THE place to stay in Blitar

Nestled off the busy main street in Blitar is the Hotel Tugu, the sister hotel to the larger and much more elaborate one in Malang. The Tugu Suites are worth the price as they are spacious. We liked the outdoor bathroom although the lighting over the basin was a bit dim. Fresh fruit in the room and the delicious desserts and tea in the warung every afternoon 4-6 were welcome. The breakfasts were excellent, both Indonesian and Western. Dinner was also delicious. The hotel arranged a driver and the hotel car for a tour of the volcano Gunung Kelud, ancient Hindu temple ruins, and the Sukarno gravesite and boyhood home. Although the driver did not speak English, he was pleasant and competent. Very friendly staff continues the Tugu hospitality. The location was central and we walked around the neighborhood including the city square. Blitar is a small and friendly city that is worth a visit for the Sukarno connection and the lovely surrounding East Java countryside.