If you one day have to go alone to Surabaya while know nothing about this trade city, don’t worry. Initially, you can use Google Earth to figure out the “face” of Surabaya in real time. Then about accommodation, looking for a hotel is never be difficult there. Novotel, Hyatt, Sheraton, J.W. Marriot, Shangri-La, just name it. You’ll easily find those brands. But how do you find a hotel that suits your wallet?
There wouldn’t be any problem when you already know one or some. You just need to dig information from its official website, e.g. www.countryheritagehotel.com, and make reservation online if such service is available. But, what if you really don’t have any clue?
Then visit the websites who particularly handle something like that. Hotels Combined, one of the examples. This is sort of search engine you can use freely to find hotel availability and rates, and to compare prices and offers from multiple merchants, in real time. For hotels in Surabaya, click here directly.
But you must understand, website like that excludes small hotels. Commonly, because small hotels do not have any website, moreover with sophisticated system.
So, if you also need to know about that kind of hotel, here I brief describe it manually. I’m sure you (even the internet) almost never heard the names like Pregolan, Himalaya, Cemara, Malam Pertama, Permata, Pandegiling, etc. Yup, those are jasmine class hotels. We name it jasmine because they are small yet fragrant, like a jasmine flower.
Its price is far below the normal, as low as its facilities. If ordinary hotel’s price is about 500,000 IDR (1 US$ = about 9,000 IDR), Pregolan Hotel which located in heart of city charges you only 175,000. What you’ll get are a room with an air conditioning (AC), one bed, local-national channels on TV 20 inch, and one bathroom.
Meanwhile in Pandegiling Hotel, we can get a room with a fan by spending 50,000. Lestari Hotel (at Demak street) charges you 25,000 for the same facilities. Super cheap? Oh, not so fast. At Kenjeran, for an air conditioned room with one bad, bathroom and modest guest room, we just need to spend not more than 37,000!
In the midst of all these limits, still a few jasmine hotels are trying hard to keep the quality of service and facilities. It is visible in Pregolan Hotel: Quiet clean, and every of its facilities works. The same as we can see in Cemara Hotel (at Ahmad Yani street) who sets the fare 150,000 for a good room.
Unhappily, when I checked Kenjeran Hotel whose price is 25,000, it was different story. There were stupid graffiti on its wall, some of them are pornographic. In Lestari Hotel too. I wonder why didn’t they just paint it away. An employee of a jasmine hotel who didn’t want her name being published equivocated, “The owner itself has ordered us to expend things as minimum as possible. He said it’s for our hotel’s survival.”
But don’t get it wrong. Those hotels do survive, regardless their poor facilities. How come? An occupant of Pregolan Hotel uttered, “Firstly, circumstance here is pretty tranquil, whereas in fact we’re in the middle of Surabaya. And secondly, the cost is not making my pocket yell out, hahaha.”
My finding of others jasmines’ occupants didn’t show any significant variation of reason. Almost always: Cheap, cheap and cheap!
I don’t know how “big” your wallet is. But in my opinion occupy a jasmine isn’t bad idea, especially when you come to Surabaya not due to a business trip (which surely required an image). Try it. But don’t ever think about any spa, fitness room, wi-fi, either Fashion TV channel. [with the contribution of Iksan]
NB: The prices above are before the 2008’s first semester augmentation of oil price. Estimate the 30% increasing of each.