For a family beach holiday that doesn’t require you to fly from Singapore, Telunas Resorts provides an economic option that will make you feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re after an easy family holiday destination of sun, sand and sea water, this is a great way to experience a little of Indonesia with kids. Plus, for a limited time, suitcases&strollers readers get an exclusive discount at both Telunas Resorts and all kids under 18 stay FREE! Read on to find out more.
Located about one-and-a-half hours boat ride from Batam, Indonesia are these two beach getaways which are designed as an ideal all inclusive family resort for those commuting from Singapore with kids. Set against the backdrop of verdant rainforest, Telunas is all about long days at the beach – and not much else. If you need a circuit breaker from answering emails or screen addiction, this is the ideal family holiday destination. Here the focus is on kids digging sandcastles, fishing and generally playing in the sunshine and fresh air.
There are generally plenty of other kids to meet and socialise with and there’s quite a bit to do and see if you enjoy the outdoors. Sea eagles regularly glide overhead, there are thousands of crabs to chase and the jetty at the private island is the perfect launch pad to jump into the sea.
Some watersports equipment is also provided such as kayaks and life jackets.
The Telunas Resorts are made up of two parts – the beach resort (which has been operational for a number of years) and the brand new private island. Both options provide over-water bungalows for a unique accommodation experience and the beaches face each other across the ocean providing a pleasant vista and perspective. Happily, there is a way to experience the best of both worlds. Shuttles will run roughly every hour between the two resorts to give private island guests a little taster of each.
Telunas Private Island
Open to the public since June, this is the Telunas premium experience. Only 15 bungalows are housed here to give a sense of semi-privacy and the facilities are more rustic chic than rustic. The restaurant where all the meals are served offers table service, the staff are much more hands-on (they will even substitute potato chips for vegetables and amend the kids meals at your request) and in general there is more of a sense of peace and quiet.
There are several facilities and amenities at the private island you won’t find at the beach resort. A swimming pool, in house masseuse and the charming colourful furnishings made out of retired Indonesian fishing boats. (The swimming pool is particularly important as you cannot swim at the private island beach when the tide is out.)
The villas are big enough to easily accommodate a family of five and every one has a large balcony – completely private from the neighbours – overlooking the ocean. The rooms are spacious and come with a lounge area that could easily sleep the kids if they don’t want to be up in the mezzanine. And unlike the beach resort, the individual bungalows are located a few metres apart, giving a calming sense of space.
It is here that Telunas tries to take care of the small details. There is unlimited hot and cold drinking water in the rooms. The rungs on the (very steep) ladder to the mezzanine can be removed to prevent active and exploring toddlers. And Kindles are provided in each room to tell you about all the facilities and activities.
Telunas Beach Resort
Telunas Beach Resort has more of a ramshackle feel about it. While the rooms are also over water, think local Indonesian fishing village rather than Maldivian luxury. But this higgledy piggledy-ness is part of what makes it a charming place for kids to explore.
The resort is a labyrinth of boardwalks and rooms that the kids will love to tear up and down. If you’re after a quiet experience and don’t want to hear shouts of laughter as a pack of children bolts past your room, this is probably not for you. However, if you are happy to meet other families and have your kids make new friends, this is ideal.
While there is a common room with games, the real highlight of Telunas Beach Resort is the beach – which is stunning. Even at low tide it is perfect for swimming, even with infants, as the water is warm and almost completely flat. The sand is finer and cleaner than at the private island and the beach is much bigger.
[For family beach safety tips, see the suitcases&strollers interview with the team from Bondi Rescue here.]
Just up from the beach are more facilities such as volleyball courts and cabanas for those who like to supervise from afar. You can do some basic jungle walks and fishing excursions and throughout the day the local wildlife comes to visit – birds flit off the balconies, crabs march across the sand and sometimes monitor lizards venture out for a look see.
The food and the amenities are much more simple at the beach resort than the private island. The restaurant serves all meals buffet-style. The rooms are pretty bare bones and not all the room balconies face directly out to the open ocean. The rooms have limited bottled drinking water and are extremely close together too. There is a small shop selling essentials which is handy if you’ve forgotten to bring anything with you. And unlike some other all-inclusive resorts in this price category, Telunas Beach Resort feels clean – but it is basic.
The one major piece of information you need to know about the beach resort is that it is extremely popular with school groups. Unless you want to share you holiday with 60 school children, be sure to check with the resort that no school groups are on site before you make your booking.
The Practicalities of Telunas With Kids
Because of the barefoot beach experience that Telunas is aiming for, there are some first world luxuries you will have to sacrifice. Neither resort has internet, televisions, air conditioning, telephones or baths. The architectural design of the buildings and boardwalks means there are often loose boards, panels, gaps in the walls and it isn’t safe to sleep with the windows open if you have climbing toddlers. Since there is no air conditioning, this can make it warm at night.
The 1.5-hour commute from the ferry terminal is via long boat (rather than fiberglass boat) which is certainly not luxurious. Bring snacks and small distractions with you and make sure the kids go to the toilet before you board to avoid accidents. Also try not to book your ferry commute during long weekends and the start and end of local and Singaporean school holidays unless you want to spend a long time in the customs queue.
It is not safe to drink the water from the tap in Indonesia. Only use bottled water for drinking and be wary of children drinking water in the shower.
For more about other beach resorts around Singapore, see the suitcases&strollers story Singapore Beaches.
suitcases&strollers stayed as a guest at Telunas Private Island and Telunas Beach Resort
EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: Kids of suitcases&strollers readers who book at either of the Telunas Resorts get to stay absolutely FREE.* Simply enter the code ss-freekids when you book. Or for Telunas Private Island click here and for Telunas Beach Resort click here.
*Terms & Conditions: Free stays apply to all kids aged under 18 (maximum 3 kids per family) at Telunas Private Island and Telunas Beach Resort who enter the code ss-freekids at the time of booking. (Look for the “Enter Promotion Code” box at the very top right hand corner of the Reservations page after you have selected your dates.) You must bring a print out of this web page with you and present it at the request of Telunas Private Island and Telunas Beach Resort. Promotion excludes the costs of domestic transfers, international transfers and additional drinks, food and other expenses. Stay must be booked, paid and used by December 15 2014.