Friday, 28 December 2012

Millennium Hotel Jakarta

The Millennium Hotel is located in Sirih which is behind Thamrim, very close to EX, Grand Indonesia, McDonalds and is a mid town priced hotel.

It has 15 floors and the most popular appears to be the 13th floor. All the rooms have great views over the city and are fairly big.
The bed is comfy and the TV is excellent with a good range of channels. The room itself is not the biggest I have stayed in nor the smallest but for the 2 nights I was here, it was very relaxing and quiet. My room was facing out to the east so the think lined curtains needed to be drawn for the sun rise.

The bathroom was fairly small as was the bathtub but it did have a bathtub and plenty of hot water as well which was great, however the shower was not great with limited pressure.

The towels were changed daily and the room made up. There was even a call by someone to see if I needed any laundry done, which I never.

No free Internet access in the room that I could discover. The telephone signal was good however and the 3g was no problem. The AC works far too well and it did get cold at night if you did not change the settings to warm it up a little.

I paid 600,000 rupiah a night through Agoda and there was no fuss at all with the checking in or out.

The breakfast time is between 6 and 10 and there is a good range of breads, fruit, Indonesia and Japanese food. Limited western options but still enough choice to fill you up. The coffee was slow to be refilled but it did arrive.

So overall the hotel is good to stay at and once they have finished the renovations I am sure it will be even better. I would consider staying here again because of the views, the ease of getting to places and the peace and quiet.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Hotel Mulia Signature room

Luxury Hotels

Choosing which hotel to stay at in Jakarta, is never an easy choice as there are so many to choose from. Depending on your budget there is something for everyone from 50,000 a night flea holes around Jalan Jaksa  to 5 million or more at the biggest and poshest hotels in the city. 
The discount hotel website has 256 listed hotels for Jakarta alone so I guess if you are staying in the city then you need to think carefully about where to stay. Not easy if you have never been to Jakarta before or do not fully understand the traffic and vastness of the place and the time it takes to go from say, Kuninghan to Kemang or Blok M to Glodok on a Friday night in the rain....

However, for once the choice was made for me and luckily, happily and most enjoyably I just spent the night in the Hotel Mulia, Senayan. A top range 5 star hotel with more people opening car doors at the lobby than I have seen anywhere else in the world.

The Mulia is just down from Plaza Senayan and Senayan City and it is famous for its luxury rooms and the nightclub CJ's for other more infamous reasons. 

The wife and I were staying in a corner room in the Mulia Signature room which is huge. A King size bed, a sofa bed which could pass as another king size bed, a desk, the forementioned sofa, 2 views (it was a corner room) one out to The west and you could see Taman Angrek, Puri, and beyond and one of the city heading north and you could see the Monas, Istiqlal mosque and beyond as well. We were on the 10th floor and the views were great. The room was deathly quiet and there was little noise from anywhere during the stay. 

The views (panoramic)

The mini bar was well stocked but the prices come with 21% added tax on top of silly prices already, so we stayed away from the room service and brought what we needed with us.

The room style we were in starts at 2 million without breakfast and with breakfast takes it up to 3. 3 million is well spent don't get me wrong but for 3 million I would rather fly to Bali and stay 4 nights there!!!

However, it is quite clear that the hotel caters for more arabic and oriental people and so there were many TV channels for both and not a hint of Premier league soccer anywhere. Not that I really care, its just I remember when I stayed in the Ibis, there was!!!  (Ibis 400k a night, Mulia 2 million).

It was a great weekend way from the house and better than the last time we stayed there as the room was far far bigger and it was fantastic.

I am now waiting for the opportunity to stay at their new Bali resort. 


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Yulia Inn Bali

I stayed in the Yulia Inn for about 8 nights and stayed in two different rooms. The Yulia is next to the KFC, Kuta Square yet does not suffer from any noise or disturbance from the activity outside.

I choose the Yulia from Agoda as it had good reviews and the prices seemed reasonable for what you get.

I arrived into the Yulia around 9am much to their surprise and they did not seem prepared for that. I showed them my reservation slip which stated early check-in and also a large bed as I like large beds. It took about 10 minutes for them to magic up a room, despite me being happy if all I could do at that time was leave my bags so I could go and wander and get some breakfast, but eventually I got a room and was showed to it.

The was a bit flimsy with a simple lock and key but was ok There a big over hang from the roof and with the plants and huge buildings surrounding the hotel, made it all a bit gloomy and dark. It was fairly quiet though which was nice. 

