17 October 2016

Review: Zamzam Hotel in Batu

During our vacation in Batu we were staying in Zamzam Hotel, a big 3-star hotel. Big, but not too famous among Malang taxi drivers (while Batu taxi drivers know it), because our driver from Malang Train Station did not know where it was. So we relied on Google Maps, which took us passing very small streets, and we got lost. Apparently the best way to go there was follow the road to Kusuma Agrowisata; almost every driver knows that touristy place. Just 200m before reaching the place, turn right for about 50m and voila... we arrive at Zamzam Hotel.

The location is quite good in the middle of Batu, near Museum Angkut and very near Kusuma Agrowisata. We walked to both places. From other attraction places are not far either, less than 1km to Jatim Park 1 and Jatim Park 2, and 1km from Batu Night Spectacular.

I booked 1 room for 2 nights via Traveloka around IDR750,000. I chose this hotel because it had swimming pool and aircon, but in the end we didn't really use the pool and aircon because the air was so cold! We only dipped our feet into the pool in the morning, while enjoying the beautiful hill view. After staying in Prime Royal Hotel in Surabaya, we again got a room in the first floor with a back terrace directly connecting to pool area.

The Pool

The standard room itself was very spacious. Wifi connection in the room was good. The amenities and toiletries were complete. There were a cooler and water heater as well. But my husband did not like the bathroom where shower area were not closed, so all parts of the bathroom were wet. Other than that, the room was fine.

Hotel decoration was quite old and classic dominating with yellow brownish color. Drop off and pickup area for car was not really covered by a ceiling, so if it was raining we could still got a little drop of rain when we alighted from the car. On 2 mornings we stayed there we had breakfast in a restaurant on the first floor near lobby. I heard there was another restaurant upstair with a nice view of the hill, but unfortunately at that time it was booked by a big group of university alumnus who were staying there too. Nevertheless, the staffs in the first floor restaurant were very friendly.

The Restaurant

Nothing went wrong and nothing's too special either. Overall it was a nice stay in Zamzam Hotel.

Read also our journey in Batu.

07 October 2016

East Java Tour: Batu

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):
There are many ways to go to Malang/Batu, and I chose by train from Surabaya because I hadn't been to Surabaya before, and my daughter hadn't taken train before. When the train started to walk, she stared blank and tried to process that new experience. We then sang a famous Indonesian children song "Naik kereta api, tut.. tut.. tut.." (The Train Ride). Since we're new in this Penataran Train, we didn't know how the seats and carts condition. One cart has 4 aircons so economy train is not hot anymore like it used to be. Each row has 5 seats: 2 and 3 seats divided by aisle. Thanks God we got the 2 seats row, because it looked more comfortable and spacious than 3 seats one. Every two rows facing each other, so not all rows facing to the front of train. Unfortunately we got a row facing backside. I couldn't really enjoy the view (not much to see tho) because it made me dizzy. In the first half of the journey we got the comforts to occupy 4 seats because the 2 seats in front of us were still empty so I could sit on the seat facing in front. But after several stops, the passenger who sat on that seat came, so we should sit back to our original seats. Because of the packed seats, it was not comfortable to open up our meals that we have prepared from Surabaya (Lontong Balap and Grilled Chicken), so we ate snacks instead. The fare ticket was very cheap, only IDR12,000 ($1) per person. If we knew the seat arrangement was like this, we would have bought tickets for 4 seats instead.

Naik Kereta Api, Tut.. Tut.. Tut...

Arrived in Malang, the city was very crowded because of Arema anniversary, the famous football club from Malang. The station is located in front of Alun-Alun (central open squares) filled with vehicles and people paraded in blue (the color of Arema). Fortunately there was one taxi passed by to drop a guest to the station, and we got on directly, off to Batu, about 1 hour going up from Malang by car. It cost around IDR100,000 to reach our hotel in Batu, should be cheaper if there was no Arema traffic. First thing to do after check in our room was having very-late-lunch (at 4pm). Since we were so hungry, our cold packed meals still tasted delicious!

After taking shower, at 5pm we walked to Museum Angkut (Transportation Museum), which was just 10 minutes walking distance from our hotel. The entrance fee is IDR 80,000 for the museum only, and IDR 90,000 for museum + flight simulator. I bought tickets with flight simulator one, because my husband likes airplane (you could also buy additional ticket for flight simulator inside the museum). Entering the main gate, we came to Main Hall Zone where displayed collection of antique cars and horse-drawn carriages. Going to the second floor, we entered Education Zone where displayed history of all kinds of transportation such as trishaws (which we could ride for taking pictures), bicycle, trains and ships. The third floor was an outdoor area for 3 flight simulators. Unfortunately it started to rain, so we ran from one plane to another plane, from private jet to helicopter.