places to stay
The famous Majapahit Hotel of Surabaya – a city landmark of five-star luxury built a century ago by the family who created Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel
We believe in COMFORT -- Adventurous travel to interesting places does NOT mean you need to rough it!
At Better Tours Indonesia we choose beautiful lodgings with character, facilities, traditions or histories that make them special and memorable. Typically, they are among the best available places to stay in each location.
Our North Sumatra-Java package includes 20 nights (we even pay for you first pre-tour arrival night in Singapore, including breakfast.) If we are unable to secure rooms at our preferred hotels, we book a comparable property of similar standard.
Introducing the places we stay ...
Village Hotel, Changi
This is a quality four-star business hotel at Changi Village, located less than 15 minutes from the airport. Our tour package includes breakfast.
The hotel offers a choice of restaurants and you will find excellent local cafes and food court outlets in the Village Shopping Centre just next door. See more about the Village Hotel HERE.
A Hotel shuttle service operates from Changi Airport to Changi Village Hotel – you can check the timetable HERE. Should you prefer a taxi, the fare from the airport will be about SGD$20, including the $5 airport surcharge.
More time in Singapore?
Deli River Hotel
The beautiful Deli River Hotel is a special and very Indonesian resort hotel operated by a Dutch expatriate and his Indonesian wife. It is located on the banks of the Deli River about 12 km from the Medan central business district.
The main buildings have towering roofs after the style of the Batak people of North Sumatra and the accommodation is in villas set in beautiful lush gardens with views to a lake and the river.
We are here for three nights and we know you will love it! The hotel’s Omlandia Restaurant has an excellent reputation and opens to a terrace and an infinity pool. See more about Deli River Hotel HERE or view the video (make sure you watch in full screen)
Bukit Lawang Ecolodge
Bukit Lawang Ecolodge is a rustic but highly rated and authentic three-star hotel overlooking the Bohorok river and designed for its environment
It is not luxury but is very clean and comfortable with touches appropriate to its National Park setting including a restaurant built with local bamboo and clays and showers to some rooms from where you can see the stars.
We cross the river to the hotel via a classic suspension footbridge (yes, it sways a bit, but it is perfectly safe). In the unlikely event the bridge is more than you can handle then you can cross by a small boat used as a punt.
The Ecolodge is a place to relax and absorb and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle night, and the staff will treat you like family. See more about Bukit Lawang Ecolodge HERE and check out the video.
Sinabung Hills Resort
The Sinabung Hills at Berastagi in the Karo Highlands is a grand old hotel in the mountain resort tradition.
Some of its former glory has faded with the years but it compensates with stunning views, sweeping landscaped gardens, a massive pool area and plenty of spaces to wind down and relax.
Sinabung Hills also is handy to the places and things we want to explore and at an elevation of about 1,300m (or 4,300 feet) above sea level we are assured of fresh highlands coolness.
Chinese, Western, Malaysian and Indonesian dishes are available from the coffee shop, restaurant and grill and you can dine or sip a drink outdoors on the terrace with magic views over the pool, gardens and countryside to the mountains and volcanoes beyond. See more about Sinabung Hills HERE.
Tabo Cottages Resort
Tabo Cottages Resort on the lake foreshore of Samosir Island is an ideal base for exploring magnificent Lake Toba and its surrounds.
It is set in extensive gardens with pools and pavilions and has great facilities, excellent German expatriate management and pleasant, helpful staff. We know you will love it!
The excellent Tabo Cottages restaurant/bar (aptly the name derives from the Batak word for delicious)
roasts its own Sumatran coffee beans, has a German bakery to produce delicious breads and pastries and a menu of Indonesian, Chinese and Western dishes.
A recommended house specialty is Bratkartoffein met Fisch (roast potatoes with salad and a hefty slice of delicious fresh-water fish taken from the lake).
The hotel also is close to the bars and eateries of the Tuk Tuk Peninsular area where you can find local and Western food and live Batak music. See more about Tabo Cottages HERE. And we recommend viewing the video.
Santika Premier Hotel
In Jakarta we stay in deluxe accommodation at the highly rated four-star Santika Premier hotel located near the centre of town but accessible through Jakarta’s notorious traffic. The Santika offers both comfort and convenience.
For our complimentary welcome to Jakarta dinner we take a short coach trip to the Jimbaran Café – a restaurant in a Bali-style setting specializing in seafood.
