CHECK IT OUT RAF­FLES JAKARTA

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Raf­fles’ new­est prop­erty is up and run­ning in Jakarta’s busy Kuningan com­mer­cial hub with only sig­na­ture and Chi­nese restau­rants and day spa with six treat­ment rooms yet to launch. The ho­tel is linked to the city’s ex­cit­ing new Cipu­tra Art­preneur Cen­tre, and Raf­fles takes as its muse one of In­done­sia’s most cel­e­brated artists, the pain­ter, sculp­tor and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist Hen­dra Gu­nawan, who died in 1983. In­done­sian prop­erty ty­coon and avid Gu­nawan col­lec­tor Dr Cipu­tra is the driv­ing force be­hind the de­vel­op­ment.

The 137 large gue­strooms and suites cap­ture the vi­brant colours of Gu­nawan’s work while the mood is meant to re­call an “artist’s re­treat” al­beit a rather posh one with great views through floorto-ceil­ing win­dows; there are no artist’s ate­liers or gar­rets on Planet Raf­fles. Ev­ery gue­stroom fea­tures a spa­cious mar­ble bath­room with rain­shower and deep tub, two smart tele­vi­sions and the ser­vices of a but­ler, on hand to pack and un­pack, have your shoes shined or rus­tle up same-day laun­dry. The Raf­fles trade­mark Writ­ers Bar is also here, in this in­stance claim­ing a spec­tac­u­lar ceil­ing sculpted with crys­tals. Leisure fa­cil­i­ties are re­sort style and in­clude a fit­ness cen­tre staffed with per­sonal train­ers, a yoga ter­race, jog­ging track, lap pool, chil­dren’s pool and leisure pool fit­ted with sub­merged loungers. Pool­side ca­banas com­plete the pic­ture. Raf­fles Jakarta is the group’s 12th prop­erty and fol­lows the re­cent open­ing of a ho­tel in Is­tan­bul; fu­ture projects are slated for Jeddah, Sharm elSheikh in Egypt and War­saw.

DON’T MISS: A few laps of the jog­ging track, wind­ing through the gar­dens on Level 14.

DIN­ING IN: Ex­ec­u­tive chef Michael Muller comes to Raf­fles Jakarta from Sin­ga­pore, where he headed the Re­sorts World Sen­tosa’s var­i­ous celebrity restau­rants, in­clud­ing L’Ate­lier de Joel Robu­chon. He is in charge of Raf­fles’ Arts Cafe and ca­sual pool­side eatery. Other din­ing out­lets are sched­uled to open later this year.

DIN­ING OUT: Cafe Batavia, for at­mo­spheric colo­nial in­te­ri­ors, and Lara Djong­grang for im­pe­rial In­done­sian fare in dra­matic tem­ple-like sur­rounds.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Book an in-house tour with the ho­tel’s res­i­dent art concierge; many of Gu­nawan’s most im­por­tant works are held by the ho­tel’s owner.

CHECK­ING IN: From $US375 ($486). Take 25 per cent off all tar­iffs un­til the end of July. More: raf­fles.com.

ALSO TRY: Le Royal Mon­ceau, Raf­fles Paris; Lang­ham Place Mongkok, Hong Kong; The Blackman, Mel­bourne.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE

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