It’s been seven months since the coronavirus hit Indonesia; for seven months our habits have changed.
We’ve become more cautious at home and every time we step out the door. All of this time being couped up has resulted to utter boredom and restlessness, sparking an urge to change our scenery. The pandemic is still making us think twice before booking a holiday, be it out of town or merely a staycation.
Hotels around Indonesia are implementing thorough cleansing and rigorous sanitising processes in all areas since the country has welcomed the era of the new normal. Although Jakarta is currently back on a slightly tighter regime of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), your staycation at The Sultan Hotel and Residences is assuredly secure, comfortable, and delightful.
Positioned in the heart of the capital, precisely in Central Senayan, you’ll find many shopping malls, Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports arena, and offices paving this busy area. Senayan is strategic for those who need to travel around Jakarta’s main roads, offering you easy movement and access around the city for work and leisure purposes.
The name Sultan, which means a royal ruler, correlates with the existing Indonesian sultans in Yogyakarta and Solo. With this in mind, each space is inspired by the Javanese culture as the owner himself is a proud Javanese and wishes to honour his rich ancestry. The wood-carved furniture, batik cloths, sculptures of couples in Javanese traditional attire, and names of areas around the hotel will transport you to Central Java without having to leave the capital. You’ll be basked in Javanese accents upon your arrival.
Staycation Experience Amidst the New Normal
I was welcomed with truly warm Indonesian hospitality, as the hotel’s tagline is “Hospitality at its Royal Best”. I stayed for a night but definitely made the most of my stay. Honestly speaking, I spent most of my time lounging at the newly-renovated swimming pool by the joglo-like Kudus area. It’s absolutely serene regardless of the time of day I was there. The pool area seemed to be inspired by villas in Bali with yellow-white flowers you can pick up and put behind your ear. It’s amusing to see a luscious green space surrounded by tall skyscrapers while not hearing a single sound of vehicles honking – truly the ultimate part of the hotel to unwind and empty your thoughts. My morning dip was revitalising.
The hotel is well-known for its Indonesian delicacies. Some of the highly recommended dishes from the Lagoon Cafe are the Wagyu, salmon head curry or gule kepala salmon, and salmon laksa. However, the hotel’s restaurants are closed during the new normal. Only the Lagoon Lounge at the Lobby and Pizzeria were open during transitional PSBB. But for now, the hotel has closed activities in all F&B outlets in accordance with the newest government regulations.
Nevermind, room service was only a call away. A menu was not provided in the room as the array of dishes is limited. Some of the available dishes are soto ayam, sop buntut, nasi goreng, mie goreng, mie tek tek, and grilled salmon.
Dinner time was spent at the once-beloved Pizzeria. The hotel’s management reintroduced Pizzeria in August 2020, serving sumptuous Italian favourites and the main star, the rustic Italian pizzas which were once the only pizzas available in Jakarta in the 80s – way before fast-food chains and other Italian restaurants opened – therefore, nostalgic for anyone who had previously eaten here.
I could have had tea in my room but the subtle jazz music at the Lagoon Lounge was inviting on this fine Thursday night. I eventually returned to my room for a hot shower to keep myself clean from the obvious unwanted and unspoken. My head laid down on the oozingly soft pillows, and not long after that, I was in a very pleasant slumber.
The next day, I woke up with the sun glaring to my room. The room’s view is posed directly towards the swimming pool, tennis courts, Balai Sarbini, and Jakarta’s infamous traffic.
Breakfast was set out at the Lagoon Cafe. Firstly, a body temperature check before entering was taken. Tables are well-positioned and marked to ensure safe physical distancing, while hand sanitisers are scattered conveniently. Regarding further safety measures for both guests and staff, the breakfast buffet was not available. You’ll get an ala carte selection of two meals instead: fried rice – nasi goreng – with fried chicken, fried eggs and vegetables or eggs cooked to your preference of either scrambled, sunny-side-up, or an omelette, with chicken and beef sausages, a grilled tomato, and hashbrowns. Both meals were paired with mini pain au chocolat, fruits, along with tea, coffee, juice, and water.
Though the tighter PSBB is ongoing, the hotel is still welcoming staycation guests as there are no regulations to prohibit anyone from a staycation. A plus side of this hotel during this eerie time is its vast space surrounded by luscious greens, thus, a bunch of outdoor spaces with hand sanitisers are provided. Even so, the hotel accepts guests who wish to self-isolate as a precautionary measure, as long as they’ve not been tested positive. For example, if a guest wants to undergo independent isolation after returning from domestic travels because they are afraid to endanger their family at home, they’re welcome to stay by showing a medical certificate stating that they are healthy. Guests who simply wish to have a new working ambience can also opt to work from the hotel as a change of scenery. WiFi coverage is in all spaces, making guests’ working experience bearable.
The Sultan Hotel and Residences has three towers: the main tower that’s been under renovations since 2017, as well as the lagoon tower and garden tower that provide 700 rooms to welcome business travellers and holiday seekers. Not merely a hotel; it has two residential towers with 200 units, too. All in all, 900 rooms are available for ministries, government agencies, corporate and B2B individuals, as well as families. These rooms include the Deluxe, Grand Deluxe, Executive, Jr. suite, Lagoon suite, Suite One-bedroom, Suite Two-bedroom, Apartment Two-bedroom, Apartment Three-bedroom, Royal Suite One-bedroom, and the Penthouse Garden Tower. Each room is equipped with comfortable facilities such as voicemail, air conditioning, mini-bar, safety box, and room temperature regulation.
The Sultan hotel focuses on MICE events with its newly-renovated Golden Ballroom accommodating a maximum of 2,000 people, or 2,500 people for standing parties before the pandemic. Currently, the hotel has a new layout for new normal events. Wedding receptions that aren’t going to attract thousands of guests can divide this massive ballroom into three separate rooms. Relating to the coronavirus, weddings have taken place since the hotel reopened in July. However, the number of guests has been scaled down to a maximum of 100 people, despite being able to have 50 percent room capacity during the new normal period. Moreover, the ASEAN rooms can have up to more than 50 people per room, depending on the type. But lately, only small meetings are held with below 100 participants.
The land itself is very spacious. It’s a perfect place for versatility; weddings, birthday parties, meetings, seminars, and family bonding time. If you’re an active person, your staycation here can be well catered for with a bunch of sports facilities. Yes, you can step aside to GBK but the hotel has a swimming pool and another one in the residence – both welcome for hotel guests and residence long stayers – then there’s the jogging track circulating the property, several tennis courts, and a fitness centre in the residence area. Not to mention, CrossFit fans can visit Bengkel, which is a tenant where hotel guests pay per entry. The little ones can freely play on the swings, slides, and more at the children’s playground near the tennis court. If you’re seeking to relax your muscle tensions, the Lagoon Spa is a fantastic option. However, it’s currently closed and waiting for a green light from the provincial government to serve guests once again.
The Sultan Hotel and Residence is ideal for anyone with an active persona, who’s career-driven, or seeking to de-stress. It’s also easily accessible from Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, Gambir Station, and MRT stations – regardless of where you’re coming from. Room rates depend on the chosen date of your stay. Weekends are priced at Rp1 million nett, generally cheaper than on weekdays.
To anyone still uncertain about domestic travels, a staycation at The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta will definitely cure your holiday desires.
The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta
Address: Jl. Gatot Subroto, Gelora, Central Jakarta, Indonesia.
Tel: 021 5703600 (Hotline)