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First look: Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam

​The hotel is positioning itself to capitalize on demand from both the leisure and MICE sectors

This new-build, upscale 240-room hotel soft-opened in July, and is already receiving a steady flow of both leisure and events guests even though some work is still being completed on the 15-storey property and the grand opening is not scheduled until early next year.

The Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam is located on the Indonesian island of Batam, an hour by ferry from Singapore’s Harbourfront ferry terminal. Visa-free entry is available for most passport holders and the customs and immigration process is straightforward at both ends of the journey – though weekend crowds can slow things down, and my return to Singapore on a Saturday at 3pm involved a two-hour wait in line at Singapore immigration.

The hotel is positioning itself to capitalize on demand from both the leisure and MICE sectors. “We get mostly Singaporeans here at the weekends for leisure, and we target MICE business during the week,” said Nanda Kumar, the hotel’s revenue manager.

There are other international brands present on Batam, among them Novotel and Mercure, but these are all fairly old and the Radisson’s modern facilities give it a distinct advantage. Added appeal comes from its adjacency to the 18-hole Sukajadi championship golf course and expansive convention space including seven meeting rooms and a 1,536 sqm, high-ceilinged ballroom that can host up to 1,800 people theatre style.

General manager Veronique Sirault explained the main markets the hotel attracts: “We have Singaporean companies coming for incentives, and we get a lot of domestic business from Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Medan and Surabaya, because corporate events and conferences can be followed by trips to Singapore to shop. Businessmen will often combine their work here with leisure, bringing their families, and once the business is done, they can play golf while their wives head to Singapore’s shopping malls.”

The hotel is five kilometres – 15-30 minutes’ drive depending on traffic – from the ferry terminal towards the centre of the island, and 20-30 minutes from the small International Hang Nadim Airport. There aren’t any other high-rises where it is situated so it’s easy to spot as you approach.

Rooms on one side of the hotel face the low-rise city, but on the other side you are looking out over a large swimming pool and the golf course. Despite its leading events credentials – “our events spaces have the best audio-visual and high-tech equipment on the island,” said Kumar – the hotel has a relaxed resort feel to it.

There are 207 hotel rooms and 33 one-bedroom apartments for long-stay guests. They are all brightly furnished with 42-inch TVs, free wifi, irons and ironing boards, etc. Lead-in Superior rooms are 30 sqm in size and face the city; Deluxe rooms (also 30 sqm) and all suites (Deluxe 60 sqm/Executive 90 sqm) all face the golf course and boast balconies – the hotel is environmentally conscious, so opening the balcony doors automatically switches off the room’s air-con, then turns it on again once the door is closed.

“Business Class” guests have access to the large, attractively designed Business Club Lounge on the tenth floor, plus an indoor infinity pool also on this level (among other upgrades). A large gym and sauna are also found here – open to all guests and with a membership programme for local residents. The lounge and sauna had not yet opened when I visited, but will be open in early November. On the second floor is Zoysia Spa, which also has not yet opened, but will offer Thai massage and treatments rather than Indonesian – a first on Batam.

On the lobby floor (level 1) is T Lounge and all-day international cuisine restaurant Bite, which has an alfresco area near the main pool, where there’s also a kid’s club. A business centre, boardroom and some of the meeting rooms are on this level, while others are on the ground floor with the ballroom, which has a separate entrance and plenty of pre-function and breakout space.

Thomas Hagemann, vice president, future openings and special projects, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Asia Pacific, thinks that “the opening of Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam is set to redefine the MICE landscape in Batam”.

The combination of excellent events facilities and a championship golf course (and golf driving range) next door – with which the hotel has a good partnership – makes this property easily the most attractive combined leisure and events destination on Batam at present. Best Western and Marriott hotels are both being developed on the island, but for now Radisson is the cream of the crop.