restaurant.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
Our nine suites situated in the estate’s main building, The Great House, an immaculate two-storey beachfront manor with ample wraparound balconies, gleaming hardwood, and black-and white panel work, are popular. The Thai-inspired Lawan Village’s seven one-bedroom villas lining the lagoon’s banks and the Leelawadee compound featuring a private pool are also in demand. We have received exceptional guest feedback about our 12 one and two-bedroom villas that open up to stunning ocean views, and our luxurious four-bedroom Presidential Vanda Villa with a private swimming pool.
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms?
The Sanchaya is actually a very family-friendly destination. We offer a plethora of opportunities enabling families to spend quality time together.
For example, you can request a bespoke BBQ prepared by a private chef and waiter or a picnic on the beach, by the pool, in your villa garden or at other scenic venues peppering the estate. In addition to The Sanchaya's turndown amenity of local sweets (which change daily), we also provide our guests, who we refer to as our ‘residents’, with body and linen mist placed by the bedside as well as a wooden puzzle (turndown game) every night. Our idea behind this is to encourage a long forgotten tradition of families or friends gathering over a game to share special moments … which many people don’t do anymore.
We can organize for an extra bed to be implemented in a room or suite upon request.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
At The Sanchaya, the possibilities to sequester yourself away from the world for much-needed rest and restoration are endless as you choose the canvas of your own luxurious escape.”