Monday, 26 December 2011

Akmani Hotel, Jakarta

Lurking between Sarinah and Jalan Jacksa lies a fair few hotels, alarmingly I seem to have stayed in 4 of them now. Both Ibis hotels, The Morrissey and now the Akmani hotel.
The Akmani, is located next to the Spanish Embassy and opposite an Ibis hotel and 5 minutes walk from Starbucks, Chilis, Jalan Jaksa and the busway. Sarinah is also very close to Grand Indonesia and Menteng so it is a really nice place to visit and stay, if like me you live a little further out of the city (although I live next to 3 malls and a toll way) still moving on.

For Christmas this year, I decided to stay in the city for Christmas and go away for New Year. I therefore wanted to stay in a hotel closer to the city and enjoy some time in luxury and without worry and so I decided to hole up in the Akmani.

The Akmani is fairly new in town and looks very impressive on the outside and on entering you are met by many people and ushered to the reception. Everything is calm and organised and we asked for an additional bed and we were charged 350,000 for the bed and the cost also included breakfast in the morning so that was pretty good.
The room we booked was a deluxe room and I booked it through Agoda.Com, and it cost me 750,00 B&B a night. As it was Christmas it seemed pretty good value.
The elevators were small and as usual you had to use the room key to activate the elevator.

The room itself was nice and airy, with views of not much as usual and with an AC that worked far too well and at 18 degrees it got rather chilly, even 22 was cold.
The bed was bid and comfortable. The bathroom was simple enough and the shower was ok with plenty of hot water, although that was not immediate, you had to wait for the water to come and it then pulsed hot and cold intermittently, but still it was a nice shower.
The TV was new and modern but the only drawback was the fact that all HBO films were dual language so in Indonesian and there was no way to change that to English. Star Movies in English but that was annoying. There was internet access but with cable, not wireless, but the 3g signal was OK and that was good enough for me.
The fridge was small but functional, at 7 on the gauge started to ice beer so I had to lower the temp gauge to stop any beer from being ruined!

 There is window into the bathroom next to the bed which a blind could be pulled down to hide or spare peoples blushes. However, ideal if you are wanting to watch TV whilst sat on the Toilet or showering!!

 The view of the City and Sarinah. The view is of the Skyline line building, Lotus department store and in the distance the Bank of Indonesia.

Breakfast was pretty good, with a good selection of breads, fruits, salads, Indonesian food and Dim Sum. However once the food had run out that seemed to be it, so on the second day there was no Yoghurts or Fruit left by 9am and also the Egg Chef was remarkably slow and the food from him was too salty as well.

Checkout was easy enough although again I was surprised by the fact reception called us at 10.30 to remind us to checkout at midday. I have never had that happen before anywhere in the world.

So that was the Akmani. It is a nice hotel but it lacks something but I am not sure what. I know for New Years, rooms are going for over a million which I think is over priced for what you get but then that's just my opinion.

I enjoyed the stay but due to the huge range of hotels in the city, I wont be going back unless someone else pays!!!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Morrissey Boutique, Jakarta

Interesting place this one. It is my first boutique serviced apartment hotel venue which is located on the verge of the delightfully quiet and calm area of Menteng in Jakarta, yet built next to the one of the most infamous places in the city, Jalan Jaksa. Jaksa to sum up is one street consisting of dodgy bars and food stalls, cheap hotels, bars and an eclectic mix of back packers, expats (mainly teachers I fear) and not very exotic prostitutes.
It is a fun and rowdy street and always vibrant. However, if thats not your cup of tea, then a short walk and you are at Sarinah Mall where there it is far less full on and there are lots of western restaurants and a 24 hour Starbucks, McD and quite a nice western restaurant calleed Chillis which has great food but the price is a little steep.
So back to the hotel. I stayed there for 2 nights and due to a mix up I got to spend the first night in a double bed with a great view of the sunset and in a fairly large sized area.

The room itself consisted of a small kitchenette (microwave, hob, fridge and sink) a medium sized double bed, TV and a nice shower area, with oddly enough a shower curtain but there was loads of hot water so that was good.
The style was basic with whitewashed brick wall and the ceiling was left unpainted and was grey.

