In Bukittinggi (West Sumatra Province) we stayed at this hotel called The Hills Hotel Bukittinggi. It's a small but very nice hotel. It has a 4-star rating I think. You don't see much looking at the hotel from outside, but once you step inside you can see that the hotel's not that bad really. The lobby is fashioned like an atrium, and most of the rooms face the lobby except the ones on the southeast wing, which face the swimming pool.
I like spending time in the lobby. It doesn't feel stuffy, I can see my room from where I sit at and there's a sort of a zen fountain in the middle, shaped like an 8-star (one of the symbols of Islamic art and science). There are some chairs and couches and sofas for people to sit and lounge around and chat, and you can order drinks to be sent to the lobby should you feel like having a round.
The rooms are electronically locked, and the keys are electronic cards that I think has some RFID chip in them, because you only need to touch the doorknob with the card in order to unlock the room (as opposed to inserting or swiping the card). Reminds me of the Touch 'n Go system we have here in Malaysia. Very cool.
The bathroom's spacey, the tv's a flatscreen wall-mounted plasma (so you have all the table real estate you can get) and you don't have problems finding the qibla arrow that tells you where you should face if you want to pray. They also provide prayer mats in the should you forget to bring your own.
In the drawer I found two books: Al-Qur'aan and a New Testament with Indonesian translation, laid side by side. I just smiled when I saw this. I remember staying in hotels outside Malaysia and only found bibles or Mormon bibles in the drawers. In Malaysia I seldom found anything but the hotel utensils, maybe some magazines and/or hotel listing of services. But there in The Hills Hotel Bukittingi, Indonesia, I found the two important books of two different faiths laid side by side, the Qur'aan on the right and the New Testament on the left. I guess the religious intolerance in Indonesia I keep seeing in the media a couple years ago are not as bad now as I initially thought.
More on my Indonesia trip later =)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Posted by Ihsan Khairir at 1:59 PM