Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Aston Tropicana, Bandung

To celebrate my birthday, I went to Bandung for the weekend. I don't know much about Bandung. I have stayed a couple of times but mainly for work and so to go to the city for a holiday is something different.

I am a big user of Agoda and I book nearly all my hotels through it as it is easy, safe and cheaper and less hassle than over the phone. Agoda does offer some great deals and you can save a lot of money, although I am often suspicious that the deals offered on rooms are inflated as sometimes the original price does not reflect the actual quality of room.

Bandung is a sprawling, congested, snarled up city. It is full of Jakartans on the weekend and I would imagine booking a hotel at short notice is a challenge. I booked 2 months out. Knowing where to stay also in Bandung is a challenge as the traffic slows you down and the place is spread over a lot of hills.

We choose the hotel Aston Tropicana not on location but on price and we were prepared to go from there. As it turns out the hotel is slap bang in the middle of the shopping area Cihampelas which is famous for jeans and clothe shopping. Also it is next to the Ci Citywalk mall and not far from Paris Van Java mall as well. It is also opposite the Rocky Jeans store which is great.

The hotel itself is lovely. The service at reception was fast and courteous and there was no fuss or concerns from the staff. We were given our rooms and shown to the elevator.
There are 8 floors in the hotel, 3 bars or restaurants, a gym, conference suite and other things. The pool was on the 6th floor, the same as our room.
Our room looked onto the pool so we kept the curtains closed.

The room was fairly big with the usual queen sized bed. There was a huge TV which offered a good range of channels but the reception was not the best. No mini bar but the tea and coffee instead. The AC was good and very quiet and very cold not matter what setting you put it on.

The bathroom had a bath and a shower head. There was plenty of hot water although not from the bath taps as it seemed to be broken or low pressure. So to fill the bath I used the shower head. It worked just as well.

There was however a lot of noise from above and below as if things were being moved and at 4am in the morning that does not agree with me. However apart from those things it was great.

I managed to get to breakfast once. The breakfast room is big and the choice ok. Eat as much as you like which is always good although tea and coffee was not as easy to get refilled. However I left there full and thats a good thing.

The thing that impressed me the most was the service. We had a problem with the door lock (more important to fix than the water tap) and that was done immediately. Also as it was my birthday I was presented with a big cake and candles from the hotel staff and a card. They took this information from my id and it was really very kind of them. It made staying there all the more enjoyable. I have not had that happen before and so it was a great treat. On the basis of that event only I would return. I would return there anyway as it is a great hotel and in a great location.

Sadly for me, Bandung has banned the selling of Alcoholic beverages in stores and shops and it can only be purchased in bars and other licensed places so that means everything is more expensive. So I guess I wont be returning there for a while unless I come prepared. Annoying.

The hotel website is here