The Bathroom was big and the shower room was very big. You had to wait a while for the hot water to arrive and the work out how to mix it with the cold tap as there was no mixer. However there was plenty of hot water. No where to place your shower gel though...
The sink area was nice. You got fresh towels every day and also 2 free bottles of water. I was charged 20k for a cracked glass which I deny breaking as it only ever held my toothbrush but there was so much argument and debate over this glass that I just paid. I had to deal with the maid, her boss, the chief receptionist amongst others. It was a huge deal to them. To me, well it just pissed me off.

The bed was nice and hard but there was only a sheet to sleep under which meant not having the AC on cold as the room would get freezing. The TV was old and the picture Yellow and the remote did not work. I never complained about it, perhaps I should have.

The room was cleaned daily and the maid did the best job but she came around 9am knocking on the door to clean the room. She seemed to be very busy all the time.

I also stayed in another room there which was 2 singles. The room had a bathtub, perfect TV reception, duvets but was slightly smaller and also a little further down from reception.

The trouble with both rooms was the sheer amount of mosquitoes that entered it everytime you went in or out of the room. I was bitten a lot. That was the worst thing about the stay.

The breakfast options were ok as normal with most Bali hotels, nothing special. The Jaffles were good though.

I paid $320 for the total stay which was not too bad. The service was good thats for sure and the staff seemed happy to help. The riddle of the broken glass annoyed me a lot and make the stay there a little less enjoyable as did the mosquitoes.

After staying in  Seminyak in the private villa for a couple of nights, I guess the hotel experience was not the same for me. I wont return to the Yulia.

The link is here

Ramayana Bali

Actually I never stayed here, but I have visited it and my parents stayed here and they had a great time. The Ramayana is next to Kuta Square and 3 minutes to the beach. It is a large resort with 2 pools and lots of choices of rooms.
The staff are welcoming and friendly and it seemed that they could not do enough for my parents during the stay.

The room my parents in had a problem with the phone and the workmen visited the room several times to repair it. They were left in the room unattended and nothing (as you would expect was taken). The AC was super cold, the TV super big and the bed very high.

The loungers around the pools filled up quickly and so there was always a race to get a good spot but my parents only really stayed by the pool for a short period of time.

I arranged free of charge for my parents to be taken and picked up from the airport and they were met with signs and welcomes which was great and a relief seeing as my parents were in there 70s.

Finally the price. The hotel is expensive but if you go there you will see why. However I consider it good value for money and the location, service and standards are all excellent. My parents booked through Agoda and so they managed to get a far more expensive room for less than half price.

The hotel link is here

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Aston Tropicana, Bandung

To celebrate my birthday, I went to Bandung for the weekend. I don't know much about Bandung. I have stayed a couple of times but mainly for work and so to go to the city for a holiday is something different.

I am a big user of Agoda and I book nearly all my hotels through it as it is easy, safe and cheaper and less hassle than over the phone. Agoda does offer some great deals and you can save a lot of money, although I am often suspicious that the deals offered on rooms are inflated as sometimes the original price does not reflect the actual quality of room.

Bandung is a sprawling, congested, snarled up city. It is full of Jakartans on the weekend and I would imagine booking a hotel at short notice is a challenge. I booked 2 months out. Knowing where to stay also in Bandung is a challenge as the traffic slows you down and the place is spread over a lot of hills.

We choose the hotel Aston Tropicana not on location but on price and we were prepared to go from there. As it turns out the hotel is slap bang in the middle of the shopping area Cihampelas which is famous for jeans and clothe shopping. Also it is next to the Ci Citywalk mall and not far from Paris Van Java mall as well. It is also opposite the Rocky Jeans store which is great.

The hotel itself is lovely. The service at reception was fast and courteous and there was no fuss or concerns from the staff. We were given our rooms and shown to the elevator.
There are 8 floors in the hotel, 3 bars or restaurants, a gym, conference suite and other things. The pool was on the 6th floor, the same as our room.
Our room looked onto the pool so we kept the curtains closed.

The room was fairly big with the usual queen sized bed. There was a huge TV which offered a good range of channels but the reception was not the best. No mini bar but the tea and coffee instead. The AC was good and very quiet and very cold not matter what setting you put it on.

The bathroom had a bath and a shower head. There was plenty of hot water although not from the bath taps as it seemed to be broken or low pressure. So to fill the bath I used the shower head. It worked just as well.

There was however a lot of noise from above and below as if things were being moved and at 4am in the morning that does not agree with me. However apart from those things it was great.

I managed to get to breakfast once. The breakfast room is big and the choice ok. Eat as much as you like which is always good although tea and coffee was not as easy to get refilled. However I left there full and thats a good thing.