The second night I was in a twin sharing and the bed was small bed enough to sleep on. Both rooms suffered excess noise from the local mosque but that is something you have to accept in Indonesia, however, even though I have lived here for 5 years the volume and sound was far louder than I am used too and it did wake me up.

There were a few problems while at the hotel. There was no explanation of how to use to the lift as you needed to insert your room key into a slot to make the elevator work and often the room keys had not been activated by reception so you had to go back down to sort that out.

I actually thought the room was not so well cleaned and the window certainly looked liked it had not been cleaned for a month.

The lobby and reception is well laid out and all the staff were overly helpful and polite. The food that we had was plentyful although it seemed to be a dry hotel and there was a great restaurant next door that had happy hour buy one get one free beers between 5 and 8.

As I was there for a conference, I never had to pay. However it would not be my first choice of  a place to stay even with its location. Prices start at 500k a night and go up.

More information can be found here

Monday, 28 November 2011

Hotel Accommodation Bali New Year

Trying to find accommodation 5 weeks before New Years Eve was a bit of a mission over the weekend even though I was staying on the island. I will be back next month for 2 nights over New Years eve and I wanted to be in Kuta where the most fun can be had and the most lively spot. However, after checking over 30 hotels, guest houses, travel lodges, losemen, villas, backpackers both on line and walking into different places I was met with full over the seasonal period or you need to book online or we only have rooms if you are staying 3 or more nights. The days of walking into a hotel in Bali over Christmas seem to be disappearing. 60,000 rooms apparently have been built around Bali in various forms of lodgings so believing everything was full took some time. Asian Rooms, Wotif and Agoda all had hotels available but I don't want to pay 4 million a night upwards and even a local Bali hotel search site had a warning to book different times than the dates I wanted.

Now this is not to say that all hotels will be full if you just arrive but the price will hurt I think and if you are planning to just turn up, be prepared to do some leg work and spend some time finding a room. Poppies 1 is almost full, therefore I will make the assumption Poppies 2 Legion and then into Seminyak is also filling up fast.

Still I eventually found rooms and have some great rooms for a higher than normal price but they will do and they look wonderful. You will know more in January. But for now....

is not the nicest message you want to hear when planning New Year in Paradise.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hotel Mulia, Senayan Jakarta

Having the chance to stay in one of the best hotels in the city, who am I to turn down the opportunity. I stayed there for one night, room only in a 'Splendour' room and thoroughly enjoyed the stay.

The hotel is not cheap but you can see why. The luxury and plushness of the foyer and entrance, big sweeping staircases and mirrored elevators are enough to take your breath away and on top of that, english speaking staff who outside the restaurant all greeted me and spoke to me everytime they saw me. Even the housekeeper tidying a room near ours stopped to say hello.

The service and check in was great and no bother, we had to leave a credit card deposit of 700k which was cancelled on check out. 2 room keys and shown to the elevator.

The Elevator can only be accessed and used with an active room key and once that was established we found our room with ease. There are lots of floors in Hotel Mulia, the lobby is where the reception is, the ground floor, has bars and restaurants, the 5th floor the pool, floor 33 was ours and the top floor was 40 although there are not 40 floors. Still did not seem to be that confusing eventually.

The room itself was massive and contained a huge bed and sofa, 42" tv, internet access (not free, 140,000 for 24 hours) free drinking water and fruit, towels, 1 pair of slippers, 2 gowns, endless towels and bath room accessories and a very effective AC.

However no Bottle opener could be found and only 2 sachets of coffee was in the dish next to the kettle.

The bathroom was big with a separate shower room and a deep bath tub with endless amounts of hot water and it was immaculate and really well cleaned.

The most confusing thing was the door lock which seemed inadequate for the room or the size of the door but once we worked out how to double lock the door no worries.

Breakfast was not part of the deal and so we had to pay, quite willingly just over 400,000 rupiah for breakfast buffet which was amazing. Japanese, Chinese, Western, Indonesia food in abundance. Lots of choice of salad, cheese, fruit, danish pastries etc made it even more appealing. However they had a queuing system which seemed chaotic and we were lucky we got there early as  the whole dining area was fully, noisy and crowded. For a place with 1000 rooms (so I am told) thats a lot of toast!!!

