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.
- 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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