17 Aug A Week in Jakarta With Ascott Indonesia (VIDEO)
You may remember earlier in the year I shared a video tour of Somerset Hobart. The project was part of my goal to deliver more video content to Escape Button readers, not to mention utilise my husband’s camera gear that I insist on lugging around the world! Well just a fortnight ago we were lucky enough to stay in another two Ascott Residences, this time in Jakarta. I had never been to Indonesia before so I was excited to experience the hustle and bustle I’d heard about. Yes, you read that right…an Aussie who’s never been to Bali! What I discovered in Jakarta was that the hotels, in this case serviced apartments, take on a different role to traditional accommodation. Not simply places to rest wandering feet, these spaces are offices abroad and communities for likeminded professionals. Come and take a look at what we uncovered with our video tours…
ASCOTT INDONESIA PROPERTIES
We started at the traditional Ascott Jakarta, one of the city’s first hotels, before moving to the contemporary Ascott Kuningan in the heart of the CBD. What we experienced were two different sides to city living, both reflective of Indonesian culture yet appealing to different types of travelers. The former, serves as a spacious retreat for families and the latter facilitates business travel through modern amenities. We spent a week exploring every inch of these properties and actually came back with two videos. What you’ll find in the clips below are properties packed full of art, opulent decor and lush tropical settings. And yes, we did eat every bit of food we shot!
Ascott Jakarta was our first stop on the trip and conveniently located next to two giant shopping malls ;-) After undergoing renovations a few years ago it still maintains its original features such as super high ceilings and intricately carved wooden doors. The property is also home to Frangipani restaurant which serves Indonesian specialties as well as room service to the apartments. This was the first place I tried Gado Gado, a traditional vegetable salad with tasty peanut sauce and tofu. We were served up a huge six dishes while shooting which you can see in the video were mouth watering. I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in noodles while shooting this.
The Penthouse Master Bedroom.
During our stay we were lucky enough to explore the penthouse at sunset. This is where we captured the timelapse from the balcony in our video. Another thing that stood out during our stay was how helpful the staff were with all of our requests. They have even assigned security to assist guests in crossing the main road. There’s nothing like have the sea of traffic parted on your way to the mall.
Our 2-bedroom Premier Apartment.
Our next stop was Ascott Kuningan, passing through the city which makes for a fascinating drive. The streets of Jakarta are so busy, always bustling with the rumble of street bikes and the crackle of street food on the hotplate.We arrived to find a modern oasis tucked between city skyscrapers. In fact, the pool is located on the 11th floor of the property, providing sweeping views over the chaos below. The city skyline also forms a spectacular backdrop to the tennis, basketball and badminton courts.
You would have noticed in the video a strong presence of artwork throughout the property. The walls of Ascott Kuningan feature the vibrant paintings of Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan. His depictions of the local culture are colourful and striking in their nature. Our room was quite modern in its design without sacrificing on space. I could see why this place is so suited to business travelers with spacious kitchens offering the comforts of home. There’s even a kids veggie patch and personal garden for long-term residents. On the other hand, if you prefer to kick back and let someone else do the cooking there’s restaurant On Eleven for poolside or in-room dining. We tested out the romantic dinner setting which was featured in the video, complete with ice cold smoothies.
Poolside dining at On Eleven.
The view from our balcony.
Sleek interiors of the 2-Bedroom Premier Apartment.
The position of this property provides a view of both sunrise and sunset from the 11th floor upwards which means the common areas are bathed in light throughout the day. This was helpful for us trying to capture natural light in our video too. Delving lower into the building, you’ll find a huge mall attached to the Ascott Kuningan residence. Guest access comes out in the back of H&M which can I just say, was the perfect excuse for some holiday shopping.
Arriving in Jakarta we were open to trying any experiences that this project would bring. Thanks to our hosts we were able to explore the surrounding areas of the vast city between shooting. We tried a lot of street food, all of which we loved, and took advantage of the soothing pools in the afternoon heat. I was surprised by the contrast between the crowded streets outside and the opulence of modern architecture. It made for some interesting afternoon walks which were often a lesson in motorbike tetris, followed by the most interesting retail finds. One of which was Ambassador Mall, a photographer’s heaven filled floor to ceiling with camera stores.
With Bali already on our list for future travels I’m glad we got to experience a taste of Indonesia from the perspective of business travelers.