Outside in the foyer there was lots of noise and confusion as to be expected, the person in charge of taxis seemed not too concerned if there was a taxi or not yet the other people helping were busy shouting and moving people and cars around. Getting into the hotel was a little bit of a drama as all your bags are taken from you and put through scanning devices which work better than the ones at the airport!! and you are not sure what they do as they take the bags from you and then disappear around a corner with them.

Finally you should know that the sign that says no Flip flops or sandals is not there for something to do. They mean it.

All in all for a room that costs $300 usd or thereabouts without breakfast or free internet I would say it was worth staying there as the opportunity does not arise too often. Its nice to be treated :)

For information about the hotel click here

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Prasada Mansion Hotel, Jakarta

Hidden between Sudirman and Setiabdui lies this rather vogue 3 star hotel, called the Prasada Mansion Hotel. It is situated behind the HSBC / Permata / Tamara buildings at the Setia budi area of Jakarta. Ideal if you are staying over night and doing business in one of the many office towers and on a budget, no fun if you are travelling through and if you never knew it existed and arrived at night, you would probably not want to venture out as the back streets are like rabbit warrens and there is little to nothing to see if you did. Saying that is was quite nice.
I stayed one night as in the middle of training in a local building and and so arrived after 8pm.
The checkin and welcome was friendly and quick and within 10 minutes in the room.
With no fridge, kettle, or tea/coffee I ventured out in hope for a 711 or Alpha Mart or something. The porter said go left and left again and it is about 10 minutes away. Knowing Jakarta as I do, that is easy to find. You go left at the big roads and leave the small streets alone. I arrived at the store got some stuff and headed back, going right and then right. I was offered a guard to go with me, but I declined.
In the hall on the first floor where I was staying was a water dispenser which I could fill the jug provided with water which was helpful.

The room was small but comfortable and there was plenty of storage. The TV was good and worked as did the free WiFi for the room although it was painfully slow.
The was very clean and whilst nearly as small as a Tune Hotel room, did serve its purpose as somewhere to sleep. The bed was comfy and the AC worked and was very quiet.

The shower well, there was no hot water at night but there was in the morning. But the pressure was not great and there was no shower gel only soap. I never bring any as thats what hotels provide.

Apart from someone knocking the door at midnight I got a reasonably good nights sleep which was nice.

In the morning the view from the window and small balcony was on the skyline and building work and was a noisy  but ok.
The breakfast room was very clean and the staff helpful and friendly. The choice was very limited to indonesian breakfast foods although the omelette and fruit were good. Lots of coffee and guava juice which was nice.

And thats it. It was a short stay and to be honest yes ok. It was paid for by my company so I cant complain. However it would not be a place I would stay if I had to stay somewhere in the city. Lack of access to the city, tucked away and limited facilities. Ibis is better in that respect but as I have already said, it is ideal for business people staying over night.

Standard Room - Twin Bed

Book Now

1 twin bed. Cable television service. Television. Housekeeping.
Standard Room - Queen Bed


Book Now

2 beds. Cable television service. Television.
Standard Room - Twin Bed

Book Now

1 twin bed. Cable television service. Television. Housekeeping.

The above is for illustration only and the prices will change. Please understand that

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sakanti City Hotel Jogja

I spent 2 nights in Jogja for a quick respite from the city and it was the second time I have really stayed here although this time there was plenty of time to explore.
Booking hotels seemed to be more complicated than normal as the ones on the shortlist were booked. I had originally budgeted for less than 300k a night but due to my choice of hotel and it being the weekend and also my Fiancee agreed to upgrade we were looking for something less than 400k a night.
We searched for hotels through as they have a wide choice of hotels and information for the hotels there.
And at the end of the day I have done the budget hotels and cheap rooms and now I want to have more luxury and comfort.

So we ended up choosing the Sakanti City hotel. The hotel is located 300 - 500 meters from Maliboro street and is behind the railway stay and so well in walking distance. It is also very close to a Trans Jogja bus stop and also there are many becaks as well there.

