With the recently released movie of “The Battle of Surabaya”, the first 2D animation movie made in Indonesia that tells the story of a fierce battle in Oranje hotel (now Hotel Majapahit) in November 1945, this is the right time to talk about this hotel. Not only will you stay in a super nice hotel in the heart of Surabaya city, but you’ll also actually spend your time in one of the best historical sites in Surabaya!
The hotel's history
The Indonesian archipelago was colonized by the Dutch for about 3.5 century prior to World War II and Japanese Occupation in 1942. At the end of the war, the Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed on 17th August 1945. When the Dutch with their British allies tried to seize control over the new republic, they met fierce resistance from the new government, especially in Surabaya. It started with a negotiation gone bad in a hotel called the Oranje (Dutch version) or Yamato (Japanese version) and war broke out in Surabaya. Due to this incident, Surabaya was given the title of ‘the heroic city’ and the National Heroic Day is celebrated every year on 10th November. Decades have passed but the iconic establishment remains, albeit with a different name. Today, Hotel Majapahit is one of the best five-star hotels in Surabaya that caters to many visitors from local and abroad.
Be transported back in time at the Dutch lobby
Let us take you back to the present and walk you through the hotel. The facade of Hotel Majapahit doesn’t speak of its historical value. But as soon as you enter the lobby, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived in a totally different world and many people would be in awe of what the hotel can offer in terms of its design. Imagine being transported to several decades back, when the Dutch still ruled the city. The orange floors, large windows with trellises, yellow lamps in hanging wooden frames, an old piano and gramophone, tall pillars and ceiling, etc. There are also various paintings and photographs of Surabaya in the year 1945. Everything here has been kept as it was in the past. This makes the lobby a perfect spot for photography. Sit in the lobby, enjoy their selection of exotic teas (there is a bar in the lobby), and travel back to the old times!
Relax in the garden in the middle of Hotel Majapahit
When you follow the concierge staff to your room, you’ll enter the hotel’s beautifully-arranged garden area with a small fountain in the middle, well-adorned with some white tables and chairs shaded by an umbrella. Sit at one of the garden’s tables while enjoying the hotel’s Dutch architecture and the soothing music of the fountain water. Can’t stand the heat in the daylight? Order a cool drink from the lobby bar and indulge under the wide umbrella.
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Swim and get a suntan
Surabaya is hot and the temperature can reach 35 degree Celsius in the afternoon. So be sure to grab your swimwear and swim in the pool if you happen to be in the hotel during this time. Don’t worry if you can’t swim too well, as the pool’s height is gradual (starting from 110 cm). You can bring your children to swim too, as there is a separate kid’s pool next to the adult’s pool. More than providing physical exercise, the huge pool also allows you to relax and unwind while getting a lovely tan.
Spacious and vintage rooms with five-star amenities
This is an old hotel where typically rooms are more spacious (starting from 44sqm for a garden terrace room) than the ones in a hotel built in the modern era. This is the most historical five-star hotel in town by the way, so be prepared to spend a premium fee. The price range is between 100 USD (garden terrace) - 500 USD (presidential suite). Besides the five-star facilities (luxurious bathroom supplies, latex mattress, TV with broader international channels, etc.), nothing much has changed in the room in terms of its architecture since the colonial era. You will feel like living in Indonesia’s past.
Besides the rooms and outdoor facilities, Hotel Majapahit also has an in-house restaurant. Go to the Indigo restaurant for a range of western and eastern cuisines with the highlight of European food like pasta, pizza, sandwiches, steak, etc. as well as exotic Indonesian cuisine like cow tail soup (sop buntut). End the night at the Maj for a few drinks. There is one drink that you just have to try: Beer Pletok. Typically, this is the sweet herbal non-alcoholic Indonesian cocktail consisting of ginger, pandan leaf and lemongrass, However, in this bar they mix it with a shot of vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and beer, making it taste herbal and alcoholic.
Consider Hotel Majapahit
If you are planning a trip to Surabaya, do consider Hotel Majapahit. Not only is it a five-star hotel, this is the most historic hotel in Surabaya (the country’s most historical too) with delicious food and beverages. Be transported back in time while enjoying modern comforts.
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