This Indonesian city is Java’s most significant port. Its culture displays elements of its Dutch colonial past, but there’s also a buzzing Chinatown and an Arab Quarter, each providing its own identity within Surabaya. Visit the 15th-century Ampel Mosque, the Tugu Pahlawan Heroes Monument and the city’s oldest church, Gereja Santa Perawan Maria. Shop at the Tunjungan Plaza and the Galaxy Mall and cross the impressive National bridge. And sample some Tahu Tek in one of the authentic local restaurants. Here are the best hotels to stay in Surabaya.
The Westin Surabaya
Stay in East Java’s highest hotel, with unmatched views that take in the tops of skyscrapers down to the network of canals (cocktails at sunset in its Sky Lounge are a must). Attached to Indonesia’s biggest mall, it’s a paradise for shoppers. But there’s also a strong emphasis on retreat at The Westin, with a wellness programme and spa services, along with a peaceful outdoor pool surrounded by trees and overlooking palace grounds. Guests can dine in Magnolia restaurant on an array of international cuisine, and enjoy large bedrooms and impeccable service.
JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya
Take a cooling dip in the long, river-style freeform pool at the JW Marriott, or laze on a lounger beside a palm tree at its side. Everything here feels lush; from the generously planted little man-made island within the pool to the conservatory-style Pavilion dining room with indoor trees and plants. Another restaurant has a live cooking station, and there’s a health club, salon and a gym onsite. King-size, twin, one and two-bedded suites are available, with teepees provided for younger families, adding a little magic for tots’ stays. The top-end Chairman Suite boasts incredible views and its own grand piano.
Just 20 minutes from the airport and in the centre of town, the Shangri-La is a great choice for those travelling with children, but in need of some sophistication. A sizeable freeform pool has a slide (for use by kids and big kids), and there’s a playground and a programme of activities to entertain younger travellers. The hotel has three tennis courts, multiple dining outlets, cabanas, a full-service spa and its own nightclub, so you never need to leave, other than to explore the many historic sites on the doorstep. Book a club-level room for access to the club lounge.