Indonesia

Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in Indonesia.

Bawah Island – The ultimate private hideaway

Bawah Island – The Ultimate Private Hideaway

Move over Maldives – there’s a new over-water paradise on the scene. Opened just last month, Bawah island in Indonesia’s untouched Anambas archipelago is a quintessential Castaway island that’s just waiting to be discovered.

A two-hour journey from Singapore; the resort is accessed by private seaplane, following a ferry ride from Singapore to Batam. While it may sound like a trek to get there, you’ll need to trust US When we say it’s worth the effort.

Offering barefoot luxury surrounded by a mammoth 300-acres of unspoiled nature, guests are invited to check into, one of 35 eco-designed bamboo villas.

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Eco-designed bamboo villas – Bawah Island

Simply take your pick from over-water of beachfront abodes. Once you’re settled, you can enjoy views across three crystal clear lagoons and explore no less than 13 picture perfect powder-white beaches.

Head to the treetop Club House for some gentle exercise in the yoga pavilion, or to takes dip in the beach-fronted infinity pool. There’s also a viewing platform that’s the perfect spot for watching the sun set. Adventure seekers can spend their days. snorkelling in pristine waters, home to a host of protected marine life, or hiking through untouched forests. With a maximum capacity of 70 guests at any one time, those seeking a sense of exclusivity can relish being one of a privileged few at this intimate island.

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Budget Bali Is Not a Dream Anymore – Indonesia

If you ‘ve looked up flight costs to Bali in the past, you’re probably wondering just how we’re nominating this Indonesian destination as our choice for an affordable break in Southeast Asia.

But stay with us a minute: once you’re there, you’ll be able to step off the plane and into a chauffeur-driven car at just about ¥ 4,000 a day. Or you could swing an even cheaper deal by choosing to navigate the sweet, single-laned streets of  Bali yourself with a self-drive car. While Thailand portrays itself as the best place for a cheap and cheerful  holiday, you’ll find Bali’s got great bang for your buck too. Sure. Thai street eats are great, but you might find you spend less in sit-down restaurants in Bali than similar ones in Thailand. You can easily eat a casual yet gourmet meal in Bali featuring highlights like a prawn, mango and chilli salad for around ¥ 400.

And the roadside satay chicken and rice shops are also great for a lighter (on the pocket) bite. Bali also has a host of comfortable midrange hotels available for as little as ¥ 2,500 a night. You can find these more easily by opting for less touristy towns: choose Munduk’s big skies and forested hills over the more popular artistic hill town of Ubud, skip the expensive resorts of Nusa Dua and head to the quiet fishing village of Amed instead.

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Taman Nasional Bali Barat

What we do recommend you spend your cash on, though, are the experiences: Taman Nasional Bali Barat features vast acres of protected forest, coastal mangroves and a spectacular 70sqkm of coral reefs.

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Pura Ulun Danu Batur – Bali, Indonesia

One of Bali’s most popular and spiritually significant religious complexes, the nine-temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur has a vital association with Danu (Lake) Batur, a volcanic crater lake, but it is uncertain when it was built. It is Bali’s guardian temple of water supplies, since it controls the irrigation system of much of the island. From a distance, the temple’s silhouette can be seen on the rim of the vast Batur caldera.

TRADITIONAL BELIEFS

Animism, ancestor worship, and a sense of the supernatural permeate Balinese life. The term sekala niskala (visible-invisible) sums up the idea that the physical world interacts with a sprit world. Loosely described as “gods” and ‘demons,” the spirits are believed to dwell in natural objects such as stones or trees. Shrines are built for them and they are honored with offerings of flowers and other materials. Ancestors are deified in complex rituals and venerated at temples. Guardian spirits, such as the Barong, are invoked in sacred perform­ances to restore a village’s cosmic balance.

