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“'Wow factor' hotel”

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Hotel Majapahit Surabaya
Ranked #1 of 130 Hotels in Surabaya
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
239 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
“'Wow factor' hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2008

This is a hotel with 'WOW Factor'. Anyone like us who has visited Raffles in Singapore and only been able to dream of staying there can live that drem at Hotel Majapahit. Surabaya is nowhere near being similar to Singapore but once you enter the lobby of this colonial hotel you can easily imagine yourself being back in Raffles. Actually we were told that the hotel builder and first owner was the same man who designed Raffles. The colonial style layout and decor is magnificent in this day of ultra modern and designer chic hotels built by the large hotel chains. Surabaya has a Marriott, Sheraton and Hyatt but comparing them to the Majapahit is like comparing the Eurostar to the Orient Express.

Anyway back to our stay. It was our first visit to Surabaya for 28 years and the previous visit was as a port we stopped at while working on a Merchant Ship. My impression of the city was that nothing had changed in all that time and it is not a very tourist friendly place. The traffic alone is enough to put you off venturing outside the hotel. A fantastic and huge shopping mall is only yards away from the hotel entrance however to get there you had to cross the 4 lane road twice and it was scary. It didn't put us off though although we never ventured any further during our 3 night stay. The hotel was what we had gone there for and it didn't let us down.

Pulling up outside the hotel in our taxi was impressive after seeing all the squallour on the 40 minute journey from the airport. Not such an imposing front entrance as Raffles but once you entered the lobby it was like stepping back in time by 100 years. A welcome drink awaited us and the staff were sincerely friendly and very professional. Within minutes we were checked in and escorted to our 1st floor room (117). It was very spacious and furnished and decorated in the same colonial style as the rest of the hotel. Furnishings included a King bed with massive wooden headboard (soft matress though and not so comfy), couch, armchair and footstool, coffee table, desk and chair, drinks cabinet, tv cabinet, massive free standing wardrobe housing an electronic safe and a balcony with chairs and table looking down onto the immaculate gardens. The bathroom was also in period style with brass plumbing to all the utilities and a door to the toilet and to the separate rain shower cubicle. The whole experience prompted my wife to comment that she felt that she was back in her grannies house as a small girl.

Other info that may be of interest is that the tv channels available seemed to cater for all nationalities with programs from France, UK, USA, Taiwan, China, Australia, Japan, Germany, to name but a few. The mini bar is not particularly well stocked however a call to room service got us what we wanted very quickly. Prices are very reasonable for such a grand hotel with a local beer costing INR35000. Note though that all the prices in the hotel have a tax of 11% plus a 10% service charge added. On our first night we decided to eat in the Indigo Restaurant and were disappointed to find that it was the only part of the hotel not in keeping with the colonial heritage. The modern interior was fine but not what we expected. However there is a second restaurant on the 1st floor which is complete with original decor and is quite amazing. We had planned to eat there on our last night but failed to read that it was closed on a Monday and we never had the chance to experience it.

Other areas of the hotel worth a mention are the gardens and the pool. The gardens are beautiful as you will see from our pictures. The pool is entered through the Spa entrance and was very quiet our whole stay. Perfect for the relaxing time we wanted and to top up the tan.

For those of you like us who are not familiar with Indonesia and its currency there is approx. 18,000 of their Rupia to the UK£. Hence when I went to the ATM and withdrew some cash I was instantly a millionaire. Prices in general are cheap for eating and for some clothing. Taxi to and from the airport was about INR100,000.

Visa on arrival for UK citizens was easy and cost US$10 and a departure tax paid at the airport on the way out was UK£10.

Staying in the Majapahit was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to go back in time but still have all the modern luxuries. Perhaps we cannot afford to stay in Raffles but we can now imagine its splendour after this fantastic 3 night break in Surabaya where we discovered how friendly the Indonesian people are.

  • Liked — The original colonial features
  • Disliked — The modern Indigo restaurant
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tam Carr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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775 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (143)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
309 reviews
148 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2007

This must be one of the nicest colonial style hotels in Asia. Fabulous mid-1990's renewal maintaining the charm (i.e. not a hideous shopping mall like Raffles in SIN) but incoporating all the perks. Abandonded by Mandarin Oriental in Sept 2006 but staff retains that training. Very good Indigo Restaurant. A first rate hotel. Downside...it's in Surabaya...one of SE Asia's least appealing cities with no sense of urban planning and where crossing a road on foot is nearly impossible. OK, just remain in this great destination property. Also some question whether maintenance can be kept up now that affiliation has gone and prices have dropped (so far, fine)

  • Liked — Character, price, service, charm
  • Disliked — The city
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank UKbanker33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Probolinggo, Indonesia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2007

A beautiful hotel, especially the settings and landscape. Bathroom is a bit worn-out even with the luxury decorations. The room is quite plush, and the pool is average (both for adults and kids).
Breakfast buffet is pretty nice and evenly mixed with local and western cuisines.
Staffs are very friendly, and service is very good.

  • Liked — The landscape
  • Stayed September 2005, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Binana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2007

This hotel is known by the locals at Hotel Majapahit but seems to be run by Mandarin Oriental.

The staff are first class -polite & efficient - nothing is too much trouble. They love children & at breakfast, the waitresses would take our baby daughter so we could eat breakfast in peace.

