Stay in this melting-pot Sumatran city to explore its street-food scene, or stretch out in its jungle-folded fringes for trips out to mountains, rice paddies and caldera-carved lakes.
There’s more to Medan than meets the eye. Besides being the largest city on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, it’s a vibrant hub that’s pulsating with Batak, Javanese and Chinese influences. Look beyond its industrial urban exterior and you’ll find a robust and ever-evolving street-food scene, plus a tropical hinterland that gives way onto lush green expanses, ripe for excursions. Check into these buzzy bases for cool courtyard pools and come-hither spas.
The landmark JW Marriott Hotel Medan holds the distinction of being the first five-star luxury hotel in the city. Rooms are decorated in earth-tone fabrics and feature marble bathrooms and sweeping views of the city skyline. Try a steam bath or a Javanese massage at the Spa by JW, or hit the 24-hour gym, with qualified pilates and yoga instructors. The hotel also boasts an infinity pool, perfect for an afternoon dip, with fantastic views of Medan to slake the tropical heat.
Guests are greeted by a magnificent lobby, with double spiralling staircases and a baby grand piano, at the Adimulia Hotel. The beautiful Greek-inspired infinity pool is another standout feature, and includes Roman-style columns and a small garden. On the seventh floor you’ll also find a badminton court, a fitness centre and the rejuvenating Adimulia Spa with a jacuzzi, whirlpool and sauna for time out after taking in the sights.
The traditionally styled rooms at Emerald Garden offer a home-away-from-home feel. For the ultimate upgrade, check into the penthouse suite. Decked out in soothing neutral tones and classic dark-wood furniture, the contemporary two-bedroom pad offers dazzling views of the city centre. Suites also include a free fruit basket and breakfast. Guests can tone up at the fitness centre, unwind in the swimming pool, get pampered at the spa and sauna or make use of the co-working space.
Four Points keeps in step with Sheraton’s signature style, and is a short walk from Medan’s historic and cultural monuments. The hotel’s lobby is an impressive marble feat, where guests are greeted by helpful staff. The smartly decorated rooms and suites have minimalist design elements and there’s a modern restaurant, a stylish art deco-inspired lounge, a rooftop pool and a spa.
The Aryaduta Medan embodies contemporary Indonesian hospitality. The hotel, set atop the Grand Palladium Mall, features suites with balconies or terraces, serving up sky-high views of the city. The centrepiece, though, is the courtyard pool, shaded by palms and surrounded by loungers. Want to spoil yourself? There’s also a gym, in-room massages and plenty of dining options, including a polished bar and a chic restaurant with an open kitchen.
Comfort meets contemporary design in the bold Favehotel S Parman Medan, located in the heart of the business district. Featuring bright murals, the 131 fresh, functional rooms balance modern amenities and vibrant decor. From the lobby to the mezzanine-level Lime Restaurant, there are pops of gold and fuchsia, shimmering geometric patterns emblazoned on walls and plush textiles, giving the space a refreshing modern edge. Amenities include a wine shop, indulgent in-room massage treatments and a coffee lounge that serves local Sumatran coffee.
The smartly renovated Kama Hotel is an affordable alternative for those wanting to experience design on a budget. Expect bright graphics and modern art, with friendly reception staff and an informal open-air dining area that serves local dishes. Rooms at the Kama Hotel range from hip studios to larger family rooms, and everything in between – all simple, with their own distinct personalities on display in the colourful accented walls. The hotel is also steps away from major attractions such as Merdeka Walk, Medan’s largest food district.
Set amid tropical greenery, the family-run Deli River Hotel is just a few miles away from the city centre, but seems a world away. Sumatran jungle views greet you from every corner of this Medan boutique hotel, whether you’re enjoying the palm tree-lined pool or birdwatching from the restaurant terrace. The quaint cottages are built in traditional Batak Simalungun style and guests receive personalised service in the form of hand-picked tours that are carefully curated by the owners, including trips to Lake Toba in the Batak highlands – formed in the basin of a supervolcano – via rice paddies and mountain scenery.