THE GAMELAN ORCHESTRA

In Bali, and neighboring Lombok, traditional music is performed by a gamelan orchestra, a percussion ensemble consisting largely of bronze metallophones (instruments with tuned metal keys), led by drums (kendang). Bronze gongs of various sizes form the heart of the orchestra. Struck with mallets, they produce resonant sounds that punctuate the keyed instruments’ melodies. There are also a few wind and stringed instruments, including bamboo flutes (suling). Most villages own a set of gamefan instruments for ritual occasions; some are sacred and played only at religious ceremonies. Temples have a pavilion called a bale gong to house the instruments.

BALINESE TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE

A Balinese pura (public temple) is a sacred enclosure where Hindu deities are periodically invited to descend into pratima (effigies) kept in shrines. Their arrangement follows a consistent pattern, with structures oriented along a mountain-sea axis. The outer courtyard and central courtyard have secondary shrines and pavilions, including the kulkul (watchtower), which houses a drum that is sounded when the deities have descended. The jeroan (inner courtyard) contains shrines to the temple’s core deities, and often to deities of the lakes, sea and mountains, too. The padmasana, or lotus throne shrine, in the temple’s holiest corner, has an empty seat on top signifying the Supreme God. The meru shrine symbolizes the mythical Hindu peak, Mount Meru.

Gold-painted Doors

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The great timber doors of the main temple gateway are reserved for the use of priests on important religious occasions.

Inner Courtyard

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The inner courtyard is the most sacred. Three gateways lead from one courtyard to the next.

Temple Flags

Deities and mythical beasts are often depicted in rich colors on the temple’s flags and sculptures.

Garuda

The figure of Garuda, a bird from Hindu mythology, is depicted in this stone relief on the courtyard wall.

Side Gate

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This tall, slender gate, built in a combination of brickwork and paras stone decoration, leads to another temple.

Bale Gong

This pavilion houses the temple’s set of gamelan instruments, including a great gong believed to have a magical history.

Central Courtyard

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The great quadrangle, shown here occupied by a festive structure of bamboo and straw, is the occasional setting for ritual dances.

TEMPLE FESTIVALS

In Bali, Odalan (temple festivals) are anniversary ceremonies where deities are honored with offerings, prayers, and entertainment, creating a carnival atmosphere that generally lasts for three days.

OFFERINGS TO THE LAKE GODDESS

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Devotees present offerings at this temple, which is dedicated to Ida Betari Dewi Ulun Danu, the goddess of Lake Batur. The respect accorded to the goddess is reinforced by events in the temple’s history. At its original site, closer to the lake, the temple was saved from destruction in a volcanic eruption in 1917 when the lava flow stopped just short of its walls. After another eruption in 1926, the villagers relocated the temple to its present site.

KEY DATES

1917: Pura Uluri Danu Batur is miraculously unharmed during a volcanic eruption.
1926: The temple is almost completely buried in another volcanic eruption.
1927: The temple is rebuilt at its current location.

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Borobodur Temple – Java, Indonesia

The world’s largest Buddhist stupa, Borobodur Temple is made from 1.6 million blocks of volcanic andesite and is constructed over nine levels. Five square terraces are surmounted by three circular ones and another stupa at the top. The structure’s powerful image is enhanced further by five levels of sublime carvings depicting the lives of the Buddha, expounding the meaning of his doctrine. These images form the most comprehensive ensemble of Buddhist reliefs ever carved. As pilgrims circumambulate, praying before each image, they ascend from the terrestrial to the divine world. Abandoned in the 10th century, and later buried under ash from a volcanic eruption, the temple was not found again until 1815.

THE BAS-RELIEFS

There are 1,460 superbly carved bas-reliefs extending for 3 miles (5 km), around the five lower levels of Borobodur As visitors walk clockwise, keeping the monument to the right, the reliefs on the lowest terrace show daily life, earthly pleasures, the punishments of hell, and the laws of cause and effect, or karma. This vivid evocation of daily life in ancient Javanese society was later covered with stone to support the temple’s weight. The second level depicts the Buddha and his life. These reliefs feature graceful figures with serene expressions wearing jewels and headdresses. Images on the other levels follow texts such as the Jataka Tales and Lalitavistara, and the Buddha’s earlier incarnations and search for enlightenment

THE SAILENDRA DYNASTY

Between AD 730 and 930, the Sailendra dynasty ruled most of Java in Indonesia. Their name is Sanskrit for “Lords of the Mountain” and they were heavily influenced by the Indian Gupta culture through the maritime trade routes of the region. Java was one of Asia’s leading civilizations during this period, enriched by trade and the sale of rice, and the Sailendras created the greatest temples and monuments in Southeast Asia at the time. Borobodur Temple, arguably their finest accomplishment, took 75 years to complete.

THE MEANING OF BOROBODUR

Initially built as a Hindu temple, Borobodur is a re-creation of Mount Meru, the mythical mountain abode of Hindu gods. Symbolically, it is a mandate, an aid to meditation, and a meeting place of heaven and Earth. It represents the transition from the lowest manifestations of reality through to the highest spiritual awareness at the summit. The base represents the lowest sphere of consciousness (Kamadhatu bas-reliefs). The next level (Rupadhatu bas-reliefs) is the intermediate period of consciousness. The upper levels, with 72 small, perforated stupas, each containing a seated Meditating Buddha, represent the sphere of formlessness. At the top, the empty central stupa suggests nirvana, and symbolizes enlightenment, the ultimate spiritual realm.

Temple Roof

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The view from the top of Borobodur Temple is of the volcanic plain with its palm trees and groves.

Meditating Buddhas

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Most of the Buddhas on the temple roof are enclosed in individual stupas, but several are exposed. They are remarkable for their serenity and poise.

Carved Gateway

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This archway leading to the roof is guarded by Kala, a protective deity and a mythical monster who swallowed his own body.

Rupadhatu Bas-Reliefs

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These carvings depict the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

View of Borobodur Temple

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The name of this colossal structure probably came from the Sanskrit Vihara Buddha Uhr, meaning High Buddhist Monastery. It is the earthly manifestation of the Buddhist vision of the universe.

Seated Buddha

Sitting within an arched niche in the temple, this Buddha is thought to represent a hermit in a mountain cave.

Kamadhatu Bas-Reliefs

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These superb carvings on the first level of the temple illustrate ancient Javanese society.

CONSTRUCTION

Borobodur is square in plan and 113 ft (34.5 m) high. Originally, five square terraces of diminishing size were built, leading to a sixth from which three circular terraces rose, with a stupa at the summit. The original intention seems to have been to construct a pyramid, but the weight was so great that a stone buttress had to be built around the base to stop it from collapsing.

RESTORATION

In 1973, a $21 million restoration project began at Borobodur. The terraces were dismantled, cataloged, cleaned, and reconstructed on a concrete foundation. This Buddhist site is now a national monument in a Muslim country.

KEY DATES

770-850: Construct bn of Borobodur Temple under the Sailendra dynasty.
c. 928: The balance of power shifts to east Java and the temple is abandoned.
c. 900: Heavy volcanic activity submerges the temple in layers of ash.
1815: Borobodur is rediscovered by British colonial agent Sir Stamford Raffles.
1907-11: The temple undergoes its first renovation, by the Dutch.
1991: Borobodur is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Exquisitely Li Feng – Jakarta, Indonesia

Li Feng serves authentic Cantonese cuisine in an ethereal, classic and culturally rich space.

It is obvious that presentation plays an important part at Li Feng. Dining here, you will experience exquisite culinary delights where every dish is masterfully crafted to bring you delicious and visually stunning delicacies with a surprising modern twist.

Upon entering the restaurant, we can tell that we are in for something far more than simply ordinary. Designed by Hong Kong-based LRF Designers Limited, the restaurant’s interior is inspired by the historic voyages and spice trade between China and old Jakarta, Batavia — when ocean-going junks plied the route between the southern China coast and the Spice Islands, as well as Jakarta and onwards to Arabia. The junk connection has been incorporated into the glass art, paintings and the ceiling light sculpture, which is a stylized “sea” of hand-made crystal glass, with amber crystal junk sails plying their route across the waves. The contemporary ceiling light sculpture and three chandeliers were developed and fabricated by the much-vaunted Czech crystal sculptors Lasvit. The restaurant also features “A Voyage of the South” artwork, a large-gilded glass piece by artist Helen Poon from Hong Kong that features an ancient etched and gilded map of Asia drawn up in 1602 by an Italian missionary named Matteo Ricci, illustrating the ancient connection between China and Jakarta.

As we look at the menu, the attention to detail at Li Feng is obvious. It is one of the most beautiful menus I have ever seen in a Chinese restaurant, a work of art in itself. Helmed by two talented chefs, Chef Fei and Chef Loy, Li Feng’s menu presents a scrumptious blend of traditional dishes and a creative rendition of classics. The menu features a variety of Cantonese specialties. We decide to try the chef’s recommendations, which of course include the beautifully presented Deep-Fried Swan Dumpling with Black Pepper Duck Meat that is the “talk of the town” and tastes as good as it looks. We also try some of the other delicious dumplings on the menu, such as the Squid Ink, Seafood and Fish Roe dumplings. For soup, I truly recommend the Imperial Kung Fu Soup, which once again is delightfully presented and taste superb. For the main course, my personal favourites are the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper and the Braised Hele Crab with Japanese Rice in Hoisin Sauce. Meat lovers must try the Sauteed Beef with Szechuan Pepper and Chilli, which is so tender and full of flavour.

All the food at Li Feng is so full of flavour and visually stunning. Talking about all this delicious food, it is only fair to look at the two talented chefs behind Li Feng, Chef Fei and Chef Loy. Chef Fei, one of China’s most notable young chefs, is also the man behind the celebrated Jiang at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou. Hailing from Chaozhou in Guangdong province, Chef Fei began

his career at the age of 16, honing his skills in Chinese specialty restaurants and mastering all aspects of Cantonese cuisine. With an impeccable eye for detail, Chef Fei’s innovative creations have won him numerous awards – including The Best Chef in China 2016 – and a loyal following of food connoisseurs and celebrities alike in Guangdong.

Having started his culinary career in Singapore, Chef Loy, the Executive Chinese Chef at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, brings more than 12 years of experience in fine-dining restaurants in various destinations including Bali and Dubai, to the refined atmosphere of Li Feng. A member of Singapore’s Chefs Association and Charne des Rotisseurs, Chef Loy emphasises the use of fresh ingredients in every dish and aims to delight guests with his gastronomic specialties.

Located on the second floor of Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, Li Feng is the venue for delicious food, superb presentation, elegant ambience, five-star service and a truly remarkable dining experience.

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Japanese Experience at Yoshi Izakaya – Jakarta, Indonesia

Gran Melia serves authentic Japanese cuisine and sake at its in-house restaurant Yoshi Izakaya, a place for a great dining and drinking experience.

This warm and cosy restaurant features an interesting design concept inspired by Warner Wong design from WOW Architects. The unique showcase of bottles and sake bar and lounge at the entrance invites guests to start their experience with good sake or other beverage. Long benches and tables create a relaxed atmosphere, while round birdcage-inspired tables made from rattan add an exotic flair.

The highlight of Yoshi is the 19-metre-long robatayaki, sushi and sashimi bar that runs down the centre of the restaurant. Yoshi provides two teppanyaki counters at the end of the room and one semi-private teppanyaki counter just next to a private room overlooking the swimming pool, which can accommodate up to 12 people. The one-of-a kind semi-private tatami rooms are set up on each end of the restaurant. The dining room seats up to 100 people and is perfect for family, business or social gatherings. Yoshi is open for lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and for dinner from 6pm to 10pm.

Yoshi Izakaya creations include Zensai cold and warm appetizer, tempura, sashimi, sushi, kushiyaki, seafood and vegetable robatayaki, shabu-shabu, sukiyaki and gozen (set menus). Yoshi Izakaya has signature dishes including Yoshi Goma Tofu (sesame flavoured milk curd wakame seaweed), Robatayaki Yakizakana (robatayaki-style set lunch menu), and beef and lobster gozen (set lunch menu of sliced sirloin beef and half portion of lobster). For dessert, don’t miss their delicious Kuzukiri, chilled steamed arrowroot noodles served with black gum syrup, sweetened red bean paste and soya bean flour.

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Where Business and Leisure are a Lifestyle – Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya

Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya, a five-star luxury hotel managed by the award-winning management company Siviss-Belhotel International, brings a brand-new cosmopolitan lifestyle to the second-biggest city in Indonesia.

Conveniently located in the most prestigious neighbourhood in Surabaya, adjacent to Ciputra World Mall, glitziest shopping mall in Surabaya, Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya has quickly gained a reputation as one of the city’s signature landmarks. Providing high-quality service, luxurious facilities and personalised care, combined with an ideal location, Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya is the preferred choice for discerning travellers, whether in Surabaya for business or pleasure.

Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya offers 212 elegant guestrooms and suites, divided into six types, including Deluxe, Superior Deluxe, Grand Deluxe, Superior Deluxe and Executive Club Suite. There are smoking and non-smoking floors, and all rooms are equipped with I-Home and IPTV. What is unique about IPTV is that it allows guests to obtain all the hotel information they need through their television set. There is no more paper, part of Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya’s green efforts and its commitment to environmental sustainability.

The culinary highlight of Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya is Gallery Restaurant. Located on the seventh floor, this all-day restaurant offers the best international dishes, either buffet or a la carte. Gallery Restaurant can seat up to 150 diners and features paintings by Hendra Gunawan, one of Ir. Ciputra’s favourite painters.

Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya also features the Lounge on the eighth floor, offering a convenient place to hold meetings, relax, or having the hotel’s famous trademark: thematic Afternoon Tea with friends and colleagues.

On the 22nd floor, Hotel Ciputra World Surabaya offers a fully equipped Health Club, with Fitness Centre, Body Glow Massage, Sauna and Surabaya’ first rooftop swimming pool, 292 feet above the city. This spectacular is a favourite destination for hotel guests to unwind and enjoy the panoramic views of Surabaya while swimming with friends and family.ciputra-world-1

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The One and Only – 101 Bandung Dago Hotel

Bandung has an abundance of charm, culinary destinations and stunning hotels. One of the favourites is The 101 Bandung Dago Hotel in the iconic Dago area of Bandung.

Bandung is the ideal weekend destination for Jakarta residents. It is only a two- hour drive from Jakarta or three hours by train, safe and not too expensive. Bandung also offers a selection of tourist and culinary attractions. To make your Bandung getaway perfect, make sure to pick the right hotel to enhance your experience.

The Benefits

What do you want in a hotel? Strategic location. Full facilities. Affordable prices. Close to tourist attractions and culinary hot spots. The 101 Bandung Dago Hotel has all that and more. This 4-star hotel offers a full package of excitement.

Bandung, like Jakarta, experiences heavy traffic, which is why you need a hotel that is strategically located near everything you want to visit. Dago is home to tourist attractions, culinary spots, a zoo and a shopping mall, making it a one-stop holiday destination.

The 101 Bandung Dago Hotel is located near the intersection of JL Ir. H. Juanda, Jl. RE Martadinata and Jl. Merdeka, so it’s easy to find. The hotel is just 300 metres from St. Peter’s Cathedral, the famous Gedung Sate building and Bandung Indah Plaza. It is also a 15-minute walk to Braga City Walk, Pasar Baru Bandung and Kartika Sari Dago. The hotel is five minutes by car from Husein Sastranegara International Airport and only 10 minutes from the main Bandung train station.

