Spending most of my time in hotels is something I wouldn’t change for the world, but I have to admit, it gets insanely repetitive. More and more hotels these days seem to be carbon copies of each other, lacking in any individuality. I’ve started to loathe staying in another ‘box’ of a room, just 4 walls and a bed. It’s the un-inspiring part of travel that I wish I could skip. And sometimes I get to!
Once in a while a property worthy of the title ‘luxury hotel’ comes out of nowhere and leaves me completely spellbound.
Tugu Malang was one of those hotels.

I was craving a deeper experience from a hotel that would immerse me into more of the culture of a region, so I asked the experts at Secret Retreats to help me find something that would rock my senses. They took their time in trying to find out exactly what I was looking for, which happened to be history, traditions, culture and cuisine.

When they sent over information suggesting the Tugu Hotel, I immediately started packing my bags for Malang, Java

I can say with total confidence that you will never stay anywhere like Tugu, because no where on Earth is quite like this remarkable hotel. I have never seen such a beautiful fusion between ancient history, local legends and the art of hospitality, all into one experience.

Staying at Tugu isn’t about just booking a room and having somewhere to sleep. It’s instead like booking a ticket back in time, to an era full of traditions, flavours and customs that amaze and captivate all 5 senses.

If you want something so much more than just another hotel stay, there is nowhere I can recommend more than Tugu Malang.

We recommend the Tugu Malang Hotel to travelers who:

  • Have ‘been there, done that’ and are seeking a truly unique experience
  • Wanderlusts who love trading in the beaten path for something less travelled
  • People who love antiques, history and the rich heritage of the past
  • Discerning travelers looking to have a luxurious, yet culturally fulfilling experience

Highlights of Our Experience at Tugu Malang

The Apsara Suite

tugu hotel in malang java - romantic getaway

Luxury at it’s finest. I’m telling you, this place is absolutely jaw-dropping This room was inspired by a romantic Javanese legend and it shows throughout every single inch of this palatial suite. I’m not sure I know the right words to describe what it’s like to spend the night in what seems like a curated museum, but in layman’s terms, it was a once in a lifetime experience.

The room is HUGE. It’s so big, it has it’s own waiting/living room for your guests to be entertained in before they enter the main area of the suite. Now that’s what I’m talking about! 

apsara suite in tugu malang hotel living room
couch in apsara waiting room tugu malang hotel
stained glass doors in apsara suite tugu
entry to the apsara suite tugu malang

After we passed through beautiful stained glass doors, we entered the main room of the Apsara Suite. It has a grand dining area, a day bed that looks like people are going to fan you and feed you grapes at any moment, and the most romantic tub I’ve ever seen.

day bed in the apsara suite
main room in apsara suite tugu malang

This tub are what dreams are made of! I have to admit I am not a big bath person, heck I don’t overly enjoy swimming in pools, but this tub had me singing a different tune. Laying in this ultra-luxurious tub after a long day of touring was one of the most rejuvenating and invigorating things I’ve ever done. No wonder politicians and royalty has been known to request this suite when they travel to Java.

stainless steel bathtub apsara suite tugu

Hidden behind a door of intricate wooden carvings  is a circular stainless steel tub that is directly out of my fantasies! The one side opens into the suite's private garden for that idyllic nature vibe. 

wood carvings in apsara suite tugu malang
bathroom in the Apsara suite tugu malang
garden area of tugu malang hotel
private garden in apsara suite tugu
apsara suite garden

Moving onto the bedroom, it’s almost impossible to miss the colossal antique bed, surrounded by pillars and colourful curtains. I first thought it must be 3 kings beds all pushed together, but it is in fact a 3.5 metre custom made mattress! I have never seen such a huge bed in my life!

3.5 metre bed in the apsara suite tugu malang
Bed at the tugu malang hotel
bedroom in the apsara suite tugu malang

The Food - A Culinary Adventure

“You have to taste a culture to understand it”.

