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Hotels of Pekanbaru
A hotel in Pekanbaru is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Pekanbaru hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Pekanbaru are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Pekanbaru hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Pekanbaru hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Pekanbaru have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Pekanbaru
An upscale full service hotel facility in Pekanbaru that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Pekanbaru hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Pekanbaru
Full service Pekanbaru hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Pekanbaru
Boutique hotels of Pekanbaru are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Pekanbaru boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Pekanbaru may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Pekanbaru
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Pekanbaru travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Pekanbaru focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Pekanbaru
Small to medium-sized Pekanbaru hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Pekanbaru traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Pekanbaru hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Pekanbaru
A bed and breakfast in Pekanbaru is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Pekanbaru bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Pekanbaru B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Pekanbaru
Pekanbaru hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Pekanbaru hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Pekanbaru
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Pekanbaru hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Pekanbaru lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Pekanbaru
Pekanbaru timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Pekanbaru often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Pekanbaru on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Pekanbaru
A Pekanbaru motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Pekanbaru for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Pekanbaru motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Pekanbaru (Jawi: ڤكنبارو, Chinese: 北干巴鲁; pinyin: Běigānbālǔ, Dutch: Pakanbaroe), is the capital of Riau, on the island of Sumatra . It has an area of 632.26 km² with a population of 1,093,416.
It is located on the banks of the Siak River, which drains into the Strait of Malacca. As a result, Pekanbaru has direct access to the busy strait and was long known as a trading port (the city name is derived from the Indonesian words for 'new market', "pekan" meaning 'market' and "baru" meaning 'new'). The city is divided into 12 subdistricts (kecamatan). This city is served by the Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport and Sungai Duku Port that is located by the Siak River. A settlement has existed on the site since the 17th century. In the late 19th century, the city was developed to serve the coffee and coal industries, and the Dutch built roads to help ship goods to Singapore and Malacca.
Pekanbaru: Sultanate of Siak
When Sultan Abdul Jalil Alamuddin Syah (1766-1780) moved the capital of the Kingdom of Siak from Mempura to Senapelan (which is now Pekanbaru), this township used to be the settlement only for some people, especially the sultanate's family. However, due to the development in the trading sector and the fact that more people decided to settle in this township, the sultan wanted to make Senapelan become the center of the trading sector of the Kingdom of Siak. However, the sultan's goal was not completely achieved, thereafter he decided to move the capital once again, to Siak Sri Indrapura.
Pekanbaru: Dutch East Indies Company
In 1749, under the terms of a peace treaty between the Sultan of Johor and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) Siak was put under Dutch administration. The Sultan moved residence to a palace in Senapelan built in 1760.
Sultan Syarif Kasim II of Siak and his wife, 1910-1920. The last Sultan of Siak who ceded his kingdom to the Republic of Indonesia
At Senapelan Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah Alamudin unsuccessfully tried to organise a major regional fair. In the early 1780s his son Sultan Muhammad Ali managed to establish the grand fair. Due to the important commercial value for Sumatra region and Malacca Strait for general, the settlement itself was renamed Pekanbaru by the local council of tribal elders (consist of Datuk Pesisir, Datuk Limapuluh, Datuk Tanah Datar and Datuk Kampar) on 23 June 1784. Thus, every 23 June is celebrated as the founding day of Pekanbaru city.
Pekanbaru: Dutch East Indies
Following the collapse of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC), all company ownership of Pekanbaru was transferred to the Dutch crown. During the colonial Dutch East Indies era in the 19th and early 20th century the city remained important, especially as a major trading point: Siak river navigation conditions provide a stable relationship with shipping from the Malacca Strait. Additionally the city became a major center of the coffee industry and coal industry. The urban influence of the sultans gradually became more and more nominal, especially after the capital of the Sultanate moved to Sri Indrapura in 1830. Actual management functions were carried out by representatives of the Dutch colonial administration, i.e., by the post of assistant-resident and controller.
