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Top Indonesia Hotels


Indonesia The ebb and flow of troubles that have washed over the Indonesian archipelago for much of the last five years reached their apogee with the terrorist bombings in Bali in October 2002. In the wake of the financial crash of the late 1990s, government shenanigans in Jakarta and unrest in the remainder of the country, the attack was the last thing that Indonesia needed. At the time of writing, international advisories still warned against non-essential travel to Indonesia, and the decision to go there remains very much a personal choice. That this is a source of regret cannot be overstated, as the country's 13,00 0-plus islands, strung from Sumatra in the west to Irian Jaya in the east, make up one of the most fascinating parts of Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 years ago traders from as far away China were sailing to the spice islands of Indonesia, and the same commodity drew Europeans as early as the 16th century. Dutch colonialists subsequently gained a strong foothold in the country, and - after the Japanese occupation during World War II - Indonesia only finally achieved independence in 1949 after several years of armed struggle. The decades that followed were marked by a gradual prosperity, interspersed with some domestic upheavals, and tourism only started to take off in the late 1960s, with Bali leading the way, as it has done ever since. First port of call for many visitors is the capital, Jakarta, a maelstrom of a metropolis which acts as a magnet for Indonesians from all over the country who have come to look for work. Bandung, a lovely art deco city which the Dutch planned as an alternative capital, sits in the hills to the east, while further across Java are stunning man-made wonders like the 1,000-year-old Buddhist temple of Borobudur and natural marvels like the dormant volcanic Mount Bromo. The Hindu enclave of Bali, most tellingly described as "The Morning of the World", remains perhaps the most picturesque and intriguing of all the Indonesian islands, while further east Lombok and Flores are less developed but still hold many attractions for holidaymakers. Komodo is famed for its giant lizards, cunningly marketed as "dragons", while divers tend to flock to Sulawesi, and in particular to Manado, where Bunaken Island is ranked as one of the top underwater sites in the world. More difficult to get to, the Bandas also have some superb coral reefs as well as a number of statuesque colonial forts. Sumatra, whose oil, rubber, pepper and coffee contribute largely to the Indonesian economy, has one of the country's most diverse ethnic populations. Irian Jaya remains very much the "wild east", however its trekking opportunities through the little travelled hinterland cannot be matched. With a wealth of culture, natural beauty and marine sporting facilities, Indonesia has all the potential to become one of the region's top tourist destinations. Families travelling here will find their children are greeted with special warmth, providing an instant entre to the local community. The phrase "paradise resort" has been used so frequently it has almost lost its currency, but it really does apply to some of Indonesia's top-flight accommodation. Aman is the name that most obviously springs to mind, with three properties in Bali and two elsewhere, and the country's major destinations all host some very acceptable 5-stars. Not that you always need to shell out top dollar, as inexpensive labour leads to high staffing levels and many of the intermediate hotels can be guaranteed to provide extremely comfortable stays. Perhaps the best value of all, Indonesia's guesthouses, or losmen, are often family run and very hospitable. Straddling the equator, Indonesia has two main seasons - wet between October and April, and dry for the rest of the year, with slight geographical variations. The wet season is by no means unbearable, as storms tend to come in sudden bursts and once they have subsided it will be dry for the rest of the day. The Christmas holiday season traditionally attracts a horde of visitors from Australia and the rest of the world. Still, the political climate is what will really be affecting visitor's plans and it is only to be hoped for that it will stablise soon. More...

Visas

Effective 1 February 2004, nationals of these countries who are going on holiday and/or are attending conventions are allowed to stay in Indonesia of up to 30 days without visa.

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Visas on arrival can be obtained for the nationals of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The cost of visa on arrival is USD10 for up to 3 days stay / 4 days to 30 days is USD25 and extensions are charged at USD20 per day.

All visitors must have a passport valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry as well as a return or ongoing ticket. Nationals from countries not listed above and those wishing to check the ever changing visarequirements shouldcontact your nearest Indonesian Embassy or representative office.

