My short weekend getaway in Batam

[in Batam] This is going to be another long blog, about my short weekend getaway to Batam on 18th August 2012 and the bad experience I had in Eska Wellness Spa Massage and Salon.  Rarely wrote negative review about places I’ve been to, and to highlight name of some Assistant Manager there…oh my…


He went to Batam last Friday for work. Well, I went there with M on Saturday to join him. It was a long weekend, as Monday is a public holiday 😀 We were staying in Harmoni Suites Hotel @ Nagoya Hill. It was not bad, within walking distance to the Nagoya Hill Mall. There’s KMart and 2 Teochew Porridge shops outside. Quite convenient, I would say. Reached batam at about 1230pm (Batam time), slight delay at the custom and off to the hotel. The cab fare was 50,000 rupiah from Batam Centre to the Hotel.

there are a lot of Harmoni Hotels…so better make it clear to the driver that it’s Harmoni Suites Hotel.  Indeed, we’ve passed by Harmoni One on the way.  And on Friday, when he was going back to the hotel from Client’s place, the driver drove him to another Harmoni One too.  He said that Harmoni One was better, with lotsa pubs around…

Reached the hotel, we were greeted by this huge “statues” or ornaments?  The picture says it all.  Gold is the main color, with tinch of wooden stuffs and a black leather sofa.  Oh, they even had a shelf of DVDs available, for guests to bring to their room to watch.  Got our room cards from the counter.  He was sleeping and he also told us that he was woked up at 830am (Batam time) for their room service…ha ha ha…  We find it funny because he seldom wake up early, and of course he told them that he didn’t need the room to be cleaned up yet.  He left client’s place at around 2am after finishing his work.  From the time we reached the hotel, I think the staffs called like every 15mins and to check if they can clean our room now, which we told them we’ll call them if we need each time.  Wow…

Harmoni Suites Hotel, Batam
Harmoni Suites Hotel, Batam

We lazed in the hotel room till about 2plus, decided to go for massage. Checked the reviews, and decided to call Eska Wellness Spa Massage and Salon. It’s just opposite Nagoya Hill Mall’s A&W at the West Entrance. So after massage, we can have a walk there. We called them, and arranged for a pick up from our hotel. They said they will be here in 30mins. 45mins went by, we decided to call Eska again, we then know the driver was waiting at the wrong Harmoni. The hotel staff directed them to our hotel. Meanwhile, the lady on the other line requested to speak to one of us. M came back saying that the lady said the pickup will only be waived if we spent 800,000 rupiah or more. If not, they will charge 50,000 rupiah for that. Well, why didn’t she said so earlier on the phone when we called? Anyways, we are ok with the transport charges. The entire wait was almost an hour, we might have reached much earlier if we took a cab there.

Reached there at about 4pm. Oh my, it was so crowded…lotsa people at the counter while Linda, the Assistant Manager,was explaining the services to different groups of people. They provided so many services, really from head to toe, inclusive of Hair Salon, Pedicure & Manicure, Massage, Scrub, Milk Bath, Waxing, etc. She gave us their services list to read first while attending to others. I opted for the 1.5hrs Reflexology/Foot Massage (132,000 rupiah, inclusive of service + additional holiday surcharge) since they wanted the 2hrs Body Massage. Finally, she got time to talk to us. Only then she told us that we gotta wait to 6pm because it’s fully booked now. Well, ok then, anyways, we just switched our itineraries around. So, settled upon her request of a deposit of 50,000 rupiah.

