Friday, November 4, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - 22nd July - Surabaya bound

We have checked out of Enny's and are waiting for our mini bus to Surabaya. A shared mini bus seemed friendlier, more eco friendly and offered us a saving of more than 200 000IDR, but, given the time we have had to wait, I think private transport would have been better....

Still, we will arrive at our secluded hotel. We decided to stay outside Surabaya city and closer to the airport. Should we wish to go into the city, no problem, should we problem!


The mini van was small; space for luggage was limited but we all squeezed in, somehow, challenges the forces of nature and gravity in the process. we drove without a break for 3 hours. We took the back road around Porong (the area where there was a mud explosion -

The road was far from great, but we did knock off 30 minutes from the total journey time. Minutes that were promptly added in Surabaya...we got lost!!!

It was interesting to see the mud pool from behind the big wall. It was, as expected, a big pool of mud, and lots of little ones too. The villages of Prorong had been drastically affected and even on the main street, there were many disused and abandoned buildings.

South of Surabaya, we were greeted by a beautiful, if dirty, river, with lots of greenery around it. Then, suddenly, there was a sign for Singgasana, our hotel.

The drive in made us gasp. The grounds were unbelievable. Apparently on the acres of land where the hotel was set, there was also a big golf course.

As we walked into the lobby, our jaws dropped. Delicately carved wooden panels decorated the long walls. There was even a gamelan orchestra set up, which we both got very excited about.

We had to sit and wait for a while; they seemed to have mislaid our booking. We sipped our fruity aperitif and waited 15 minutes when the manager came over to us. "Can I help you?" He said. He didn't even know why he had come over. We explained to him, showed the booking email and off he went.
Room 109 - Yuck

Room 109 - Yuck
After some faffing, we were shown to room 109, a twin (not what we had booked), apparently, there only room available at such short notice given that they couldn't find our booking..

Room 109 was not pleasant. We were in a luxurious hotel, yet this twin room was cold, cold appearance, cold temperature. The air con had been left on full whack all day. The walls were dirty with mould and faded paint. Dank was the only word that would fit. You'd think that a massive hotel complex could afford a tin of paint, but apparently not.

We were tired, really really tired. I just wanted to find the pool. It was better for us to forget the room and go enjoy whatever facilities they did have.

By the pool we ordered food - sausages, delicious BBQ sauce, and salmon spaghetti.

In our excitement to see wine on the menu, we ordered a bottle. We soon realised how bad the wine would be at £50 a bottle! and settled for cocktails instead! Thankfully , the food was astounding. We were back later for more. And this time I did get a glass of wine. But, not only was it £12 a glass, but it tasted really fortified and just, well, rank.

One plus, though. While we were waiting in the sunset for our food, the manager reappeared. He had located our booking and was full of apologies (had he googled Ian's name?! lolz). Our room was waiting at the other end of the pool (away from the road and the traffic). He agreed that room 109 was not that great (so, why did they give it to us?!) and he got our man to help shift our luggage.

Room 608 was a remarkable level up and along the lines of what we were expecting. Whether they bumped us up because of their error, or this was their standard double, we were very happy indeed. Luxury! who needs to go to Surabaya! (I thought I had pictures, but I think they were lost in transit...but the room was a heck of a lots better, trust me!)

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