Staying in historic hotels, watching cultural performances, and hearing stories from locals is only ONE way to know a country.

Tasting it’s unique dishes and flavours is hands down the best crash course in immersion anyone could ever have. Tugu brought our foodie travel goals to life with all their delectable local dishes and treats.

Between the traditional sweets cooked before our eyes, and the rich Javanese dinner menus, we will never look at Indonesia the same way.

Afternoon Tea
Kashlee having high tea at tugu malang hotel

Not your average tea service. Not only do they make a mean cappuccino, but they took us through a sampling of local desserts that had us begging for more.

We had sweet desserts made right in front of us, all of which we  graciously loaded onto our plates. One thing I love about Indonesian desserts is they are not overly sweet compared to Western cakes, so I felt less guilty about eating 10 of them in the middle of the afternoon.

We snacked on treats like Kue Lumpur, Kue Thok, Ketan Srikaya, Sate Cenil, Talam Abon, Dadar Gulung and other local delicacies. I love how much coconut and sweet bean flavours there are in these types of deserts. It’s something you can’t find easily in North America and I find myself now wanting more.

coffee at tugu malang hotel
Set Menu Dinner With Private Cultural Dance

In the Sugar Baron Room, elaborately packed with antique treasures, we had the pleasure of experiencing  a private dinner with a traditional Javanese dance and exquisite set menu. If you want to feel like a king and queen of your own Indonesian empire, I suggest you follow in our footsteps. It was one of the most memorable meals I’ll ever have in my entire life.

private dinner at tugu malang hotel
restaurants at tugu malang

The Menu

Welcome DrinkLemon Grass

AppetizerSoto Ayam Ta’kemplang
East Javanese soup of baby chicken, tofu crips and shredded coconut powder. Served with steamed peanuts on the side.

Main CourseTugu Rijsttafel & Satay
Rice platter with sweet soybean cake, fried grated coconut, shredded beef, potato fritter, marinated beed, sweet and spicy chicken, tumerick pickles, and longbeans, served with a huge peanut cracker and sambal.
This was also served with 3 types of satay: chicken, tofu and fish

DessertExotic Tropical Fruit Platter
Dragonfruit, pineapple, guava, watermelon, grapes, melon, star fruit, papaya, lime, strawberry, and mango.

Served with their own Tugu Kawi Sari coffee that is grown in the nearby rainforest.

cultural dance at tugu malang
Saigon San: A Temple-like Dining Experience 
saigon san restaurant tugu malang

Our experience eating at Saigon San was like dining inside of an ancient temple! It was so gorgeous and so unique, I've never had a meal inside something that looked like an elaborate movie set.

They feature Indochinese foods with a modern twist. We found a fusion of Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai and Laotian dishes on the menu, each with it's own special angle. 
They also had the most original and heavenly mocktail menu I've seen in Indonesia! The mix of ingredients and flavours was really enjoyable.

menu at saigon san tugu malang
mocktail at saigon san
appetizer at saigon san tugu malang

Bike Tour Through Malang

The brightest highlight of our stay at Tugu was the private bike tour we took with John and Handy, our amazing guides from the hotel. This really made Tugu stand out from other hotel stays, because we got to experience the city in a much more intimate way. At 9:00am we hopped on bikes together outside the lobby and headed out on a tour of the local hotspots in Malang.

The took us through the streets, to rural areas of the city, local markets and food stalls, big mansions and lavish homes, and even the colorful slums of Jodipan. In one beautiful morning we got the chance to see Malang from all angles. 
It's tours like this that always stand out in our memory because it's something so real that we rarely experience during an average hotel stay. 

private bike tour through malang with tugu malang hotel
kashlee and trevor in malang
jodipan colorful slums in malang

One of the most heartwarming parts of the tour for me was how INCREDIBLY kind the locals were. They would see us riding our bikes and would stop to say hello, wave, or just smile. I travel to so many places were locals can become jaded or complacent towards visitors, but in Malang they were genuinely interested in having us in their city. The heart warming feeling of being in Malang is something I've never quite felt before in any other city, and a feeling that will make me want to return again. 

kashlee kucheran in malang java

Rooms at Tugu Malang

The Tugu Hotell has 49 rooms in total, including some of the most exclusive suites you’ll ever lay eyes on. Rates start at only $93/n for superior deluxe rooms at this 5-Star property, which makes it even more appealing!

