Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 2 February 2015 • Destination
It had been a struggle to recommend budget accommodation for Jakarta. The ones on Jalan Jaksa area used to be the hub for backpackers in the past, but have built some bad reputation throughout the years. Not all are bad, but some are. To be fair, Jaksa is still a lively area for travelers with Sabang Road just around the corner from Jaksa, bustling with food hawkers and businesses. However, when it comes to accommodation, there have been new hostels in Jakarta that are more interesting, found in other parts of the city.
This part of town is located near the center of city, not too far from the inter-city train station, Gambir. Since Gambir is also near the National Monument (Monas), Cikini would be great for those that want to travel around the Monas, National Museum, Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, and the art gallery, Galeri National. It’s also a great place as it’s close to the train station that can lead both to ‘Kota Tua’ and Bogor, surrounded with good food including fast food, till late night, and great for those that are looking to venture more into modern Jakarta. It’s specially popular to be the area for artsy stuff as it is near Taman Ismail Marzuki, the art hub.
For more information about getting to know the area, click here for information on walking tours in Jakarta.
This fairly new hostel has a few rooms each with 8 crisp pods. The pods are equipped with a fold out working table, reading light, personal charging station complete with international adaptors. The bathrooms and toilets are separated between genders and the girl’s bathroom is equipped with a changing room and hair dryer. The Old Batavia Capsule Hostel also has private rooms for 2 occupants, each with a private bathroom.
The common room is located on the top level with a TV area, a dining area, and an outdoor terrace. There is a Jacuzzi that can be utilized upon request. Tea, coffee, and water are free flow. A café is located on the ground floor with public computers that are connected to the Internet.
As for location, IT’S located within a business district of Cikini, amongst offices. Although it seems the area might generate a lot of sound, it’s blocked out through out the rooms. The staff is really nice too.
Beds start at IDR 180,000/night.
This hostel has already made a name for itself, considering availability is usually low. Six Degrees have a few types of room, including the pods. Since it’s been around for about three years, it was the first of its kind. There are private rooms with en-suite bathrooms, which is necessary sometimes.
Pergidulu had always liked the hostel, and I can see why upon entering the front door. It had that friendly hostel type of ambiance with colorful walls, a greenish rooftop, pool table, game console, and a hammock. Hammock!
It’s located in the same business area, but up front, just near the main complex entrance.
Beds start at IDR 150,000/night.
Usually travelers visiting Jakarta aim to visit the old city. I’m not surprised as it is part of one of the oldest ports of the world and it’s one of the very few recommended areas inside the Lonely Planet guidebook. But not without reason. The old city is interesting with its old buildings and blend with the modern activities that might be some interest. There are a few museums that are worth popping in and a few munchies along that would be an experience on its own.
It’s understandable to stay within the area as you can just walk to the old city. Being close to Petak Sembilan, the old Chinatown, grabbing an accommodation in the area becomes a great deal as it’s close to twice the amount of attractions.
This accommodation is located close to the Jakarta Kota train station, within a small business complex and a little confusing to find. However, inside is totally different to outside, as the inside ambiance is clean and fresh. This hostel only provides capsule rooms, relatively small compared to the others that I’ve seen, but available also in twin size for 2 people. The hostel room is pretty dense with 20 pods within one room. The best thing about their capsule collective is that the room has a window, giving an orientation if it’s already bright outside. Important (for me)!
The only common area is on the ground floor with TV, game console, pantry and dining area gather in one place. It’s a bit small but great for enforcing communication amongst travelers. I certainly had my fair share of discussion with one of their guests. Fun!
The tricky thing about this hostel is their entrance gate. The main gate is closed after 6 p.m., hence arriving after would reroute you the back gate on the other side of the complex. It’s not a far walk, just a little confusing.
Rooms start at IDR 120,000 / night.
This accommodation is located closer to the Petak Sembilan area or the old Chinatown, about 15-20 minute walk from the Kota Tua area. The Packer Lodge has a few optional rooms aside from the capsules, such as a single room and twin rooms, which has private bathrooms. The dorm rooms consist of 4 and 8 capsules, divided into mixed and female dorms. The pods are nice, great beds, and has all the personal needs such as reading lights, power source, and international adaptor.
The common area is divided into 2 floors. TV room and the computers are on the third floor, while the dining area is located on the fourth floor. They provide pick up to and from the airport that costs IDR 150,000/pax, which is fairly the same with taxi.
Rooms start at IDR 150,000/night
Why capsule hostels?
Aside to the great deal for budget travelers, I’ve grown to avoid of dorms just because I’ve tried them later on in my traveling days, when good sleep was more essential for the sanity. The late entry of fellow travelers turning the lights on at 2 a.m., the constant sound of them getting prepared for bed, wobbling of bunk bed once someone hops into bed, and lack of respect for other sleeping tenants just gets to me. If not necessary, I’d step away and find a cheap room.
However, hostel pods are a compromise ground between dorms and private rooms. You’re entitled to personal space and a more stable bed. It’s so much better if the capsules have curtains to shut out the light from the common area. Personal reading lights from neighboring beds aren’t an issue as they aren’t visible from your personal pod. Air circulation is a minor challenge but it’s a compromise worthy a good night sleep for a morning of adventure. While the Japanese got it right, their version might be too small and only intended for just sleeping. The modified version of it in hostels are awesome as you can do other in-bed activities such as reading, working on your laptop or talk to a mate from the capsule beside you.
To top it all off, most of the capsule hostels provide free flow of coffee, tea, and water, include a simple breakfast in their rate, and sometimes include a towel in the budget. If not, towels are for rent and are pretty cheap. And yes, they usually sell cold Bintang. Not bad, right?
So, yay or nay for capsule hostels in Jakarta?
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