Historic Deco glam
The Historic Deco facade of Prama Grand Preanger as well as its slightly more famous cousin, the nearby Savoy Homann have long been prominent Bandung landmarks on the former Groote Postweg (Great Post Road) now Jalan Asia Afrika.
The Art déco style of Grand Preanger is the result of an extensive redesign of an earlier building completed in 1929 by Indonesian Born Dutch architect, C. P. Wolff Schoemaker with the assistance of the young Sukarno, who would later become the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. Over time the hotel has been extended and updated with the addition of a modern tower block and today offers a range of room styles including the original, but slightly faded historical luxury glam of the executive rooms in the old Asia Afrika Wing.
Welcoming staff happily showed us these rooms as well as updated (but a little too glitzy for our taste) suites in the Naripan Wing behind, however we were unable to view the lower priced Superior and Deluxe rooms. The generous street-facing executive rooms do a grand job of conjuring the glory days of Hollywood—if you squint you can just about see it in vivid Technicolor (or at least black and white)—with marble floors and cream painted deco style furniture highlighted with touches of pearly pink and burgundy.
The rooms are more akin to a junior suite, with room dividers separating a seating area from the sleeping room and another with original etched glass panels sectioning off a desk. Almost scallop-shaped padded bead heads and bouncy mattresses along with plush carpet in the bedroom add to the luxurious atmosphere, although overall the room feels a tad tired and dated, perhaps it’s the plastic kettle and instant coffee sachets or the just too small TV that takes away from the opulence and offers this impression as though a once grand dame has been shoved into a cheap nursing home. Marble ensuite bathrooms continue with the glam style (although details convey the notion it may be a 70s reno) with separate tubs and shower.
Regardless of its minor foibles, for fans of history and architecture, Prama Grand Preanger is a joy to wander throughout and admire the Deco details. The hotel harbours an on-site museum which highlights some of its more famous past guests including Charlie Chaplin and Amelia Earhart as well as information on other architectural landmarks around Bandung designed by Schoemaker including the fabulous Vila Isola, now part of a local university.
The hotel’s more modern facilities include restaurants, a spa and a sparkling blue swimming pool in front of the Naripan Wing. The pool is a decent size for a few laps, although offers little shade and sun lounges were badly in need of repair when we visited. That said, we thought it more inviting than the pool at Savoy Homann, which is the main reason why this historic hotel has a slight edge for us—while you’re in the area do check out Bandung’s other famous Deco hotel.
Both Prama Grand Preanger and Savoy Homann offered good online deals, but be wary of which room you choose, for us the more classic styled rooms in both were more appealing. For more contemporary classic styled luxury, Arayaduta offers plush rooms, great views, charming staff and a pleasant outdoor swimming pool.
Address: 81 Jalan Asia Afrika, Bandung
T: (0224) 231 631; F: (0224) 230 034
Coordinates (for GPS): 107º36'42.49" E, 6º55'18.24" 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||610,000 rupiah||1,900,000 rupiah|
|Deluxe double room||773,500 rupiah||2,150,000 rupiah|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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