All posts by Antonia Fransiska

four seasons double bedroom interior Jakarta

Four Seasons Jakarta (new location in Capital Place, Gatot Subroto)

four_seasons_banner

Opening of the Hotel: June 20th, 2016

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Akhir tahun 2014 lalu, Hotel Four Seasons Jakarta mengumumkan penutupan propertinya di Kuningan selama 3 tahun ke depan untuk renovasi. Namun bagi Anda yang merindukan layanan khas bintang lima dari grup hotel mewah asal Kanada tersebut, tidak perlu menunggu 2 tahun lagi. Masih bekerja sama dengan Rajawali Property Group, pertengahan tahun 2016 ini Hotel Four Seasons akan kembali beroperasi di Jakarta – kali ini berlokasi di Capital Place, Jalan Gatot Subroto. Di samping menawarkan akomodasi mewah, kompleks niaga terpadu ini juga memiliki sebuah menara perkantoran setinggi 47 lantai, pertokoan retail, dan restoran kelas atas.

four seasons double bedroom interior Jakarta
All pictures from Four Seasons official website

interior double bedroom four seasons jakarta

Hotel Four Seasons sendiri terdiri atas 125 kamar suite yang dirancang oleh arsitek berkelas internasional Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects yang mengambil inspirasi dari prinsip arsitektur Indonesia yang menekankan transparansi antara bidang dalam dan luar ruangan. Interior hotel yang bergaya French-deco dirancang oleh desainer interior asal New York, Alexandra Champalimaud yang juga merupakan perancang interior beberapa hotel mewah terkemuka seperti St Regis Beijing, Waldorf Astoria New York, dan Dorchester London. Desainer lansekap urban tropis terkenal Bill Bensley yang dikenal sebagai rajanya desain resort mewah nan eksotis juga digandeng untuk merancang ruang outdoor yang menakjubkan. Seperti pada properti Four Seasons lainnya, para tamu akan dimanjakan dengan fasilitas spa dan fitness canggih, serta ruang pertemuan yang menarik bagi masyarakat lokal maupun pendatang.

interior of the suite in four seasons jakarta capital place

desk suite four seasons jakarta capital place

marble bathroom di four seasons jakarta capital place

Setiap kamar suite dilengkapi dengan pintu partisi yang membatasi ruang tidur dengan ruang duduk atau ruang kerja, sebuah fitur yang disesuaikan dengan kebutuhan para tamu yang diantisipasi akan banyak datang dari kalangan pebisnis. Para tamu juga dapat menikmati kemewahan kamar mandi marmer dan panorama cakrawala Jakarta yang mengagumkan dari setiap kamar.

Nautilus bar interior four seasons jakarta capital place
Nautilus bar
La patisserie four seasons jakarta capital place
La Patisserie

Kehadiran Four Seasons untuk kedua kalinya di Jakarta tentunya akan menambah daftar panjang hotel-hotel mewah yang akan hadir di Jakarta tahun 2016. Pembukaannya yang berlangsung di pertengahan tahun akan hampir bersamaan dengan Westin Rasuna Said yang letaknya tidak jauh dari Raffles Ciputra World di daerah Kuningan..

Four Seasons Jakarta
Capital Place Jakarta,
Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 18
Jakarta 12710, Indonesia

Book with us ISTANIA 0811 811 8441

the hundred jakarta mega kuningan sofitel so

10 Hotel Supermewah baru di Jakarta (update 2018)

Seiring dengan meningkatnya jumlah wisatawan yang berkunjung ke Jakarta, semakin meningkat pula tuntutan para wisatawan mengenai hotel tempat mereka menginap. Kamar-kamar standar dengan fasilitas yang serupa dengan hotel-hotel lainnya tidak lagi cukup untuk memuaskan keinginan para wisatawan, khususnya mereka yang datang untuk tujuan bisnis. Mengingat potensi Jakarta sebagai salah satu kota metropolis dunia, berbagai jaringan hotel internasional berlomba menjawab tantangan tersebut dengan menghadirkan cabangnya di kota ini. Dimulai dengan dibukanya The Hermitage di kawasan Menteng, Fairmont Hotel di Senayan, dan Raffles Hotel di Kuningan dalam kurun waktu dua tahun terakhir.

Di tahun 2018, sepertinya daftar hotel supermewah di Jakarta akan semakin panjang dengan hadirnya 10 hotel supermewah berikut ini.

