Palangkaraya, ringed by peat swamps, and a long way from anywhere you have heard of, is far off any tourist trail. Yet as Kalimantan's mining boom continues, it is slowly becoming more important. One sign of this is the swanky new Aquarius Boutique Hotel- the best in town. It is not really a boutique hotel as I understand the term, more of a multi-storey business hotel. But considering the location in Central Kalimantan, it is modern, clean and has excellent facilities. From the swimming pool, you can look far off across the peat swamps. The rooms were well-appointed and most modern amenities were available. Overall, we were impressed. The main drawback was the prices in the restaurant. These were very expensive by Indonesian standards and the portions were not very big. Considering how we paid 21% tax and service on the bill, we did not tip. This went down very badly with the staff who looked at us, aghast. Perhaps the hotel wasn't passing on any of 11% service charge to their staff, but that isn't our fault.
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