Review: Best Western Papilio Hotel, Surabaya, Indonesia

The Best Western Papilio Hotel is the only BW-branded property in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. Located south of the city centre, it is just 11 kilometres from Juanda International Airport (SUB) and thus provides better airport connectivity than many other hotels. The tall hotel is difficult to miss when travelling along Jalan Ahmad Yani, standing at 36 floors with 226 rooms. The hotel welcomed its first guests in 2015.

The Best Western Papilio Hotel stands at 36-stories tall
Exterior of the 36-storey Best Western Papilio Hotel

Guests will immediately notice the A&W American fast foot outlet upon reaching the hotel. There are other establishments on the ground level as well, though not as prominent as the A&W. The hotel lobby is right beside, with a courteous doorman eager to welcome guests in.

A&W restaurant at Best Western Papilio Hotel
A&W - all American food

Hotel lobby
Hotel lobby as viewed from lift lobby

The lobby houses a 24-hour café with (oversized) pastries and cakes that appear reasonably priced.

Lobby lounge cafe
Oversized crossiants at the hotel's lobby cafe

The hotel offers a good mix of rooms – superior/deluxe, twin/queen, smoking/non-smoking – while the suite comes with a king bed and is non-smoking. I stayed at a suite on the top floor, which provided some excellent unobstructed views, as there are no other tall buildings in the surrounding area. A high floor is preferable due to possible noise from the numerous lanes of roads below.

City views in the day
Views by day

Views by night

Nonetheless, being on the top floor means a slightly longer elevator ride, particularly because there are only two elevators servicing the entire hotel. Perhaps the sofa on the 36th floor would come in useful in times of peak occupancy. Guestrooms are on floors 8 to 36, with the floors below them occupied by dining, meeting and parking facilities.

A sofa at the lift lobby on level 36
A sofa at the lift lobby on level 36

Looking down from level 36

The suite offered to me was a connecting suite, with a brown colour scheme of different shades throughout the interior. The living area comes with a microwave oven, washing basin, sofa and dining table (with room service available 24 hours). There is a smaller bathroom just beside the entrance, while the main bathroom is in the bedroom.

Connecting suite, living area
Living area of suite

Microwave oven and sink
Living area - a connecting door is on the left, and the suite entrance on the right

The king bed came with what appeared to be a locally inspired welcome setup, which I tried my best not to destroy.

King bedroom of the suite
King bed

Welcome setup on bed

The main bathroom comes with a bathtub and separate shower. Standard amenities were all present. There is a sign by the sink to inform guests that tap water is not portable, and bottled water beside.

Main bathroom with bathtub
Main bathroom

Moving on to hotel facilities, a swimming pool and bar which the hotel calls the “Bantimurung Sky Pool & Cafe” is located on the 8th floor, and faces the south direction. Seats are available in a covered area as well as poolside, which could be a good place to relax in the evening over a drink.

Bantimurung Sky Pool & Cafe
The Bantimurung Sky Pool & Cafe

Swimming pool
View of the swimming pool

Also on the 8th floor is the Leopard Gym, perhaps named after the species’ strength and agility, and is equipped with cardio and weight equipment.

Leopard gym
Leopard Gym

Fitness equipment for hotel guests
Smith machine

Breakfast takes place at the Mariposa Restaurant on the 7th floor and is offered buffet style. The main dishes appeared to be inclined towards local flavours, although western dishes, a variety of pastries, bread, fruits, salad ingredients were also available.

Mariposa Restaurant on the 7th floor
Part of the buffet selection

Local dishes and keropok
Local dishes and different varieties of keropok (fried crackers)

Soto Ayam (yellow chicken soup)
A local counter featuring Soto Ayam (yellow chicken soup)

Buffet breakfast selection
Ready to eat

The hotel’s differentiating factor, in my opinion, was its recognition and personalized service for its loyal customers. As a Diamond Select member of the Best Western Rewards program, I was escorted to my suite by a hotel associate and porter. A welcome desert and tea were delivered in room service style, which is in addition to a generous fruit plate already waiting in the suite. Another hotel associate delivered a local souvenir to my room while confirming my late checkout and onward transportation plans.

Desert for Diamond Select member of the Best Western Rewards
Welcome desert for loyalty program members

Local gift
A local gift delivered on the morning of my departure

In fact, I was surprised that they were willing to drive me to my subsequent hotel, which is a different arrangement from their usual trips to the airport, and the associate had chatted with me in very fluent English while waiting for the car, not at all concerned that I was going to stay with a competitor next. The lengths they go to for service was commendable and I left with a renewed impression of the Best Western brand.

All in all, the hotel boasts reasonable rates, a location not far from the airport, and solid service for its loyal customers beyond that of an ordinary midscale hotel. Best Western Papilio Hotel is located at 176-178 Jalan Ahmad Yani, Gayungan, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60235, Indonesia.


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