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“Mamberamo Memories”

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Royal Mamberamo Hotel
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Sorong
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Mamberamo Memories”
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Okay, you need to know that, at the time of writing this, the hotels in West Papua (specifically Sorong) simply don't hold up to what most people are used to in more well-developed (or spoiled, depending on how you see it) parts of SE Asia - or even Indonesia.

So our ratings here are relative.

A few things about Sorong, then I'll get into the actual hotel specifics. Traveling in West Papua is expensive in comparison to the rest of Indo - so don't expect the same kind of 'great value/price'. Expect to pay 50-70% more compared to a similar stay in most other/more touristy areas of Indo (based on my experiences in Bali and Sulawesi at least).

Context/Our Trip: Traveled as a couple with about 12 other friends - couples, singles, groups. We stayed in Sorong to explore for 4 days before a trip out to Raja and for 3 nights afterward far more time in Sorong than most travelers - and we loved it!). Our friends stayed at various other locations (You and Me, Meridian, Luxio) one the front end of our trip. All of them were scrambling to stay with us at Mamberamo on the back end.

About the Hotel:
For Sorong, this place is fantastic value - and I think they're starting to figure that out. While prices were decent for us, word is spreading (both about Sorong/Raja Ampat as a destination, and about Royal Mamberamo as a competitive stay option). I think their prices might go up pretty quickly, given they're not the most expensive but are delivering the best value. Until some of the competitors (looking at you Luxio and Meridian) step up their game they'll be free to price as they'd like I think.

Staff were really friendly. Place was clean, pretty quiet (despite rumours of late-night Karaoke parties) and quite comfortable!

The location of this place is great if you are the kind of traveler who likes to explore locally - great for walking around (which I encourage you to do). If you are just in-and-out to Raja, then locations nearer to the airport might be simpler/easier.

They have a solid restaurant (ate there a number of times - quite good, though there are better places in town if you take the time to find them) with a huge menu - good mix of Indonesian food. Great breakfast buffet!

They have an onsite travel agent (arranges flights away and diving... but lost when it comes to other local adventures).

There is also a small lounge/bar that has live music almost every night until 10/11pm. All the singers in town are extremely talented - especially considering they often sing in English and with varying degrees of speaking skill. Mix drinks are a bit expensive.

Decent laundry service (be detailed in your description of common clothes - I definitely got someone else's 'grey undies' once), good TV with lots of free movies on air if you want to simply stay in and enjoy the aircon.

Smoking is still a very common thing - in the lobby and on certain floors. I don't think smoking rooms are going to last too long but in the meantime be sure to check your room for the smell of smoke (even if not on a smoking floor). The staff are very accommodating if you find something amiss. Oh, and they have an Indonesian beer OTHER than Bintang!

Room quality was excellent in both of the rooms we stayed in and in the rooms of our friends who stayed with us.

If you're traveling to Sorong (and especially if you're thinking of staying and spending time in the local environs) I'd highly recommend Royal Mamberamo.

A Note about Sustainability/Politics: West Papua is an occupied place - that is to say, most of the actual local West Papuans aren't happy with Indonesia's adoption of this land. There is a noticeable lack of West Papuan ownership and employment in Sorong businesses and in other cities as well. Don't get me wrong - the (largely Javanese) Indonesian staff are excellent. But if you want to support *true local* businesses you may want to look at homestays on the nearby islands as you'll find little opportunity in the cities. If you are in Sorong and do want to have a true local experience, walk along the water-front road north of town and keep walking past the local fish markets until you come to the mangrove villages - explore a bit and if you are polite and willing to listen you'll get a warm welcome and a lesson on West Papuan history from the locals living on the stilted shanty towns.

Room Tip: Ask for a non-smoking floor. Some rooms have windows, others don't. The windows aren't lar...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
7 Thank Wishsinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

finished a week in raja ampat. so you are tired and need some western comfort. this place was cheaper than the mariat but it was on the other side of town- some 10-20 mins from the airport.
there is literally no other option to stay -- the hotel is based in a rather seedy road ( u would not want to go for a night stroll ) but is newly built , clean and functional. we parted with 50USD for a superior room with windows.. must say it was quite smart with working bath /shower.. nice staff
but I must say-- the menu prices were very high--western prices indeed- but I think the Indonesian meals were cheaper.....

Room Tip: choose a room with a window
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank hena27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

On the positive side, the hotel is clean and the breakfast reasonable. On the negative side, the cheaper rooms (which are definitely not cheap!) have no windows and are pretty cramped for 2 people.

