To present the truest, most Indonesian hospitality in the country through centuries old traditions and practices. To bring back to life cultural experiences, romantic history and ancient legends from past eras that make Indonesia the most diverse, unique country in Asia.
To communicate to the world the ‘unknown’ beauty of the culture, art, soul and romance of Indonesia, through using hundreds of antiques and artworks to tell stories of Indonesia’s amazing history that has been left untold, unknown and forgotten to most of the world.
The Tugu founder and owners believe that no country is anything without its history, and this is especially true in Indonesia - a country with probably the most diverse, richest and most colorful history; a mix of the biggest number of cultures that became one strong bond. And this beautiful history is for the most part unknown to the modern world.
The hundreds, thousands of Indonesian arts which we have collected through decades are witnesses of history, and now they must tell the world of the beauty of the forgotten tales of history and legends of Indonesia. Tugu is proudly 100% Indonesian tradition in all the practices and experiences available to guests, and our deepest knowledge of history must be shared with as many people as possible.
Every Tugu property is distinguished by very distinctive local culture & traditions of the island where it is located, surrounded by majestic landscapes. Thus Tugu acts as a spokesperson for Indonesia, this majestic archipelago that we love with our heart and soul.
The Founder’s Story
Largest Collector of Fine Indonesian Art and founder of Tugu Hotels and Restaurants.
Anhar Setjadibrata is the quintessential 20th Century Renaissance Man. In addition to being a successful hotelier, he is also a physician, lawyer, and more importantly, the owner of a priceless collection of fine Indonesian art and cultural antiquities.
Setjadibrata’s passion for Indonesian art and history began while he was a young, and very poor, medical student in Java. He began collecting antiques in 1970 at the age of 23 years old. Young Setjadibrata was looking forward to taking Indonesia’s government regulated medical examination – a necessity to practice medicine in that country. As fate would have it, political problem arose and the examination was postponed for an indefinite period.
Having a lot of spare time on his hand, Setjadibrata accepted a job as a medical representative for an international pharmaceutical company. He was sent to visit doctors and nurse in small villages far from Java. He came a cross many people of these regions who were discarding priceless antiquities and cultural relics, innocently believing these historical treasures to be out of style, old-fashioned, or simply not “modern”.
Setjadibrata saw the natural beauty of these village and the remains of their rich history, of which the locals were painfully unaware. Because of his keen interest in history, he also worked as a non-professional guide in his free time. One day he was hired by an elderly European professor who was studying the legend of Ramayana. The professor asked the young Setjadibrata to take him to a place in Bali where he was to rendezvous with a stranger.
As twilight fell, the stranger approached the professor and handed him an object. It was a Cupu Manik, a century stone bowl of three parts, from which ancient priests sprinkled holy healing water over villagers suffering from sickness and disease. Although still a novice collector, Setjadibrata was aware of the priceless cultural value of this treasure.
Thereafter, Setjadibrata began collecting antiques, and the histories that surround them, piece by piece, and competing with scores of antique dealers from abroad who flock to Indonesia to buy its priceless antiques – and pieces of its history.
Tired of waiting to take the government’s medical exam and facing an unsure future in medicine, Setjadibrata entered law school in 1973. He then established his own law practice firm following his graduation in 1977. Setjadibrata’s endless search for cultural antiquities was never motivated by financial gain. It began as a quest, fueld by his youthful idealism, to learn the history of his country. In 1989 he built his first boutique museum hotel, Hotel Tugu Malang, in the East Java city of Malang to showcase his overflow of treasures from Java and beyond.
Despite being successful in business, Setjadibrata never forgot about the beloved Cupu Manik and continued to look for it through the years. Then one evening while visiting a friend and fellow antique collector he saw it – the very same Cupu Manik he had seen in the old professor’s hand. Through much effort and expense, he managed to procure the precious cultural relic.