Holiday Inn Express Surabaya + (re)start of my IHG rewards

Surabaya continues to be a hard city to crack, from a travelling perspective. After spending an initial at the opulent Sheraton, I opted to move to a relatively new Holiday Inn Express. It’s a little awkwardly placed without a vehicle however I found it to be a perfectly acceptable place to stay a few nights at an extremely low price by international hotel chain standards. 

Although the Sheraton was lovely, it is brutally expensive by local standards. Many, many times most other properties. Since I am well on my way to requalify for SPG Platinum so early in the year there’s no need to accumulate nights, even if they’re super cheap by SPG standards. I was initially going to just find a decent local property but found a newly built Holiday Inn Express and it seemed like a good time to restart my IHG loyalty account. I haven’t touched it since getting (rather useless) gold status years ago through a Virgin Australia match. Turns out I am somehow still gold without ever registering a single stay *shrug*

IHG is a program that members often register online for promotions with codes. This was all a bit out of control some years back with people just entering various codes they found online and accumulating large stockpiles of points for free hotel nights. While things have been tempered slightly I was effectively starting new, albeit with an account a few years old. By registering for a couple promotions and the current campaign being run I should be eligible for around 20-30 thousand points with just a few nights stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Surabaya. In theory that could provide more free nights than the nights I was paying for. Of course the question is always how much are you actually paying. The hotel was from around $35 / night, inclusive of breakfast and amenities. A bit above other local properties but nothing like the Sheraton ($150-200+).

On checking in the staff were very friendly and did the usual and awkward ‘thank you for your loyalty’ welcome. I promptly told them I came from the Sheraton and hadn’t had any stays but thanks anyway. Amused these two staff have ended up being great throughout my stay. I’ve ended up staying three nights but booking one night at a time online, extending my stay.

The rooms are above the basic you’d expect from a budget business hotel. They are perfectly clean and quiet, importantly carpetted and there’s an average space to move around. Amenities are available on request. The bathroom is slightly angled so the entrance widens as you enter.

As I mentioned, breakfast is included here regardless of rate. A simple but adequate number of western and Indonesian options: hot breakfasts, salad, continental and a small selection of juice / water. The restaurant is on the ground floor from the back of the lobby with seating both inside and out. Sorry no photos.

Holiday Inn Express Surabaya Lobby

The restaurant also offers ok-priced all day options that are also available as room service. The room service menu however is quick to provide US fast food delivery numbers on its front page.

Holiday Inn Express Surabaya Room Service Menu

I realise now Carl’s Jr is still completely foreign to me although I did get to try it once recently at Auckland Airport precinct. So probably missed out here, would imagine it to be crazy cheap. Maybe next time.

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