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Le Meridien Jakarta

The hotel is situated in a prime area opposite the World Trade Center, along Jalan Jendral Sudirman, the main street which houses the various Indonesian representative offices for many corporate multinationals. There is no shopping mall close to the hotel and one needs a taxi to reach one of the many shopping malls unlike other hotels, which are connected or part of large shopping complexes. For all other activities there is not much of a difference compared to other hotels: one needs a taxi.

The architecture of the hotel used some distinctive traditional features of Javanese residences, but in general it is a modern building built in the 80ies. It begins to show it age in many parts. After passing the security check point one reaches the entrance and after an additional x ray screening of the luggage is finally allowed to enter the big lobby of the hotel. Check in desks are on the right side. A staircase leads to the second floor where the most of the six meeting rooms are located.

Artworks in the lobby showcases Javanese legends and history and stand side by side along with the avant-garde design typical of the Le Meridien brand. In general it is a strange combination: Javanese art with design of the 80ies and it does not really fit. It would have been better to focus on one, either Javanese design or modern design.

The hotel has two wings, which are connected in the lower floors. In addition to the regular wing there is also a tower wing, which hosts the executive floor on the 20th floor and the gym and the SPA on the second floor. There is also a staircase leading to the pool on the ground floor. This is also the best way to access the pool because this avoid passing through the lobby in bathing clothes.

There is no shortage of restaurants in the hotel with Al Nafoura (Lebanse cuisine), Ryoutei Aoi (Japanese cuisine), La Brasserie (International), which also serves as the breakfast location. The Lebanese restaurant particularly serves excellent food that is unique in the city itself. La Boutique Gourmande is a patisserie which bread, rolls and pastries and a place where many expatriates look for fresh bread. A bar (Tiga Pulug Music Bar and Lounge) is a nightspot and club which live music.

A number of meeting and event rooms are located on the ground and first floor of the hotel. The Sasono Mulyo Ballroom has its own entrance area and driveway, so guest of the hotels are not disturbed by events held in the ballroom.

The business center is located on the first floor and available from 07:00 to 23:00. It is usually staffed but if you have to deal with other timezones this could be a disadvantage, a 24 hours business center should be there, even if it is not staffed 24/7.

The pool is open daily from 06:00 to 21:00 and is nicely landscaped. It has a small building in Tuscan style at one end. Unfortunately the pool and parts of the hotel are facing a derelict construction site, reminder of the Asian financial crisis in 1998. Lounge chairs are standing around the pool and towels were provided by staff.
The gym is large but the equipment not the most modern one and some machines are old. They are good for a working out and exercies, but one would expect more modern equipment in a hotel like the Le Meridien. The gym is open daily from 06:00 to 22.00, again a 24/7 gym is now available in the most hotels and again the Le Meridien is not playing in the same league than the other major chains in Jakarta.

visited on Asianadventure 2011

Stays May 11, 2011

Arrival Date: May 11, 2011
Departure Date: May12, 2011
Room type booked: Superior Room (Club Access granted)
Rate Plan: Smart Saver
Room Number: 712
Room Rate: 93.75 USD (excluding taxes)

Status of Guest Program: Platinum

I arrived around 19:30 at the hotel and after I had passed the several security check points was stepping into the lobby. A bellboy offered to help with my luggage, which I declined, as I was only travelling with hand luggage and needed some things out of the carry on during check in. He nevertheless accompanied me.

The agent at the check in desk welcomed me in the hotel and searched the system for my reservation. I was told, the hotel was fully booked and therefore I could not get an upgrade, but would have access to the lounge in the tower wing. I had checked the available rooms during my layover in Singapore a few hours earlier and they were still selling all types of rooms, so it was not quite correct, that they were sold out. Anyway, the stay was not that long and I did not push it further, executive lounge access was granted. ID was checked and everything took very long. I am not sure, if the reservation computer system was that slow, but check it seems to take for ages - it was not very fast. The agent did not mention what took so long, it was a strange situation, the agent typing and looking at the screen and not saying a word and I not knowing what was going on. Not the best impression. Finally the agent had collect all information and the keycards were coded. The opening hours of the lounge were not explained, I was referred to the letter I got with my keycard and I also had to ask for gym, pool, breakfast time. I was not addressed by name for the most time and it seems to be quite impersonal.

I was accompanied to my room by one of the bellboys as they refused to let me take my hand luggage alone. My room was located on the … floor facing the pool and the derelict construction site.

Rooms are average spacious but I was told the twin rooms are usually larger in size in the newer wing which is accessed from elevators further from the main lobby.

The rooms in the Le Meridien Jakarta are not shaped like the average hotel room. Instead the rooms have slanted angles but are fairly well designed. There is a small hallway leading from the entrance to the room. In the hallway is a walk in closet and at the entrance to the room are the tea and coffee facilities stored. Opposite is the entrance to the bathroom.

The bathroom in the hotel utilizes white marble which was a frequent material used for construction in the mid 80ies and the bathroom had a separate shower and bathtub. The bathroom looks old but functional. The hair-dryer was an old one as well. Water pressure was okay and towels were provided for two persons in small, medium and large size. Bathrobes were available as well and bathroom amenities were the Le Meridien brand.

The room I was assigned to has a work desk, sofa by the TV console and a small coffee table. The work desk also has a travel converter plug by the side which makes it easy for travellers to connect their laptop or charging adaptors. The desk was large enough to work on and the internet connection was fast and reliable. It was possible to set up a VPN session without any problem.

However the interior and the technique are quite old. The air condition unit was placed in the bed side table. From my point of view it is never good to use built in units and it is hard to change them to upgraded units.

The mattress was very soft – too soft for my taste and I did not sleep very well. The air condition was also a bit noisy and caused a draught. The windows could be opened, but the street (Karet Casablanca Street) was noisy even though I had a room facing the quieter ‘pool side’.

The rooms in the Le Meridien Jakarta use the same Javanese décor like its lobby, giving it an old and traditional feel. I would have preferred a more modern ambiance, but this is not quite the style of the Le Meridien brand. But the room had no traditional furniture but the typical hotel room interior. In so far the local artifacts did not really fit and does not meet the description of “traditional Javanese setting” the hotel is using in advertisements.

The furniture had several scratches and stains and so had the wall and carpet. I think, the next refurbishment should happen soon. Jakarta will get a few more upscale hotels in the near future and competition will be harder.

There was also a welcome amenity of fruits in the room for SPG members, as well as complimentary bottled water in both the bedroom and bathroom. Should guests need more bottled water, they just need to request it from the room service like in most Indonesian hotels.

Breakfast in the hotel was alright, and offers a decent selection. Waitresses will usually come around offering their daily smoothies concoction which was great and on top of the usual egg station, there was also a noodle station (common to Indonesian hotels), Japanese and Chinese congee section and a variety of hot plates like fried noodles and rice. The latter are a staple of Indonesian breakfast which is also to be found in hotel breakfasts around Indonesia. The selection was quite good and is one of the highlights in the hotel and much better than the offerings in the club lounge. One of the few hotels, I would pay the extra money for the breakfast. It is worth to note, that outside seating (smoking allowed) is available. Staff is attentive and friendly.

My one night stay in this property was okay. I would not stay here but for the attractive room rates which can be had for as low as US$90 after taxes and the extensive breakfast buffet, though guests should not expect 5-star standard.
Otherwise, the hotel has a lot in its hands to renovate the lobby and restaurants. For SPG members, this hotel is pretty value for money for paying guests if you can get a room for 110 USD or less including breakfast.