Customs

There are no restrictions on the amounts of foreign currency that can be taken into/out of Indonesia. However, you cannot import or export more than Rp5million. The total cost of gifts taken into the country must not exceed US$100.

Visitors may take the following into Indonesia duty free:

  • 1-week stay:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 100g of tobacco
  • 2-week stay:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars or 200g of tobacco
  • 3-weeks and over:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 600 cigarettes, 150 cigars or 300g of tobacco

Time

  • Eastern Indonesia (Iryan Jaya & Maluka): GMT + 9 hours
  • Central Indonesia (Bali, East Timor, East & South Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara): GMT + 8 hours
  • Western Indonesia (Central Kalimantan, Jakarta, Java, Sumatra): GMT + 7 hours

Currency

  • Rupiah (Rp) - Check current exchange rates
  • 1 Rupiah = 100 sen.
  • Notes issued: Rp50,000, Rp20,000, Rp10,000, Rp5,000, Rp1,000, Rp500, Rp100
  • Coins issued: Rp1,000, Rp500, Rp100, Rp50

Visitors are advised that currency that has been written on, looks scruffy or is generally older in appearance may not be accepted by establishments. Some guests have also noted that US dollar notes printed prior to 1997 will also not be accepted in Bali.

Tipping

A Government Tax of 11% is added to bills and many restaurants and larger hotels also add a 10% service charge. Additional tipping is optional and 5-10% of the bill is acceptable. Tip porters at your hotel or the airport around Rp2,000 per bag.

Banking Hours

  • Monday to Friday 8.00am to 3.00pm
  • Some larger banks are open on Saturday from 8.00am to 12.00pm

Language

Bahasa Indonesian is the official language, however numerous local languages are spoken throughout the islands, which vary according to different dialects. English is widely understood in tourist areas and to a very limited extent in rural areas.

Telephone

The international dialling code for Indonesia is 62

When making international telephone calls from Indonesia, first dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number

Local Telephone Codes

Balikpapan (Borneo) 052
Batam 0778
Bekasi (West Java) 021
Bintan 0771
Jakarta 021
Lombok 0370
Manado (Sulawesi) 0431
Medan 061
South Bali (Denpasar, Kuta, Ubud) 0361
Sumatra 0628
Surabaya 031
Ujung Padang (Sulawesi) 0411
Yogyakarta 0274

Electricity

220V AC 50 cycles is most common, however smaller hotels and rural areas tend to use 110V. It's best to double check before plugging anything in. A torch is a useful item to have as power cuts do occur.

Plugs are two round pin.

Water

Tap water is not safe to drink and ice cubes should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available.

Health

Reasonable medical facilities are available in major towns but once outside these areas, medical services tend to be very poor. Make sure that you have adequate health insurance that covers evacuation and consider inoculations against typhoid, cholera, Japanese encephalitis and hepatitis. There is a risk of malaria in many parts of Indonesia and it is recommended that you take advice regarding anti-malarials. It is always best to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.

International Airports

  • Bali - Ngurah Rai
  • Borneo - Balikpapan
  • Jakarta - Soekarno Hatta
  • Medan - Polonia

International Airport Departure Tax

Rp50,000

Domestic Airports

There are numerous domestic airports all over Indonesia providing a vast network of travel options. In addition to the above, the more popular destinations include the following:

  • Batam
  • Manado (Sulawesi)
  • Surabaya
  • Ujung Padang (Sulawesi)
  • Yogyakarta

Domestic Airport Departure Tax

Rp11,000

Etiquette/Dress Code

Dress is informal in Indonesia but try to wear unrevealing clothes at all times as a mark of respect to the country's predominantly Muslim values. Beach attire is tolerated around the resort areas but outside these regions bearing flesh is considered immodest.

Visitors to temples are expected to wear a sash (you can normally rent these if you don't have one) and women should make sure that their arms and head are covered before entering.