Sakanti City Hotel Jogja will indulge you during your stay there as if you stay at star hotel’s room. It lies only 300 meters from Malioboro
Jl. Gowongan Kidul No. 34, Mangkubumi
+62 274 588118
+62 274 557659
+62 81392750666

MapShow on map

Superior RoomIDR 350,000for 2 persons, double/twin bed
Deluxe RoomIDR 375,000for 2 persons, double/twin bed
Tripel RoomIDR 425,000for 3 persons, double/single bed
VIP RoomIDR 450,000for 2 persons, double bed

  • Extra Bed IDR 90,000
  • Extra Person IDR 70,000
  • All rates are inclusive goverment tax & service charge
  • Rates including breakfast for 2 persons
  • Check-in time at 13.00 PM and Check-out time at 12.00 PM
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice on Idul Fitri, Christmas, and New Year

We opted for the Deluxe room which was a double with balcony. The hotel was small but friendly and comfortable although I never saw any other guests at any time I was there.
The room was on the ground floor so the balcony was quite intriguing. The corridor to the room was partially exposed to the weather and so the floor got slippery in the rain.
The room was medium size but the bed was clean and comfortable and the bathroom was a fair size although there was some problems with a leaky ceiling. 
The AC worked very well although on the last day it was leaking water every where. 

The balcony door opened into a very small space of which you sit and look at a grey wall. Slightly cheated with that but it did make the room a little bigger.

The breakfast was soup and rice and not for me. The fridge worked and the staff were great and helped get taxis and sort some other things out.
The becak men did not try to rip us off, in fact we over paid them due to them carting us around in the rain.

Now, would I stay there again? If I had too yes as it was ok. But maybe not with a balcony. Overall out of 10 - 7 and a good 7.

Monday, 7 February 2011

RamadaResort Benoa Bali

I stayed here 2 nights as I was attending a work conference and to be honest I have been in better resorts and places in Bali but still it was nice and quite upmarket.
Benoa is the otherside of the airport and almost directly opposite to Kuta on another coast facing east.
The resort is a long line of hotels on one side of the road with access to the beach the other. Benoa is about about 45 minutes from Kuta/Legion from my experience, mainly due to traffic and roadworks and to Kuta Square it costs about 85,000 rupiah one way.
You can take a taxi directly there from the airport for a flat rate of around 100k.

The hotel itself has a big reception at the top of a lot of steps and the main dining area is underneath that. There are lot of steps and stairs there but the welcome and atmosphere was welcoming and friendly.
The room I was in was a twin and it was spacious with all the usual stuff in it, tv,m beds, table etc. The shower had a double shower head and the water was a good pressure and plenty hot. Towels were changed daily and the beds were made.
There was a sign on the balcony doors not to leave the doors open as mosquitoes would come it, not a reassuring notice. Although the view from the balcony was just backs of houses and some tall bamboo.

The pool was kidney shaped with a bar inside it, but it seemed that is was not open until 9am and shut at 7. There was also a volley ball area on sand, table tennis table, seats around the pool. Also a hindu temple and a travel agent.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. Taxis that were called arrived quite quickly, there was also cars and drivers who could ferry you to where you needed to go.

The resort has lovely gardens throughout that are well manintained and lots of things to look at. Across the road there seemed to be another swimming pool that belonged to the resort and then the beach itself.

It is not a swimming beach as fishing boats are moored there but the view was pleasant enough. The downside was that the resort is under the flight path of everything arriving from Java and so there was often noise from planes through the day.

Food was ok and there was plenty of it. The breakfast was huge with plenty of choice from western to the usual rice and porridge. The evening meals were not part of the weekend so I cant comment.

All in all it looked and felt like an expensive place to stay with no real benefit to being there. Benoa on the other hand looks great and a nice place to explore so I would consider going back to stay somewhere else to have a good look around.

If I am scoring it I would give it 7 out of 10.

The resort website

I have cut and paste this straight off their website, no offence meant or intended and I take no responsibility for changes in prices or rates at any notice, but rather I have done this to help you know the prices.

