Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 18 February 2016 • Destination
Remember this post? I was spending the yearend in Jakarta, in a hotel just about 1 kilometer away from home. It might sound ridiculous but the reason I did it was because… I could. Nah, it was because I had been curious about Manhattan Hotel, having some friends telling me how cool their swimming pool was, with a street view through the pool’s transparent walls. Checking in a hotel just to swim in the pool?? Why not! I had a few travel vouchers to spend anyway, so off I went and spent a night at Manhattan Hotel, Jakarta. Who knows, I might get that New York feeling I see so much in movies.
The Swimming Pool
The swimming pool of Manhattan Hotel is the star of my staycation. From the stories I heard from my friends and some picture I saw, I gathered that the swimming pool is long with a highly manicured area surrounding it. Turns out, it was a lot smaller than I had imagined, and the beach chairs were sort of just put there, with no noticeable artistic intention. A few tables and chairs were also provided at the sundeck. No New York feeling there, except the fact that I was surrounded by skyscrapers. Strangely, the fitness center (including swimming pool) reception area was decorated with Balinese style.
It was the only pool, no kiddie pool provided, and it was about 120 cm deep. If you’re standing outside of the pool, you wouldn’t be able to see the transparent walls underwater. Swim and dive in to the edges, then you’ll see. Three of the four walls are see-through glass, facing the busy main road with an elevated road on top (Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio), the back road full of buildings (around Jalan Denpasar Raya and Pedurenan Mesjid), and the tall building next to the building where you could watch people working in their offices.
Actually, there is really nothing wrong with the pool. What was wrong, was really my expectation. So I decided to just have fun with it, swimming with my underwater camera. It WAS an awesome sensation to view the streets from underwater on the 8th floor. But if you are afraid of height, this might not be a good idea.
The swimming pool used to be open for non-guests as well, but recently they decided to dedicate it for hotel guests only.
The Room & Facilities
We stayed at the Executive City View room on 28th floor, with skyscrapers view. It would be a good choice for those looking to see the busyness of Jakarta, especially in rush hours on weekdays. And that was exactly what I wanted, so I could freely draw a metropolitan scene in between watching HBO movies in bed.
For IDR1,100,000/night (purchased via a travel agent, which was more or less the same with online price) I think I got everything that I expected, if not less. It was clean, tidy, equipped with the standard furniture and amenity. There was a missing pair of slippers, a tricky toilet flush, nevertheless a cold and hot shower within the bathtub that worked fine.
Breakfast buffet is served in Central Park restaurant on the 3rd floor. There was an array of food, dessert, and fruits, some were served in traditional-designed huts. I was excited to choose the important meal of the day from so many options. I finally decided on chicken avocado salad, pasta, and sushi.
The salad was too spicy for breakfast, the pasta was alright, the sushi was..I just remember it wasn’t yummy at all. If I could give a suggestion, I’d prefer they serve less variety of food with much better taste. However, I did not try the continental breakfast nor the breads. They might taste better. Just might.
When the weather is good, you could opt for an al fresco. You’ll be far from the food islands for second servings, but it’s nice to have a change of ambience. I wonder, maybe it would give more of that New York feeling if they had like a hot dog booth as a gimmick instead of a Nasi Uduk booth.
The Location and Neighboring Places
Most of the stuff I have written here might not interest you much to stay at Manhattan Hotel, given there are a lot of other hotel options in Jakarta. However, it is located in a very strategic area.
Manhattan Hotel is located within one of the many business districts in Jakarta. The area is called Kuningan, which consisted of the long Jalan Rasuna Said (or Jalan Kuningan as it is known informally) and the whole Mega Kuningan area located across the hotel. Embassies, shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, a local souvenir center, lots and lots of medium to big offices are located there. The nearest shopping mall is Kuningan City, which is only 3 minutes away by foot, where you can shop, eat, and watch the cinema.
Only the catch is, with an area packed with “important” places, the traffic could get really crazy in rush hours, or sometimes all day long. So it’s a great choice if you are having business just nearby.
Transportation to and Around the Hotel
Taxis are easy to find around the hotel, so are ojeks. If you are getting around by TransJakarta bus, you could stop or catch a bus at Depkes bus stop (in front of Departemen Kesehatan office) or Soemantri Brojonegoro bus stop (in front of Plaza Festival mall), which are only about 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel.
So, did I get that New York feeling on the one night at Manhattan Hotel? Well, a little bit. I did walk to nearby places just as many New Yorkers do, was so close to the city’s hustle and bustle like New Yorkers are.
Phone: (+6221) 300 40 888 / 52 96 1188
Address: Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio Casablanca Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia