While traveling, finding the right accommodation can be like finding the right person to date – you set certain selection criteria in the process based on experience whether you realize it or not. Throughout my travels in 2016, I’ve experienced staying in really good accommodations and really crappy ones which have made me set certain criteria that would help me choose an accommodation over the others. These criteria include:
- Safety. There should be a functioning lock, emergency exits, no other people apart from the staff and guests hanging out on the hotel grounds.
- Comfort. Basically, I need to be able to fall asleep easily in the hotel and there should be a water heater since I always spend all day outside and come back to my accommodation to shower late at night.
- Cleanliness. I’m very fussy about this because I’m really allergic to dust and I don’t want breakouts while traveling. The bed and everything on it should be clean, the room shouldn’t be dusty, the plumbing needs to work, the shower and sink need to be clean, and there shouldn’t be any bugs in the room (except if you’re staying in the middle of a jungle)
Here are some accommodations I stayed in last year that went above and beyond in terms of safety, comfort, and cleanliness while having other sweet additions as well that I think you should stay in this year.
1. The Kresna Hotel, Yogyakarta
Although this hotel is small, it was the coziest hotel I’ve ever stayed in and I instantly felt like home there. The hotel was previously a house in the colonial days and kept its architecture and layout. They’ve modernized the interior really well but kept the rooms looking like what a typical Indonesian bedroom would look like.
Maybe it’s the way the bedrooms are designed or the pillows being so comfortable to sleep on or the air conditioner temperature being just right, but I had the best sleep I’ve ever had in the hotel’s Superior Double Room. I slept at midnight and woke up at around 9 AM feeling really well-rested.
My favorite part in the hotel is its common room which has a TV on and a book shelf filled with local lifestyle magazines and novels from all over the world which was interesting to read. The hotel is also connected to VOC Cafe next door – a very artsy cafe great for writing. The cafe closes at 10 PM and once the staff told me that they’re closing, I went back to the common room to write some more and watch UFC only to be joined by the staff not too long afterwards. We basically bonded over watching people hitting each other on TV which was very interesting. The staff were also really helpful during check-in and check-out and the cleaning staff are very thorough in doing their job because they literally clean every nook and cranny of the rooms.
I had breakfast at VOC Cafe the next morning and found that guests could rent motorbikes or bicycles at the hotel as well. There wasn’t a lot of choice when it comes to breakfast, but the stuff available was really good.
Although it’s small, for a price of IDR300.000 a night, I got more than my money’s worth and the quality of sleep I got there made me want to come back again. I can’t seem to find a flaw with this hotel yet except for the really open gates and unguarded access to and from VOC Cafe and whether you’re a traveler who likes to chill at the hotel or someone who wants to explore a lot and come back there just to sleep, it’s a great place to stay in.
- Safety: +++
- Comfort: +++++
- Cleanliness: +++++
- Other perks: common room with TV & books, great cafe next door, bike rental, friendly staff members
The Kresna Hotel | Jl. D. I. Panjaitan No. 52 Yogyakarta, Mantrijeron, 55141 Yogyakarta, Indonesia | (+62274) 373303
2. Harris Resort Waterfront, Batam
Batam is more commonly known as one of Indonesia’s resort islands and Harris Resort Waterfront is one of the more family-friendly resorts on the island. Living up to its youthful, family-oriented brand image, the resort is extremely bright in color schemes and filled with facilities to do pretty much every fun thing you can do. The resort complex is huge with a ginormous swimming pool, rooftop zipline, sports bar, Italian restaurant, ping pong tables, karaoke rooms, archery range, ATV track, private beach, air soft gun shooting range, half a basketball court, gym, putting green, in-house minimart, and a spa for adults as well as another for babies. My family and I literally stayed inside the resort because there was so much we could do – though some activities cost additional charges.
We stayed in the resort’s cabana room which is located in a separate cottage by the sea. The room is incredibly large with a huge bed, a bathroom with a tub, a sofa-bed, and outdoor porch serving as a brilliant place to write. It also has two doors – one leading to the cottage and another one to the room. We also got a special DIY-barbecue package for Christmas which included pre-marinated chicken, sausages, fish, mashed potatoes, and corn.
