Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Turn dull days into colorful occasions

How true is this?

"it not about the place you visit but the company you have that determines the worthiness of an holiday"

i never liked batam, but always make the effort to visit there once or twice a year ever since i dated bbbbb 4 years ago. The slight mention of Batam to my friends only brings back immediate relation to"boring, dull, nothing to do, nothing to enjoy... " sort of lay back holiday that was budget and worthless. I have to admit that i wouldnt denied mentioning the same when asked about batam but it still feels rather empty having not visit that place even in a year.

2012 marks a year where bbb and i travel slightly more than we would have set up to, but most  - actually all EXCEPT one - were to neighboring countries and with a tight budget,  i am not complaining, anywhere outta Singapore is worth the mentioning, even if its a short staycation hidden in some Chalet, away from the buzzing pace of life & work. 

Having said that, in summary, i only manage to strike  Hong Kong (Augusts) off the check list and every other place we visit were within the vicinity of the Little REd Dot.    However, unlike most of the other year, i have to surrender to the child in me at having enjoyed all of the road trips covered this year.    It could also be the fact that i've now shifted to Canberra Road and am exceptionally near the custom, we have been popping over our neighboring country most often that i can remember.   It was either a trip over to get our family portrait done, or just a plan day-shopping with bbbb's family and grabbing dinner, whatever the reason every trip was a long haul one complete with long haul walking and great food - Even public bus ride excites me more than ever.

Anyway back to Batam, - while chatting with bbb one day in December 2012, we realize we haven done our annual Batam trip despite touching base with the annual Malacca trip. Then as decisive as he ever was, within moment of sharing this realization bbbb booked us both a hotel room to batam over Christmas.

My initial thoughts were this "...........................................???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"... i guess i wasnt prepare to head to Batam or imagine not staying home for christmas (if i haven admit you need to know - i love Le New Place i can stay at home all the time not whining a single bit - just mopping the floor and putting the clothes out to dry)//// but it was funny watching how spontaneous bbb had become, especially after our Tioman trip, so i grab whatever was lying on top of the wardrobe and we set off to our expediture - with bonus [determination] to make this place worthy :)

Mr Sulking, his usual look in the morning, before brushing his hair.. 
on board BatamFast Ferry with my new luggage that was ridiculous to bring on a short trip but i just had to show it off.. hahaha (and its free btw, thanks to Citibank)

At the lobby of Harmoni One Hotel, very spacious grand place with readily available staff to meet your every needs (even if they appear to be short handed, they had bbbb and me feeling assured with their attentiveness)

Huge Huge lobby, enough for him and i to try exploring it over two days.... most shops are still too new to open for business, i date say this place is still under-utilised so hurry over to enjoy all the free facilities.

View from the  Entrance, its a roundabout driveway leading to the Grand Entrance, so the entire space belongs to Harmoni One.

Christmas tree shaped like a Air balloon, i secretly wonder if they'll replace the exterior with ang pow comes new year, which would be a good strategy to redecor the atmosphere and still being environmental friendly. 
View from the Cosy bar, still empty that morning, the waterfall wall also wasnt on so the water remain stagnant, quite a hazard as a mosquito breeding ground if you ask me, luckily there are no sighting of mosquito bite - at least not through my stay there =)

view from the Recetion area, while bbbb proccess his check in on arrival, notice how easy i can capture empty space? The hotel is said to have at least 300 hotel rooms (for now, bbbb and i saw their architecture and am affirm there'll be more rooms in near future), pretty unconvincing from the outside of the hotel if you ask me, but every room is spacious and pretty inside, how to put so many rooms?!
newly open chinese restaurant in Harmoni One Hotel - a definite MUST-GO for their chinese cuisine at VERY cheap rate..  (imagine us dining in a high-end restaurant with good music and ambience and only paying s$19.50 ALTOGETHER, what in the world!??!?!    )
here we got the keys to our room, i've gotten a surprise from my boyfriend who  had liase with the staff and got us a room upgrade, we are checking into the junior suite!!~ yippie!!~

In Summary, there are AT LEAST 5 hall way upon the lift door opening,. every hallway leads to at least 20 rooms (TWENTY ROOMS CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?~)   Every hallway are housekeeper keeping the room clean... 

