Lonely Planet's picks for the best hotel and hostel accommodation in Indonesia.
In every travel guide it publishes, Lonely Planet chooses a few of the best hotels and restaurants in the destination and gives it an extra recommendation: "Our pick".
As written in the new 2010 edition of its Indonesia guide, here are the hotels that Lonely Planet has picked:
(Where applicable, follow the links for more information on the hotel or its location.)
MALUKU / NORTH MALUKU
PAPUA / WEST PAPUA
I generally respect Lonely Planet and its opinions, especially after reading the story of its creation:
"Unlikely Destinations - the Lonely Planet story"
written by its founders: Tony and Maureen Wheeler
However, after looking through the list, I ask myself a few questions, like:
- What, aren't there any nice hotels in Jakarta?
As the capital city, Jakarta probably has the most hotels of any province/region of Indonesia, except perhaps Bali. Yet, none of them apparently makes the grade to be an "our pick".
Marco Polo Hotel, Jakarta
Possibly it might be because most of the places reviewed are budget losmen/hostels and guesthouses, many in the vicinity of the
infamous Jl Jaksa.
one of the most luxurious hotels in Jakarta,
with e.g. in-room butler service
However, luxury hotels in Indonesia are often cheaper than their peers in Singapore or Hong Kong, let alone e.g. Australia, Japan, Europe. So, it isn't like most visitors - readers of Lonely Planet guides included - can't afford them.
Plus, after a long flight (and possibly almost as long a wait to buy a tourist visa), visitors are perhaps more willing to splash out a bit on a hotel than they otherwise might be.
- How come so few hotels in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra were picked?
Looking through the guidebook more closely, it doesn't seem as though the hotels in these regions are all bad. But, if so, it doesn't seem clear what makes the difference between a positive review and an "our pick".
On the other hand, it is clear the LP reviewers don't have a quota of "our picks" they have to give per province/island/region, and therefore they aren't just giving them to anyone.
While I have travelled a bit in Indonesia - 11 provinces so far - I haven't stayed at any of the places listed above. So, I am wondering:
1. Are these hotels worthy? If you have stayed at one of LP's "our picks", please share your experiences.
2. Are there other hotels - especially those not reviewed by Lonely Planet - that are also particularly good (or bad)? Please list your recommendations (and/or warnings); either below or, where possible, please consider writing a review via the IM Hotels page or hotel list page using these guidelines.