Pekanbaru: Second World War
During the Second World War from February 1942 to August 1945 the city was occupied by the armed forces of Japan. In an effort to strengthen the military and logistical infrastructure in this part of Sumatra, the Japanese started the construction of a 220-kilometer-long railway, connecting Pekanbaru to the coast of Malacca Straits.
The Pekanbaru Railway was constructed under harsh conditions using forced labour. 6,500 Dutch, mostly Indo-Europeans, and British prisoners of war and over 100,000 Indonesian, mostly Javanese, forced workers called Romusha were put to work by the Japanese army. By the time the work was completed in August 1945 almost a third of the European POWs and over half of the Indonesian coolies had died.
George Duffy, one of the 15 Americans there and survivor of the sinking of the MS American Leader tells of life and death for the POW workers on MemoryArchive: malaria, dysentery, pellagra, and malnutrition/"beri-beri" were the principal maladies compounded by overwork and mistreatment. "The average age at death of the 700 [POWs] who perished on that railway was 37 years and 3 months."
The railway was never fully utilised. Today it remains unused and in an advanced state of decay.
Since 1946, Pekanbaru has been governed by at least 15 mayors. The first mayor to rule this city was Datuk Wan Abdul Rahman who was elected on 17 May 1946. Currently, this city is governed by H. Firdaus S.T., M.T (appointed for the period of 2012-2017).
Soeman HS Library, the largest provincial library in Sumatra Island
Pekanbaru is one of the cleanest big cities in Indonesia. In 2011, Pekanbaru received the "Adipura" ('cleanest city') award in the category of large city for the seventh consecutive time. The city is notable for its wide main streets and large median road
However, Pekanbaru regularly suffers from haze problems due to forest fires, particularly in the dry season, since there is very little rain to put the fires out. Large land concessions are granted to commercial interests and huge areas are under the control of palm oil companies that need to clear the land to plant palm oil and other commercial interests. These fires can be seen by satellite. They are not small fires started by local farmers. Corporate plantation owners use the slash-and-burn method to clear the land. A smoke haze that not only affects surrounding areas of Riau Province regions but also neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore. These fires have been burning for 18 years. The season is known as "the burning season". Large areas of forests have been destroyed.
Pekanbaru is the third most populous city on Sumatra Island, after Medan and Palembang with a population of 950,571 recorded in September 2013. The city is highly urbanised, drawing many of its people from the neighbouring province of West Sumatra. Since many centuries ago, Pekanbaru has one of the Minangkabau rantau (migration) area. After World War II, the number of Minangkabau people migrating to Pekanbaru surged, nearly doubling between the years 1943 and 1961. Many Minang in Pekanbaru have lived there for generations and consider themselves as Malays. In addition to the Minangkabau, the Riau Malays natives are the second largest ethnic group in Pekanbaru, making up 26% of the population. The Javanese, Batak, and Tionghoa are the other main ethnic groups inhabiting Pekanbaru.
The pluralism surrounding the city can be reflected by the variety of religions and freedom of belief among the people in Pekanbaru. Islam is the majority religion in this city, followed by Christianity (Protestantism and Catholic) as well as Buddhism and small percentage of Hinduism and Confucianism. Each religion in this city is represented by the presence of the religion's respective worship places, such as The Great Mosque of An-Nur (Mesjid Agung An-nur) and Mesjid Raya Pekanbaru for the Muslim community, Gereja Santa Maria A Fatima Pekanbaru and HKBP Church or Gereja Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Pekanbaru for the Catholic and Protestant community as well as Vihara Dharma Loka and Vihara Sasana Loka for the Buddhist and Confucian community and Pura Agung Jagatnatha for the Hindu community in Pekanbaru.