by the way, with the junior suite, we are given a bigger room - so twenty rooms per hallway per level makes up for 100 rooms per level, does that means the level with the basic room can occupy up to more than a hundred rooms?! i dare not imagine.. 
bbbbb head off to locate our room, it'll be hard to walk the distance if it werent for the directional signage, try walking 100 rooms to find urs.. haha.. 

bbb carrying our junk food (wahahhaha).... doing the usual hotel room ritual i insist (knock the door, keep out of the doorway, flush the toilet...etc)

we are starting on our HO-Li-Kun!!~

First sight that greets us, an small area with a decent dining table complete with electrical flask, fridge, free mini bar and lotsa of storage space... the make up table is at the right hand corner, nice!!~  the TV is rotational for guest to dine and enjoy their movies being aired all the time on TV  
bbbb resting on the bed, which encompass the main area of our junior suite, the bed is huge too, king sized.. haha.. 
view from the make up table, which oversees the entrance and the toilet.... 
mad AMAZING toilet, perhaps the highligh of the junior suite?!~ i LOVE the bath tub.... i think i locked myself inside for at least an hour each day soaking in/ Saw my footprints? one have to climb in the majestic tub to enjoy.... the staff at Harmoni One are also really thoughtful to put up a very pretty clay painting that i enjoy staring into.. 
view from the tub, alternate shower for those without the patience to fill up the tub.. 
Another highlight of the junior suite i sooooooooo loved - the curtain.... i imagine the sad things about oversea trips are if the view of the hotel room oversees your next door neighboring room so imagine my joy when i draw the curtain to reveal this------------->
a very very very pretty scenic view customised for each and every room!!!!~
albeit the near nude statue, they are really pretty and calm looking lady statues in my opinion.

Did i also mention that the setting outside the window is also prohibited from intruder and private to every room, if you enjoy nude nap (hurhurhur.. awkward max..  ) with the curtain fully open, you'll be glad no one can walk pass your private garden view - i mean, i am fully aware at this point the view beyond the wall must be hideous beyond imagination - so much so that the staff are meticulous to every bit, coming up with ways to beautify them...... BUT great effort, applauded creativity/ 

i manage to stretch out my hand and capture the left & right of my scenic gallery.. every room is separated by wall too thick to try to peep into neighboring room... #attemptFailed
to the right of the scenic gallery, the entire area is prohibited from entering.. 

you would have notice the cigarette butt littered on the ground in every few steps, blame it on the no-bann smoking policy in batam. We insist on a no smoking room and thank God for the thick wall, i did not get choked by cigarette stench a single bit. 
we rested a bit, freshen up and went out in hunt for food!!~ First up was a little exploration of Harmoni One, i am pretty impressed so far...  the place is very clean and housekeeper seems to be doing housekeeping around the clock .... (their persistent on cleaniness is definitely thumbs up standard, except maybe for that one time we head out shopping and return to find a shock - that our room has been cleaned up despite the preference set on "do not housekeep". 

Thankfully everything was in place and the staff even placed our valuable belongings (strewn across the bed) on the dining table that serve as a signal that nothing had gone missing (THANK YOU HARMONI ONE!!!~)

and a little unimportant details - the female housekeeper had placed the bikini and clothes that i've washed and left to dry nicely hung on the handle bar of the glass door... which impressed me every single bit because i have absent-mindedly left it in the tub, rolled and squeeze dry. i am still very impress. 

the resting area in the hallway , necessary for us explorers trying to explore every rooms of the Hotel. 
bbbb being forced to stand like this while i figured the camera that wasnt focusing right.. haha. 
grateful to have packed this piece for the trip. ... 
checking out the pool and function room on level 6, very spaciuos place, we initially plan to set off fireworks here even!!~
about 5-6 function overseeing the tentage and pool, it will make an ideal location for solemnization dont you think?
Logo of the Harmoni One hotel, very royal
the place i told bbb we could do a bollywood dance behind the pillars... haha
walk past the pillar to enjoy the view from the rooftop, except there isnt much to expect in terms of scenic view from Batam, i was greeted with a large patch of green grass, and alot of moving motorbikes
Jailmate boyfriend 
green patch from all angle of the rooftop
i imaging him starring in "The Runaway Jailmate" and the crime he has commit?

