Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 10 April 2013 • Destination
Malang has been in my to-visit list for quite long, but I’ve never got around to go there, except for a few hours when I was transiting in Surabaya. Just a few weeks ago, Indohoy was invited to attend the grand launch of Harris Hotel Malang (or Harris Hotel & Conventions, the official name) in Malang. Boy, was I excited! Finally, Malang! But there was something I had to make sure of…
Me: Hey Mumun, do you wanna go to Harris Hotel Malang for the launch?
Mumun: Nah, you can go, cos I’m going to Lasem* that weekend.
Me: Awesome! Yay!!
The trip started with a 1.5-hour delayed flight by Sriwijaya Air. We arrived at Abdul Rahman Saleh Airport, Malang, at about 3 pm. The hotel’s driver picked us up and the ride to the hotel took only about 20 minutes. While checking in, I munched on the welcome drink and cookies while checking out the spacious lobby with vintage designed tiles and a view to their 3 swimming pools. Wow! One infinity pool, one kiddie pool, and one pool with a slide. I’d been to Harris hotels in Jakarta, but Harris Hotel Malang is fancier!
I canceled my plan to roam about town that afternoon because our free time was trimmed down by the delay, plus I was beat. So after a yummy lunch at the H Café, I went straight to my room. The bed with soft mattress and clean white sheet was really inviting me to snuggle serenaded by the drizzling rain. Looking out the window, I saw the staff was busy preparing for the grand opening event around the swimming pool area.
The Harris Room here is designed slightly different from their previous establishments, like the layout and the bed’s headboard. The overall style is pretty much the same; simple and efficient. Just the way I like it. Hm, after seeing what they’ve done with Harris Hotel Malang, I wonder what the Harris Bukit Jimbaran in Bali will be like.. *hint: it’s opening soon!
Though there’s no bathtub, I’m a happy costumer ‘cos a hairdryer is provided. And as today’s child, I expected a good wi-fi connection and international TV channels in the room, and they’ve also got them! Hooray!
The press conference started at 6 pm in the huge ballroom, continued with the grand launch party at the pool area. The whole party was merry and colorful like a carnival. There were games like shooting darts and hitting cans, a mime act, percussion show, video mapping and of course, an abundance of food!
I took some time off of the party and walked around the hotel just to see what the rest of it was like. The corridors were all the same on every floor, broken white and brownish tone combined with vintage motif tiles.
There are other types of rooms, like Sky Room and Suite, but I didn’t get to see them. Prices range from IDR 498,000 – 578,000 for Harris Room (depending on the season), exclude breakfast. You can get your brekkie for IDR 85,000 / person. Seriously, not bad at all for a 4-star hotel!
Location wise, it’s pretty good. Only about 15 minutes drive from downtown and half an hour from the famous Batu highland. Strangely –for me – the hotel is built within an elite housing complex, 5-10 minutes drive from the main gate. It’s a really nice neighborhood with well-maintained gardens and asphalted a bit hilly roads, great for light biking.
I borrowed a bike from the hotel and for a ride around the complex. However, I was approached twice by the security staff. Turns out, non-residents weren’t allowed to take pictures outside the immediate area of Harris Hotel, and there was also a restricted area for non-resident near the hotel. Hm, that was a bit of mood dropper, but, well, one’s gotta respect others’ privacy at their home area.
Although a paid trip, the truth is I’ve always liked Harris Hotel. I had my first stay in a Harris hotel in Tebet, Jakarta, about 5 years ago, visiting my Mom who was in town for a conference. That was my first experience in a hotel with a minimalist design, and the staff looked sporty in their orange polo shirts. It’s not something you see a lot in Indonesia. As a fan of casualness, I dug it right away!
So now I’ve been telling my friends, especially those who travel with their kids, about Malang Harris hotel. I do think it’s worth the penny, and even I could afford it if I was to check in with a roommate. It’s not quite backpacker friendly cos no public transport reaches the hotel location, but you could rent a bike, a car, or have taxis called for you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help to the staff, cos they’re all friendly and helpful. They might even surprise you with the ‘cheers’ greet and welcome dance with the dinosaur!
Ph: +62 341 2992 299, fax: +62 341 2992 288
*Turned out, Mumun didn’t manage to go to Lasem. She stayed and partied hard in Jakarta instead.
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