Last updated in May, 2018
Weekend getaways are great as a refreshing change from daily work or home routines. And though we’re strong believers of 3-day weekends (we really don’t want to complain about you
Mourndays Mondays), they come and go in a flash, leaving you feeling a little, well, empty. So if you want a getaway that’ll save you time and money, look no further than our Lazy Guide on where to stay and what to do in Batam (Nagoya)!f
Here’s the scoop on what to eat, see and do around each of our recommended hotels in the entertainment district of Nagoya (also known as Lubuk Baja), along with all important travel information you need to know for a fun, hassle-free trip! But first, let’s start with where to stay.
Where to stay in Nagoya, Batam
1. Stay at the spacious and family-friendly Harmoni Suites Hotel
Part of the Harmoni Group of hotels that includes Harmoni Hotel, Harmoni Suites Hotel is, as its name alludes to, a suites-only hotel – ideal for families or couples or friends wanting to spend some nights eating in (that’s if you can resist the tempting eats that lie beyond the hotel walls). Besides in-room kitchenettes, the hotel has in-room massage services, a bicycle rental service, an indoor swimming pool, and connecting rooms – perfect for joint family trips.
More family-friendly hotel inspiration in Batam? Check out…
2. Stay near the ferry terminal at fully-equipped Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay
At under S$100 for a double room, Batam’s top rated 4-star hotel is a steal! All current deals on trivago include breakfast. Guests applaud the breakfast buffet for its cuisine variety that includes Indonesian, Chinese, and Western treats as well as a juicer so you can make your own nutrient packed morning pick-me-up! The hotel comes with all your favourite amenities – namely a spa, hotel restaurant and bar, fitness centre, and pool with a sun terrace (pictured above). As for location, as indicated in the name, the hotel is walking distance from the Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal – where you’ll arrive if taking the ferry from Singapore’s HarbourFront terminal.
3. Stay at this bay-view hotel near the shopping distinct at Allium Batam Hotel
A 12 minute walk to the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall and with views of Harbour Bay from the hotel’s top floors, the four star Allium Batam Hotel is the ideal centrally located hotel for weekenders. While the main variable on your upcoming Nagoya trip is whether to travel solo or with a large group you can sleep well at night knowing your hotel choice will be your constant as with all room types, ranging from the basic deluxe rooms to 165 m2 apartments, you’ll have all sorts of options at your disposal. A bonus is the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool – the perfect treat for the constant 30°C heat.
4. Stay where Batam’s best hotel restaurant resides: Harmoni Hotel
Surrounded by restaurants, bars, boutiques and cafes, Harmoni Hotel is another centrally located hotel in the town of Nagoya – almost all points of interests are less than 10 minutes by foot from the hotel, including the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. Better yet, it takes just 5 minutes from Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal to the hotel by taxi.
Starting at 32m2, rooms are spacious and equipped with all the amenities you’ll need. Looking to simply unwind? The hotel has a relaxing outdoor pool, fully-equipped fitness centre and full-service spa available for guests’ use between 7am – 10pm. Supper fans will be happy to know of the 24-hour in-house Borobudur café while lovers of Japanese cuisine can look forward to Teppanyaki and sake at the hotel’s very own Kitamura-Ya & Yakiniku-Ya.
5. Stay at Batam’s best-value pick: Hotel Mercure Batam
Located in the heart of Nagoya, the well-equipped and designed Hotel Mercure Batam is more than just a conference hotel. While the hotel’s price is its main selling point, weekenders in town to enjoy the food and cheap shopping have the option to indulge in the hotel’s spa facilities and Japanese menu — a nice plus, especially for busy families who never work in a spa day back home. There’s also a swimming pool!
What to do in Nagoya, Batam
1. Get a massage at Majesty Spa & Massage House
Apart from cheap shopping and good food, Batam is ideal for indulging in great massages at low prices. Located just outside the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Majesty Spa & Massage, touted as Batam’s best, is led by highly-professional and skilled therapists offering a wide variety of massage services. Its most popular package, the Bali Traditional Massage, is ideal for loosening knots in stiff, overworked back and shoulders, with a choice of using cream or oil for the massage.
Hate when you have to come out of the blissful trance massages always induce? You won’t have to as the spa provides a complimentary pickup and drop-off service to hotels, shopping malls and other locations across Batam.
