By: Ray Teh
Jakarta is a busy city, that’s hard to get around in. Jakarta is with its 10 million (registered) inhabitants larger than major world cities such as New York (8 million inhabitants) and prizes for hotels can be comparable! Its sheer size, the daily traffic jams, pollution and pot-holes (even on the toll roads) make choosing your hotel a matter of location, location, location! If you choose to stay, in for example kota, the old center with nice sights such as Sunda Kelapa harbour, the Batavia café and Fatahillah Museum, it will be hell to get there or away, as the area is infamously gridlocked. If you are in Jakarta on business, the South is your best bet (Selatan or Blok M), close to the airport and the business district.
Besides these considerations, cosiness and a place to call home for a few days are also important factors. If you’re out on the road all day in hot Jakarta the thought of getting back to a cosy and comfy boutique hotel is certainly worthwile (even if you are a seasoned road warrior living out of a suite-case).
Below are my top 5 boutique hotels in Jakarta. Whether for business or pleasure, these Jakarta hide-outs will make your stay just that little more comfy and relaxing!
Jalan Kemang Raya 1, Jakarta, Java 12730, Indonesia, Tel : +62 21 719 7989
Kemang Icon is part of the Alila group and stands out when it comes to boutique hotels in Jakarta. It offers the typical boutique concept of service cum “homeliness.” Unfortunately it also shows that hotels like this can fetch top dollar, even when not in a central location. Kemang Icon is situated in South Jakarta, in the trendy area of Kemang, with a good mix of locals and expatriates. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating and entertainment, as Kemang is overflowing with restaurants, café’s, shops and clubs.
The rooms in Kemang Icon are all designed to a specific theme contributing to the uniqueness of a stay in Kemang Icon. The 8 suites come with living area, bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Some of them also include a kitchenette. Expect to find mod-cons like an iPod, broadband and wifi, as well as full and personalised office amenities, goose down and feather bedding. It also offers a swimming pool and rooftop terrace.
Room rates : The room rate is at the upper end for a boutique hotel. You will have to pay anything from about USD 150/night to USD 300/night.
Golden Boutique Hotel – Melawai Jl. Melawai No. 6-8, Blok M Jakarta Selatan 12160, Tel. +62 21 7234 555
The Golden Boutique Hotel chain has 2 hotels in Jakarta, one is in Kota area (mentioned in the intro) and one in Blok M, South Jakarta. The one that I prefer is located in the prime area of Melawai – Blok M. Golden Boutique Hotel is just 10 minutes from the central business district and within walking distance to all great shopping opportunities in South Jakarta. The hotel is very elegantly designed and adds a touch of luxury to your stay in ‘the Big Durian.’
The 78 rooms are well appointed and provide you with wifi, AC, cable tv, minibar, 24 hour room service and so on. For those who like to sing, there is no need to step out as there is a Karaoke lounge right inside the hotel called Studio 21.
Room Rates : Room rates are in the range of USD 75/night to about USD 120/night. This is real value for money in Jakarta and it would be my choice if the Kemang Icon is out of range but you still want to try a boutique style hotel.
The Aryaduta hotels group by now consists of 6 hotels spread across Indonesia. The one that I feel sentimental about is the original Aryaduta hotel, situated in the middle of Jakarta near to the government offices. Rooms are very comfortable and have good internet connections. I like the fact that the rooms are well lit, clean and with a very comfortable and airy feel (a sight for sore eyes in Jakarta).
It has a top class Japanese restaurant called Shima and the pub is popular with all. If you are looking for a value for money stay in Jakarta, this would be a good choice.
Room Rates: Rooms go for about USD 100/night to USD 120/night.
Jalan Lingkar Mega Kuningan Blok E4.2 No. 1, Kuningan, Jakarta, Indonesia, Tel: +62-21 2554 2300
The Oakwood Premier Cozmo lies in the Mega Kuninagan area, which is a developing key business area. Nearby, in walking distance are the Ritz Caltzon and Marriot Hotel, both five-star top end hotels. Again, the differentiating feature is the feel of the place.
The serviced apartments are extremely comfortable. Once you sunk into one of the comfy sofas, you will not feel like getting out to hit the hot pavement of Jakarta again. The complex also offers a fitness centre, outdoor jacuzzi, adult and children’s swimming pool, Oakroom Restaurant & bar, room service and that all important rooftop helicopter landing facility.
The marble floored rooms are well appointed with Large LCD television with satellite channels, DVD home theatre, Washer and dryer, Convection oven / microwave, Refrigerator, Electric hood,Toaster, rice cooker, kettle and coffee maker,Table ware, glass ware, cooking utensils & serving dishes. As you might guess from these facilities, the Oakroom Cozmo does also cater to long term residents.
The Oakwood Cozmo may be described as a serviced apartment complex, but to me it qualifies as a boutique hotel in terms of the cozy nature of the rooms and also the five star service.
Room Rates: Expect to pay five star room rates here. Typically an apartment will cost about USD 220/night to about USD 240/night
Jalan Mahakam I No 6 Blok M, Blok M, Jakarta, Indonesia, Tel: +62 21 720 9966
The Gran Mahakam hotel has a definite boutique hotel feel to it. The Gran Mahakam is, other than its name suggests, a small size hotel. Once you walk in you feel the difference in the service factor, staff are trained to treat you just right. The architecture has a European feel to it and is conveniently located (close to the airport and the business district in South Jakarta). Within walking distance you will find restaurants and 10 minutes away are the shopping malls of the Blok M area.
The rooms are well designed and the solid wood furniture gives the rooms a classy feel. The hotel also has a very good café called Le Gran and for dining the Aoki Japanese Restaurant is good enough.
Room Rates : Room rates are at about USD 80/night to USD 100/night, which is a very competitive rate for a 4-star hotel in Jakarta. If you need to be near the Blok M area this will be the top choice
In summary, if you can afford to pay for the best, go for the Kemang Icon or the Oakwood Cozmo, but if you want value for your boutique hotel stay pick any of the other 3. I like to try different places as variety is the spice of life, hence I have tried all five.