- Savoy Homann Hotel, Bandung
- First Impression at Savoy Homann Hotel
- Review: Savoy Homann Hotel, Bandung
A few weeks ago during Ramadhan, I decided to book a room at one of the most legendary hotels in Bandung: Savoy Homann. I actually had a plan to have a staycation at the hotel since quite some time, but it never really happened until recently.
I thought it was a perfect time to have a staycation during Ramadhan for a few reasons. First of all, I could stroll around my own hometown as if I were a tourist. Also, since the location is close to the Grand Mosque of Bandung, I could also take my mom for the staycation so that she could go pray Taraweeh at night.
For that reason, I thought it was a good idea to just book a room for a night. And I did.
I’ve always wanted to get some experience staying at Savoy Homann Hotel because of the history behind it. If you’re a history junkie, then you’re probably familiar with the connection between the hotel and the Bandung Conference in 1955. It was the first large-scale Asian-African Conference at the time.
You might have never heard of it at your history class. However, if you come from one of the countries in either Asia or Africa… You’ve probably recalled it somewhere at the subject. This hotel is where some notable figures like Soekarno or Jawaharlal Nehru stayed during the conference.
But what if I tell you that the hotel is more than you thought it was?!
Savoy Homann Hotel, Bandung
The beginning of Savoy Homann Hotel started back in the 1870s, the building was first owned by Homann family. It was first well-known with Mrs. Homann’s rijstaffel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think rijstaffel is just a Dutch word for the buffet.
Anyway, in 1939 the hotel was rebuilt with its signature art deco style, designed by the architect Albert Aalbers. Apart from Savoy Homann as one of his masterpieces, the architecture also has numerous artworks that still can be seen in various areas around Bandung and its surroundings.
The VVIP Guests Who Stayed at the Hotel
After the first conference which invited the national leaders from numerous countries in Asia and Africa was conducted in Bandung, the hotel hosted VVIP guests like Soekarno, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ho Chi Minh, and even Tito.
The latter was mentioned as the Asian-African Conference somewhat became the blueprint of the movement with a bigger scope: Non-Aligned Movement. It became the forum of developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc during the Cold War.
But hey, in case you’re not interested in the hard politics like I am… Just know that Savoy Homann is not just about those political leaders in the developing countries mentioned earlier. As Savoy Homann Hotel was one of the most luxurious hotels in Bandung back in the day, there were a lot of A-list figures who stayed at the hotel.
One of them was Charlie Chaplin as he stopped by Bandung as a part of his trip to Java and Bali. He visited Bandung at least twice, as a few years later he also came to Bandung and stayed again at the hotel with his then-girlfriend, Paulette Goddard.
His first trip to Bandung, he stayed at Savoy Homann Hotel at the time before he continued his trip to Garut. The Oscar winner, Mary Pickford, also tagged along at the time.
First Impression at Savoy Homann Hotel
I’m pretty sure there might be some people who would be interested in booking the room(s) where all these notable figures stayed at Savoy Homann Hotel. As for me, not only that I got limited budget for this staycation, but also since I’m staying in Bandung anyway… I thought I might come back there anytime. 🙂
I mean, who knows? Maybe one day when the budget isn’t the problem, I could book the room where Soekarno stayed for the Asian-African Conference.
FYI, there are at least 3 hotel rooms at the hotel with their extra historical values. Those are the rooms with number 44 on each floor of the building. If room 244 was Soekarno’s room during the conference, there were numerous famous leaders staying on either room 144 or 344. To name a few, there were Jawaharlal Nehru from India, U Nu from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and even the then prime minister of Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser.
Check-In Process at Savoy Homann Hotel
The first time I checked out their night rate, I was a bit surprised as I really thought the rate was higher than that. So when I found out that the rate starts from less than $40 USD, I thought it was such a bargain!
Also, apart from their reputation as one of the most legendary hotels in Bandung, their strategic location has easy access to the main attractions around Bandung city center.
As for me, I booked the one with breakfast included for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted to write a complete review of the hotel and its service ever since I started planning out my staycation at the hotel. Also, because it was during Ramadan that I thought it was even better as we could then enjoy the meals for suhoor.
Besides, I really wouldn’t bother to go out to find some meals at 4 AM. So it seems like a better option to book the one with the complimentary breakfast included.
It was an easy check-in process as I could get the room key as soon as I arrived at the hotel.
