Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and the helpfulness of our young and enthusiastic Indonesian staff, most of whom speak English. This spacious, comfortable and well appointed apartment is just 1.5km from the heart of Batam’s main shopping and business district and 2km from the Harbor Bay ferry terminal. Our large swimming pool, set in a lush tropical garden, is great for families and groups. Our Bali-style restaurant-bar wines, beers, mixed drinks and international, Indonesian and regional foods.
- Smoking is permitted but discouraged. We ask smokers to please smoke on outside terraces and not inside.
- Guests are asked to be considerate and not have noisy gatherings in the apartment after 10.30pm. We have a poolside party area with servery, music system, large flat screen with USB input, toilets and more where guests can party well into the evening and beyond without disturbing others. Use of this area is free but should be booked ahead.
Hello from Batam ... I am originally from Australia and I am the co-founder and current general manager of Smiling Hill Apartments and guesthouse located on the Indonesian island of Batam just 12 miles and an hour by ferry across the water from Singapore.
We have a beautiful Bali-style poolside restaurant and bar of thatching and timber in a tropical garden setting. Many of our customers are expatriate business people, expat supervisors and technology specialists contracted to Batam’s fabrication and electronics industries plus growing numbers of Indonesian business people, young professionals and families. We host many short-stay visitors from Singapore and Malaysia, Australasia, Europe and North America.
One of the delights of managing a venture like Smiling Hill is meeting a rich variety of people from many different places, backgrounds and walks of life and sharing their experiences and perspectives.
Many people have never heard of Batam. I was fortunate enough to discover this fascinating island some 14 years ago. Initially I came for a visit ... and I never really went home!
The weather is warm, the nights are balmy, the Indonesian people are warm, relaxed and welcoming and there is an air of enthusiasm, excitement and optimism. When I first came here Batam was still a “frontier” town with a population approaching 400,000 – today, less than a decade and a half later, it is an increasingly sophistcated city of more than 1.5 million. Over the 10 years to 2014 the official annual population growth rate was 11.9%, rated the fastest of any substantial city in the world.
I have a varied background in journalism and broadcasting, urban development and planning, property development, marketing, public relations and hospitality. For someone like me watching the remarkable transformation happening here has been mind-boggling. The story is continuing and it is a delight to give new visitors some insights into what is happening now and of expectations for the future.
I am fortunate to have an Indonesian wife and three beautiful young children, a crew of mainly willing, loyal, capable and enthusiastic young Indonesians and an international community of friendships. I am lucky to be living in an ideal location for exploring all of South-east Asia (though my experience suggests you could spend a life-time exploring the fascinating regions of Indonesia without even venturing further afield).
In some respects it has been a challenge to adjust to a different, slower and much more civil culture and society but it has been immensely rewarding. My hope is that more people suffering the stresses, pressures and unreal expectations of much of the so-called developed world can consider travelling a similar path.
Batam can be a good place to start