----robbery.. haha
here's how the rooftop will look from afar.... the stretch of space to do absolutely nothing.. 
talking to himself....... #weirdLookingMan

i am standing quite a distance away, this was taken on zoom in.. 
we pick out houses like Monopoly, but i cannot imagine staying here permanently, i will miss forever21 -.-"

Then we left the rooftop, but not before grabbing some mandatory touristy - jump shot
#1 failed attempt
boy, he picks up fast !~ 
# ????th failed attempt, i think he almost throw a stone at me for making him jump so many times.. haha
barely there, but the best among the worst i've taken... 
grab the lift down to the lobby for another tour 
pleasant surprise - free shuttle service available right at the hotel lobby, a pity we could fit our schedule accordingly
a wall of - nothing.. 
whee!!~ Christmas-sy feeling everywhere!~
notice how my boyfriend' far-too-stripey tee matches the checkers floor?..... festive feeling hor
came to a empty stretch of the hotel, probably not open yet as most area are fence  up and elevator not in service.... the cleaning also wasnt that complete (check out the huge speck of dust)..... but it has a fantastic lighting that was worth some photos. 
not much to explore yet (but the area was certainty large enough to set up a few boutique, some buffet restaurant and push cart, in my opinion.    We head back to the reception area
got caught checking out their wedding packages, .. oops!~

"hello, Merry Christmas and welcome to Harmoni One Hotel!~! can i have your arrival documents please?"
then i took the role of a timid girl
and that as a bossy girl/.///// haha// all rounded actress
took this shot with the inspiration from the 60s where people take their pictures off-focus... like-a demure only.. haha
"this photographer needs to be sack, where is he focusing?"
i snatch over the camera and took control.. yay !~

checking out the other area of the huge huge hotel

bbb wanted to enquire somethings with the guards outside, so i went on to grab some picture of the hotel from the front, pretty isnt it?
i also took a picture of a mine puppet show by bbb... haha
the extension of the hotel not yet open to the public. Think "more rooms" "better comfort", cant complain more for the price we pay. 

Did i mention? we book the hotel with no prior coupon or discount and the stay of 2 days 2 nights only totalled to a bill of only S$190, (that is ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY SING DOLLAR - WITH BREAKFAST INCLUSIVE!!~)

if you are keen just search for Harmoni One Hotel on google, the price of S$190 is for the junior suite, expect more discount with the other rooms =)

Now to some entertainemnt within the hotel.... pretty little variety thou... 

the boyfriend who absolutely loves soccer decided his finger was as good as his leg were when it comes to this game, so to prove his point, here's bbbb's finger & his teammates... haha

There were also the billard table that we did not play, and the gym... Well if all else fails, there is the pool you can head down, for a dip under the sun above on the rooftop!~

Famished by now, we've decided to head for an early dinner.... at the chinese restaurant that i was raving about... 
Spicy & sour soup, my favorite dish that i ordered as long as it's available on the menu. 
The salty egg yoke fried chicken that is absolutely deli!!~

There wasnt much guest since the restaurant is relatively new, the staff are very attentive, and there was even one staff who had put on a santa suit and distribute candies to the kids... i want one too !! 

Other dishes that we ordered that we gobbled up pretty quickly included gravy seafood bee hoon, chilli prawn and vege, and the bill only adds up to S$19 (freaking cheap!!!~).... so after the shock at the cheap bill... i did the most irritating stuff a hotel guest could do... 

"charge it to the room!!~" then we walked out like a boss... without paying... 
oh, btw. pathetic goose/duck hanging on the display.... which sort of discourage us from eating.. haha.. 

full from dinner we head to the massage parlor to check out their rate and make plan to squeeeze a session in.. unfortunately we got too carried away shopping that we have to give this a miss.. 
good and comfortable lighting outside the spa & massage parlor

with nothing else to check out for the night, we decided to call it a day just lazing in the hotel room watching movie... and as we make our way back to our room, i was attracted to some pastries the cafe offer. 

We ordered some and await the packing (overall the cakes didnt taste that nice, so i wasnt very bothered to take a picture of them. i wont think of eating them twice)

while awaiting the staff to pack our cakes, bbbbb poses with the statue by the entrance.. heehee
big head monster got caught by elephant husk

Then the night ended with a surprise present from him =)   i shall update that on my next entry on our Batam tour =)


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