Contrary to popular belief, Jakarta is a cosmopolitan city with some incredible restaurants, bars, shopping and cultural activities.
So it was only a matter of time before Raffles Hotels and Resorts – renowned across the globe for their discrete, personalised service – opened in Jakarta, the capital of one the biggest emerging countries not only in Asia Pacific, but the world.
FCM's National Product Leader for Land, Kal Ruediger recently visited Jakarta, staying at Raffles for the duration of his visit. He's shared his review of the property with us.
Opened in mid-2015, Raffles Jakarta sports 173 rooms (which are really more like suites). Located in Kuningan, the core of Jakarta’s gold triangle, there is the added convenience of being directly connected to Ciputra World, one of the many mega-malls that Jakarta is well known for.
Tell us about the property
I planned in advance and had arranged transfers with Carey Worldwide who had alerted the hotel of my updated arrival time from a delayed arrival.
Upon arrival, every whim was taken care of. The concierge who assisted with my luggage went to the point of calling through to the front desk, so by the time I arrived at the check-in desk, I was greeted with a personal greeting as if I had been staying at this hotel for years.
Service is what you expect from a true five-star brand; discrete, efficient and friendly but not over the top and calming which is just what you need when you've spent a busy day between meetings and manoeuvring the traffic of a city that is home to nearly 10 million.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is the incredible artwork of Hendra Gunawan, an Indonesian painter and sculptor whose artworks on display in the hotel must be worth millions.
What were the rooms like?
In true Raffles style (think Singapore’s iconic colonial palace), each room has an allocated butler service to cater to any request. Any request and it is yours!
At a minimum of 60sqm, the rooms are some of the largest in Jakarta. In fact, at 60sqm, these rooms are bigger than most apartments you would find in Australia’s capital cities. Much like in the public spaces, the rooms are filled with Hendra Gunawan artwork and all feature an Illy coffee machine, a refreshment centre with complimentary water, high speed internet and two interactive ZVOX LED TVs, because of course one isn’t nearly enough in a 60sqm room.
After enjoying a welcome mock-tail courtesy of the Raffles Ambassador loyalty program (you can sign up free via your FCM Travel Manager), I thought it was time to explore this junior-suite inspired Raffles Room that was almost twice the size of my Sydney apartment. Each room is divided into three spaces. First is a living room off the entry hall with a full size sofa, armchair and working desk (complete with ergonomic office chair for long evening hours on the laptop). From the living room and through the sliding panels you are lead into the master bedroom complete with a king size bed, floor to ceiling windows featuring a vista over the city and automated features like electronic curtains and a high-tech surround sound system.
What was the bathroom like?
Off the bedroom you find a luxurious marble bathroom featuring Aspey bathroom products with a double vanity, separate bathtub (some overlooking the Jakarta skyline) along with a steam room inspired shower.
It really is one of those rooms that if you didn’t have to leave you wouldn’t, and a fantastic respite from the hectic streets of Jakarta. Certainly a treat to come back to after a busy day in the office.
Was there a conference room and other rooms that made it suitable for a corporate getaway?
In the short time that it has been open, Raffles has made a name for itself as the place to be for events and conferences in the region. The great thing about Raffles Jakarta is that small boardroom style meetings can be accommodated in tastefully decorated private meeting spaces or if you need a 3,500 person reception dinner this can also be accommodated. In fact the Queen of Denmark and a large government delegation was staying at the hotel for Danish State Visit to Indonesia and in a testament to the staff of the hotel, what I found impressive was that the experience for other guests was not at all affected.
What other facilities were there?
An outdoor pool, state of the art gym, three onsite restaurants/bars and a direct connection (indoors and air conditioned!) all make for not only a convenient stay but also allows you to make yourself at home.
Did you enjoy the food?
Room service was prompt and delicious. I like to try local foods when I travel so was pleased to find a mix of Indonesian and Western favourites on an extensive menu. Breakfast is served in Arts Cafe and an artistic presentation of the buffet and a-la-carte menu is an understatement. Think gold dusted donuts, freshly made macaroons and cream filled Berliners; and is before the extensive a-la-carte menu available from 6am every day and complimentary for all FCM travellers booked on our SmartSTAY rates (ask your Travel Manager for more information).
Who would you recommend this property for?
Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport served 62 million travellers last year making it the eighth busiest in the world and the busiest by far in the southern hemisphere. As travel into Jakarta booms and business travel from Australia continues to rise, Raffles Jakarta is the perfect respite for business travellers in South Jakarta and the commercial hub of Kuningan.
Along with sister property, the Fairmont, Raffles Jakarta is part of FCM Travel Solutions’ exclusive SmartSTAY program where you receive a welcome fruit platter, complimentary internet access as well as daily breakfast at Arts Cafe – all at no extra cost.
What's your overall rating out of 5 and any final comments
Can I give Raffles 6 out of 5 stars? Whilst it might not be the cheapest hotel in Jakarta, this hotel is perfect for those based in the commercial hub of Kuningan and even more perfect for those wanted to extend after a few busy days in Jakarta for a day at the spa, an afternoon in the mall or a relax by the world class pool. If it is good enough for the Queen of Denmark, it is more than good enough for me!
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