Everywhere in the room was really comfy to sleep on that night, even the huge sofa bed! Even though the hotel’s facilities are abundant, one thing I didn’t like about the resort was its check-in and check-out which took literally an hour because the housekeeping staff needed a long time to clean out the room. Also, the resort is pretty far from the city center and taxi fares as well as snacks and water prices are jacked up way too high. (IDR36.000 for 1.5 liters of water and IDR138.000 for a 30-minute taxi ride – what the hell?) But if you’re looking for a place to stay and just chill in Batam, this is where you need to go.
- Safety: ++++
- Comfort: ++++
- Cleanliness: ++++
- Other perks: plenty of facilities to be enjoyed for free, friendly and responsive staff members, really good food, abundant breakfast choices, there’s a gokart track next to it.
Harris Resort Waterfront, Batam | Jl.KH.Ahmad Dahlan, Tj. Riau, Sekupang, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia | (+62778) 381888
3. 1000 Miles Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
I got really sick in Kuala Lumpur and the hotel I stayed in at the time was this 1000 Miles near KLCC. But honestly, I’m grateful that this hotel was where I slept in at because it’s a really comfortable and safe place for sleeping in.
To enter the hotel, guests need to press a button that opens the door and they’ll be welcomed to the homey common room with a TV on one side and PCs at another. If you check in in the afternoon, chances are you’ll be checked in by this one reception guy who’s really adorable and has the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen. Checking in was really smooth and you’ll be given a map of KL upon arrival. You can also get water for RM2 at the reception and the wifi password. Even though there’s no breakfast at the hotel, they actually give guests free toast and cereal if you want them and free coffee and tea 24/7. There’s also a business center with super fast internet and a baggage keeping room there.
The rooms were really tiny with super small space between the bed and the TV and towel racks. The bathroom’s really nice and clean though and the beds were comfortable. Clearly, the hotel is a place for travelers who just want to have a place to sleep at the end of the day. What’s interesting is that even though there’s a lock on the door, keeping the door unlocked is actually quite safe too. I kept the door unlocked while sleeping so my mom could walk in and out of the room with food or meds and it was fine.
What I didn’t really like about the hotel is its location because it turned out that the area is pretty shady and there was some discomforting stares from people as we walked around. The streets also get really dark at night which may not seem the safest to walk on. But it’s also really close to Masjid Jamek LRT station and some street food stalls too, so if you’re a traveler who’s just going to spend the day outside and come back here at the end of the day, this is where you can stay in KL.
- Safety: ++++
- Comfort: +++++
- Cleanliness: ++++
1000 Miles Hotel, Kuala Lumpur | 19, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | +60 3-2022 3333
4. Hotel Ciputra, Semarang
As one of the best Indonesian five-star hotel chains in the country, it’s no surprise that my stay at Hotel Ciputra Semarang turned out to be one of my favorite. Attached to Mall Ciputra Semarang at Simpang Lima, it’s easy to access the mall from the hotel and go to any other part of Semarang from there. Everything about the hotel screamed “luxury”, especially the bar at the lobby which looked like somewhere all those fancy-dressed people would go to.
I stayed at the most basic room in the hotel and it was the second most fancy room I’ve ever stayed in – only losing out to The Phoenix Yogyakarta. The floor was carpeted, the bed really comfy, and even the headboard looked like it was made of velvet. The bathroom has a bath tub and is entirely made of marble. I had a really good sleep that night and when I woke up the next morning, there was the morning paper hung on my door handle which made me feel like I was someone important.
What I didn’t like about this hotel was the shady sidewalk in front of it. There were some Jehovah’s Witnesses, scantily-dressed cigarette sellers, and beggars asking for money. Also, people can come in and out of the hotel from the access door to the mall really easily during daytime. But still, Hotel Ciputra deserves its reputation as one of the most luxurious hotels in Semarang. If you’re a fan of luxury travel and want to stay in a posh, classy hotel in Central Java, this should be a great option for you.
- Safety: +++
- Comfort: +++++
- Cleanliness: ++++
- Other perks: a swimming pool, easy access to Simpang Lima, access door to Mall Ciputra, fancy bar, newspaper delivery every morning.
Hotel Ciputra Semarang | Jl. Simpang Lima No.1, Pekunden, Semarang Tengah, Kota Semarang, Jawa Tengah , Indonesia | (+6224) 8449888