Internet Rates

Rate Period
Room Type
Single or Double Room per Night
6 Jan - 14 Jul 2011Village View RoomUSD 90.00Book Now
Garden View RoomUSD 95.00
Pool View RoomUSD 100.00
1 Bedroom VillaUSD 180.00
2 Bedroom VillaUSD 280.00
1 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 230.00
2 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 330.00
Two Bedrooms Family Duplex with poolUSD 330.00
15 Jul - 15 Sept 2011Village View RoomUSD 100.00Book Now
Garden View RoomUSD 115.00
Pool View RoomUSD 120.00
1 Bedroom VillaUSD 200.00
2 Bedroom VillaUSD 300.00
1 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 250.00
2 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 350.00
Two Bedrooms Family Duplex with poolUSD 350.00
16 Sept - 22 Dec 2011Village View RoomUSD 95.00Book Now
Garden View RoomUSD 105.00
Pool View RoomUSD 115.00
1 Bedroom VillaUSD 200.00
2 Bedroom VillaUSD 300.00
1 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 250.00
2 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 350.00
Two Bedrooms Family Duplex with poolUSD 350.00
23 Dec 2011 - 5 Jan 2012Village View RoomUSD 120.00Book Now
Garden View RoomUSD 130.00
Pool View RoomUSD 140.00
1 Bedroom VillaUSD 225.00
2 Bedroom VillaUSD 325.00
1 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 275.00
2 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 375.00
Two Bedrooms Family Duplex with poolUSD 375.00
6 Jan - 31 March 2012Village View RoomUSD 95.00Book Now
Garden View RoomUSD 105.00
Pool View RoomUSD 115.00
1 Bedroom VillaUSD 200.00
2 Bedroom VillaUSD 300.00
1 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 250.00
2 Bedroom Villa with poolUSD 350.00
Two Bedrooms Family Duplex with poolUSD 350.00
  • The above rates are NET (included 21% Government Tax and Service Charge)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Hotel Angsoka, Lovina Bali

This is my 3rd stay at this hotel and it is for me a nice laid back, well presented quiet hotel, in the middle of the strip called Lovina in the village of Kalibukbuk.
Lovina is 3.5 hours drive north of Kuta and not too far from Singaraja. It is well the worth the trip to Lovina as the Git Git waterfall and the temple on the lake near Bedugul.

Lovina is famous for its Dolphins although they are only seen in the early morning and on a boat in the sea close to the land.

The hotel is just around the corner from the Dolphin Statue and also a short walk to the main street and the small bars and restaurants and coffee shops that are there.

The hotel does a range of rooms from the 90,000 IDR a night no AC, fan only room to the luxury villa for 4 people and all sorts in between. We stayed in super standard which was a chalet with big bed, mosquito nets (cos they are big there) shower and bath tub.
Price of the room was 275,000IDR which whilst a little pricey was again ok and I don't mind paying the extra as the place and gardens are wonderful and the pool is big and deep. At night there are frogs and crabs running about as well as huge spiders but dont let that scare you, they are not in the rooms just outside them. I hate spiders but it does not put me off going there.

The rooms are fairly old and the bedding could be newer but the beds and pillows are comfortable, the towels sadly have seen better days but that was not the end of the world.

Out of 10 I would give it a 7 but a high 7 and when I return to Lovina I am sure to check in there again.

The hotels website can be accessed here

or you can call 62-362-41130

They take Credit Cards or cash.

Pesona Beach Inn Kuta revisited

I did stay here again for 3 nights bed and breakfast although again I never ate there instead I had big breakfasts at Swell or Kedin cafe.
The price was the same as January. for a room with 2 double beds which was nice and the room was situated again right by the pool. The AC was cold, the water was hot but the pressure was very low. The TV worked fine but the remote was broken. The room was very clean and it was amazingly quiet despite being fully booked.

The staff here are more than helpful even though there is only a handful of them and they either seem to be doing nothing or everything. It is a great place to stay for a few nights and well worth the money.

Tucked away behind a mini mart and opposite SWELL bar restaurant, Pesona Beach Inn is a comfortable relaxed hide away in Poppies 1, Kuta.
I stayed 2 nights and was charged 140,000idr per person for an A/C room with Cable TV a very hot shower and breakfast. With the option of keeping the room until 6pm on day of checkout for half the price of a night which was fairly reasonable.
Check out was at 12 noon and there was not really much fuss about anything while I was there. It was relaxed and very quiet and the staff were low key and accepting.
The rooms were immaculately cleaned and the beds felt new. The decor was fading and both rooms had issues with damp and peeling paint but the AC worked exceptionally well, the TV signal was weak but still clear.

The pool was less that a metre from my room and the water was clean and clear and warm and deep enough to dive in (depth 1.85cm) although it was not really very big.

The beach is 5 minutes walk and there are plenty of good restaurants to choose in walking distance as well. I would consider staying there again.

Some views of the hotel outside in Poppies. Would I stay there again?

More information can be found here:
or you can call them 62-361-765778