1. Four Seasons Capital Place (Jl Gatot Subroto ) – 125 suites

marble bathroom di four seasons jakarta capital place

Four Seasons yang sebelumnya hadir di area Kuningan kini akan hadir kembali di Gatot Subroto. Hotel mewah yang dibangun di dalam kompleks bisnis multifungsi Capital Place ini menawarkan 125 kamar suites di mana para tamu pebisnis dapat menikmati privasi lebih dengan ruang duduk dan ruang kerja yang terpisah dari ruang tidur.  Di samping itu, seperti hotel-hotel Four Seasons lainnya, Four Seasons Jakarta juga menawarkan fasilitas spa dan fitness canggih serta ruang pertemuan yang dinamis.
Dimana ? Capital Place Jalan Jend. Gatot Subrato
Kapan dibuka ? Juni 2016

Book Four Seasons Jakarta now

2. The Langham SCBD South Jakarta 200 rooms (District 8)

district 8 the langham jakarta

Berlokasi di properti milik Grup Agung Sedayu di kawasan sentra bisnis utama Sudirman, District 8, jaringan hotel Langham Hotels yang sepenuhnya dimiliki perusahaan asal Hongkong Great Eagle Holdings Ltd. seolah tidak ingin ketinggalan menikmati pertumbuhan segmen supermewah di Jakarta. Meski masyarakat Jakarta mungkin belum begitu mengenal merek Langham, namun CEO Langham Hospitality Group – Brett Butcher mengungkapkan bahwa pihaknya telah lama menanti kesempatan untuk menghadirkan properti The Langham di Jakarta. Dengan 170 kamar dan 30 suites, The Langham menjanjikan interior kontemporer yang elegan dan perhatian mendetail yang mencerminkan warisan merek tersebut sebagai salah satu hotel supermewah pertama di Eropa.
Dimana ? SCBD
Kapan dibuka ? 2018

3. W Hotel (Kuningan, Ciputra World 2)

ciputra world 2 kuningan

Menyusul kesuksesan W Retreat & Spa di Seminyak Bali, W Hotel Jakarta akan menjadi cabang ke-12 dari W Hotels di Asia Pasifik. Berlokasi di area pengembangan utama di koridor Satrio International Shopping Belt Ciputra World 2 (CW 2), hotel berkapasitas 300 kamar ini menghadirkan sejumlah layanan khas W Hotels yang menjadikannya unik dan berbeda dibandingkan jaringan hotel supermewah lainnya. Mulai dari pengalaman W livingroom experience yang bisa dinikmati di lobby hotel, filosofi layanan Whatever/Whenever, hingga ke aplikasi iPhone yang menyajikan lebih dari 55 jam pilihan musik gratis yang secara khusus dipilih oleh Global Music Director W Hotels untuk para tamunya.
Dimana ? Ciputra World 2, Kuningan
Kapan dibuka ? 2019

4. Rosewood Jakarta 200 rooms (Kebayoran Baru)

Satu lagi jaringan hotel supermewah internasional yang digandeng oleh Ciputra World Jakarta untuk melengkapi tawaran akomodasi di koridor Satrio Kuningan adalah Rosewood Hotels. Hotel supermewah berkapasitas 200 kamar ini akan menghadirkan fitur khas Rosewood Hotels yaitu The Pavilion – ruang serbaguna elegan bergaya residensial untuk pertemuan, resepsi pernikahan dan berbagai acara sosial kelas atas lainnya, serta Sense Spa yang selalu membawa ciri khas budaya lokasi tempatnya berada dalam paket-paket perawatannya.
Dimana ? Kebayoran baru
Kapan dibuka ? 2018

5. Waldorf Astoria (Thamrin Nine)

Sebagai merek dengan level tertinggi dari Hilton Worldwide Group, kehadiran Waldorf Astoria di Jalan M.H.Thamrin tentunya menjadi salah satu pembukaan hotel supermewah yang paling dinanti-nanti. Hotel dengan 181 kamar (masing-masing seluas 60 meter persegi) dan fasilitas ballroom seluas 2000 meter persegi ini direncanakan akan menempati gedung setinggi 74 lantai di salah satu kawasan tersibuk Jakarta. Alvin Gozali, Direktur Utama PT Putragaya Wahana yang merupakan pengembang di belakang superblok Thamrin Nine mengungkapkan bahwa, “Waldorf Jakarta secara simbolik mirip Waldorf Astoria New York yang banyak bersinergi dengan perkantoran dan apartement. Sekitar 35 ribu tamu bisa diakomodasi dengan baik di sini.”
Dimana ? Jalan Thamrin
Kapan dibuka ? 2018

