The East Java town of Malang is soaked in history and surrounded by nature. The town is full of colonial houses from the Dutch era but close by are soaring mountains and endless plantations. It is a cool and breezy town where air-conditioning is not necessary.

Tugu Malang located at the very centre of the town, is an astonishing maze of art, culture and hospitality.  It is magnificent in its proportions. Photo by Alistair Speirs/NOW!JAKARTA

Tugu Malang located at the very centre of the town, is an astonishing maze of art, culture and hospitality. Everywhere you look are beautiful objects including in the wonderful bed rooms – with the most wonderful of all being the Apsara Suite, named after the dancers of gods, kings and knights. It is magnificent in its proportions, with a private spa, an indoor garden and a 3.5m canopy bed. Luxury and romance indeed.

But the rest of the hotel is equally impressive with an astonishing variety of public rooms: The Sugar Baron Room, The Silk Road and The Babah Room, The Red Chamber of The Javanese Regent, and this is before we reach The Melati Restaurant, The Roti Tugu Bakery, The Tugu Tea House, The Ban Lam Wine Shop and Bar, The Keraton Ballroom and the huge Sahara open air theatre! It is a mini-city of culture.

The restaurants.
The spa and the lobby lounge.

The brand new Saigonsan Restaurant has been added at the rear of the property (and is reviewed separately in this magazine), but in addition there is the Lost temple and the Aspara Spa where you can find true relaxation.

Activities include cooking classes poolside, a flower arranging course, a jamu (traditional medicine) class, a sarong course and bicycle tours of Malang.

If you are not feeling that energetic why not tour Malang by becak, the traditional pedicab of Java? Or head out to the mountain plantations to see where some of the world’s best coffee is grown. And by the way the Tugu Shop is stocked with pure organic products and delicacies you will not find elsewhere.

The food stall offer Indonesian traditional cuisine and snacks.

To finish off your day head to one of the most romantic and atmospheric bars anywhere in the world, enjoy a quality wine and listen to – not gamelan – but jazz!

Tugu Malang is truly a destination all on its own.

Alistair Speirs

Alistair Speirs

Alistair has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for 25 years. He started NOW! Magazines as the region’s preferred community magazine.