The rooms are large with the standard rooms having a balcony, sofa, coffee table, chairs, desk, kingsize bed & a wonderful 'colonianal style' bathroom. What impressed me most was that it was impeccably clean.

The decor of the whole hotel is 'colonial style' & has lovely gardens, fountains & restuarants. I'd give 7/10 for the restaurants & 8/10 for the Spa.

It is VERY close to nice shopping malls & the other big name hotels but the roads around the hotel seem to be in permenant state of repair.

Taxi's are cheap. From the airport, we took the 'voucher' taxi (you buy a voucher from the counter rather than pay the driver) which cost IDR80,000 & took 40 minutes. From the hotel back to the airport we took the taxi which is stationed in hotel car park. That cost IDR88,000. Don't bother with the independant taxi's which are dirty & not roadworthy.

The zoo is very interesting but make sure you take insect repellant. The entry fee is IRD20,000 & is a good day out.

The shopping malls close to the hotel are huge but things there cost the same as in Hong Kong! Also, we couldn't find any shops selling locally make items.

So, whilst its true that Surabaya is not an obvious tourist destination the hotel is a delight & there is enough to do & see for leisurely a 5 day trip.

  • Liked — Cleanliness & style
  • Disliked — If i was to be very picky, the bathroom could do with a few minor repairs
  • Tips/Secrets — Take US dollars as well as local currency.
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Gulf-Neil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
1,140 reviews
325 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2,177 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2006

This historic hotel is truly the best I have ever stayed in after having visted more than 40 countries and 100's of hotels.
The Main part of the hotel was completed in 1909 with a art-deco wing added in the 1930's. This wing is now houses reception and the hotels restaurants.
This is a very historic hotel both in Indonesian history (It was the place where the Indonesian flag was first raised) and literary history, It is the Schomburgs hotel of Joseph Conrads' Victory.
As for the hotel today, the service is impeccable, the rooms unbelievable beautiful and the restaurant "Sarkies" on of the best in East Java.
The hotel is on a chain built from by the Sarkies brothers through Asia. The others including Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern and Oriental in Malaysia. To expeirence these hotels you are looking at hundreds of dollars. We have paid as little as US$45 here. A truly amazing hotel.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Raymond W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago, IL
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2006

This is a very charming and cute hotel. Good for couples or family. Gorgeous gardens in the courtyards. You cant tell how beautiful the grounds are from the outside of the hotel though. The rooms are set like a maze and have long hallways. It could take up to 2 minutes to get to the front lobby. The rooms are very spacious with high ceilings and Victorian/European style furniture. Wood floors with a rug in the sitting area. Beautiful patio, but our room didn’t allow access to the back garden like some other patios did. The bathroom is large. There is a large tub (probably just for bath purposes) and a separate shower stall. Good counter space by the sink. Toilet seemed outdated. The only problem we had with the room was that mosquitoes got in twice (on 2 nights). They do have those plug in insect killers and spray at night for flying bugs, but it didn’t seem to work for our room. It was a bit annoying and made me want to check into a high-rise hotel that is contained from all the bugs. Otherwise, for aesthetic purposes, the room was nice. It was also a bit dusty. The breakfast was fair. Not much diversity in the way of western food. They did have an egg stand and some bread for toast. Location is good since it is a quick 2-3 minute walk to the tunjungan plaza, although you have to cross busy and dangerous streets twice. We used the hotels car service to take us to a nearby safari about 1.5 hrs from the hotel (taman safari park). The rate they give as part of a package is double what you’d pay if you just hired a car and driver. Package rate: $50-$60USD per person vs. hire a driver: ~$60-$70USD TOTAL. I’d consider it about a 4 star by western standards. We had a standard room.
we live and work in java on a business visa and have been to many hotels in indonesia. this one was okay overall.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank centrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
194 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2006

We spent only 24 hours in the Mandarin Oriental Surabaya, en route for the outer islands. The hotel was superb, however, and we wished we could have spent longer. I cannot do justice in this review to the amazing service, the wonderful "colonial" atmosphere and the overall sence of peace and tranquility in the middle of a big noisy Indonesian city. This hotel is worth a big detour for the experience of staying there.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank grey.dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Majapahit Surabaya

Property: Hotel Majapahit Surabaya
Address: Jln. Tunjungan 65, Surabaya 60275, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > East Java > Surabaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Surabaya
#1 Luxury Hotel in Surabaya
#1 Business Hotel in Surabaya
#1 Family Hotel in Surabaya
#1 Romantic Hotel in Surabaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Majapahit Surabaya 5*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Majapahit is a historic luxury hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia. The hotel was founded in 1910 as Hotel Oranje by Lucas Martin Sarkies. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia the hotel name was changed to Yamato Hotel. Mantrust Holdings Co. became the new owner in 1969 and it was named after the most enduring kingdom of ancient Indonesia. In 1993 it was formerly operated by the Mandarin Oriental group. PT. Sekman Wisata took over the hotel and changed the name to HOTEL MAJAPAHIT in 2006. Located on Jalan Tunjungan in Indonesia's largest city and capital to East Java, the hotel is located in the centre of Surabaya, close to businesses, government offices and the largest shopping district in Surabaya. HOTEL MAJAPAHIT is trully and oasis in the heart of Surabaya. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental Surabaya
Surabaya Mandarin Oriental
Hotel Majapahit Surabaya Java

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