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