The only thing is that when I came here, I initially asked for a non-smoking room. For the non-smoking room, the receptionist said that it might take a while since they still cleaned up all the non-smoking deluxe rooms they’ve got.
Deluxe Room Double Bed at Savoy Homann Hotel
The night rate for a deluxe room at Savoy Homann Hotel when I booked it was IDR 536,000 (around $37 USD). Quite decent for my budget, and you could even book one without complimentary breakfast for a more affordable rate.
As my cousin and my brother came with us, I thought there wouldn’t be a problem to have a smoking room either. Both of them are smokers, and they wanted to see the room as they were also curious about how fantastic the hotel is despite its historical values.
To be honest with you, the deluxe room is super standard. Like, there’s nothing special about the room. I suppose there must be some other hotels that offer you more modern looking rooms at a lower rate.
However, given the idea that it has so much more to do with the hotel’s history, I think the rate is quite fair. Especially with friendly staff who are super helpful.
And you could also ask for a hairdryer by request. Just call the receptionist and the housekeeping staff will come to you with one. Easy breezy for those who can’t live without a hairdryer like me. 🙂
If anything, I expected they would provide the mini bar. Apparently, there’s nothing inside the small refrigerator in the mini bar area. Although don’t worry about coffee and tea, since they provide a water jug to heat some water with tea, coffee, sugar and creamer provided.
Furniture & Amenities
They provide complete amenities from toothpaste, toothbrushes to even shower gel. There’s really nothing special about the room in general.
Like, it’s a typical deluxe room with a quite decent queen bed. Although to be fair, all of the furniture in the room seem quite old. Even the air conditioner looks a bit old. Although thank God it works just fine, so I got nothing to complain about.
There are also 2 sofas in the corner of the room, along with a desk that is quite big. As I had to take my laptop with me because of my work during the staycation, I suppose this corner is also quite ideal to work for a few hours.
And guess what? Their wifi connection was INCREDIBLE!
So, I stayed at Savoy Homann on the 20th of May. It was on the day when the election result came out, and there was a big demo and chaotic event around Jakarta. You thought it would be harmless, but nope… As a result, one of the government decisions during that time was to limit internet access for a few days.
It included the limitation on apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook. For a couple of days, everyone had to use a VPN to access all these apps. Guess what? I didn’t encounter any problem when I used wifi at Savoy Homann!
Yes, I had to use a VPN if I used my personal mobile data. I still got to use a VPN when I got back to my house using our wifi. But not at Savoy Homann, I didn’t even use VPN and I didn’t face any problem accessing all the apps.
It was important, because most of my works were through those apps. A staycation at Savoy Homann on the day became a bliss for myself that night!
Breakfast at Savoy Homann Hotel
One of the reasons why I wanted to take my mom for this staycation was because I wanted to let her see how it was to stay at a hotel. Some of you might want to laugh it off, but actually no… It’s true. My mom didn’t come from a privileged family. She worked as a nanny before she married my dad.
Even after she married my dad, my dad isn’t much of a traveler himself. And they clearly never stayed at a hotel together. Let alone a luxurious and legendary hotel like Savoy Homann Hotel, she never knew how it was to stay at a budget hotel either.
Garden Restaurant at Savoy Homann Hotel
Apart from just staying overnight at the hotel, I wanted to let my mom try all the buffet breakfast and how to enjoy everything without having to prepare all of those in advance like when she’s at home.
I honestly felt like this was a new thing I could do for her as she actually showed a glimpse of happiness when I took her out. Like she literally asked me to take some pictures of her so she could send it to all her sisters.
Even better, because they serve various kind of menu in the buffet. From pastry, Indonesian meals like fried rice and steamed rice, to even chicken porridge. And heyyy, we were too shameless not to try everything.
I mean, the more menu that I could try at this staycation, the better I could give you a review on their breakfast menu in general, right?
The restaurant at Savoy Homann Hotel is located on the ground floor with some tropical vibe with palm trees around the tables. The restaurant is quite spacious that I’m not sure whether because it was during low-season, but the restaurant wasn’t so full of people coming in for the suhoor.
So many empty tables around, such a blissful event for an introvert like me! 😛
Variety of Menu Choices for Breakfast at Garden Restaurant
The other time I had a staycation at Best Western Premier The Hive in Jakarta, I didn’t manage to try all the menu choices as there was some weird stranger approaching me during breakfast.