6. Alila SCBD

alila scbd 3d picture exterior

Salah satu jaringan hotel termuda yang didirikan pada tahun 2001 ini menghadirkan propertinya yang ketiga di Jakarta tepat di jantung kawasan sentra bisnis utama Sudirman. Berlokasi di sebelah Bursa Efek Jakarta dan berseberangan dengan pusat perbelanjaan supermewah Pacific Place, hotel dengan 240 kamar ini didesain secara mewah tanpa meninggalkan konsep ramah lingkungan. Mengingat bahwa Alila Villas Uluwatu merupakan hotel pertama di Indonesia yang dibangun sesuai standar EarthCheck yang ramah lingkungan, tentunya sangat menarik untuk melihat bagaimana Alila SCBD akan menerapkan konsep serupa di pusat kota metropolitan ini.
Dimana ? Mega Kuningan
Kapan dibuka ? 2017

7. Regent Hotel & residences (Jalan gatot subroto) (126 rooms)

Mangkuluhur City jakarta regent hotel

 

Setelah 10 tahun absen, akhirnya The Regent kembali ke Jakarta. The Regent Jakarta yang dibuka sebelumnya pada tahun 1995 telah menjadi Four Seasons Hotel pasca renovasi setelah banjir besar Jakarta pada tahun 2004. Kehadirannya kembali di Jakarta akan mengambil tempat di Mangkuluhur City, sebuah proyek multifungsi yang terdiri dari hotel mewah, serviced residences, dan perkantoran di kawasan Jalan Jendral Gatot Subroto, Jakarta Selatan. Satu hal yang menarik dari pengembangan hotel supermewah dengan 126 kamar ini adalah tampilan visual interiornya yang dikabarkan akan mengadopsi aksen kain tenun yang berkembang dalam budaya Betawi pasca era kolonial. BLINK Design Group yang berbasis di Bangkok adalah perusahaan desain yang ditunjuk untuk menggarap konsep ini setelah sebelumnya dipercaya mengerjakan proyek serupa di Phuket, Bali, dan Taipei.
Dimana ? Jalan Gatot Subroto
Kapan dibuka ? 2018

8. Sofitel So Mega Kuningan

the hundred jakarta mega kuningan sofitel so

Sofitel So yang pertama di Indonesia akan hadir di area pengembangan kawasan terpadu The Hundred di tengah lingkar Mega Kuningan. Merek jaringan hotel supermewah dari Accor Hotels asal Perancis ini akan menempati 14 lantai dari menara 50-lantai yang dibangun oleh konsorsium PT Megakuningan International Property di atas area seluas 1,1 hektar. Kehadiran Sofitel So di Jakarta akan menjadi propertinya yang ke-4 di dunia setelah Sofitel So Bangkok, Mauritius, dan Singapura.
Dimana ? The Hundred, Mega Kuningan
Kapan dibuka ? 2021

9. SwissBelhotel – Kirana Commercial Avenue – 300 kamar

kirana commercial avenue kelapa gading

Meski dikenal sebagai daerah langganan banjir, kawasan Kelapa Gading yang menurut feng shui berada di kawasan kepala naga pembawa keberuntungan rupanya juga dilirik oleh jaringan internasional Swiss-Belhotel. Berlokasi di kawasan perkantoran baru Kirana Commercial Avenue, hotel berbintang 4 ini tidak hanya menyasar para pelaku bisnis tetapi juga keluarga-keluarga yang ingin menikmati wisata kuliner dan wisata belanja yang menjadi daya tarik daerah tersebut.
Dimana ? Kelapa gading
Kapan dibuka ? 2018

10. Aloft  Wahid Hasyim  170 rooms (4 star)

Aloft Hotel Jakarta Jl Wahid Hasyim starwood

Jaringan hotel butik di bawah manajemen grup Starwood Hotels ini tidak hanya menawarkan desain interior kontemporer yang unik, tetapi juga inovasi teknologi keyless entry yang memungkinkan para tamu membuka pintu kamar melalui smartphone. Tidak perlu lagi menunggu untuk check-in. Setelah menerima notifikasi nomor kamar, para tamu bisa langsung menuju ke kamar tersebut dan melambaikan ponselnya di depan pintu untuk membukanya. Lokasinya yang strategis di kawasan Jakarta Pusat juga memberikan akses mudah ke pusat perbelanjaan kelas atas Grand Indonesia dan Plaza Indonesia dimana butik-butik merek mewah internasional seperti Louis Vuitton, Chanel, dan Gucci berada.
Dimana ? Jalan Wahid Hasyim
Kapan dibuka ?sudah

