Hotel Tugu Malang is an extraordinary celebration of Asian arts and culture, and admirers of such with be seduced to the core, agog with visual overload as this splendid hotel weaves its magic—our idea of the promised land.
Centred in Malang’s colonial heart on the southwestern side of the Tugu Monument, an ancient sacred banyan tree conceals Hotel Tugu from the busy road. The hotel is the first of several Tugu hotels and restaurants around Indonesia, the lovechild of passionate collector Anhar Setjadibrata to showcase his treasured acquisitions and immortalise the spirt of Java.
This evocative setting is but a part of Tugu’s whole experience, with top-notch service and luxurious rooms and suites it is easy to fall under the spell and understand the consistent international accolades. If Tugu Malang is within your means, don’t hesitate, and if not we’d beg borrow or steal to try to stretch the budget even for one night, we promise you, you won’t want to leave. Notwithstanding the hotel’s opulence, the vibe is effortless and relaxed, making for a perfect spot to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.
Although the building offers the impression of a colonial style mansion, it is a contemporary design by leading architect Budiman Hendropurnomo of Denton Corker Marshall, with rooms and suites occupying three floors within a labyrinth of walkways and corridors filled with secret turns and delightful antique-filled corners.
Don’t expect an ordinary room here, even the entry level Superior Deluxe will beguile. These rooms are a decent size, not vast, but adequate, some with balconies overlooking the swimming pool. Expect marble floors, quality beds and linens and all mod cons including flatscreen TVs, DVD players, minibar, safe and tea-making equipment, but also expect personal and unique Javanese touches—a fruit basket of tropical fruit, your room strewn with intoxicating tuberoses, a selection of local teas and Javanese coffee, local handmade lotions and potions in the bathroom, and of course antiques and original artworks.
We like the quirky touches such as the power for the room being turned on by inserting a wooden kris into the sheaf by the door and the extraordinary hand beaten metal tub in the bathroom. Windows are double glazed and wooden shutters also keep out noise and light at night, but open when you wish to enjoy the tropical breeze. Suites are of course larger, and each with an individual theme based on myths, artists and aspects of Asian culture, the most extravagant, the Apsara Residence with its own dining hall, private outdoor spa, living area and lavish three-and-a half metre wide bed inspired by the Khmer Kings who built Angkor.
The hotel’s organic-sharped sparkling aquamarine swimming pool is modestly sized, but delightfully tropical, dripping with lush foliage and wafting floral fragrances. A row of red deckchairs with aquamarine cushions offer a shady sport to relax poolside or take up a pew in the main restaurant, Melati, overlooking the swimming pool. This huggermuggery of romantic nooks and crannies too abounds with a treasure-trove of antiques and a menu that celebrates Indonesian homecooking, rich fusion Peranakan and Dutch Colonial recipes, worth a visit for a meal even if you’re staying elsewhere. Enjoy a drink in the intimate Ban Lam Bar offering an extensive range of wines and other tipples.
Next to Melati, a Dutch style bakery, Roti Tugu, offers fresh cakes and bread and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Afternoon tea is served daily on the breezy second floor terrace Tea House with views to the town square, complementary for in-house guests. Alongside a selection of local coffees and teas, delight your taste-buds with regional treats and traditional herbal jamu. Charming staff will explain the interesting looking (and tasting) morsels. Additionally Tugu offer a host of fine dining options in private rooms and banquet halls.
Once you’ve indulged your palate, indulge your other senses with exotic herbs and flowers and traditional spices used in the treatments at Tugu’s Apsara Spa. Hotel Tugu extend their passion for local culture to offering a range of classes and tours that will inspire and delight. Begin with a hotel tour taking you through the museum-like collection and assorted rooms with a charming and informative guide, free for in-house guests or 75,000++ rupiah for visitors. We were keen to do their city bike tour, but unfortunately ran out of time, but could have undertaken a street food tour or any number of local excursions including to Gunung Bromo or a local cooking or Jamu making class.
A stay at Hotel Tugu Malang is not just a bed for the night, its a complete cultural experience. Unsurprisingly, it’s our top pick in Malang, in fact our top pick in the whole of Java. Nothing quite compares with the Tugu, but for an alternative high-end stay in Malang, The Shalimar offers a more classical approach, housed in a historic building once occupied by Radio Indonesia.
Address: 3 Jalan Tugu, Malang
T: (0341) 363 891; (0813) 3491 9097; (0817) 9644 119; F: (0341) 362 747
Coordinates (for GPS): 112º37'59.15" E, 7º58'38.1" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room||1,452,000 rupiah||1,452,000 rupiah|
|Deluxe double room||1,890,000 rupiah||1,890,000 rupiah|
Up to 15,400,000 rupiah
|2,380,000 rupiah||2,380,000 rupiah|
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