JW Marriott Surabaya Review

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The JW Marriott Surabaya comes up quite frequently in the Mighty Travels Premium Hotel Search tools. I found rates as low as $49 (before tax and fees) on marriott.com for the hotel. That’s an amazing price for a JW Marriott.

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The hotel is located in the Surabaya city center (if there is such a thing) close to the Sheraton Surabaya and Holiday Inn Express Surabaya. It’s a signature landmark and it’s also really old. The hotel has just started renovations but does not seem to be in a hurry.

Check-in was a bit intrusive as my name was practically yelled through the lobby when I stepped inside. Apparently someone googled their guest list that day (last time this happened to me in was at the Hampton Panama City).

I had made a pre-paid reservation (full prepay at Marriott.com) but the hotel insisted that I had not paid before.

The room was huge (I was upgraded to a Studio) but about to fall apart. Everything was creaky (but working) with a powerful AC that cooled it down to 50 degrees if you wanted. The bed was huge and very comfortable.

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The bathroom must had seen their best time in 1960 as it was in a sorry condition. I did not dare shower (though I’m sure it worked).

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I went down to the pool instead which looks great on pictures but is really small when you are closer. It was crowded with dozens of children enjoying this hot Sunday afternoon. While the hotel has 35 floors with plenty of rooms the pool had less than a dozen lounge chairs and allowed swimming for less than two dozen people – clearly the pool is not the draw of this place.

My Marriott Gold status (from the Ritz Carlton credit card) allowed me access to the Executive Lounge on the 21st floor. The evening service was quite good with lots of appetizers and decent white and red wine selection. The only problem was that there were so few items. 3 slice of baguette, 2 slices of cheese etc. It was absurd. There were about 30 people in the lounge during the whole service hour and the buffet was empty most of the time. It would get refilled eventually but 30 minutes would have passed in between.

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Since my flight had been changed to a 6.30 AM departure the next morning I missed the breakfast service at the lounge which was likely similar.

In sum – this hotel needs to renovate quickly (it had already started with some loud drilling on a Sunday afternoon in my room). It’s just a very average hotel and not worth more than the low rates it publishes. Without the JW Marriott brand name it would likely sell rooms in the $40 or less range in Surabaya.

Unless there is a crazy Marriott Rewards promotion – there are much better places in town.

2.5 / 5 stars