Book now Aloft Jakarta

Mengingat hotel-hotel berbintang 5 yang ada di Jakarta saat ini umumnya merupakan hotel yang dibangun pada tahun 90an (kecuali Keraton at The Plaza yang dibuka pada tahun 2012 lalu), kehadiran 10 hotel supermewah ini merupakan tanda semakin bergairahnya sektor pariwisata khususnya perhotelan kelas atas di Jakarta yang patut disambut dengan penuh optimisme. Sebuah fenomena unik yang berarti Jakarta akan semakin mengejar ketinggalannya dari kota-kota besar lain di Asia Tenggara seperti Singapura, Kuala Lumpur, dan Malaysia yang sudah lebih dahulu menjadi rumah dari berbagai merek hotel supermewah dunia.

Hotel mewah apa lagi ?
JW Marriott Kemang Village (south Jakarta) – 275 kamar (2017)
JW Marriott Jakarta West St. Moritz, Indonesia – 208 kamar (2017)
The Westin Hotel on Jl Rasuna Said (Gama tower) – 280 kamar (May 2016)
St Regis - Jalan Rasuna Said (2019)

Hotel mewah yang dibangun di Jakarta tahun 2015:
Fairmont (Senayan)
Raffles Kuningan (Ciputra World 1)
The Hermitage (Menteng)
Sheraton Gandaria city
Grand Mercure Kemayoran
Santika premiere hayam Wuruk

Book with us ISTANIA 0811 811 8441

hotel room pink tone ciputra world surabaya

Top 5 Boutique Hotels in Surabaya

Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya plays an important part in the nation’s economy as the transit hub between Western and Eastern Indonesia. The city had graciously hosted traveling merchants in the past, and continues to do so with modern day business travelers. But business hotels are not the only option to stay in when you’re in town. Here are 5 boutique hotels you can check out when you next visit the heroic city!

Hotel Majapahit (5 stars)
colonial building exterior daylight

Originally built back in 1910, this elegant architecture heritage is more than a boutique hotel – it’s a historical landmark. The building boasts 143 lavishly appointed guest rooms, including 10 Majapahit Suites and one Presidential Suite. Some of the ground floor rooms have verandas leading straight to the opulent pool that carries a subtle hint of a Moroccan style. But if you really want to immerse yourself in history, book room 33. It was into this very room that Indonesian youth leader Roeslan Abdulgani (who later became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Soekarno government) entered to confront the Dutch colonial officers. Be sure to make time for an afternoon tea amidst the manicured lawns and double-tiered water fountains. It is definitely a not-to-be-missed experience!

Jalan Tunjungan No.65 – East Java, Surabaya Pusat, 60275

Artotel Surabaya (3 stars)
artotel surabaya lobby hotel

The first of many (there’s one in Jl.M.H.Thamrin Jakarta, and another one coming soon in Sanur, Bali) in a collection of contemporary art inspired lifestyle hotels by Indonesian brother-sister duo Erasmus and Christine Radjimin. The hotel has 106 rooms with four different themes featuring original designs by talented young Indonesian artists. The futuristic lobby slash rotating art gallery boggles the mind with bold colours and grafitti arts, but the clean lines of the wooden furniture and the super comfy beds will guarantee you a good night’s sleep – after you finish amusing yourself with the quirky bedroom mural and witty toiletries packaging, that is. Situated in downtown Surabaya, its location is definitely a plus.

Jl. Dr. Soetomo 79 – 81, Surabaya Pusat

TS Suites (4 stars)
bathtub hotel room surabaya

The perfect boutique hotel for families. Conveniently located at Surabaya Town Square, you will have easy access to various dining and entertainment options, including a cineplex and family karaoke. All 126 non-smoking rooms – including 2 CEO suites and 5 family suites – features stylish contemporary furnishings and well-designed open spaces.