Hotel Savoy Homan
In Bandung we stay two nights at the Hotel Savoy Homan, another property in the grand hotel tradition with an elegant retro look and a fascinating history dating back to 1888.
The Japanese Army commandeered this hotel during World War II and then it became the headquarters of the International Red Cross before finally being returned to its owners.
Over the decades, delegates attending many notable national and international meetings stayed at the Savoy Homan, including VIP delegates to the disruptive 1955 Bandung Conference. This famous gathering of leaders from 29 de-colonising Asian and African countries led to the 1961 creation of the international Non-aligned Movement of Asian and African nations.
(So, if you hear strange voices in the hallways over the next two nights, don’t be too alarmed. It may just be ghosts from times past reminiscing. 😊)
See more about the Hotel Savoy Horman HERE and in the video (the soundtrack is in Indonesian, but the vision will give you an impression of this grand old hotel and its place history.)
For our three nights in Yogyakarta we go luxury in classic style at the Phoenix Hotel in the heart of town.
This iconic Dutch colonial-era hotel is a mix of the Javanese, Chinese and European elegance of a bygone era – beautifully maintained classic 1961 Mercedes Saloon parked near the main entrance sets the tone and it builds from there.
The Phoenix began life as the mansion of a wealthy Chinese businessman in 1918, became a hotel during the Great Depression, was commandeered by the Japanese and served as the Chinese consulate before reverting to a hotel from 1951.
It became an opulent Yogyakarta landmark and remains very popular with international visitors and business travelers. We couldn’t resist it for our Real Java Tour.
The hotel offers plenty of dining choices in its Paprika Restaurant and there are many restaurants, cafes and coffee shops nearby. See more about the elegant Phoenix Hotel HERE and in the video.
Lava View Lodge (Bungalows)
Jiwi Jawa Resort
At Mt Bromo we stay one night at the Lava View Lodge Bungalows or the Jiwi Jawa Resort dependingon availability. The Lava View is near the edge of the massive caldera with views across the Lautan Pasir (Sea of Sand) plain to Bromo and other smoking volcanoes.
The Jiwi Jawa Resort is about 3km distant in a parklands setting, also with wonderful .views
The Lava View location, so close to the magnificent mountains, compensates for the relatively basic quality of our accommodation. Five-star it is not and WIFI is available only in the reception area. But it is adequate and comfortable for a one-night stay in a national park.
The Jiwi Jawa is a little more up-market and the lodge accommodation is part of a complex including a cafe, an art gallery and a stage area for periodic jazz performances.
The food at the lodge’s Mountain View Cafe is fine, the views are magnificent, the drinks are cold and there is live music most nights.The Java Banana Cafe at the Jiwi Jawa complex offers an excellent menu of Western and Indonesia dishes
Lava View Lodge
Profile Jiwi Jawa Resort
There are good reasons why the Atria Hotel, our accommodation in Malang, is one of the top-rated hotels in this beautiful town where holiday visitors have plenty of opportunity to be picky.
The Atria offers modern facilities and excellent service along with a touch of Javanese culture and batik art. And it fits in easily with Malang’s reputation as Java’s most relaxed and charming city.
It’s a great place to rest and recover from our Mt Bromo volcano exertions and, if you have the energy, to take a becak (pedicab) tour of Ijen Boulevard (a street of bougainvillea and historic colonial mansions, iconic churches, museums, civic buildings and other landmarks in the historic City Square area. Learn more about Atria Hotel from the video.
In Surabaya we again go 5-star for two nights in the wonderful Majahapit, a hotel reeking of history, service and style, sometimes described as an oasis in the heart of this busy city.
The son of one of the Sarkies Brothers, founders of the internationally famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore, built the Majahapit in 1910, with a majestic art deco lobby added in 1936.
The hotel is famed for its ornate colonial architecture, antique furnishings and beautifully maintained gardens – if we were not staying, we probably would be visiting, as the hotel is typically included in city tours.
You will certainly enjoy the Hotel’s Indigo Restaurant where the menu includes Asian, Japanese, Western and Indonesian dishes in an art deco setting while the adjoining Maj Pub is a pleasant and comfortable bar with snacks and a live band.
If you yearn for other international food then you will find Japanese, French and Italian cuisines in the streets close by. For Indonesian street food, the Pasar Genting night market also is close by.
Click on the video to see more the classic style and old-world charm of this prestigious and historic landmark hotel (video(by Top Hotels for www.infotrip.org)