Have you heard of the song Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys?
That song where Keys goes: “New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York. These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you!” I consider Jakarta as a concrete jungle broken down into streets and big lights filled with opportunities, just like Keys sings.
Take a glance at Kuningan, South Jakarta; a modern skyscraper-filled business district comprising residential areas, offices, and entertainment hubs. Sure, Kuningan isn’t entirely similar to the United States’ Big Apple but looking closely, glimpses of New York City (NYC) are noticeable when you decide to stay here. Several hotels and serviced apartments have made their homes in Kuningan. One of them is Manhattan Hotel Jakarta.
Situated amongst shopping centres and offices, Manhattan Hotel Jakarta viewed from the streetside can be mistaken for another workplace, standing up 36 floors. The dreamy appeal of Manhattan, NYC has inspired this hotel to have a lively modern air and breathtaking metropolitan city views are at your disposal. In short, guests will be in awe of the modern business domain as well as desired R&R facilities presented. The hotel has 255 rooms paraded in minimalist and contemporary design. Currently, ongoing enhancements are being delivered to further elevate the urban touch of NYC, comfortable enough for guests on business trips and families on staycations.
I stayed in the Mars and Venus suite, spanning 62 sqm with panoramic views of the capital’s skyline from the 25th floor. A LED TV, a bathtub with a walk-in shower, and a kitchenette (including a microwave!) are all part of the fixtures. The view is undoubtedly spectacular, especially at night as tall glass windows give intimate sight of city lights glimmering and vehicles on a flyover swiftly pass by. It truly brings forth a local feel of Manhattan.
Manhattan Hotel has always been an idyll for business travellers. Whether you’re on a government-related agenda or taking a trip to Jakarta to meet clients, this hotel is the perfect place for business because of its strategic location and dining goodies. Smaller-scale meetings can be conducted in the various meeting rooms accommodating 20 people. Up to 500 attendees are diverted to the ballroom for grander meetings and wedding receptions. You can be a hybrid worker, someone who needs a shuttle service to your Jakarta-based office, or a long-stay resident acquiring additional facilities like WiFi – Manhattan Hotel caters for your business purpose splendidly.
Families seeking a short sweet escape on the weekend can benefit from the weekend-only Family Package. Your little ones can lay in and play around in a tent filled with comfy small pillows and a teddy bear while you laze around on the bed. I actually tested the tent – as a grown woman, I felt comfortable laying inside until I eventually took a nap on the bed in front. This package has recently been introduced this June and is priced at Rp900,000 nett for a minimum of two children, which can be booked any day throughout the week. Walk-in bookings are also possible as long as the room is available. As the munchkins arise the next day, they’ll be served with a speciality kids’ platter at breakfast; the chef creates creative presentations. An example is an “under the sea” platter of a cereal sand-like spread holding a crab made of a croissant and sausage fishes swimming atop.
Speaking of food – the way to a lot of people’s hearts including myself – Manhattan Hotel currently offers a selection of three eateries. First is Central Park on the third floor. Buffets for breakfast, along with a la carte options, feature Indonesian, Asian, and Western cuisines. Dendeng batokok and iga bakar Manhattan both being smothered in sambal, are worthy to expand your spicy range as a virgin pina colada and watermelon juice can alleviate the chillies.
At NYC, a bar and lounge where you can spend your time casually chit-chatting over some coffee or beer accompanied by snacks as you get off of work and wait for the horrendous “normal” Jakarta traffic to subside or upon heading upstairs to your suite, has more innovative coffee selections coming soon. Opt for a classic like a cafe latte while biting on the pepperoni pizza crisps and fish and chips while you see people dreading to get home as soon as they can.
Last but definitely not least is Man Aur Tan, a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine specifically highlighting India’s northern region specialities crafted by Chef Sidharth Kumar. Stepping out of the elevator, you’re presented with a breathtaking mural behind the bar. The U-shaped restaurant hangs artwork of Indian women in sarees and cold-coloured furniture against thick glass windows beholding Kuningan and beyond. Best of all is the outdoor balcony available for dining too!
To my astonished discovery, Man Aur Tan is the only rooftop Indian restaurant found in Jakarta, being located on the 36th floor. It’s not a fusion Indian restaurant despite the New Delhi-born and raised chef who has been in Indonesia for the past 12 years. He adamantly ensures the taste is identical to his homeland. A lot of die-hard fans will testify.
The soft opening was held in early June – stay tuned for its grand opening! I had the pleasure of eating murg seekh kebab (chicken), gosht dum biryani (mutton), chicken tikka masala, and garlic and cheese naan while sipping on Indian masala chai and butter milk. Two words: flavourful rollercoaster. In a good way though. Balancing out the strong spices was an imported candy, looking similar to chocolate sprinkles. It’s a sweet, colourful rice-like refreshment. Careful of getting hooked!
My stomach surpassed its capacity. I took a warm bath at 11pm, peaking at the night skyline and simultaneously blasting soothing music. The heavy rain poured down, transporting me to a deep slumber the next morning. My agenda that morning: breakfast at Central Park and relish the infinity pool, Double D Spa, and a sauna before check-out.
The sun blared. Families, including myself, were splashing in the waters. My spa appointment at 11am approached. A few minutes in the Dahlia room, my masseuse, Raya, greeted me. I laid face-down as my body covered in batik fabric was gently (then fiercely, upon my request) pressed by Raya’s resilient fingers as she did a Balinese massage treatment for the next hour. This marked my first spa treatment at a hotel since the pandemic. My body most definitely needed a massage and Raya delivered extraordinarily – I could feel all the agitated muscles in my shoulders, lower back, and hamstrings paved into relaxation.
“It’s done,” she whispered. “Oh no,” I said to myself. I wish it lasted longer since I was about to fall asleep. I took a moment to gather my consciousness and quickly get dressed for the sauna, beside the fully-equipped gym. About 15 to 30 minutes inside and my detoxified body was drenched in sweat.
The bed was calling me but I had to, unfortunately, grace the congested mid-afternoon roads. Anyone looking forward to getting business done, celebrating special occasions, dining luscious tastes in immaculate views, and releasing tensions ought to visit Manhattan Hotel Jakarta.