JL. Hayam Wuruk No. 6, Surabaya Pusat

Hotel Ciputra World (5 stars)
hotel room pink tone ciputra world surabaya

Newly opened in December 2014, the 5-star hotel offered unrivaled luxury combined with personalized attentive service. Rooms are elegantly designed with soothing hues combined with rich jewel tones to create a warm welcoming atmosphere. The property also boasts the first ever roof-top outdoor swimming pool in Surabaya on its 22nd floor, complete with a kiddie pool and a jacuzzi

Jl. Mayjend Sungkono 89, Surabaya

Grand Darmo Suites (4 stars)
king bed room in grand darmo boutique hotel surabaya

The hotel is a stone throw away from Surabaya’s own Central Park, Taman Bungkul. All 200 non-smoking rooms are conveniently equipped with a kitchenette and a microwave. Although a bit on the smaller side, the white color scheme of the interior and cleverly placed furnishings made the room feel spacious and comfortable.

Jl. Progo 1-3, Surabaya Pusat

Book with us ISTANIA 0811 811 8441

 You can also have a look at our selection of Boutique Hotels in Jakarta.

Puri Dajuma Cottages - Outside

Being a Responsible Traveler in Indonesia

So you’ve heard about global warming and all those environmental issues. You’ve also taken extra measures to make sure the t-shirt you are wearing was not made by under-aged child worker in a sweatshop somewhere. But did you know that you can also be more aware and responsible about the way you travel? Here are several ways how you can be a (more) responsible traveler !

1.Before You Travel

    • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language – the locals will appreciate your effort and you will earn respect as you show respect.
      Simple survival phrases in bahasa Indonesia like terima kasih (thank you), apa kabar (how are you), or tolong (please) will surely get you far.
    • Remove all excess packaging  - waste disposal is difficult in remote places and developing countries like Indonesia.
    • Book your travel needs via responsible operators. Make sure they can explain how they minimize environmental impacts and support the local economy. (Hint : ask them these questions and see how well they can answer them)

      Istania.net is one of the few responsible operators in Indonesia, and here’s how we make our contribution.

2.While on Holiday

    • Stay at responsible accommodations. Look for words like ecolodge or  eco-friendly hotel. Here are several eco-friendly accommodations you can choose to stay in Indonesia
    • Buy local produce in preference to imported goods.
      In larger cities, you might be able to source your favorite Caifornian strawberries or Australian pears. But why insist on the stuff you usually have at home when you can sample the colourful tropical homegrown ones? Try salak pondoh (snakefruit) or cempedak (there’s not even a proper English word for this distant cousin of jackfruits). After all, travel is not complete until you sample the local delicacies.
    • Hire a local guide – you’ll discover more about local culture and lives, and they will earn an income.
    • Do not buy products made from endangered species or ancient artefacts.
      In Indonesia, these includes Sumatran tigers (macan Sumatera), seaturtles (penyu), Java rhinos (badak Jawa), and orangutans. Illegal peddlars might also offer you artefacts raided from various ancient temples or tombs. Just say no and move along.
    • Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places – if in doubt ask for advice.
      For example, when visiting temples in Bali you are required to cover your legs and shoulders. That means no shorts/bermudas and tanktops, or even a must to wear traditional sarongs.
    • Use public transport, hire a bike or walk when convenient – its a great way to meet local people on their terms and reduce pollution and carbon emissions.
      When visiting Jakarta, it is not advised to attempt the crazy metromini busses that requires you to have excellent knowledge of the area in order to stop and get off at the right point while defending your wallet from pickpockets. But you can always try the Trans Jakarta - lovingly dubbed by the locals as Busway with its clearly signed stops and routes. You can’t avoid pickpockets unfortunately, but avoiding rush hours should do the trick.
    • Use water sparingly – its very precious in many countries and tourists tend to use far more than local people. That luxurious sunken bath in your suite uses way much more water than the gayung locals used to scoop up and splash water on their bodies. So be considerate and opt for the showers whenever you can.
    • Remember that local people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time, this just makes them different not wrong – cultivate the habit of asking questions. Indonesians are notorious for their jam karet (rubber watch) as opposed to western punctuality and often think being 15 minutes late to an appointment is normal or even acceptable as being fashionably late. It’s annoying, of course. But getting all worked up over it rarely improves the situation much. Also, bluntly saying “that’s stupid” in response to a local trying to explain something is just plain rude. Keep an open mind and inquire as to why things are done or thought a certain way and you might stumble upon interesting cultural nuances that will enrich your travel experience.

