We check into one of Jakarta’s most iconic and beloved hotels, Gran Melia Jakarta, to see how this hotel has evolved with the changing times.
A haven of serenity and luxury in the heart of Indonesia’s capital, the Gran Meliá Jakarta is an urban oasis nestled in the prime Golden Triangle central business district of Kuningan. Cutting an elegant figure against Jakarta’s cityscape, and inspired by its Spanish heritage, the Gran Meliá Jakarta is an iconic address for all travellers, with 366 luxurious guest accommodations, five dining destinations, a spa and wellness sanctuary by Meliá Hotels International’s signature wellness brand YHI Spa, and renowned hospitality and service making it ideal for both work and play.
After the chaotic traffic of Jakarta, arriving at the Gran Meliá Jakarta is a welcomed respite and making my way up the escalators and into the hotel’s cavernous lobby, there is a sense of peace and order that’s accentuated as I’m guided up to the 15th floor and the coveted RedLevel, home to a very special executive lounge. It’s here, in this boutique hotel within a hotel, that I’m checked into my room, a Deluxe Suite, a sprawling elegant space that makes travel far from home comfortable and convenient.
While my suite isn’t the most modern in the city, it’s certainly larger than most and is very well-appointed. The foyer opens onto the main living space, which boasts an expansive dining table that could easily double as a poker table or the perfect setting for intimate private dinners. There’s also a separate workspace, a couch along one wall and panoramic city views. The massive bathroom features both a standalone bathtub and walk-in shower as well as double vanities and opens onto both the vestibule and a separate dressing room. Other room amenities include both wifi and high-speed cable internet and dual 42-inch LCD televisions. One of the key benefits of the space is how it lends itself to entertaining as the bedroom is easily closed off, leaving you and the lads ample room in which to prepare for a night out in Jakarta’s acclaimed nightscape.
The Executive Lounge
One of the things that stands the Gran Meliá Jakarta apart is the RedLevel. An elegant, refined space, the lounge serves buffet breakfasts for RedLevel room guests, as well as a RedLevel Lounge Tea service and evening cocktails and canapes from 6-9 pm, making it the perfect pre-game meeting point before you head out. Staying on RedLevel floors also entitles guests to a raft of additional perks, including complimentary garment pressing upon arrival, personalised check-ins and check-outs (with arrival cocktail), free local calls and internet access, and more. I love the quiet evenings in the lounge, where travellers from around the world meet over cocktails and hot and cold snacks, making for the perfect precursor before a night exploring the neighbourhood’s leading eateries.
Like many of these Grand Dame hotels, Gran Meliá Jakarta offers a spectacular array of dining experiences. At Café Gran Vía you can expect a world of flavours from across the globe, including spectacular breakfast spreads and thematic dinners. The hotel is also home to the acclaimed Yoshi Izakaya restaurant (below), which combines a verdant garden setting with a modern approach to Japanese dining led by chef Ito Tomoaki. For the best flavours from Sichuan and Canton, guests can head to Tien Chao Restaurant, where the menu highlights include authentic Peking duck and weekend dim sum; while in the Lobby Lounge, the perfect setting for casual meetings, an elegant tea and coffee service – with pastries from adjacent El Bombon patisserie – turns to evening cocktails and live jazz each night.
After a busy day of meetings or for business travellers looking to fend off the grips of jetlag, make a beeline for the YHI Spa. The spa offers a selection of soothing, stress-busting massage and beauty treatments influenced by traditional culture, to help you forget about the frenzy of daily life. These are complimented by a wide variety of holistic therapies, including hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and reflexology. There is even access to an intimate outdoor swimming pool that’s popular with the city’s lovelies.
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