Public displays of affection are frowned upon and it is considered impolite to point. Avoid patting children on the head and do not use your left hand when giving or receiving. As with most Asian countries, it is best to try not to lose your temper. Confrontation is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation.

Diplomatic Missions

Many countries have representative offices and consulates in Indonesia

Further Information

Further information on Indonesian culture and tourist attractions.

  • Travelling in Indonesia

Weather

Situated astride the equator, Indonesia experiences a tropical climate.

  • Wet Season: November - April
  • Dry Season: May - October

Temperatures are hotter along the coast and more moderate at higher elevations. Humidity remains high with a yearly average of 70-90%.

Rainfall can occur at any time of the year but is higher in the mountainous areas where there is very little distinction between the wet and dry seasons.

Central Indonesia is the driest area.

Due to its southerly position, Indonesia is not prone to cyclones or typhoons but thunderstorms are quite common.

Carry a lightweight jumper as it can be chillingly cold inside air-conditioned buildings.

Note! HAZE - In recent years Indonesia has suffered from the phenomena known in Asia as "Haze". Caused in part by forest fires and out of control "slash and burn" practices in both Indonesia and Malaysia - late Summer/early Autumn have seen sunny skies obscured for days and poor air quality. Haze is difficult to predict, however efforts are being made to prevent a recurrence of the severe hazes of 1996 and 1997.

Western Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 22 - 31°C 380mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 31°C 316mm

Central Kalimantan, Jakarta, Java, Sumatra

Primarily due to the elevation of much of the land, this is the wettest region of Indonesia. Rain is common year round with no real distinction between the wet and dry seasons. Temperatures remain constant throughout, although warmer clothes are required in the mountainous regions where temperatures can drop well below the average.

Best time to visit: Between June and September when rainfall tends to be marginally lower.

Central Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 23 - 30°C 217mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 31°C 83mm

Bali, East Timor, East & South Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi

This area remains hot and humid year round, with temperatures holding at around 30°C.

The western monsoon brings the heaviest rain between December and March - rain normally falls in intense showers for a short period only.

Moving closer to the mountains, skies become cloudier and showers more frequent but the climate is always pleasant. In the higher climes, temperatures fall and visitors will definitely need either a sweater or jacket after sunset.

Best time to visit: April to September, as rainfall is much lighter - although this is the busiest time for visitors.

Eastern Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 24 - 31°C 260mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 28°C 147mm

Iryan Jaya, Maluka

Most of the recorded rain falls in the mountainous regions, hence coastal areas can actually be drier. An umbrella is always useful, as are warmer clothes if intending to visit the mountains as temperatures can drop - particularly during the night. Elsewhere, temperatures remain hot and humid and lightweight clothing is advisable.

Best time to visit: During the Dry Season when rainfall is lower.

Featured Indonesia Hotels

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Atlet Century Park Hotel Jakarta

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Le Meridien Hotel Jakarta

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Hyatt Regency Hotel Yogyakarta

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Ibis Malioboro Hotel Yogyakarta

Ibis Malioboro Hotel Yogyakarta

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Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort

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Location Encompassed in spectacular lush tropical gardens, this resort is located... More...

 
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Novotel Hotel Yogyakarta

Novotel Hotel Yogyakarta

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Diwangkara Holiday Villa Beach Resort Sanur

Diwangkara Holiday Villa Beach Resort Sanur

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Novotel Benoa Bali

Novotel Benoa Bali

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Location Nestled on the edge of Nusa Dua, the Novotel Benoa Bali overlooks the... More...

 
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Ramada Resort Benoa Bali

Ramada Resort Benoa Bali

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Indonesia Travellers Tales

janet czekirda
8/28/2005

Melia Hotel is situated in Nusa Dua. You can find restaurants and shops outside the complex of Nusa Dua but these are limited. To travel elsewhere means taking a taxi. We booked a car and guide (via the hotel - Bali Taksu) and visited the Volcano Batur as well as the Barong Dance, Celuk village , Batuan painters, and Sebatu rice terraces. The guide - Made - was really a great source of info but allowed us to do change the itinerary if we wanted. This is a great way to see Bali if you do not know where to go or what to see. It can be more expensive than hiring your own car but was good for us as we had not been to Bali before.


edward bagnall
8/21/2005

We strongly recommend Gado Gado restaurant on Seminyak beach. Wonderful food, very friendly and helpful staff and a dramatic view of high seas at night.


michael brosda
8/2/2005

The hotel is near the National Museum which is very informative about the Indonesian history, also for shopping Plaza Indonesia is just 5 minutes away by car. But of course you need to be careful, not to forget to lock the car anywhere you go as crime rate is quite high in Jakarta.


michael brosda
7/30/2005
Stayed at: Melia Benoa Bali

For beautiful sunset, go to Tanah Lot, see the sunset from Le Meridien Nirwana lounge. For a nice restaurant of local food, you can go to Bumbu Bali in Benoa. To go around you can rent a car with a driver, it''s easier if you know which places to go although your driver can recommend you also. And don''t forget to take the Bali Hai dinner cruise, it''s unforgettable.


Anonymous
7/30/2005

I would definitely advise you to eat at a Jazz restaurant across the road from the hotel. The food is absolutely fantastic, the drinks are great and they also have a band who come on at 10pm every night and they rock. We loved this place so much that we went back twice. The food and drink are excellent value. I would definitely recommend this place - quite the little gem that we stumbled across.


dominique lecoq
7/23/2005

Don''t forget to have a look on the chinese district. Zoo is ok althought maintenance could be improved. Surabaya is not a touristic place as Yogyakarta or somme other places on Java.


ai lian lim
7/20/2005

The hotel location is strategic as there are many shops around the hotel. It is just few minutes walk to reach the shops and Legian Beach. There are many taxi just outside the hotel. You can easily get taxi to the place you like. At night, you can have dinner at Joni Restaurant, just 5 minutes walk from Balisani Padma Hotel. It is a pool side restaurant and they have a life band. Therefore, you are having dinner and enjoying the performance of life band at the same time. It is very nice!!!! Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple are 2 temples must go to visit. Dreamland beach is nice for surfers. Kintamani Volcano scenery is really really GREAT! Do not forget to try Crispy Duck and Babi Guling (pork). For people who likes to shop, Denpasar and Ubud pasar are a must! Things there are really cheap (don''t forget to bargain)!!! The shops along the road on the way to Kintamani have lots of nice and cheap stuff.


Anonymous
7/18/2005

Take the Full Day car rental (included driver) at the hotel. The driver is well trained and could take you from Borobudur to Prambanan to Traditional dances and shopping. For US$50 net it was well worth it. For a local tour near the hotel area, take the becak outside the hotel with the "Melia Purosani" painted on the side. Very friendly and helpful.


Anonymous
7/17/2005

Would recommend Lana thai restaurant in CBD near Mandarin Oriential and Cafe Batavia on Kota, both good food and atmosphere.


michelle mallinson
7/16/2005
Stayed at:

Lombok looks like it has seen better days. Many buildings in the Senggigi area look vacant and are a bit run down and there seems to be a growing problem with the amount of trash scattered around. Having said that, Lombok is a big island and once you get away from the "touristy" areas, you will find beautiful beaches and lovely scenery. We stayed at a great little hotel, Qunci Villas. If you are looking for white sand and a beautiful beach, this is not the place for you as the beach is small in front of the hotel, has darker lava sand, and has been overtaken by some fairly aggressive beach hawkers. But if you enjoy sipping two-for-one priced happy hour drinks at the pool while watching the sun set behind Bali''s Mount Agung, you might want to reconsider! Good trade-off would be to stay there and then take some day trips to more secluded beaches and islands. A visit to snorkel around the Gilis is a must, and we heard from other travelers that mountain biking the island''s interior was a great experience.


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