3. When You Get Back

    • Write to your tour operator or hotel with any comments or feedback about your holiday, and especially include any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities.
    • Share your experiences and initiatives to friends and relatives. Encourage them to start being responsible on their travels too!
    • If you’ve promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
    • Why not donate to a local project in the area you’ve visited?
      If you’re more comfortable donating via a reputable international organization, WWF could be an excellent option since they have dedicated projects in Indonesia. You can also rely on Kalaweit, a trustable Indonesian organization protecting the forest and the gibbons.
      On the other hand, some local causes may have escaped the larger international organizations and being beautifully handled by local boards like SOKOLA, which aims to ensure literacy amongst Indonesian indigenous tribes.

Enjoy the memories, reflect on your experience and start planning your next trip!

garden puri dajuma

10 Questions to Ask Your Eco-Lodge Owner

ECO Green LOGO for Eco Lodges

Being a responsible traveler is not that difficult, but it does require commitment and more attention to details. You’ve read our tips about how to become a (more) responsible traveler and booked a hotel or lodge proudly displaying “eco friendly” logo of some kind. But if you’re curious  enough (and you should), here are 10 questions you can ask the staff or proprietor.

  1. Do you have a written policy regarding the environment and local people?This should be an easy one. If they don’t have it in writing, then it most probably mean they don’t take it seriously.
  2. What is the single contribution to conservation or local people that you are most proud of? Everyone loves to brag about their achievements, and your self-proclaimed Eco-lodge owner should be too.
  3. How do you measure your contribution to conservation or local people? Again, measuring shows they mean business.
  4. How many local people do you employ? Don’t be too quick to frown if they couldn’t give you an exact number. A rough percentage of local to overall total employees should be good enough. Also ask if there are any local people in management positions.
  5. Which local charities do you work with? Sometimes the management choose to work with more notable international organizations. But either way, they should be able to tell you a bit about what those charities do and how they impact the local economy/environment.
  6. What % of the produce or services are sourced from within 25km of the lodge?
  7. How do you treat waste water?
  8. What information can you provide for tourists on local cultures and customs?
    Responsible accommodations usually went out of their way to make sure visitors do not disturb the harmony of the local environment, and providing visitors with these information is the first step to do that.
  9. Do you employ guides from local communities?
    Local guides will not only provide unmatched insights into local cultures, but are also aware of areas/behaviour that might cause offense among local people.
  10. How can I get involved with local people and conservation in a worthwhile and impactful way during my stay?

If the answers provided satisfy you, you can give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your “responsible” good night sleep. If not, well…now you know what to write on those feedback forms or on your hotel reviews.

You can also read our article about the Top Eco-lodges in Indonesia.

Banjar Hot Springs

Top 5 Things to Do in North Bali

Nope, we’re not talking about Ubud. Go further north and bravely go where most tourist have never gone before, beyond the overly crowded beaches and heavily westernized restaurants of Southern Bali to the real Bali blessed with volcanoes, hot springs, hidden beaches, and rural villages. And here are the top 5 things to do once you get there.

