Our first family glamping adventure

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 18, 2020

It's probably not a good time to write a travel post with the ongoing global pandemic which has made countries close their borders. But then again, this is also the period where I reminisce more, look back on some of the fun activities we did previously and try my best to stay positive that one day, things will resume normalcy and we can all go back to doing the things we love to do.

Hope. It's so important to hang onto it and not let it go, it's what keeps us going during the tough times and it's what makes the future worth anticipating.

I've been wanting to write about our first ever glamping - a portmanteau of "glamorous" and "camping" - adventure which we did after Christmas in 2018. Yup, that sounds so far away already yet I can still vividly recall all the fun we had. It's never easy writing a travel post and one usually takes me weeks, if not months. So the next time you read through a post written by a fellow parent blogger, just know that it took lots of hard work and time to put it all together, yeah?

In this post, I'm sharing about our exciting 3D2N stay in Natra Bintan, which is formerly known as The Canopi. Right, the name of the resort has changed already after we got back but I believe that most of the activities and facilities remain the same, so this post should still give you a good idea of what to expect.

I don't think we'll be planning for any travel by air anytime this year even if we are allowed to fly but going for a quick weekend getaway by ferry which takes just an hour, I am hoping maybe we can do it sometime next year in 2021? Yup, I hope that sounds reasonable enough and while we want to keep expectations low since the future is unknown, like I say, we also want to give ourselves something to look forward to. The kids had been saying that they wish to return to this place so I'm definitely bookmarking it as a holiday destination that we will revisit. Read on to find out why we all love it so much.


Natra Bintan is set within Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan, which is a massive 90-hectare one-stop recreational leisure hub which offers a plethora of activities suitable for the young and old. The little ones can enjoy kid-friendly activities like the mini electric ATV and indoor playground while the adults can take part in activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, cable skiing and more. For the full list of activities, entrance fees and combo packages, go here.

There is also a private mangrove nature park and you can choose to go on a pontoon cruise, mangrove kayaking or a night adventure mangrove tour. I knew my kids would be keen to check out the night tour so we had gamely signed up for it for our last night, only to be informed at the last minute that it was cancelled due to the high tide. Bummer!

Oh, just so you know, to get to Natra Bintan, you have to take the one-hour ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal. From there, you can hop onto the complimentary bus transfer service which takes you to and from the resort and the ride is less than 10 minutes. Yup, fast and easy to get there!


The main highlight of Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan has to be the Crystal Lagoon, which is Southeast Asia’s first and largest largest man-made seawater. It takes up a whopping area of 6.3-hectare, which is approximately the size of 50 Olympic pools. Yup, you definitely can't miss it. We were wowed by the clear azure waters that greeted us and that made all the kids eager to jump in straightaway. But no lah, Mama said we had to check in and find our tent first so we could all change into our swimsuits.


Okay, what do you mean tent? Yup, I told you we were going glamping right, so that means we got to stay in a tent, even if it was kind of a luxurious and rather unique one. Natra Bintan is home to 100 bedrooms. Previously, there were only 40 of them and we barely managed to book the last two tents. While I'm glad to see that they have increased the accommodation capacity, I also hope that it doesn't get too crowded at the shared facilities and activities.

This is how a typical tent looks like. Quite cool, right? The kids were saying "This is the BIGGEST tent ever!" and couldn't wait to check out what was in store within.

There are different types of rooms to choose from, namely the Garden Tent, Safari Tent, Lagoon View Tent, Lagoon View Deluxe Tent and Glamping Deluxe Tent. We didn't get much of a choice since we booked rather late and ended up with The Lagoon View Deluxe Tent which suited our needs perfectly with its outdoor whirlpool bath and scenic view overlooking the lagoon.

Each Lagoon View Deluxe Tent has a size of 45sqm, comes with a 4-poster king bed and is suitable for 4. We added an extra bed and used the sofa as a bed too, so there was ample space for all of us. Note that each additional child will come with extra charges.

I have to say that our tent totally resembled a typical resort room with its furnishing and we could even enjoy comforts as LCD television, air conditioning, complimentary coffee and tea, carpeting, a bar fridge and more. Well, we were not definitely not roughing it much but it's probably a good way to get the kids excited about going camping.

One of the things I loved most about our tent was the use of these old trunk cases as bedside tables and cupboards, how interesting, unique and pleasing to the eye. Another part that got all of us excited was the.... bathroom! Erm, what made a toilet so special? Check it out below. It was outdoor!

Right, it's more of half indoor and half outdoor as you still have walls surrounding it but isn't the idea of taking a shower in the wild while being surrounded by lush greenery and stone fittings so hard to resist?

If I have to describe our tent in three words, they will be cosy, simple and relaxing. Just the way we like our holiday accommodation to be.