Rooms & Facilities

The 101 Bandung Dago Hotel offers 109 rooms with standard features including air-conditioning, cable television, wireless internet, individual climate control, minibar, safe deposit box, mini-refrigerator, seating area with desk, hairdryer, complimentary amenities and en-suite bathroom with hot and cold shower. There are several room types including Standard Double Room, Triple Room, Suite, Family Duplex Room, Executive Deluxe Double Room, Deluxe Room, Deluxe Triple Room, Duplex Room, Duplex Quadruple Suite and Duplex Room.

The hotel’s SODA Restaurant & Bart is next to the lobby and features a rustic interior design. It features a daily buffet-style breakfast. The 101 Bandung Dago Hotel also provides indoor and outdoor swimming pool, complete with sun terrace for relaxing or enjoying massage services. For business travellers, the hotel offers a meeting room with slide projector and secretarial services that are perfect for meetings or conferences in the heart of Bandung.

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An Effortless Travel Experience – Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers

Located in the Surabaya city centre and adjacent to the largest shopping destination in East Java, Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers offers an unparalleled cityscape experience.

As the second-largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya has long been known for its variety of tourist attractions that attract visitors from around the country and the world. And there is no better place to spend the night in the “City of Heroes” than Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers. From the moment you walk into its spacious lobby, you will be greeted with warm smiles and a seamless check-in process at the reception desk or the Sheraton Club Lounge. The privileges of the Sheraton Club Lounge do not stop with the exclusive check-in process, with club guests able to experience a higher level of comfort, complete with special touches like a premium selection of beverages and hors d’oeuvres, and a Sheraton Club Lounge team available 24 hours to ensure all your needs are met.

Effortless travel awaits during your stay at Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers. With a direct connection to the biggest shopping destination in East Java, Tunjungan Plaza, you are just steps from the ultimate shopping experience with hundreds of brands to be explored. Divided into five sections, the mall provides everything you need in one place. If you are more of an adventurous type, take time to wander around the city with the hotel’s 1-Hour Gem program, allowing you to visit some famous local attractions during your trip and create unforgettable memories.

And when you crave for good food, just step out of your room and into the hotel’s dining venues and unravel a world of exciting culinary options. Begin your day with a sumptuous buffet breakfast and a view of the lush tropical gardens at Kafe Bromo, have a delectable lunch with authentic Chinese cuisine and an array of dim sum selections at Lung Yuan Chinese Restaurant, and relax and unwind while sipping a glass of your favourite wine and enjoying live music at Kawi Lounge. Close your day with the hotel’s comfortable Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience that ensures you a better night’s sleep.

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Escaping Jakarta – Amaroossa Hotel Royal Bogor

Strategically located in the heart of Bogor, Amaroossa Hotel Royal Bogor is the ideal choice for your stay.

You can drive out of overcrowded and overstressed Jakarta and 60 minutes later step out into the cool weather and clean air of Bogor. This is the ideal destination for a quick escape from Jakarta. There’s plenty to do in Bogor and you can enjoy the city in a day trip, though I would recommend an overnight stay to truly experience Bogor.

Amaroossa Hotel Royal Bogor is designed to suit the needs of business and leisure travellers. It is strategically located in the heart of the city cen¬tre, surrounded by restaurants and numerous shopping opportunities, as well as the family fun hub of Bogor. There is easy access to Suryaken-cana (Chinatown), the Bogor Botanical Gardens are just across the street from the hotel and all of the other attractions in this dynamic city are within close proximity.

With 112 stylishly furnished guest rooms and a comprehensive range of facilities, including a fit-ness centre, indoor swimming pool and massage services, the Amaroossa Hotel Royal Bogor is the ideal choice for your hotel stay in Bogor, both for corporate travellers on business in the city and couples, families and friends on a getaway.