*As of late June, 2009, we will be moving our offices out of the Hotel Batang Arau. This is an end of an era for us, as for over 10 years we've called the B.A. our headquarters and our home. Lots of the industry moguls will have to find a new place so hang out in between trips, but the timing is right for us to move on. We will have information about our new offices shortly, but until then we'll leave up this page for historical sake.  

 



At the southern end of Padang lies the Muara, the heart of Padang's fishing boats and the main port for its surf charter boats. It is also home to the Hotel Batang Arau.

 

 

The south bank rises sharply to the sky. This mountain range bordering Padang is thick with lush hardwoods and dense undergrowth. The slow ambling of the Maura River blends with the sounds of multiple forms of bird life thriving off the dense foliage. On the north bank, surveying this amazing image is a 95-year-old Dutch Spaarbank that over the last 9 years has been renovated by Norma Duelfer, Christina Fowler, and Chris Scurrah into a beautiful bed and breakfast. This is our home, the Hotel Batang Arau.

 

 

Having just six suites and considerable colonial charm keeps the Batang Arau friendly and welcoming. The icy beer and homemade pizzas have made it the place of choice for Padang's ex-pat community and most of the surf charter industry crews. Sumatran Surfariis now calls this home as Chris and Christina have taken over from where Norma left off. It serves as the main headquarters for Sumatran Surfariis, and this is where all our guests come before and after the Padang airport madness. It's where our food is prepped, flights are confirmed, luggage and boards are checked, and is the last pit stop before you walk around the corner to the boats and off to your trip.

The large main hall has become an intimate club-restaurant, and the fact that the the bar/cooler is housed in the former strong room adds an interesting and historic touch. The two riverside terraces beckon the guests to linger a while, and it's hard to imagine moving from one of the most comfortable and beautiful spots in Padang. Three large rooms and three suites have been modernized and furnished in Chinese, Indonesian and European styles. They are a fascinating reminder of the area's vivid and eventful past. Sitting on the back terrace with a cold Bintang you can see fishing boats leaving for sea, monitor lizards on the banks, the odd island drift down, and some of the local kids repairing boards snapped in the islands hollow waves.

 

Our gift shop includes a huge variety of high-quality silver jewelry purchased from merchants in nearby Bali. Christina Fowler, President of the Hotel Batang Arau and manager of the team in Padang, personally chooses and sources these items directly. These bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings are every bit as nice as you’ll find anywhere in the western world at a fraction of the cost. In addition to silver, we carry a large assortment of locally made items, from elaborate wood carvings and masks to hand-made traditional Indonesian attire to intricate gift boxes and keepsakes. And of course, a trip to Indonesia wouldn’t be complete without picking up your very own Sumatran Surfariis or Hotel Batang Arau t-shirt or tanktop! :)

 

The Hotel Batang Arau is surrounded by Padang's historic old town. Small restaurants temptingly offer Chinese, Indonesian and spicy Padang specialties. Former Dutch trading houses and the dwellings 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. Padang is an adventure in itself and one of Sumatra's best-kept secrets. For instance, one visit to the huge market "Pasar Raya" will forever change your view on “shopping”. You can visit Kelenteng Tionghoa, a classic Chinese temple with oriental statues, ornaments and murals depicting ancient legends. You can cycle round Lake Maninjau, one of the largest crater lakes in the world, or visit one of the numerous local volcanoes. And for those dying for their golf fix, the ANAI Golf Club offers one of Indonesia's most beautiful courses just one hours' drive from Padang.

We are in Padang 11 months a year, living and breathing the area. We employ an entirely local staff on the boats and in the hotel. We have donated trees to the river community, clothing for the kids, prizes and food for their canoe races and soccer matches. We have also "adpoted" the island of Bawa where many of our crew grew up, and have constructed a pig-proog fruit and veggie garden designed to provide long-term sustenance after the quakes and tsunamis rocked the area. We can help you with anything you need from directions to get to the local markets, where to get a great massage, best banks for exchanging money, or if you are staying longer, trips outside the city into the jungles or volcanic craters that make Sumatra beautiful. Our local tour guide can design and coordinate tour packages of varying lengths to local sites in West Sumatra. Click on his tour packet to get an idea of what he has to offer.

We a partners with a local Minangkabau family (Yossi and Elvis) and we are proud to be known and respected throughout the local Muara community. In addition to this we have the 3-story Sumatran Surfariis office within walking distance from the charter boats and hotel. Our boats are now tied to our own private dock which is literally right next to the hotel. Our office is equipped with an SSB radio on standby 24/7, and all guides/boats have both cell phones and satelite phones which allow our team to keep them posted of the latest changes in surf conditions. We have extra sleeping rooms on the third floor for our guides and regular return guests, as well as extra storage for boards and gear. We have our own in-house travel agent for any flight arrangements or tours, as well as email access, credit card facilities, and over seas telephones. We are also one of the few places in town with our own high-speed internet cafe.

Our rooms are extremely reasonable, varying slightly based on the size of the room and number of guests:

Single -- Rp. 375,000/night (appx. $44us based on $1us =Rp. 8,500)
Double -- Rp. 475,000/night (appx. $56us based on $1us =Rp. 8,500)
Triple -- Rp. 575,000/night (appx. $68us based on $1us =Rp. 8,500)

If we are not fully booked we can offer a "Day Room" which allows you to shower up or take a nap after a long journety. The cost for the day rooms is Rp.175.000 (appx. $21us based on $1us =Rp. 8,500), and we all up to four people maximum to share a room.

All of these prices are include a welcome drink upon arrival (virgin pina colada) & western breakfast the next morning -- fruit salad, french bread, jam/butter, cheese, fresh orange juice, coffee or tea. There are many other menu items to choose from and everything is made fresh to order, from the bread being baked in our ovens to the coffee being ground and served in individual French presses. And upon check out each person receives a 100 gram pouch of Mandailing Estate coffee beans.

 

 

We really hope you'll come visit us in our lovely litte riverside oasis. Feel free to contact us at any time for more information.

Thanks, and we hope to see you soon!

© 2002 sumatransurfariis.com. All rights reserved.
Address: Hotel Batang Arau - Jalan Batang Arau #33, Padang 25118 - West Sumatra, Indonesia