Indonesian is the official language that is spoken by the citizens of Pekanbaru. For informal use, Pekanbaru people generally use Minangkabau language in their economic and daily activities, especially in the market area. In addition the Malay languages and Javanese are also widely spoken because of the large population of Malays and Javanese people in Pekanbaru. Hokkien is mainly spoken by Tionghoa as most of the Chinese Indonesian in Pekanbaru belong to the Hokkien people. In fact, many Chinese Indonesian in Pekanbaru come from other regions in Riau such as Selat Panjang, Bengkalis and Siak, along with the Chinese Indonesian who are originally from Pekanbaru itself. Moreover, many Chinese Indonesian especially from North Sumatra, particularly the Medan and West Sumatra regions have moved to Pekanbaru due to opportunities and rapid economical growth in the area since the 1990s and 2000s.
Ethnicities of Pekanbaru - 2000 Census
The Grand Mosque of Annur
Pekanbaru: Administrative districts
The city is divided into 12 districts, listed below:
Labuh Baru Timur
Pekanbaru has a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification. As with many cities with an equatorial climate, the temperature only varies a little throughout the year. The hottest month is May with average temperature 27.6 °C (81.7 °F), while the coolest month is January with average temperature 26.4 °C (79.5 °F). The precipitation accumulation also remains constant throughout the year with no real dry season. The month with most precipitation is November with precipitation total 312 millimetres (12.3 in), while the least precipitation is July with precipitation total 123 millimetres (4.8 in).
Climate data for Pekanbaru
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source #1: Climate-Data.org (average temps and precip)
Source #2: Weatherbase (extremes)
After oil was discovered in the region in the 1930s, Pekanbaru's economy has depended heavily on oil revenues which has made it the city with the highest per capita income in Indonesia. Most of Indonesia's petroleum is produced in Riau, and much of Pekanbaru's economy is based on the petroleum industry. The international oil companies, prominently Chevron from US, as well as other Indonesian companies, have established their offices in the region. The city is connected by road to an oil refining and exporting port in Dumai. Many facilities and infrastructures, including airport, stadiums, housing areas, schools and several bridges that cross the Siak River in Pekanbaru as well as the roads in Rumbai area and the road to Dumai were partially or fully financed by oil companies in the area.
Pekanbaru is really close with some of the home of mega-company, such as PT Riau Andalan Pulp Paper, PT. Indah Kiat, PT. Chevron Pacific Indonesia, and PT Perkebunan Nusantara V and some wood-sawmill, CPOs, and rubber-processing company and interestingly Pekanbaru is often said as one of the city with the highest money and banking rotation in Indonesia.
As Pekanbaru is prominently known as a major gateway for tourists from Singapore and Malaysia, the city has become a favourite stop before travellers go further inland to other regions in Sumatra Island such as Padang and Jambi. The Pasar Pusat (Central Market) is a food-trip destination and is considered a household-goods trove. Pasar Bawah and Pasar Tengah, located near to the port and Siak Riverbank are particularly the places for selling Chinese goods, including ceramics and carpets.
In the other hand, there are many developments of shopping malls and shopping centres surrounding Pekanbaru area such as Plaza Senapelan, Plaza Citra, Plaza Sukaramai, Mal Pekanbaru, Mal SKA, Mal Ciputra Seraya, Lotte Mart, Metropolitan Trade Center, The Central, Ramayana and Giant Grocery Store. Additionally, there are a lot of housing areas have been developed since 2000's surrounding the city, particularly in Panam area whereby the housing project along the road has been tremendously established and now becoming one of the most populous area in Pekanbaru even though it is located not that close to the down town.
Favorably, there are several landmarks that have been built in this city, for example The Great Mosque of An-nur, Mesjid Raya Pekanbaru, Pasar Bawah or Tourist Market, Riau Bank Tower, Riau Government Office Tower, Zapin Dance Monument and many to come.
TransMetro Pekanbaru Bus
There are several modes of transportation in Pekanbaru such as taxi, bus, oplet (share taxi), bajaj (auto rickshaw), ojek (motorcycle taxi) and Trans Metro Pekanbaru (bus rapid transit). However, due to the rapidly increasing number of motorised vehicles, the traffic congestion that occurs on some roads such as Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Riau and Jalan HR. Subrantas that mainly connect populous sub-districts in the city cannot be avoided any more particularly during weekends and holidays. These problems initiated the government of Pekanbaru to come up with plans to solve these matters, especially within 10 to 15 years ahead.