  1. Go Dolphin Watching in Lovina
    Lovina – which is around 2.5 hour drive away from Ubud – is actually a string of small villages on the north coastline of Bali. Three species of dolphins roams free here ; the most commonly spotted spinner, spotted, and bottlenose. Getting up close and personal with these beautiful and intelligent creatures is definitely an experience worth having. Hire a traditional motor boat for around $5-10 per person and head out at dawn. There will be about a hundred other boats to accompany you, but no worries – the dolphins are used to the early morning routine and playfully gather and peek above the water despite the crowd.  Enjoy the breathtaking over-the-water sunrise while you wait, and hung back when other boats begin to make way for the shore. Once there are fewer boats around and the sun warms the seawater, you can jump in and swim with the dolphins. If you go around March, you might also catch a glimpse of humpbacked whales.
  2. Enjoy the Hot Springs
    Who would’ve thought immersing yourself in hot water in a tropical climate could be such a bliss? Visit Banjar Hot Springs and experience it yourself. The local comes here because they believe the water has holy healing powers. You might shrug off such mysticism as nonsense, but you won’t be able to deny that healthy glow you get after standing under the three intricately carved water spouts and letting the water pressure massage your head and shoulders. Come early before 9 am while the air is still cool and have the springs to yourselves. Do be respectful when you visit and try to remain moderately well covered, or you can expect a lot of stares
  3. Marvel at Gitgit Waterfall
    This 40 meter high waterfall is probably the most popular one in Bali so do expect some crowd, especially if you visit between November and March when the rainy season allows the water to run full speed. If you have the time, make the extra effort to get to Sekumpul Falls, 2 kms further out. The walk can be a little treacherous, with steep steps and slippery stones, but a guide isn’t necessary. Just take your time and be careful. At the end of your adventurous trekking, you will be rewarded by the impressive seven tiered waterfall.
  4. Get an Adrenaline Rush while Canyoning
    Since you’ve made it to Gitgit, why stop at taking pictures from afar when you can splash around and get the full experience? This ultimate outdoor adventure and sport use a variety of techniques that may include walking, abseiling, jumping, sliding down natural slopes and swimming in white water for aquatic canyons. And of course discover beautiful and hidden place at the heart of Balinese nature.
  5. Just get lost
    Rent a motorbike or a car and just drive around the villages and try some of the back roads. You will be surprised at what you can see along the way. You’ll probably run into a marriage or cremation ceremony somewhere, where people will invite you to join if you are bold enough to step towards them. Try one of the warungs in the villages and eat and drink like the locals do. They might not be as fluent in English as their Southern relatives, but the warmth of their genuine hospitality makes mere language barrier irrelevant.

 

2014-02-03 14.25.45

Top 5 Boutique Hotels in Jakarta

Jakarta is an exciting city that attracts thousands of multinational visitors every single day. It’s no wonder that new hotels are being built everywhere across the city even as we speak. Some of them promise lavish luxuries and some others are built strictly for function. Amongst the headspinning numbers of hotels out there, here are the 5 you simply have to visit when it comes to unique and outstanding designs.

  1. Kosenda

    Named after its owner, Ruben Kosenda, the eight storey building stood out amidst the drab office buildings around it with an angled façade that captures the traditional Betawi ketupat (woven palm-leaf wrappers) in its recessed diamond shapes. Rooms are relatively small (starting at 16 square meters), yet what they lack in space, they more than adequately make up in quirky details and amusing  amenities like pre-loaded iPods, batik sandals and matching kimonos.
    Don’t forget to check out Awan Lounge – the latest hipster rooftop bar that features spacious outdoor seatings in a lush garden setting.

 

  1. The Hermitage

    Menteng is an area in Jakarta which has always been associated with “old money” prestige and the Hermitage perfectly fills the role of the landmark hotel we never knew we’ve been missing. Taking the space of what was once the Dutch Telecommunications Office built in 1923, the elegant hotel combines the best of both worlds by retaining its original marble flooring, window fittings, and period architecture  while upgrading the lux amenities including pillow-top mattresses, large flat-screen TVs with Mediahubs, and free Internet.

 

  1. Kemang Icon by Alila

    Located in the swanky Kemang area, this hotel is not as newly built as the previous two on our list. It is still however, one of the best loved urban escapes for its attention to detail. Starting from the chic yet simply decorated suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that allows for natural sunlight, to the amenities such as preferred scents, bathroom accessories, and a customizable selection of DVDs  to make it feel like your home away from home. The Edge – their rooftop bistro by the 16-meter infinity pool that overlooks a 180 degree view of Jakarta’s stately skyline.

 

  1. Gran Mahakam

    Another well loved establishment on our list. The hotel opened its doors way back in 1998 and has since been a landmark of the lush residential area of South Jakarta with distinctly European architecture. The baroque facade and immediately welcoming lobby combined with the attentive service and finest furnishings will satisfy even the most demanding traveller.

 

  1. The Keraton

    Holding true to its name (Keraton is the Javanese word for royal residence), the hotel offers a truly lavish experience in each of  its 140 rooms. The contemporary design is given a touch of Indonesia with the intricate batik patterns around the hotel, and the rooms featured Borneo, Sumatera, or Sulawesi inspired designs besides Javanese. “When we started building Keraton, keeping the palace in mind, everything had to be bigger. Every floor had to have a four-meter-high ceiling, every room had to be oversized, the location had to be unique,” said Klaus Woizik, general manager of Keraton. And indeed he delivers. Book This Hotel on ISTANIA

You can also have a look at our selection of Boutique Hotels in Surabaya.

Book with us ISTANIA 0811 811 8441