Eska Services, Batam
Eska’s wide range of services

We went to have our lunch at Nagoya Hill Mall, we hadn’t had anything since breakfast at the Harbour Front Terminal.  He brought us to Kangen Cafe, which he went with his colleague on Friday.  It’s at Level 3 or 4 in the mall.  Didn’t we plan to have a quick lunch and not too full before Massage?  Well, we’ve ordered 4 dishes and fried rice/mee goreng each.  Wahahaha…  It was filling, and it only cost about S$20 (shall talk about the food in detail in the next entry here).  Went for a short walk after that, and headed back to Eska.

our lunch @ Nagoya Hill Mall, Batam
our lunch @ Nagoya Hill Mall, Batam

Oh my, counter was still crowded. We asked her where we should go, and she said level 2. We went to level 2 then. It was another waiting area with about 10 other customers sitting there waiting for their turn. We have to catch any staff who walked pass, all they did was look at our appointment card and said hold on, it will be our turn soon. The guy sitting next to me caught one lady and asked. She said “Sorry, please wait for a while”. He turned to his friend and said “your sorry, I have to wait for 45mins…”. Oh my, we looked at each other, how long do we have to wait then…

Every now and then, there will be someone asking who is doing facial…but we were all waiting for either Body Massage or Body scrub. After 30mins of wait, a Chinese guy went to this group of ladies asking what services they opted for and same thing he apologised for the wait. I heard one of the lady said she’s only going to wait for another 15mins, if it exceed, she’s not going to wait anymore. I wondered how long they’ve waited…

Finally, I heard him asking who’s doing foot massage. I quickly went to him and he brought me to level 3. I didn’t have to wait for long and I quite enjoy the 1.5hrs of leg massage. After 1.5hrs, I went down to level 2, expecting to wait for them. To my surprise, they were already sitting there waiting for me. I was thinking “Oh, how come so fast”. What’s shocking came next, he stormed off. Apparently, they were still waiting for their turn! OMG!!! I passed him my card and waited to talk to Linda. She saw the cards and said “ok, 3 pax”, and wanted to collect the balance of the charges. M told her that they didn’t get their massage after the LONG wait. She didn’t apologise and wanted to collect the 132,000 rupiah of the foot massage which I did. M told her that she had to give us a change of 18,000 rupiah, because we paid the deposit of 150,000 earlier and since they didn’t get their massage done, why should we pay for the deposit?  And yet, we showed displeasure and definitely not happy about the incident, She still didn’t apologise. She gave us the change back and we just walked out of the shop.

Why was it so difficult to apologise to your customers?

They told me the entire incident. They waited for another 30mins, which was almost 7. They caught one lady asking when is their turn, which was suppose to be at 7pm. The lady looked at their card, not saying anything, had a poker face, returned the cards to them and just walk of. What was that??!! Then, another new group fo customers came and waited for like another 5mins, and were brought to their rooms. That made them even more angry! They’ve waited for like almost an hour and yet the new group of customers were served first.  I knew it was really packed, and they seemed under staffs. If you can’t take in that many customers, you can jolly well reject us and not make them wait for nothing, isn’t it?  Or, perhaps they should have told us that we have to wait till 7pm and not 6pm, we are ok with that too. Or maybe, when we first call you, you can tell us the situation there and we can still decide if we wanted to wait or we could have tried others, isn’t it???  Even if we chose to wait, we know that the appointment will only be available at around 7ish or later, we can hang around longer, and not waited in vain for an hour and grab any staffs that walked pass “is it my turn yet?”. Lesson learnt, we better do our job (call, ask, check, perhaps they are really that busy) before this happen again! We went to check if the Spa Secrets which he went on Friday was still opened. But it was closed. So we took a cab back to hotel…

Checked out at around 1plus on Sunday, Hari Raya as well.  Went to Spa Secrets to try our luck, but not opened.  Went for a walk in Nagoya Hill Mall again.  Had A&W, but think the standard dropped.  Not as nice as those we tried in the past.  Oh, as we still have too much rupiah left, we decided to buy Indomie back 😀  We bought 2 boxes (48pkts in each box).  Intended to bring 10pkts to office :p  Looking at the watch, we’ve decided to board the 530pm ferry (oh, we purchased open ticket for the return trip as we not sure what time to go home).  We went to Batam Centre (cab fare of 60,000 rupiah), bought the tickets and head back to Singapore.  Reached at about 730pm (Singapore time).

with love…

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