The Best Hotels to Book in Balikpapan, Borneo

The views from the Gran Senyiur Hotel are some of Balikpapan's best
The views from the Gran Senyiur Hotel are some of Balikpapan's best | © Gran Senyiur Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Culture Trip Travel Team
25 November 2021

Beautiful, lush Borneo has only a handful of cities in Kalimantan, on the Indonesian side. The port of Balikpapan is the major metropolis, although rainforest, mangroves and stretches of sandy beach are easily accessible. Discover Balikpapan from these hotels, bookable with Culture Trip.

Novotel Balikpapan, for coastal comfort near Kemala Beach

Plush lobby at the Novotel Balikpapan
© Novotel Balikpapan / Expedia
Novotel’s sturdy wedge of a building is one of Kalimantan’s stalwart international chain hotels. Inviting public spaces, such as Colours – a Mediterranean and Asian buffet restaurant – are open plan and warmly lit. The rooms, decorated in earthy tones, are afforded pops of colour from the modern art on the walls and offer city or sea views. A large rooftop terrace pool area looks out over the Makassar Strait, and the treadmills inside the hotel’s fitness centre share a similar vista.

Grand Jatra Hotel Balikpapan, for elegant resting near Bekapai Park

Sprawling lounge bar at Grand Jatra Hotel Balikpapan
© Grand Jatra Hotel / Expedia
Balikpapan is where Indonesians flock to find the latest fashions in the large shopping malls to the south of the city. Housed in one of those shopping centres, made graceful with koi-filled ponds and gentle piano music on the inside, this relaxing hotel offers a calming contrast to the shopping activity outside. The walled rooftop pool area is particularly chic, complete with sun loungers and bar service for sipping a cool sundowner after a busy day of spending.

Blue Sky Hotel, for seafood and swimming near the Hutan Mangrove Center

Elegant lobby of the Blue Sky Hotel
© Blue Sky Hotel / Expedia
Choose large, light-filled rooms with pretty views and soft blue accents or studios and suites with balconies, separate seating areas, whirlpool bathtubs and pool views. And what a view, surrounded by palms and trees, the outdoor pool is a relaxing place to sip a fresh juice. Love your food? Two restaurants, one serving sushi and the other Chinese-style seafood dishes and dim sum, make this hotel an excellent choice for gourmands.

Platinum Balikpapan Hotel & Convention Hall, for Indonesian indulgence near the Mahavihara Buddhamanggala temple

The restaurant at Platinum Balikpapan
© Platinum Balikpapan / Expedia
On the fringes of the city, where Balikpapan and the lush forested landscape of Borneo’s interior converge, this luxurious hotel offers something for everyone. Despite the distance from the main city sights, this is a popular place to stay thanks to its airy rooms with purple pops, chic Kalimaya Spa, rooftop swimming pool and free airport shuttle. Seek out the winery, piano bar, restaurants and even a bakery and you’re assured of a mountain view, whether in the year-round outdoor pool or gym.

Hotel Zurich, for riverside relaxation near Monpera Beach

Luxurious lobby at Hotel Zurich
© Hotel Zurich / Expedia
Boldly-themed rooms feature bright red or deep purple feature walls and bed frames tempered by calmer wood and white tones, 5km (3mi) from the airport. There are plenty of welcome amenities, such as desk space and a restaurant serving fragrant Asian dishes with spiced rice and fish. There’s a small fitness centre, but the tennis courts are the bigger draw. Families will love the close proximity to Aquaboom Waterpark, next door.

Hotel Pacific Balikpapan, for cosy comfort near Balikpapan Plaza

Traditional restaurant at Hotel Pacific
© Hotel Pacific / Expedia
If you’re looking for a great value hotel in a good location, try this easy-going spot a few minutes walk from the seafront shopping centres, such as Ocean Plaza. Unfussy without being austere, relaxing rooms feature silky fabrics in lemon yellow and modern furnishings made from lightly varnished wood. Perk yourself up each morning with a good strong coffee from the cafe, saving room for perfectly-flipped pancakes.

Her Hotel & Trade Centre Balikpapan, for spa serenity near Caribbean Island Water Park

Tranquil indoor pool at Her Hotel & Trade Centre
© Her Hotel & Trade Centre / Expedia
This modern hotel offers a heady combination of facilities and value for money. Polished floors and natural tones keep rooms restful while the spa and massage service are on hand for unwinding at the end of the day. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace with far-reaching views over the suburbs of Balikpapan. Browse the breakfast buffet for fruits and freshly-baked goods before ticking the city sights off your list.

Gran Senyiur Hotel, for hillside highlife near Sepinggan Airport

Opulent restaurant at the Gran Senyiur Hotel with trees running through the centre
© Gran Senyiur Hotel / Expedia
The lofty ceilings and cascading chandeliers in the lobby match the upscale atmosphere that pervades this hotel at the top of Pasir Ridge hill. Touches of elegance grace every aspect, from the fountain-centric rooftop terrace to the large outdoor pool topped by a wooden footbridge covered in lights. There are classic cars in the corridor outside one of the five restaurants and, depending on how you’re feeling, a cigar lounge for a glass of expensive whisky or a spa are good places to cap off the day. Don’t forget to admire the views of the Makassar Strait.

Astara Hotel Balikpapan, for family fun near Kemala Beach

Verdant lobby of the Astara Hotel
© Astara Hotel / Expedia
Few hotels in Borneo can brag about their own rooftop water park, but atop the seventh floor of this lively hotel, colourful waterslides plunge into a sprawling, lagoon-style pool. White and wood-lined rooms have a batik style design above the bed and suites have kitchenettes and scenic views of the city. End the day sipping a Stark Craft Beer in the hotel bar of the same name. A handful of modest beaches are nearby, as are a selection of malls and an 18-hole golf course.

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