However, this is probably as good as it gets in Sorong. There are a few other options close to the Mamberamo and you may pay a few dollars less. But issues such as mosquitoes, noise and incompetent staff make these less than ideal alternatives.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DiveDiva21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arundel, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2014 via mobile

After a 2 week trip to Raja Ampat , we checked ourselves into the Royal Mamberano suite . The suite itself was pleasant and spacious but very over priced ! We popped downstairs to eat ... Stick to the Indonesian dishes ! The staff were helpful and polite . The wifi is slow ... But this is Papua after all . The water in the shower didn't actually get hot . Would we stay again ? Probably not , as we saw new hotels being built whilst we were there !

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank LiliFaerie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dili
Level Contributor
37 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2014

The rooms are nice and very clean - just a bit small and a very small window. The internet was good and fast and the staff very friendly and spoke good english. There is a good choice of food in the restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank vollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baden, Switzerland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

If you are waiting for a boat to take you to Raja Ampat the next morning, this hotel is fine. Rooms were clean, staff helpful (although not everybody speaks English). Restaurant was ok, we were too jet lagged to try to go out into the town and look for something better.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank kj_ta2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

The hotel is a decent facility, but this review is about the gutless and incompetent staff who tried to raise the price on our reservation by 20%, then called security and police when we refused to pay the increased price. There is also a bonus story of staff incompetence at the end, which could easily have resulted in the loss of my bag with all of my valuables in it.

We booked our stay at the Royal Mamberamo in April of 2013, for January 1st, 2014. We corresponded over email with Ledy Jolanda, the Executive Assistant Manager. The price Ledy quoted us in the email was 1,150,000 IDR for 1 night. When we arrived at 10AM on January 1st, we tried to pay cash immediately. The staff pointed to a sign on the desk with new prices as of January 1st. They now wanted 1,375,000 IDR for the room, a 20% increase over what we agreed to.

I had the printout of the emails with Ledy in my bag, so I pulled it out and showed them. They made a photocopy and asked me to wait until later for a solution. We then received a phone call to our room at about 7PM from the desk, asking us to come down and pay our bill. We went down and asked them how much we had to pay, and they pointed to the sign with the new prices again. It was a new shift of staff, so I again showed them the email printout. They made another photocopy, but didn't care and asked me to pay the new price. After trying and failing to reach their manager on the phone (had New Year's Day off), I told the man that he would have to make a decision and do the right thing. He refused, asking us to pay the higher amount. We got pretty angry and he called the police and security.

So about an hour after it began, a police officer and 2 security men showed up. The security guy had a machine gun on his back. My girlfriend started taking photos and they got upset. So we negotiated with them that we would put the camera away if they'd get rid of the machine gun. They did and we did, so now we could talk.

The male desk clerk stood with the security men behind him and asked me, "Now do you want to pay?" I told him that we'd been trying to pay all day. I then showed one of the security guys the email printout. As soon as he saw it, I could see that he agreed with us. After only looking at it for a few seconds, he started lecturing the desk guy. The police officer held the copy and started tapping it, and also started lecturing the desk guy. They disappeared to a back room for a while and then came back out. The 3 police and security men all shook my hand and said, "I'm very sorry." Then they watched as the desk guy took my money at the price I'd reserved for. I again thanked the security and we all left the lobby.

Now the promised bonus story. I had stayed at the hotel 10 days earlier, before my diving cruise. Somehow in the transport of my bags to the pier, my backpack with about $1,500 worth of valuables in it (electronics, eyeglasses, medicines, etc) went missing. We weren't sure if it had ever left the hotel, so we called them and went back to check. They told us it wasn't there. My bag was eventually found on the wrong island by a nice couple who took the effort to track me down. They told me they found my receipts for the Royal Mamberamo and had called the hotel to see if anybody had inquired about a missing bag and the hotel staff told them no, nobody had. I mean, come on!

This was the worst, most incompetent hotel service I've received in a very, very long time. I'd advise caution if you're going to deal with these people.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank JeffCad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Royal Mamberamo Hotel

Property: Royal Mamberamo Hotel
Address: Jln. Sam Ratulangi no. 35, Sorong 98413, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > West Papua > Sorong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Sorong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Mamberamo Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the city centre (Kampung Baru), Royal Mamberamo Hotel (RMH) is only 20 mins from the airport, 5 mins from the famous 'Berlin Wall' and within walking distance to most local attractions (inc. Boswesen Market). Voted #1 hotel in Sorong on Tripadvisor, our rooms are spacious and well-maintained. Staff are polite and go out of their way to make our guests feel welcome. Our Metamani Restaurant is also one of the finest in Sorong, serving both international and Asian cusine. To ease your trip to Raja Ampat, we have an in-house travel and diving facility which includes the rental of speedboats and diving equipments. At RMH, we believe your needs are our utmost priority. ... more   less 
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