Superior Deluxe
280 Sq ft

executive suite tugu malang

Executive Suites
398 Sq Ft

Zamrud Suite 
312 Sq Ft

the babah suite at tugu malang java

The Babah Suite
312 Sq Ft

devata suite at tugu malang indonesia

Devata Suite 
377 Sq Ft

 

honey moonlight suite room at tugu malang

Honey Moonlight 
377 Sq Ft

 

raden saleh suite at tugu malang hotel in java

Raden Saleh Suite
570 Sq Ft

Apsara suite in tugu malang hotel

Apsara Suite
2,000+ Sq Ft

Perks of Staying at Tugu Malang

Other than the museum like property and incredibly unique rooms, there are other perks to staying at Tugu.

  • Fresh fruit bowl in room
  • 1 hour massage 
  • Daily high tea
  • Welcome drink
  • Breakfast included (in some rates!)

If you don't feel like leaving the hotel during your entire stay, you really don't have to. Other than our private bike tour, we really wanted to stay on the grounds and take advantage of what we could do on-site.

The Restaurants

The restaurants at the hotel were so good we didn't even dream about venturing out to dine. In addition to Saigon San, we also ate at Melati Restaurant for breakfast and lunch and the Roti Tugu Bakery for snacks.

Breakfast at Melati in Tugu hotel malang
The Pool

Even though Malang is typically cooler than other parts of Java, it's still very humid and hot for non-locals. The tropical vibe of the pool was the perfect way to cool down after our morning bike tour. 

pool at tugu malang hotel in java
The Spa

Guests who book direct with Tugu or Secret Retreats get a complimentary welcome massage, and can easily top it up with other relaxing services. Over and above massages, the spa here does body scrubs, facials, and  keratin hair treatments.

spa at hotel tugu malang
The Shops

The boutiques at Tugu are phenomenal for bringing home something special to remind you of your trip.
They have an on-site batik shop with elegant hand-made clothing, which I just HAD to try on!

 

Kashlee Kucheran wearing Batik in Indonesia

Other shops include gorgeous jewelry, unique souvenirs at the art gallery, and even their locally produced coffee!

Kawi Sari coffee in tugu malang
The Hall of Love

I mean LOOK at this corridor, it's divine! One of the most Insta-worthy areas of the hotel. We walked down this beautiful hallway to get to the Saigon San restaurant. 

kashlee Kucheran in the hallway of love in tugu malang hotel

How To Get To Tugu Malang

Jl. Tugu No. 3, Malang, East Java, 65119, Indonesia

Malang has a very small regional airport, but has plans to make a larger international airport in the near future. As of 2019, you can fly DIRECT into Malang's MLG airport from Denpasar, Bali and Jakarta. 

We did a road trip from Bali instead, driving 12 hours first to Surabaya, then another 2 hours down to Malang. 

Many visitors to Malang come from Surabaya, as it's a very easy international airport to fly into with great direct and 1-stop flights to other major cities in SEA. From Surabaya you can rent a car, or take the train down to Malang. The train only takes 2 hours and can be as low as $220,000 IDR ($16 USD).

Once you are in Malang, the hotel is very easy to find. It's located along a beautiful central roundabout, beside City Hall and next to the train station. 

Book Your Stay At Tugu Malang

Tugu Malang is a member of Secret Retreats and they offer the best deals and perks when you book directly with them

PIN FOR LATER

Most romantic hotel in Indonesia - Tugu Malang

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