2. Eat at Allium Hotel’s Paris-Lyon Café
Among all the good options for food around Nagoya Hill, Allium Hotel’s Paris-Lyon Café presents a refreshing change not just in its cuisine but also in its European influenced atmosphere. While it does serve local Indonesian favourites, its wood-fired, thin-crust pizza is the café’s trademark dish. Be sure to pair with the café’s signature drinks including the Iced Lychee Tea, Avocado Fever and Home-Made Iced Lemon Tea.
3. Try the famous soup at Yong Kee Istimewa Seafood
Yong Kee Seafood is no stranger to locals and celebrities. Having operated for over 20 years, the outlet is famous for its simple clear fish soup – something that isn’t shellfish, believe it or not.
Yes, you’ll find typical ingredients such as crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, fried shallots, and fresh fish slices all served with steamed white rice. But don’t be deceived by the ordinary looks of Yong Kee’s fish soup! The soup is rich, flavourful yet refreshingly light, and pairs perfectly with a glass of iced longan. Alternatives include seafood or fish head soup. Order a mix of side dishes such as fried omelette, stir-fry bean sprouts, deep-fried chicken, and varied shellfish as accompaniments.
4. Shop at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall
You might feel a little lost surrounded by the endless row of shops and malls in Batam thinking, “where should I start?” If you want to cover all your dining, shopping and entertainment needs under one roof the mall you need to visit is the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall.
Feeling odd without any shopping bags in hand? The Matahari department store will help you overcome any feelings of emptiness. Selling everything from clothes, accessories, bags, shoes and household appliances, the store’s wares are priced a little lower than Singapore. The basement is a huge Hypermarket selling everything from food, clothing and electronics – you could say it’s a bit like Little India’s Mustafa. It’s best suited for stocking up on cheap groceries, toiletries, and your daily necessities.
After a day’s worth of
damage shopping you’ll want to soothe those tired leg muscles, and what better way to do so than to kick back in plush movie seats? Movie tickets at the mall’s Studio 21 cineplex cost between Rp25,000/S$2.60 – Rp40,000/S$4.20. Time for a movie marathon perhaps?
P.S. 70s and 80s kids, don’t forget to stop by the A&W outlet in the mall’s food street. Root beer float and curly fries? Yes please!
5. Have dessert at Caffein Café
Just around the corner from Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is Caffein Café, a cute two-storey coffee and dessert joint offering fresh, daily-baked cakes, macarons and mille-feuilles and also a variety of delicious chilled and hot drinks – perfect for a mid-afternoon snack.
Popular cake flavours include Oreo Cheesecake (Rp28,400/S$3), Chocolate Devil (Rp29,500/S$3.10) and Red Velvet (Rp31,700/S$3.40). They are open daily from 10am – 10pm with free Wi-Fi available.
6. Visit Batam’s oldest Buddhist temple: Tua Pek Kong Temple
Seven minutes by foot from Harmoni Suites Hotel, Tua Pek Kong, also known as the Vihara Budhi Bhakti, is the oldest Buddhist temple in Batam and among the top sites for inbound travellers from South Korea, India, Japan and of course, Singapore. Though it sits in the popular Nagoya area, the temple offers a peaceful break from the crowds and in itself is a magnificent sight to behold.
Flanked by two imposing seven-tier pagodas, which also double as offering sites for devotees, the temple complex is peppered with beautifully-crafted religious and mythical statues. Visitors will also discover colourful murals depicting traditional Chinese folklore, ideal for those interested in exploring a little more about this ancient mythology.
Important travel information
1. From Singapore to Batam
Daily ferries depart from the Singapore Cruise Centres at either Harbourfront Centre or Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Easiest way to get to Allium Batam Hotel is to a boat ride with Batam FAST, departing from Harbourfront to Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal.
The boat ride takes a little less than an hour and a return ticket costs approximately $49 on weekends.
2. Do I need a visa?
Singapore and Malaysian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Batam as a result of new visa rules that came into effect November 2015.
3. Is Singapore dollar accepted?
Most of the shops in malls accept Singapore dollar, but there’re nonetheless many money changers around the island that’ll convert your dollars to rupiah.
4. What kind of electrical plug can I use in Batam?
They have the same three-pin electrical outlet that we used in Singapore.