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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Swiss Belinn Medan
Smart and busy new hotel that almost verges on earning a boutique label. The rooms have lovely cool dark slate floors and bathrooms, rough white-washed walls, subdued art and deliciously comfortable beds...
Grand Swiss Belhotel Medan
This huge, modern hotel follows the standard business-class formula of great facilities, an array of different restaurants and a guaranteed good night's sleep, but it also throws in a see-through glass-walled swimming pool and floor-to-ceiling windows...
This smart, upmarket hotel has rooms that match what you would get back home for the same price, plus a few more fingerprints. But when measured on the Sumatran scale, this is top-grade.
Garuda Plaza Hotel
Garuda Plaza is Medan's homage to Jakarta, with modern, corporate accents. The lobby is a hive of activity. Discounts of up to 40% are available.
Located near the bus agents, Vista is excellent value. You might have forgotten what clean means in Sumatra, but Vista can remind you with a good range of clean rooms.
Hotel Swarna Dwipa
In a leafy area, this mini resort is filled with Indonesian bigwigs, but the rooms don't quite deliver.
Rio City Hotel
Opened in mid-2012, the centrally located Rio City brings a stylish elegance to sometimes-gritty Palembang. The downstairs lobby is a confection in white and marble, and the rooms are spacious and modern...
With modern bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, your travel budget goes a long way at the Fortuna. Rooms are simple and sparsely furnished, but all you need after a long day on Sumatran roads...
Close to the airport, in the aristocratic section of Medan.
The centrally-located Savali is just a short stroll from the beach and good restaurants. The hotel's 23 rooms are arrayed around a Zen-style garden, good English is spoken at reception and there's definitely an open mind to negotiation on room rates...
Opened just days before we dropped by, the Duta features compact rooms with modern decor and snazzy bathrooms...
The lime-green Residence has enough rooms, at a range of different prices, to mean that there’s usually something to suit both your mood and your pockets. Warning: the cheaper rooms are windowless prison cells on the top floor and they get hot...
The Sriwijaya Hotel
Located just north of central Padang and a short stroll from the beach, the Sriwijaya features modern rooms arrayed around a leafy garden courtyard. Free bicycles are available if you're keen on exploring the nearby beach promenade.
Spotless dorms and private rooms named after classic Sydney surf breaks. Grab a bed in the shared Bronte room, or splash out on the Bondi or Manly rooms with private bathrooms.
Hotel Samudera Dwinka
Located in the centre of town, Hotel Samudera has rooms that are inexpensive without being depressing. There's a handy on-site travel agent if you need to book flights or buses.
Mountain View Hotel
In a stunning location with a huge garden and plenty of room for vehicles. The simple rooms are great value and the hotel is owned by a friendly family.
Bengkulu's first stab at a designer hotel is a goodie and features a colourful designer lobby and well-appointed rooms with modern bathrooms. There's an on site cafe and restaurant...
Grand Palace Hotel
OK value for those on a tight budget. The tiled-floor rooms come with air-con, hot water, cable TV and clean, sleepable beds. It's a short walk to the good eats at the Nagoya Hill Mall. After dark it can get a tad noisy from nearby bars.
Located just north of Palembang's market area, Zuri Express fills a colourful and modern building with equally colourful and modern accommodation...
Hotel Bintang Lima
This sleek designer hotel features classy red-and-black decor, a cool downstairs coffee shop, and an on site spa and massage centre...
Close to the centre of town, this is an old Dutch villa with high ceilings and languid fans. The hotel has lots of local information, and can arrange trips to nearby attractions, including Gunung Krakatau.
Not far from the bus station, this relatively new place has cheap and clean economy rooms with shared bathrooms and somewhat fancier standard rooms.
This recently refurbished, classic hotel channels a colonial Raffles-like vibe. There are spacious rooms with wooden furniture and massive beds, several restaurant options, including a Japanese teppanyaki bar, and a good downstairs pub...