For land transport, Pekanbaru is connected to Padang, Medan, Jambi, Palembang, and other cities or regions in Riau Province and Sumatra Island by the existence of Bandar Raya Payung Sekaki Terminal Bus (Terminal AKAP). The terminal was officially open for public in 2007, replacing Pekanbaru's former "Mayang Terurai Terminal Bus" due to heavy congestion. However, the Bandar Raya Payung Sekaki Bus Terminal is not fully utilised by several prominent Bus Companies such as Pelangi, Makmur, Riau Mandiri and Sidomulyo as well as other bus operators because its location which is deemed by some parties to be not as strategic as Mayang Terurai Bus Terminal. These matters surely make some bus companies have no choice but to drop off the passengers outside the designated zone. This informal drop-off zone is usually called by local people as terminal bayangan.
Sungai Duku Port (Pelabuhan Sungai Duku) is located by the Siak River, connecting Pekanbaru with some regions in Riau Province and Riau Islands such as Siak, Tanjung Buton, Selatpanjang, Bengkalis and Batam. In the past, there were ferry services travelling from this port directly to Malacca in Malaysia, but the service was discontinued as several ferry companies decided to move their operations to Tanjung Buton.
Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport of Pekanbaru
Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport serves flights in Pekanbaru from/and to several cities in Indonesia such as Batam, Medan, Bandung, Jakarta, Dumai, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and others, and international flights to Singapore and several cities in Malaysia. Several prominent domestic airlines serve the route from/and to Pekanbaru such as Citilink, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik Air, and Indonesia Air Asia. The international flights are presently served by AirAsia, Jetstar Asia Airways, Malindo Air and SilkAir.
In 2012, the new terminal was opened, replacing the old terminal that had been used since the 1980s. The old terminal is planned to be demolished to build more spaces for apron and more aircraft capacity. Even though the new terminal has been fully used, the aerobridges that were constructed have never been utilised as the apron expansion has not been completed yet after two years since the opening of the new terminal to the public in 2012. Thus, the airport company PT Angkasa Pura II is currently ferrying passengers to and from the terminal using shuttle buses until the aerobridge can be used. Pekanbaru's airport is also utilised separately as the airbase of the TNI-AU (Indonesian Air Force) and homebase of the 12th Squadron, a shelter to some Hawk Mk.109s and Mk.209s. The airbase is named after the former head of Indonesian Air Force, Roesmin Nurjadin and formally called as Pangkalan Udara Roesmin Nurjadin or Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase.
Football is the most popular sport in Indonesia. In Pekanbaru, PSPS Pekanbaru is the local club that has been competing in Indonesian Super League since the 2000s. Kaharudin Nasution Sport Center Rumbai Stadium is the home stadium for PSPS Pekanbaru.
In 2012, 2013 AFC U-22 Asian Cup qualification, 2012 Pekan Olahraga Nasional (Indonesian National Games) and 2012 Pekan Paralympic Nasional was held in Riau Province. Since then, many sport facilities have been built in Pekanbaru because this city was the home for many sports venues used these multi-national events, such as the prominent Riau Main Stadium. Unfortunately, many sports facilities that have been developed before the 2012 Pekan Olahraga Nasional are not being managed and taken care of properly. An example would be the Riau Main Stadium, which was never used again after the event until today due to financial disputes between the local government and the contractors of the stadium.
Several golf courses can be found in Pekanbaru, such as Pekanbaru Golf Course Country Club at Kubang Kulim, Simpang Tiga Golf Course at AURI Complex, Rumbai Golf Course at IKSORA Rumbai Complex and Labersa Golf Course at Labersa Hotel and Convention Center.
The TVRI Riau (state-owned) and Riau TV (private) are some of the popular local television stations in Pekanbaru. Several local newspapers operating in Pekanbaru, such as Riau Pos, Haluan Riau, Tribun Pekanbaru, Pekanbaru Pos, Pekanbaru MX and Koran Riau.