Bintan: The soon-to-be beauty queen

We’ve been noticing a change in Bintan (we talked about it late last year). She used to be such a Plain Jane, unassuming and comforting, an easy standby when finances and imagination precluded a more exciting trip. But she’s been getting all glammed-up of late.

It’s not just the facelifts (getaways like Bintan Lagoon Resort and Banyan Tree Bintan underwent recent revamps); she’s getting all-new enhancements too. And we headed down to the Bintan Resorts press event yesterday to find out just what’s up. Apparently, she’s getting work done on her whole northern coast, Lagoi Bay.

The press release says, “Following its groundbreaking in May 2008, Lagoi Bay, located along the northern coast of Bintan island, will see the opening of several of its most highly anticipated facilities in the second half of this year. These include beach and lakeside resorts, upscale residential clusters, Asia’s first beach village mall and state-of-the-art recreational amenities that will boast some of the region’s first. The launch of these features is the latest milestone in Bintan Resorts’ push to firmly establish Bintan Island as one of Asia’s leading resort and leisure destinations with sustainability and biodiversity conservation at its core.”

Upcoming in November 2013, there’s new resort The Sanchaya (we dug around for deets and introductory rates will start at US$350 (S$435)), plus Lagoi Beach Village Mall coming in early 2014, as well as Bintan Marketplace—a charming cluster of old school shophouses—and Alila Villas Bintan in late 2014.

It’s an exciting change. We just hope she doesn’t start putting on airs. At the moment, 50% of Bintan’s visitors are from Singapore. But now we think she’s after some foreign money. That’s great, so long as she doesn’t forget the folks who got her started…