As for the kids, they totally loved the outdoor whirlpool which was outside our tent and the garden that stretched all the way to the lagoon. To them, this was paradise.


Since it was a long distance from the main building to the tents, we got to ride in the buggy numerous times a day and that always made the kids happy. Feeling the wind in our hair, admiring the breathtaking lagoon view and feeling surrounded by family bliss, that was something I deeply appreciated. I have to applaud the staff for coming swiftly to pick us up every time we called, we never had to wait for more than 10 minutes, woohoo!


We wanted to have a barbecue under the stars outside our tent since it was camping after all and a bonfire is always the highlight, right? Alas, the stars didn't quite align for us eventually and the weather deemed that we had to give it a miss. It's all about luck at times, isn't it? Anyway, here are some of the dining options that we checked out during our stay.

-> Warni Warni

Just a short walk away from the tents, this was where we had our breakfast every morning. The kids loved it because there was a playground right outside the restaurant and there were swings, see-saw, slides and sand! So, eat first or play first?

You can expect the usual breakfast offerings like omelettes, salad, cereal, fruits, hash browns, ham, cheese, sausages, pastries and some local dishes. There's nothing too fanciful but it sufficed to give us enough energy to start the day on a happy note.

We also headed here for dinner on the last night and tried out the pizza, steak, lamb and seafood noodles. Again, it was quite run-of-the-mill and we wouldn't strongly recommend it if you had a choice. I still wished we could have done the BBQ which would have been an experience to remember.

-> Local Food Stalls

For breakfast and lunch, you can head to the food street with local food stalls set up in Chill Cove and this was something that was more affordable and satisfying for our taste buds. We tried grilled calamari, nasi bryani, burgers and the kids quite enjoyed their noodle soup too. I did read that this place only opens on weekends so take note of that.

-> In-Room Dining

For those who wish to stay in the tent and watch a movie or cartoon while tucking into the food, you can opt for in-room dining too. Talking about that, our TV signal was rather weak so that got a little disruptive but then again, it might be a reminder for us to refrain from using electronic devices and make use of the holiday to be fully present with the kids, right?

-> Hawker Centre

There is a hawker centre nearby and you can just ask the reception to call a cab for you to hop on. It is also a good chance to replenish supplies and get some drinks or tidbits as there are a couple of minimarts there too. I remember we bought bubble gum here and it was the girls' first attempt at trying to blow bubble gum.

-> Aneka Seafood Kelong

Being a seafood fan and expert, the hubby is always on the hunt for good kelong restaurants to visit. We asked our driver for recommendation and he brought us to Aneka Seafood Kelong which is a 40-minute drive away from Natra Bintan. It was by far the best and tastiest meal we had during this holiday and we totally enjoyed feasting on the fresh seafood that we personally picked out from the tank.

There are also other restaurants that I read about but didn't manage to check out including the Patio and Hook On Seafood Grill & Bar so you might wanna consider them too. In general, you won't be starving anytime during your stay, that's for sure.


Moving onto the highlights of our stay, we thoroughly enjoyed the fun-filled land and water activities. There were so many to choose from and we wish we could have tried out even more of them but that's just a reason to return in future, right? Here is a list of the activities you can look forward to and the respective pricing.

Now, check out all the fun we had!

-> Prince Motor

I have no idea why this was called a prince motor but being colourful and striking, it was the first one that caught our attention and the kids were only too eager to hop on. It's easy to control and doesn't go too fast but you still have to keep an eye on the kids in case they wander too far. Ours basically went around in small circles and it was not hard to keep them in view. What I loved most about the activities here was that they were very flexible when it comes to letting the younger ones join in the fun! Asher just turned three at that time and wasn't allowed to ride on his own but they let him ride with the sisters without charging any additional fee. Yay, that definitely made his day!

-> Mini ATV

The mini electric ATV ride was so much fun for the kids and this time, we went a full round around the Crystal Lagoon which took us over 20 minutes. Once again, we let the boy hop on with his sisters (thank goodness he has two so they can alternate) and all of them had so much fun riding with their friends while winding through the tents and enjoying the scenic view of the lagoon.

-> Scooter

This was our first time riding a scooter and I was half afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it and would topple. But lo and behold, I managed to do it and even tong bang the kids one at a time and went a full circle around the lagoon. Soooo fun! The hubby and I also managed to go for a short couple ride together but we U-turned back after a a couple of minutes because the boy was at the Mummy-belongs-to-me-and-I-must-stick-to-her-24/7 stage and we didn't want him to act up. Haha. It was definitely an experience to remember and I am glad we all tried it.

-> Cable Skiing

The big girl took up the challenge and went for her first cable skiing experience! We were all cheering for her at the side and as I watched her in action, my heart swelled with pride to see how she picked herself up from a fall again and again and eventually learnt to pull herself up and balance. You go, girl!

