Hotel Aryaduta

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Aug, 2014

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

After two days in the remote jungle of Northern Sumatra, all I wanted was lashings of hot water, a hair dryer, laundry service and a very large glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The Aryaduta in Medan fulfilled most of my needs during our three night stay.

The hotel is above a shopping centre, so reception is on the 9th floor. After an efficient check in we were escorted to our room by the bell boy and given a tour.

First impressions were good. The room was large, there was a TV, hairdryer, mini-bar, tray of sweet and savoury snacks, tea and coffee making facilities and a laundry bag. The room was decorated in ‘hotel beige’ with bland pictures that couldn’t possibly offend anyone. Complementary wi-fi was available all over the hotel with excellent signal and strength.

A more in-depth inspection revealed one dodgy electrical socket with others hidden behind furniture or requiring things to be unplugged. There were only four hangers in the wardrobe along with one robe and one set of slippers: strange for a double room.

The huge, powerful shower had a marble bench for sitting on and most importantly, lots of hot water – bliss. My partner complained that because of the width of the sink and a recessed mirror, he was four foot away from the mirror for shaving and there was no specific shaving mirror.

The 9th floor also houses an excellent 35 meter long swimming pool with a kiddie section at the end separated by four spouting stone faces. The pool was surrounded by sweet smelling frangipani trees and comfy sun loungers with elegant white leather cushions: it was never overcrowded. A well-equipped gym overlooked the pool which had an ever-present attendant to look after us.

The restaurant and bar is also on the 9th floor. On our first night, we had a pre-dinner G&T which arrived in tasteful, heavy glasses with tonic served in an elegant carafe and complementary peanuts. We asked to see the dinner menu and the girl presented them and stood to take our order before we’d even opened them. G&Ts glugged we were shown to a virtually empty area of the dining room. I asked for a bottle of white wine and was told that the only wine in this five-star, city-centre hotel, was one glass of red and this had been the case for a couple of weeks as they were having supplier problems. Horror struck, we indulged in another large G&T.

The food was very good. My caesar salad was deconstructed with a toasted oval shaped piece of bread having had a circle cut out and the dressed lettuce put through (like a serviette ring). There was a warm, well-seasoned grilled chicken breast on the side, along with hardboiled egg quarters, anchovies and a small glass of bacon pieces. A burger came with tomato, lettuce, coleslaw and fries.

On talking to the manager about the lack of wine, we found it was very difficult to find legal suppliers who had paid the tax on the alcohol. As a large, city-centre hotel, they daren’t risk selling alcohol without the duty paid. We could understand what he said, but it’s a strange sort of affair. He said that in more rural places, they may sell illegal wine because either they don’t understand or don’t care about the tax. He was very charming and offered us a complementary afternoon tea at 4pm which was excellent and taken in a comfy lounge area overlooking the pool.

Lying by the pool on a Sunday morning, I noticed that reflexology was on offer for 125,000 Rupiah (£7). What could be better than an hour’s relaxing foot massage? After the first five minutes, I wished I’d only booked half an hour as the movement up my calves and the pressure on the soles of my feet was excruciating. It wasn’t a painless bargain, but it was a very good one.

Although this is billed as a five-star hotel, there were highs and lows. Highs included a truly spectacular buffet breakfast with dishes from around the world, a laundry service that effectively removed jungle mud from my by now steamy clothes, and a complementary shuttle bus service five times a day to the Sun Plaza Shopping Centre, 10 minutes away.

Lows included discovering our room had not been made up at 3.30pm despite it being empty all day, inconsistent service in the restaurant and most vitally for me, the lack of wine.

Helen Jackson

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