The Westin opened in August last year. It is the tallest hotel in Indonesia, occupying the 50th to 69th floors of the new-build Gama Tower. There is also event space on the ground and first floors.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
There are security checkpoints both in the forecourt for cars and inside the cool marble ground-floor entrance. Lifts then take guests up to reception on the 52nd floor, which provides stunning city views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The modern, high-spec interiors, designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, were “inspired by natural, organic forms and textures”. Throughout the lobby lounge and event spaces are beautiful hand-blown trumpet flower chandeliers and living walls of plants.
WHERE IS IT?
In Jakarta’s “Golden Triangle”, in Kuningan. The international airport is 34km away – depending on traffic this is a 45-minute drive.
There are 272 rooms in total – 177 Westin rooms, 40 Premium, 19 Westin Club, 23 Renewal, 11 Executive suites, one Westin suite and the Presidential. Entry-level Westin rooms (and Westin Club) are 46-48 sqm. All have 55-inch LED TVs, large desks, free wifi (this didn’t always work well), coffee machines and Westin Heavenly beds. Marble bathrooms come with rainshowers and separate tubs, and Westin White Tea toiletries. The higher the room category, the more space you get – Executive suites are 92-94 sqm, while Renewal rooms have walk-in closets. The highlight of my Renewal room was the bath and shower with panoramic views.
Club rooms and above provide access to the 65th-floor Club lounge, where a full breakfast buffet is available in the mornings, followed by light bites, snacks and evening cocktails. Club guests also get free drinks from the minibar, and private check-in and check-out. Staff were warm and helpful.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The expansive lobby lounge is popular with locals for afternoon tea. I ate several times at the huge international buffet at Seasonal Tastes on level 51. From sushi, salads and fresh juices to curry, dim sum and pizza, there is so much to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start – or when to stop. Open 6am to 10pm, it was busy at all times. Opening this July on levels 67 to 69 is Japanese-Peruvian fine-dining restaurant Henshin, which will serve lunch and dinner. It has six private dining rooms and a rooftop bar. With its menu of pisco cocktails and Nikkei cuisine in glitzy surroundings, Henshin is surely going to be one of the hottest places to eat in the city.
There is 3,000 sqm of event space, the largest venue being the ground-floor Java ballroom, which can host 1,200 people for a reception and has a 340 sqm pre-function foyer. On the first floor, dinners or conferences for between 120 and 150 delegates can be held in the Padang or Medan spaces. A further three rooms hold between 18 and 54 people classroom-style.
I was informed that there is the option of being driven (for free) to a nearby sports stadium to run around its outdoor track, but the thought of breathing Jakarta’s polluted air put me off. Instead I visited the 24-hour gym on the 50th floor. If you want to pack light, you can borrow New Balance kit from the hotel. I also made use of the 140 sqm heated pool, which was empty every day I visited. Treatments available at the Heavenly spa include the Bali Coffee Scrub and the Nourishing Marine facial. Jenny Southan
Jakarta has a lot of high-end international hotels so there is plenty of competition. However, the Westin is an excellent choice for business travellers, with comprehensive facilities, good security, great staff, and a sense of peace – important in such a frenetic city.
The highlight of my Renewal room was the bath and shower with panoramic views