-> Kayaking

This was also a first for the kids and we did it in style by going on a transparent, chic looking kayak that allowed us to see through the bottom and feel the crystal clear waters. While the hubby took the big girl, I hopped on with the two younger ones and they both enjoyed it pretty much even though the rowing got them exhausted after a while.

-> Slip & Slide

For the adrenaline seekers, this is an activity not to be missed - a 7.5m tall slide that sends you whizzing down at great speed and lifts you into the air before plunging into the water. If you are lucky or good at finding your CG, then there is a chance your float might still remain upright eventually when you dive into the water. But more often than not, you will flip and land into the water but that's why it is so fun, right? There is a 3m slide for those who are less inclined and there are two 7.5m slides, the middle one goes straight down while the left one has a curve at the bottom so you get to fly up into the air before landing. Pricing is $5 per pax for unlimited rides and minimum height is 1.1m.

I have to tell you this is very exhilarating and might be a little too much excitement for some. In fact, we were told by the staff that the speed gets quite fast and can be scary for young kids. Angel tried once on the middle slide and decided she didn't want to go again. As for me, I loved the thrill but ended up with an ache in my neck the next day. Haha. 不认老都不行。Watch the video later to hear how I screamed from start to end, lol.

-> Paddle boat

This is something that the younger ones will enjoy. For this paddle boat, you need to use your hands to turn the levers on both sides and let's just say that it can get tiring after a short while so if you have more kids, it's okay to just rent one boat and let them take turns to play.

-> Fireworks

To make up for the fact that our mangrove night tour was cancelled, we decided to do something exciting on our last night. Yup, we lit up sparklers and set off fireworks! I remember we used to do this during New Year's Eve in Sweden where we would brave the wintry weather and make our way to the frozen lake to set off fireworks. It's something we can't do back on sunny island so the kids were excited to do it for the first time. Okay, most of the fireworks needed the help of an adult to set off because we were talking about using matchsticks to light gunpowder and make explosions after all. But this was still the first time we saw fireworks so up close and the kids were fascinated because there were many different kinds with different patterns too. My favourite is the Bang Snaps which brought back so many childhood memories, you know, those things you throw on the ground and hear them go pop pop pop, and the kids had fun trying to throw them as far as possible too.

-> Indoor Playground

There is an indoor playground called Pirate's Adventure and it turned out to be much bigger than we expected! Pirate ships, long slides, ball pits, ball blasters, tunnels, rope structures, kiddy cars - there were more than enough activities to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours. There was no one in sight when we went so we ended up having the whole place to ourselves, woohoo.

-> VR ride

The kids rarely get to play any virtual reality games so they were really happy that we let them each choose two VR rides to sit through. This was found right at the entrance of the indoor playground and sits two at a go.

-> KTV

If you don't know by now, we love to SING! I kind of miss those days when my friends and I would go for karaoke sessions every couple of weeks at KBox, Partyworld or Teo Heng. The good thing is my kids seem to share my love for singing and are now my kakis to hang out with. We don't sing nursery rhymes one okay, we sing both English and Mandarin pop songs! Yup, I was pretty amazed and super happy to see that they had so many Mandarin singers and song titles to choose from, yay! You can either hang out at the main lounge or book one of the rooms for a private KTV session for your family and friends.

-> Water Sports Park

This is one activity that I will highly recommend because it is sooooo fun! It is a 40 x 30m floating obstacle course that challenges you to keep your balance, climb up ladders, swing on ropes and the most fun part is.... plunge into the water with a huge splash! Yup, we love the slide so much even though every time you slide down, you have to swim back a distance to the starting point and heave yourself up a ladder to get back on course. Kids have to be 6 years old and above to play, each session is an hour and costs $11.50 per pax. The girls and I had an absolutely splashing good time and we still keep talking about this experience from time to time.

-> Laze and dip all day

If you are not that keen in all the land or water activities which might amount to quite a bit of spending, feel free to just soak and splash around in the lagoon all day long. The kids were happy to simply swim around or dip in the lagoon and feel the warm sun rays and clear waters. We really loved the beauty and tranquility of this place.

Well, that marked the end of our 3D2N stay and I must say we did an amazing number of activities in that short span of time, right? We don't know when we will return again but I do know that we want to and one day, we will. It's just a matter of when.

It might be a long time before we feel confident enough to travel or even go to the beach. For now, we will continue to stay home, stay safe and stay hopeful. Yup, looking back on past travels and thinking of those fond memories help to make us happy and stay positive too. Here's a video to wrap up all that we did, have fun watching!

Useful information
Natra Bintan, a Tribute Portfolio resort
Jln. Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, 
Teluk Sebong Lagoi, (34.20 mi)
Lagoi, Riau, Indonesia 29152

Phone: +62 770 692252
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