Staying at Ciputra Hotel Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

Hotel Ciputra Semarang is claimed itself as a luxurious hotel. In 2018, it is still true even nowadays it seems old and needs renovation. This hotel is still among the best hotels at the town and a very popular choice for business travelers. Maybe It was why when I stayed 2 weeks in January 2012 with my family and young children, I did not feel warm welcome.




Arriving with free shuttle from hotel, we entered in a superb lobby as expected from a 5-star establishment. The baggage services and the driver were efficient and friendly. Unfortunately friendliness of staff at reception was always not good. They were cold for each contact. Hope the reception staff provides better services now.

First contact was when we arrived. After about 24 hours flight and transit included from Brussels to Semarang, we were so exhausted. The check-in time was quite fast, but then some staff at reception seemed irritated seeing my night rate I payed. They even chattered about this matter in front of me. Yes indeed, I had a good rate at that time, about 50 % discount using, deal of the day, I payed 335,5k IDR instead of 711k IDR. So, what ?

Next contacts, my daughter and I were ill. Then I used their facility : doctor on call. But this experience was not going so well at all. The hotel doctor was a cheat (in financial way). He asked me to sign the blank form of payment, explained that he did not know yet the price exact. I agreed, it was my fault but I just trusted him. Then the next day the bill were charged automatically from my card I used as caution. I was shocked by the amount.

When I asked reception to talk to the doctor and I explained why, they refused to do it with a lot of excuses. They asked me to come back again later and same excuses I got every day. Hopeless, one day, I gave them the bill and asked them to contact on my behalf. If the amount I payed was his price, I just wanted to know the details of the bill since he wrote only the global amount for both of us.

The day of check-out time, I waited in front of reception and insisted to have the explanation from the doctor. But I didn’t believe what I saw, a receptionist throw away my doctor bill secretly and the other one said to me that she couldn’t find the doctor-bill I mention.

I was at my very last patience at that time, but I stayed calm and said that she should tried to find at the bin because I saw someone throw it away. Both were ashamed of getting caught. So, I felt I needed to talk to the manager.

The Hotel Manager came, a professional one. He listened what I complained, I didn’t tell what the receptionist did to me, I didn’t want someone lost their job. Finally, the manager connected me to doctor‘s phone. But the conversation with the doctor was not going well. He was aggressive from very beginning and impolite at the end, so I ended the conversation.

The moral of my story. If you are ill at Semarang, you better take a taxi to the hospital directly. At Simpang Lima area, there are many very good hospital nearby, such as Telogorejo Hospital or Hermina Pandanaran Hospital. I’m sure you’ll pay 10 times less than what I payed. Secondly, never ever sign anything blank even with someone you trusted.

Well, this dramatic saga which consuming time, energy and patience just made me skeptical to come back to this hotel even their good facilities, as I would describe more below.


Food and Beverage

Light snacks are served in the charming Lounge Bar. At that time we stayed, free Wi-Fi was only in the lobby lounge bar, when Horison Hotel or Novotel Hotel 4-star establishment were already given free Wi-Fi at your room with fast speed. During our stay, of course I wanted to stay connected, we went at Lounge Bar to connect Internet, every 5 minutes, the bartender proposed us if you need something to drink or to eat. So, annoying.

But wait, last time I check I knew they provided Wi-Fi at every guests rooms now.

For breakfast, they served daily buffet with a good variety, quality and presentation for western and Asian dishes. Warm pancake is the super star among other foods. For the beverages, they are good but not excellent. Well, it was still matched the expectation of 5-star hotel.

Staff were friendly and the quality of service was good. Tried to sit near the window and having breakfast with the view of Simpang Lima. The atmosphere at buffet were nice in a weekday but quite harsh in a weekend when the hotel was crowded. From my experience some guests talked too loud, you risked queuing for foods, some smoked in non-smoking area, some screamed to be served at first, and so on. Fortunately, the staff stayed nice even some guests exaggerated their requests.


honest-reviewRoom and Facilities

We stayed in deluxe double room, about 26 m². Brown carpet on the floor. It looked old but clean. Big comfortable bed with flat-screen TV in front of the bed including national and international channels. Comfortable sofa 1 seat with a wood table in the corner of the room. A work table with accessories like block notes, pen, envelopes were on it. Mini-bars (not free) and fridge beside the table. They provided (for free) instant coffee, tea, cream, and sugar with a coffeemakers. A large sliding black closet with accessories (slippers, extra pillows, a personal safe) installed next to door.

The bathroom was what I loved the most in this hotel : spacious one with marble tiles, clean and had a nice bath-up with shower combined. It was also well-equipped with hairdryer and free toiletries. Overall, excellent.

The room was, in general, quiet. Only when the hotel had an event in their lobby with the local or national group band. Noise came from people ( drunk one or not, I didn’t know) who came from this event and continued talking or laughing so loud in the hall way. It was impossible to not notice their present.


honest-reviewOutdoor Swimming Pool

Too small for 5-star establishment. Outsiders (not hotel’s guests) bought access to use the swimming pool. They usually come in the afternoon. And during the weekend, crowded as hell. Try to come in the morning, it’s calmer and avoid planning any activity to swim or relaxing all day at swimming pool during the weekend, you will get a depression. LOL.

Fitness and Sauna

Sorry, I couldn’t tell since I didn’t use these facilities when I stayed at this hotel.




Excellent is the only word I could describe for Hotel Ciputra Semarang. It is not only located in front of the famous Simpang Lima Square but it has direct access to the Citraland Mall and Plaza Matahari which located next street. It is genius when you don’t need to find the exit door from one mall to another because there is an indoor passage between these two malls. Nice, huh ?

Shopping could be much easier and comfortable this way.

Bus stop of Trans Semarang, a good public transport is just in front of this hotel. I recommend using this transportation. It’s comfortable, with AC and cheap. One way rate ticket in 2018 is 3,5k IDR for adult and 1k IDR for child. Check more their schedule and itinerary here (description in Bahasa Indonesia only):


Not enough parking space since the day I stayed, and now it is getting worst. If you don’t bring your own car, you will be fine.


Finally, my overall honest score for this hotel is 7,7/10. With the details below:

  • Location 10/10

  • Breakfast 9/10

  • Cleanliness 9/10

  • Room Comfort 9/10

  • Noise Comfort 7/10

  • Facilities 7/10

  • Staff 6/10

  • Wi-Fi 6/10

  • Value for money 7/10 (normal rate)

Oh yeah, in my case, value for money was 9/10 but it was quite rare. In general this hotel is overrated, every time I check.

The normal rate now for deluxe double or twins (Mai 2018) is about 1000k in average per night, with the same good point on location, room comfort and breakfast, you are better try Horison (new name : Grand Arkenso) in the same area, cheaper, friendlier and better value for your money.

See ya.


Important notes:

I only write my personal opinions and experiences about this hotel. I don’t get any fees, bonus, discount nor endorsement from any hotel. This is why I called this rubric honest review.