There are countless ways of enjoying your time in an immense and crazy city like Jakarta. Leaving for a weekend getaway, more often than not, is not always practical. Hence the surge in popularity of a mini vacation, or shall we call it, staycation, in a hotel for a refreshing experience of the city. I recently tried one of the many possible accommodations that suits this very purpose, Le Meridien Jakarta.
Le Meridien, sits in the middle of Sudirman road, one of the busiest and premium district in the city, which gives a plethora of option of things to do, and provides an interesting way of looking at the area in a completely different light. Its central location will makes you want to explore the nearby malls and food centers, although that weekend, I was more keen to grab a bite in Al Nafoura, the hotel’s Lebanese restaurant that hosts a BBQ buffet every Saturday night from 7.30 to 11 pm.
A wide array of the restaurant’s signature dishes were on full display, from their popular appetizer selection (commonly served mezze platter style), their lamb shank, rice, to the star of the show: the barbecued meat, poultry, and seafood, which are best enjoyed with the freshly made pita bread that is on constant refill.
After a full meal, leave some room for the awesome spread of middle eastern desserts too. If you come at the right time you’ll also get to catch the live belly dancer that shimmies in between the guests. (Read more about Al Nafoura’s Saturday night barbecue here!)
After being filled up, I retired to my Premiere room that’s located in the hotel’s Starwood Preferred Guest’s level, which recently has gone through serious upgrade. But whichever you stay in one of their 396 rooms, you’ll still get pretty much the same experience; The signature Le Meridien BedTM, spacious bathrooms, chic decor and with all the latest technology. My favourite would be the complimentary high speed access and WiFi that gives you up to 5mbps connection to surf up the internet.
I was also glad that I my room was facing the Sudirman Road, which means I get to gaze out to the twinkling lights of the car slowing down to Dr. Satrio Road, forming a long queue, which lasts all night long, while I sip a cup of coffee I freshly brew with the french press provided in-room. It’s definitely a new way of ‘enjoying’ the traffic!
A must try when you stay in the hotel is a swim in their pool, which is popular among guests staying with kids, located by the Al Nafoura restaurant and Le Brasserie restaurant, the pool is surrounded with lush greens and has a view of the surrounding towering buildings. And just a few short laps in the morning, I was ready for breakfast!
I couldn’t wait to see what the hotel’s all day dining, Le Brasserie had to offer for breakfast. A quick browse, I saw some continental breakfast, some middle eastern (courtesy of Al Nafoura), and also a good selection of Indonesian and Asian specialty items. Some of the must try items are the hotel’s signature breakfast items: If they’re not on display, make sure you let the servers know you want to have a try!
What’s even better, every Sunday the hotel pampers the little kings and queens with their kid’s activity area at the lobby, special for diners of la brasserie and guests of the hotel.
If you want to extend your breakfast experience, don’t worry, Le Meridien recently launched an extravagant Sunday lunch signature called ‘Le La Les Lunch’ that combines culinary favourites from Le Rendez-Vous, La Boutique, and Al Nafoura every Sunday. (Read about it here ! )
A stay at Le Meridien did give me a different experience of staying in the city. A destination unlocked, indeed!