Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 25 May 2014 • Destination
Kandi is our travel mate from Bandung, but seldom has business to attend in Jakarta. With so many places to stay, she found a surprising ‘home’ in the middle of town. Here’s her review on Sindoro Guest House, her version of a getaway nearby.
When asked about their opinion of Jakarta, most Indonesians will say “big crowded city with a hell of a traffic jam,” so finding Sindoro Guest House in Jakarta was quite a surprise for me. Located in Central Jakarta, this guest house is in the same area with Jakarta’s busiest places such as Sudirman Business District, National Monument and Senayan Sport Stadium; but it didn’t feel like that at all when you enter its gate.
Also called Graha Sindoro or Wisma Tujuh, Sindoro Guest House (the name Sindoro, I guess, originated from a mountain in Central Java) was a Dutch house surrounded by beautiful garden. The rooms were lined separately from the main building, along the side and behind of the backyard, typical of colonial architecture, so that busy street noises were hardly heard once you’re inside, especially in the back-row rooms. The ambience resembled more of a Javanese traditional house than a building in a big city – the sounds you hear would be clinking of wind-chime and chirping of birds*, while at noon it was cool and airy thanks to many trees planted there.
My favorite spot in Sindoro Guest House: the backyard. It has some chairs and table placed under a tree where you can enjoy tea, read books, or just relax and chill. It’s so not Jakarta! You can see some details of the backyard on following photos:
The not-so-pleasant part was when the dogs kept by the guest house owner got away from their cage. When I walked around the backyard they suddenly burst out and barked loudly at me. It was shocking! Luckily the staff immediately came to help. If you are not very keen on dogs, you might consider telling the guest house staff before coming, just to make sure they are properly caged.
The room I slept in was clean and comfortable, and airy when the window was opened. It has two single beds, AC, TV, a cupboard and a desk, a small fridge, and a big window. Unfortunately my window was facing a kind of laundry room; not a very good scenery, so I closed it most of the time. Other rooms have windows facing the backyard, I guess it would be nice to open them and see outside.
There were rooms with twin beds, but I also saw a room for three persons with one double bed and one single bed. Every room has a private bathroom; mine was clean and modern with sitting toilet and hot water shower.
Other shared facilities include a small pantry, living room (very homy!) and some verandahs with dining tables. There was free wifi; I didn’t try the connection but my friend staying with me said the connection was good. The guest house provides breakfast of bread and jam, while other meals can be ordered from nearby restaurants. When I stayed there I washed the dishes myself, but you can leave the dishes and have the staff to do it for you.
The room rate ranges from IDR 250,000 to IDR 350,000 a night depending on number of persons staying. If you are traveling alone, you can book a room for IDR 250,000. The same room will be priced IDR 300,000 for two persons and IDR 350,000 for three persons.
I came from Bandung, so to get to Sindoro Guest House I took a commercial shuttle bus “Day Trans” (IDR 95K) to the pool at Plaza Atrium. From there I took a bajaj straight to the guest house for IDR 20,000.
If you go by train, from Gambir Station you can ride Trans Jakarta Busway. Take corridor 2, change to corridor 5 at Senen Central bus stop, and get off at Salemba bus stop. Then you can take a walk to Jl. Salemba Tengah where the guest house is located.
To get around, there is a Trans Jakarta bus stop about 200 m from the guest house, so you can go practically anywhere around Jakarta using that bus with only IDR 3,500. And of course there are more practical but expensive taxis – just walk to Seven Eleven at the main road, Jl. Salemba, to stop one.
Here are some nearby places you can go when staying in Sindoro Guest House: