2021 is ending in only a month, which is crazy. Not much traveling could’ve been done and I, for one, have slightly lost my mind.
There are areas around Jakarta offering natural escapades. After all, surrounding oneself in nature is good for the mind, body, and soul. An example is Sentul. I’ve been and explored Sentul’s waterfalls pre-pandemic but truthfully, I’m not in the best shape to go for hikes again.
“I need to somehow brush off my city-life-induced stress from my system,” I told myself. This leads to my current favorite weekend getaway activity: staycations. At The Alana Hotel & Conference Center Sentul City, situated in Bogor district about an hour away from the capital, one can pump some adrenaline and rejuvenate. This ultimately sounds very inviting and much in line with my agenda.
Heavy rain covered the toll roads on my way to the hotel on a Friday morning. Weather.com suggested the rain would stop in the afternoon. Upon check-in, weekend guests are asked their preferred time to indulge in breakfast the next morning, either at 6-8:30 am or 8-10 am to maintain and adhere to health protocols, which The Alana instills strongly.
At last… the grey sky showed glimpses of sunlight. The Alana is surrounded by highly recommended attractions one shouldn’t miss. I headed to Taman Budaya Sentul City, or Sentul City Cultural Park, to get my dose of adrenaline. Initially, I thought I was going to delve deeper into the knowledge of the local culture, but I was wrong. This attraction holds vast land of greenery, restaurants, and an outbound area. Another thought came into mind: “the obstacle courses won’t be too challenging.” Was I kidding myself?
This site presents a fantastic tourism concept that is all about “four”, starting from the main view to the tourist zone across four categories. Moreover, it’s dubbed as one of the largest outbound spots in Indonesia. The area is about six hectares and is dominated by green grass.
Children and adults have their own obstacle courses to tackle, differing in heights and quantity. Professional guides are on standby to buckle up participants with safety gear and demonstrate the proper way to overcome each obstacle. I’m mortified of heights, but here goes nothing!
A wonderful way to shake off my tired muscles was completing my ninja warrior-Esque adventure by gliding my way down as a flying fox. Now that adrenaline and fatigue are overwhelming my body, perhaps the pool could be a good idea.
The Alana’s pool is one of the hotel’s sought-out facilities. In the mornings and late afternoons, one can spot children splashing in the waters with their family and friends. Parents are spotted chilling poolside as they capture their staycation memories. Luckily, one of the three gazebos was empty. I dashed towards it to lay on the bean bag and be a typical millennial who updates their social media accounts. Guests, however, can’t bring food and drinks to the gazebos. It’s to ensure cleanliness.
Waking up from a power nap inside, I looked at the time and realized it was almost dinner. An enticing dinner buffet was in preparation at the Green Canyon Urban Dining, the hotel’s food and beverage outlet just across the pool. I was lucky enough to relish in the Jakarta Culinary Movement Goes to Sentul City. The Alana had collaborated with the Jakarta Culinary Movement to raise CSR funds to promote young chefs in the international culinary world in November 2021.
Guest chefs included Chef Wiem Kahyang from The Alana Hotel Sentul City, Chef Reggie Kaihatu from Sentul Highland Golf Club, Chef Ragil Wibowo from Nusa Indonesian Gastronomy, Chef Adam Rizal from Botanica Dining Jakarta, Chef Deadrick Pono from Komunal 88, and Chef Patrick Ramon from Social Garden – Senayan City. They presented local delicacies that coincided with the theme; Indonesian Archipelago and Nusantara cuisine. I strolled along each of the chef’s counters and got myself plates and bowls of their mouth-watering creations.
My belly was full, my tastebuds were on fire from all of the sambals. Back in the room, I slept absolutely soundly until the morning sun beamed through the window.
Another day at The Alana was before me. My body was aching from yesterday’s outbound afternoon; thus, I took it easier on this fine Saturday. Breakfast by the pool was lively as families passed by to have a dip – a moment of full laughter and joy. It warmed my heart.
I truly dedicated my second day to rejuvenation. No plans were made! To my surprise, around lunchtime, the grey sky crept back again, accompanied by thunderstorms until late at night. “Seems that the universe really wants me to rejuvenate and do nothing,” convincing myself.
After a lovely nap, the gym called me. So did it to the other guests. We could’ve always gone out to explore Sentul City further, possibly we had the same thought of staying in “our cocoon” for the night; sitting at the balcony whilst having a cup of tea, making a rainy season Spotify playlist, and so on. Sometimes, less is more!
What can kids do besides pool time? Regular kids’ activities are held every weekend with a restricted number of participants for each activity starting at 10 am, held at the kids’ club on Saturdays, and at the pool area on Sundays. Kids can follow along with coloring, crafts, towel art, movie time, cooking classes, and painting whilst adhering to health protocols by wearing masks and washing hands or using hand sanitizers beforehand.
As a one-stop place for leisure and business seekers, The Alana is infused with ethnic, traditional touches from its usage of batik accents placed subtly throughout the premise, in a minimalistic style. It lives up to its name, Alana, which means beautiful!
A total of 270 rooms are available, comprising three room types; Deluxe, Suite, and Presidential Suite. My stay in the Deluxe room was splendid. As I opened the curtains for the last time, the spacious balcony encompassed Sentul City’s serene landscape and endless fresh air. Sad to say goodbye to the weekend and Sentul.