Unpretentious, nostalgic, and good value
If you can’t afford a night at historic Hotel Majapahit, check into Hotel Paviljoen, built in 1917, the second oldest in Surabaya after its fancy pants cousin which lies just around the corner.
This unpretentious old-school traveller haunt preserves an air of nostalgic colonial charm, but five-star it is not. Bagging a terrific central location near Pasar Genteng Besar, rooms surround a peaceful inner courtyard garden set back from the busy street.
The main building of the hotel complex is a delightfully well-maintained colonial bungalow, encompassing a relaxing parlour full of original teak and rattan furnishings. The high ceiling and floor tiles offer a cool respite, although the flooring is an uninspired utilitarian replacement from the original. Rooms are housed in a variety of older single- and newer double-storey wings opening to the garden and range from standard fan-cooled with cold water showers to air-con and hot-water with options in varying sizes.
Splendid original features include tall solid doors and wooden shuttered windows, but unfortunately the interiors have been given a modern tiled makeover, and we don’t just mean the floors, the walls here too are completely covered in tiles creating a somewhat clinical feel to the room, however it keeps them cool and easy to clean—they are spotless.
Traditional style wooden furnishings add a meagre homeliness and include beds with foam mattresses, a desk with chair and a wardrobe. Clean bedding comprises a bottom sheet and blanket along with standard pillows and a Dutch wife. If you’d like a top sheet, pack a sleep sheet or a sarong. Unfortunately there are no bedside tables or reading lamps, yet all rooms include a TV, some with tiny flatscreens, others with an old box-style.
Ensuite bathrooms continue the utilitarian style (or lack of style) with Western throne toilets, a traditional mandi plus a functional washbasin and decent hot-showers in some rooms. The small rooms are wet style, but a few hooks behind the door will keep your towel dry.
Outside the room, the furnished terrace is a comfortable spot to relax, order a cold beer from the friendly staff and sit back and enjoy the garden. Included breakfast is served here too, and will likely be ready waiting on the table when you rise—the clinical theme continues here and it looks not unlike a hospital meal, with metal tray and an array of pastel plastic covers. Your boiled eggs and bread will be accompanied by a thermos of tea, but if you prefer coffee, staff will happily oblige.
In wet season there were a few mosquitos about outside, but with the doors closed, rooms are mozzie free. The hotel offers a very efficient and reasonably priced laundry service, and can arrange transport and tours.
Despite the starkness of the rooms, Hotel Paviljoen has a very warm and welcoming ambience and it’s hard to go past this good value family run joint. Recommended. With a similar style and slightly upgraded rooms, Hotel Kenongo is a good alternate, though it lacks the pleasant garden and common areas.
Address: 94–98 Jalan Genteng Besar, Surabaya
T: (0315) 343 449; (0812) 1670 7425; (0815) 1595 0012;
Coordinates (for GPS): 112º44'20.59" E, 7º15'30.48" S
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Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan private bathroom||170,000 rupiah||170,000 rupiah|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||225,000 rupiah||225,000 rupiah|
|Standard double room||250,000 rupiah||250,000 rupiah|
|Superior double room||285,000 rupiah||285,000 rupiah|
|Deluxe double room||315,000 rupiah||315,000 rupiah|
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