The Batang Arau Hotel is situated in the middle of the China quarter of Padang, West Sumatra's capital city, on the edge of the river Arau, with views over the Gunung Padang to the one side and the See Hin Kiong temple to the other.
Here a former Dutch "Spaarbank" has been transformed into a guest house with considerable colonial charm. The large main hall has become an intimate club-restaurant, the bar is housed in the former strong room and two terraces on the riverside beckons invitingly to linger a while.
Three large rooms and three suites have been modernised and furnished in Chinese, Indonesian and European styles. They are a fascinating reminder of the area's vivid and eventful past.

"Batang Arau" is surrounded by Padang's historic old town. Small restaurants temptingly offer Chinese, Indonesian and spicy Padang specialities. Former Dutch trading houses and the dwelling of Chinese and Indian traders bear architectural witness to the fact that this part of the old town was an important trading post in the days of the great discoverers.
The architectural treasure hunter may final last centuries colonial ambienties and stained glass windows of the art nouveau period.

In fact, historic Padang is an adventure in itself and one of Sumatra's best-kept secrets. Re-discover it on foot, by taxi or by horse and carriage. For instance, the huge market "Pasar Raya" is the place for those who like to be caught up in Asia's pulsating life. Choose from fabulous textiles, exotic sarongs, local spices, music and perfumes - or treat yourself to a relaxing head-massage.

Visit Kelenteng Tionghoa, a classic Chinese temple with oriental statues, ornaments and murals depicting ancient legends. See Padang's gold,-silversmiths and stone-cutters selling hand-made jewellry with set colourful semi-precious stones from stalls on the sidewalk.

Or simply enjoy the sunset on the promenade with its countless little hot snack vendors.
In fact, Padang has a lot to attract night-owls too: "Music rooms" offer whatever is "in", whether Minangkabau songs or Western hits. You can even go dancing like they did back in the fifties!

From here you can also reach and explore many of the nearby and outlying islands and go diving among the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Or join us on a journey of discovery through the land of  the matrilineal Minangkabau or climb one of the numerous local volcanos. You can cycle round Lake Maninjau, one of the largest crater lakes in the world or simply board a boat at the Hotel's front door which will take you overnight to see one of the remote tribes in Siberut.

But long sandy beaches and dense green mountain ranges are also no more than 10 minutes away from the bustling city. For golfers, the ANAI Golf Club offers one of Indonesia's most beautiful courses. Located in a tropical setting, the club is approximately one hours' drive from Padang.

Padang doesn't go out of its way to attract much attention, you have to go and discover it for yourself. But indeed it is worth taking the time... many stopover has already resulted in an unforgettable holiday in the Batang Arau Hotel. Where you can feel at home -- miles from home.