CHECK IT OUT RAFFLES JAKARTA
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.