Bintan is our go to spot if we feel we need a weekend away. It is only 45 minutes away by ferry and the ocean is generally flat as a pancake (an important consideration for those with sea sickness issues...that would be me).
We always stay at Nirwana Gardens. It is not the flashest resort on the island but it is the closest to the ferry terminal (an important consideration when your 20 month old struggles to stay in her seat for more than 10 minutes), comfortable and right on the beach.
Scarlett loves it here. There are usually loads of children, a really big baby pool that is only 50 cm deep, lots of delicious food and the beach. Did I mention the beach? Scarlett is a BIG fan of the ocean.
We were really lucky with the weather. Sunday and Monday were beautiful and sunny but it did rain on Tuesday morning before we left. We still managed to get out onto the beach though for Scarlett to paddle and collect some sea shells. Scarlett was really keen to wear my hat to keep the sun off rather than her own.
It certainly did keep the sun off but I think hers was a little more appropriate.
The other thing that Scarlett loves about Bintan is that there are elephants there. At least 8 and very friendly ones at that. We spent a considerable time watching the elephants giving people rides. It was a really exciting time for Scarlett and we enjoyed watching her get so excited. She is still a little small to ride the elephants herself as there is nothing at all to hold onto.
We all came back from our two nights away feeling well rested and happy with our choice of destination. The next holiday planned is when Scarlett and I return to New Zealand for Christmas. Sadly it is a bit longer than 45 minutes to get there, and there is way less space to run around.