The thing that impressed me the most was the service. We had a problem with the door lock (more important to fix than the water tap) and that was done immediately. Also as it was my birthday I was presented with a big cake and candles from the hotel staff and a card. They took this information from my id and it was really very kind of them. It made staying there all the more enjoyable. I have not had that happen before and so it was a great treat. On the basis of that event only I would return. I would return there anyway as it is a great hotel and in a great location.

Sadly for me, Bandung has banned the selling of Alcoholic beverages in stores and shops and it can only be purchased in bars and other licensed places so that means everything is more expensive. So I guess I wont be returning there for a while unless I come prepared. Annoying.

The hotel website is here

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Umadasa Bed and Breakfast

The last trip to Bali did not involve staying in Kuta instead I stayed in Seminyak, which is a little further out from Kuta but far more relaxed and peaceful. Also there has been too many times when I have been in Kuta and around Poppies that me and my fiancee have had to deal with rude, racist, sexist, obscene comments and at the end of the day enough is enough.
So we searched through Agoda to look for somewhere different and we came across a little place in Seminyak called Umadasa Villa.
The Villa itself is about 5 minutes max walk to beach double six which is a grey sandy beach with crashing waves and lots of white foam. There are lots of restaurants, clubs, hotels and shops in Seminyak and it is a very pleasant walk to Kuta along the beach.

The Villa itself is a little hard to find as it is new and so this means taxi drivers have yet to find their way to it. The Villa is located in the same alley or gang as the Tune Hotel so that helped the driver get us there.

Behind a locked door in a big wall is a fairly big house with 5 rooms, pleasant but small garden, small but spotlessly clean pool and a very welcoming air and atmosphere.

Our room was looking out onto the pool and the room itself was a big room with a compact bathroom. There was a wardrobe, and a table, fridge and new tv. The bed was a queen sized bed and the AC worked very well.

Lots of hot water and clean new towels which was also nice.

The stay was very pleasant and hassle free and the girls who looked after the place were very helpful and kind and made sure that we had everything that we needed. As it is Bali, there was a power cut and during this time, they made sure that we had candles and light and made us feel comfortable as best they could while we waited for the power to come on.

Oh and the wireless internet was great.

So overall it was a great place to stay and relax and I will certainly return there and stay again. The location is ideal, it is not overly priced and the room and service was great.

Click here for more information


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Masa Inn Bali

Yet again, I found myself in a hotel / inn in Poppies 1, Kuta Bali. I wil say that this will be probably the last time I stay in Poppies, not because the accommodation is poor but he manners and behaviours of the men there is becoming more and more unfriendly. Their current calls are for viagra and calis and then other rubbish, but what is worse is what they say to the girls walking up and down the street, in English or in Bahasa. None of it is nice or helps.

The traffic that seems to be constantly moving up and down it as well is getting worse, however the restaurants are great, cheap and cheerful and the places I have stayed in are also great.

AP Inn, Kedins, Pesona Beach Inn and now Masa Inn. Masa Inn is a little further up between Pesona and AP inn and almost is the most expensive yet. This was probably due to the fact that it was high season and at new year. I have already posted about Bali being full for New Year and so I guess it was a case of either put up or shut up.

Anyway, I digress.

We stayed in 2 rooms due to the limited availability of rooms. The first room was a twin bed for 550k a night which included breakfast. The room itself was very functional, great range of TV channels, free bottled water, nice clean and what looked liked recently refurbished bathroom with plenty of hot water and good pressure. No soap of any kind though. The AC was very quiet and very cold.  However we were only in that room for one night and in total for about 10 hours due to being out late having fun.
The second room was 600k and it was a balinese style room, which meant for 50k extra you go a 4 poster bed with nets, and everything else already described. The best thing about the room was the outside where it was gloriously decorated balinese style.

The hotel itself is very big and fully occupied. It was on 2 levels and there were 2 pools. Reception was 24 hours and the staff were very helpful and prompt. They were also the most professional of all the places I have stayed in in Bali as they gave receipts for everything. They also asked for my passport details as that was requested by the local police and it took a fair amount telling, not explaining that I had legal status to live here and did not need to show my passport. My SIM C and my E KITAS seemed not to be enough, but eventually they yielded and it was all fine.

As normal we took the room until 6pm on our last day as we were taking the last flight out and so we had to pay 50%  of the normal rate for the room, which was OK.

Overall the hotel is great, and the rooms and facilities were very impressive. I would stay there again for sure, if it was not for the fact that getting to it was a hassle walking through the vendors.

For more information click here