Indonesia’s capital boasts some of the best nightlife and shopping (there are hundreds of malls) in Asia. Street food and markets provide a vibrant glimpse into local life and there is an eclectic array of restaurants, as well as rooftop bars taking advantage of the skyscraper horizon. Must-see buildings and attractions include; Monas, The Merdeka Palace, The National Museum, Istiqlal Mosque, The Jakarta Cathedral, and Monumen Selamat Datang. And if you’re a fan of amusement parks, take a trip to Ancol Dreamland, Jakarta’s answer to Disneyworld. With a tropical climate you’ll find it’s warm all year round, although if you’re not a fan of rain, avoid October to March.
Supremely elegant, Jakarta’s Raffles property is found in the city’s central business district. It displays a signature design across its 173 bedrooms, which was inspired by the renowned Jakartan painter Hendra Gunawan. Guests staying here benefit from butler service and amenities including an outdoor jogging track, a gym, a palm-flanked outdoor swimming pool, a kids’ club, two restaurants and the award-winning Raffles Spa. Those staying in a suite also have the option of access to the Raffles Club, an exclusive lounge serving breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
The Ritz Carlton Pacific Place
A brand synonymous with European luxury, the Ritz-Carlton’s home in Jakarta links into the same building as the Stock Exchange and an upscale shopping mall. The Pacific Place houses the city’s largest ballroom, along with a spa offering organic treatments and an all-day restaurant, Pasolo, serving artisan food. As you might expect from this brand, the afternoon tea is something very special, and you can opt to book your own BBQ Butler for private poolside dining with a difference. Bedrooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows and sunken marble baths, and if you’re in town for an extended period or need more space, you can reserve an apartment.
Mandarin Oriental Jakarta
Instantly recognisable on Jakarta’s skyline by its iconic fan emblem, the Mandarin Oriental is a big hotel with a boutique ambience. Dine on international cuisine beside an urban tropical garden at the all-day Cinnamon eatery, sample Chinese fare at Li Feng by night, and snack on lighter bites along with deliciously dynamic cocktails at MO Bar, accompanied by live entertainment. Bedrooms come with pillow menus, custom-designed furnishings, working desks with multi-hubs and bathrobes. Guests can also go for a dip in the outdoor pool, book spa treatments, go jogging on the hotel’s track and hit the gym.
Grand Hyatt Jakarta
Check into the Grand Hyatt on the Plaza, where the culinary options are plentiful. Here you can feast on the afternoon tea buffet served in the Fountain Lounge; try Indonesian specialities at The Grand Café; order steak at C’s and snack on sushi at Sumire. There’s also a Seafood Terrace beside the lagoon-shaped pool, which is surrounded by a Balinese garden. Club Olympus is the hotel spa; it offers traditional Javanese massages and is equipped with whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and cold plunge pools. Guests can also play tennis on site or take advantage of the fantastic shops within the Plaza.
Four Seasons Jakarta
Conveniently placed on a through-road (cutting down your time spent in traffic), the Four Season pairs a central location with an oasis-like vibe. Designed by Cesar Pelli, it takes some cues from Regency style, mixed in with Asian country motifs. Bedrooms (which are serviced twice daily) are equipped with Illy coffee machines, Bose sound bars, pull-out drinks fridges, Alexandra Champalimaud-designed large work desks and marble bathrooms, balancing luxury and practicality. Take a seat on a green velvet chair beneath crystal chandeliers and quaff champagne in Palm Court, eat Italian food at a restaurant 20 floors up, and sample fine French baked goods at La Patisserie.
The Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan
If you’d like to stay in one of the most spacious rooms in the city, book one of the suites in The Ritz-Carlton’s second property, the sister hotel to the property on Pacific Place. Even the standard grade occupies 63 square meters with seating and work areas, a marble bathroom, an iPod dock and either one king or two larger twin beds. There are two eateries; Asia Restaurant and Lobo Italian Bistro, as well as wine tastings, special brunches and chef-led events happening frequently. The spa is found among the tropical gardens, comprising 19 treatment rooms, including the city’s only four spa villas with private outdoor soaking tubs.
Standing tall and unbeatably handy for the financial and business districts, the Fairmont in Jakarta is a foodie’s dream. It hosts a lobster night, a shopaholic afternoon tea and decadent Sunday brunches; it has a halal Indonesian restaurant, a steak bar, a deli, a ‘culinary theatre’ buffet with Wagyu nights, a CoComelon Café for the little ones and several other dining establishments. 380 bedrooms feature Japanese spa-inspired bathrooms and stylish New York Le Labo bath products – upgrade to a suite for Club Lounge access, daily drinks and hors-d’oeuvres and butler service. The Fairmont also has a swimming pool, a spa and three bars.