Sarangan Lake (Magetan, East Java, Indonesia) is a natural lake on the border of the East and Central Java provinces that has long been a popular place for a getaway and accommodation. This lake is not only popular among the locals, but especially for those who live in the town of Magetan and other nearby cities, such as Solo in Central Java and Madiun in East Java, and also among both local and international tourists visiting Solo. This area is known for its batik (flower painting on clothes) and Tawangmangu village, and famous for its ‘candis’ (Hindu temple) and waterfalls. Many people like to stay in Sarangan due to the beautiful view of the lake and its climate, which has a relatively lower temperature (10-20 degrees Celsius, or 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit) due to the higher altitude, as it’s located on the slope of Mount Lawu, 1200 meters (3937 feet) above sea level. Although there are no 4, or 5-star hotels in Sarangan, many of these hotels are directly facing the lake, making your stay relaxing and refreshing (no need to stay in a luxury hotel to relax, am I right?). There are other hotels to choose from, but staying at the Sarangan Hotel for the ultimate lake view and a warmer stay make it worthwhile.
Old but golden
Although it’s an old hotel which has been there since 1956, this is among the few hotels facing directly towards the lake, where you can see a better view of the lake and its surrounding mountains, forests, and Magetan City, as this hotel is situated on the ground higher than other hotels around.
Room with great lake view
All rooms are spacious and clean, but do not come with an air conditioner. The rate is 393,000 IDR (29.86 USD) for a standard room, including a simple breakfast, such as fried rice, fried noodles, or bread with coffee or tea, delivered to your room. All rooms are facilitated with a private bathroom, TV (local channels, but many channels have English movies, as well as English news), and they all have a terrace facing the lake. It’s nice to get up early in the morning, head to the terrace, and see the sun rise behind the foggy lake.
A family room for a warmer stay
At night, the cold wind blows hard and the wind chill may bring the temperature down to as low as 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), and in such a low temperature I think you will need a heater instead of an AC. If you have more people with you, or if you simply need a warmer room, you can stay in a family room for 665,000 IDR (50.53 USD), which has a separate living room with a fireplace. At anytime you want you can ask a staff member to burn some firewood, provided by the hotel.
Feed monkeys in the evening
Have you been staying in the hotel all day long and you don’t know what to do? Don’t worry as you can do something so unusual here that you may in fact have never done it before in your life, that is to feed monkeys! The area around Sarangan Lake is surrounded by thick forests where lots of macaque monkeys are known to live. In the evening, some monkeys from the nearby forests come to the hotels in this area, and the Sarangan Hotel is no exception. The monkeys come from every direction hoping to get food from you. Always close your door and windows as they may come in and steal your biscuits or orange juice!
Go to the lake for a boat ride, souvenirs and satay
Alternatively, you can head to the lake either for a walk or to take a boat ride around the 20-hectare (49.42 acre) lake, which costs 60,000 IDR (4.57 USD). If you bring kids with you, they will be happy to ride a pony around the lake (it costs 50,000 IDR/3.81 USD). For lunch or dinner, you can have the local delicacy of the grilled skewered meat (satay, or sate in Indonesian), served with a steamed rice cake named ‘lontong’ from one of the satay hawkers. Trust me, the aroma and sweet peanut gravy will make you long for it after leaving Sarangan! There are also shops selling local souvenirs, such as batik (clothes with Javanese painting art on it) and the carvings of women wearing a traditional blouse called a ‘kebaya’.
One of the best hotels in Sarangan
Wi-Fi is only accessible from the lobby, and there is a ping-pong table near the lobby you can use. Although it’s not a luxury hotel, all staff members are friendly and helpful. Make sure you ask for a baby cot if you bring a baby as they have several of them for their guests. This is simply one of the best hotels around the lake, but with a competitive price. So, consider staying here when you happen to be in Solo or its surrounding area.