13 Nov 2008
Dhaksina Hotel, Medan, Indonesia
Hotel
IDR 255,000/night
3°34'38.04"N 98°41'12.63"E
1 room
Including breakfast

At 13 Nov approx AU$32

We got lucky and found an amazing taxi driver at Medan Airport who didn't overcharge us and told us (accurately, we later found) how much we should pay for taxi or public bus to all points in the city and beyond. He was quite prepared to drive us from hotel to hotel until we found one we were happy with, but we'd had a bit of a stressful day and after looking a a couple we took the first one that was clean and not too expensive. Unfortunately we were too stressed to think about asking him for his phone number, and we regretted this as every other taxi driver in the city saw us as walking ATM's.

The Dhaksina is a medium size budget hotel aimed at business travelers. Staff spoke very little English as most if not all guests are local. The reception and public area's were much better than the rooms, but it was OK for one night. The room was basic but clean, the beds were OK, and the TV had very poor reception and only Indonesian channels.

The staff at breakfast were amazing and couldn't do enough for us - we weren't allowed to help ourselves to tea and coffee as everyone else would have, and assuming westerners wouldn't want nasi lemak for breakfast they made us 'special potatoes' which turned out to be chips with tomato ketchup. We both would have preferred the rice, but it was nice that they did what they assumed we would want.

The location is good for eating at night (hawker stalls just over the road gave us the best street food we've had in a long time) and there is a shopping mall and supermarket close by, as well as a convenience store. It is closer than we thought to the Great Mosque, which meant an early morning wake-up call, but apart from that it was quiet. Peter went out exploring while I had a paracetamol and a lie down and found the hotel which I had spotted on the internet and was going to be our next point of call if the Dhaksina was no good. All I can say is he must have been sick to the stomach all night after seeing how good it was. I wouldn't recommend this hotel if in Medan, click next for a real beauty.