However, this time with my mom tagging along, it’s funny how I’m 30 and feeling more secured with her around during my staycation. And the good thing about is that also the fact that I got a chance to try all the menu served in the buffet.
Like, my mom is a typical Indonesian who couldn’t live without eating rice. Or should I say, a typical Asian? 😛
So of course after she tried all the entree menu, it was a necessity for her to try the menu served with steamed rice. For me, I wasn’t really in the mood for rice but I tried a bit from my mom’s plate.
It was okay in a way that it wasn’t bad but neither was it super fantastic. Instead, I ordered an omelet specially mixed with shredded cheese and chili. It took a while for them to prepare my special request, but it was rather fine. 🙂
However, if I could choose any menu that I think the best at Garden Restaurant… Then I gotta say that their pastry would be the top of my list!
I particularly loved their donut and croissant. Their pastry is so moist, it’s so tasty. Like, even the raisin pastry tastes nice and buttery. I didn’t add any additional jam for the bread, but I still quite liked it. That’s how good it was.
During Ramadhan, their suhoor schedule starts from 3 to 4 o’clock in the morning. Overall, it was a decent suhoor that we had at Garden Restaurant. And I wasn’t even fasting on the day.
I figured, paying extra for less than IDR 100,000 for a room with complimentary breakfast is quite worthy at Savoy Homann. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Review: Savoy Homann Hotel, Bandung
As I mentioned previously, I thought the rate would be higher than what they offered. But after I stayed at the hotel, I actually understand why. Their room and services are quite standard as other 4-star hotels in general. Apart from the historical values behind this hotel, there’s nothing really special about it.
In fact, I think a lot of changes have occurred through time in a way that makes the hotel not as authentic. For instance, there are two elevators at the hotel.
I assume that one elevator near the front office would take you to the original building of Savoy Homann Hotel. You know, the building with room 144, 244, and 344. Those rooms have now become the presidential suite. If you’re a history junkie who wouldn’t mind paying extra for the room, then I’d suggest you book any of the room for your own experience.
The other elevator around Garden Restaurant is the one that will take you to the rooms in the new building. Like, it’s basically proof of how capitalism has ruined the historical values of this hotel.
I tried to reach out to Savoy Homann Hotel through Facebook, and one of their sales team reached out to me before I had a staycation there.
At first, I wanted to get more information on whether they have some kind of internal tour where I could get in the tour around the hotel so I could understand more about the history of the hotel and others.
I went to a similar tour at Tugu Hotel in Malang once, and I thought that maybe Savoy Homann would have it too. Unfortunately, despite the fact that their staff actually reached out to me through Whatsapp, I didn’t get any response for this. In fact, if that’s how they do their customer service, then I find it terrible. Very slow response, and not so helpful in general.
- The strategic location. Savoy Homann Hotel is close to some of the main attractions and historical places in Bandung. You could reach Merdeka Building, Braga street, Bandung 0 KM, and the central mosque within walking distance. If you love shopping, not so far from the central mosque, there’s also one of the legendary malls in Bandung that recently reopens for public: King’s.
- The night rate is super affordable, and you could even opt without breakfast to get the lowest fare. If you want to do some nostalgic Bandung in the Dutch colonial era, you could even continue to the legendary restaurant Braga Permai for a separate breakfast. If you like walking and exercise, the plan is perfect to spend around the area.
- Various kind of breakfast menu. I love the pastry!
- The wifi connection at this hotel is a bomb. For me, staycation there around the limitation of social media handles in Indonesia has become a bliss in disguise!
- Apart from my interaction with one of the sales team who reached out to me on Whatsapp, my experience with the hotel staff was quite great. From housekeeping, receptionist, to even concierge, it was excellent!
- If you only want to stay at the hotel to seek for historical values without staying at the presidential suite, just know that you will barely find anything special about it except for one old vehicle Marvia Sport 1930 that is parked somewhere around the corner. Even for that, I didn’t get any information about this vehicle around its parking area. Instead, I got information about this car in some random Indonesian blog post.
- Rather than communicating directly to their salesperson, I’d rather book the room directly from the third party like Agoda or Traveloka.
My next staycation, I’m planning to book a room at the hotel close to Savoy Homann that is also legendary: Grand Preanger. I’ll probably do it after my next trip.
Anyway, that’s all for today about Savoy Homann Hotel in Bandung. Have you stayed in any of legendary hotel in your hometown, or any city that you’ve visited? Do you have a story to share? Give me a shout in the comment below, and cheerio! 😀
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