Jakartans around my age will definitely remember that back in early 90s, we didn’t have many options when it comes to spending time in shopping malls. Unlike nowadays, there were only 1-2 malls in Jakarta, and I couldn’t help remembering that one I visited more often with my family was Ciputra Mall, which used to be called Citraland. Beside the mall, standing the 4-star hotel with the same name: Hotel Ciputra, that has been proudly existing since year 1993.
Thinking back, a visit to this hotel gave me a great, satisfactory feeling. Although it is “only” a 4-star hotel, I remember vividly that Hotel Ciputra Jakarta has always had this grand, luxurious atmosphere infused in its surroundings, and many of my teenage friends had their sweet 17th birthday celebrations there. And telling you, it was almost 20 years ago since my last visit to this hotel (don’t count my age, please! XD) so when we were invited for a quick staycation, we couldn’t say anything but yes!
Hotel Ciputra Jakarta, being one of the closest hotels to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the hotel is perfect for travel, business, or leisure purpose. The area (Tanjung Duren-Grogol) is known for the gigantic shopping malls in the neighborhood, famous local universities, and so many attractions reachable from here. Of course the traffic can be really bad
all the time sometimes, but nowadays anywhere you go in Jakarta, you’ll find traffic jam so it doesn’t really matter anyway.
Upon entering the hotel lobby, my eyes were immediately attracted to the artwork where 2 ladies seemed to be discussing over a durian. This artistic piece is just one of many artworks of Hendra Gunawan, who is a famous artist from Bandung whose works are vividly idolized by Mr. Ciputra himself. The hotel looks more like a showcase of artworks rather than typical hotel, and that’s what makes Hotel Ciputra Jakarta so beautiful in its own way.
Hotel Ciputra Jakarta offers 336 rooms, which includes 8 different room types to choose from: Deluxe, Superior Deluxe, Grand Deluxe, Grand Superior Deluxe, Executive, Cabana Family Suite, Suite, and Presidential Suite Room. All the rooms are elegantly designed and complimented with modern amenities, or so they say. For a hotel built in 1993, we were so eager to find out what they have in store for us!
The check-in process was smooth as silk, and we got a Suite Room on 16th floor, YAY! I was thinking that if our room has good view of Jakarta city, we can take a night view from our window, LOL!
Our Suite is totally beautiful, it’s very similar to the picture on their official website. Beside the bedroom, it has a separated, spacious living room with lounge and dining table (including the large fruit basket), and 2 bathrooms. Before my visit here, honestly I didn’t expect that the Suite would be THIS good, especially because the hotel is old, but well, this was a great surprise and I fell in love to the room almost immediately.
I guess, why I was so easily drawn into this room is because of the color. The room is designed elegantly with touch of warm colors that are easy to the eyes. I was simply attracted by the inviting ambience of the room, unlike usually-pretentious Suite rooms in many hotels, I immediately felt at home the moment I stepped in. And I must state here that the room has no weird smell whatsoever that I always find in older hotels, so I guess they are doing the right thing cleaning up and maintaining their rooms!
Always, always love the addition of dining table in our hotel room wherever we are. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it makes me happy.
There are 2 bathrooms in the Suite, one (without shower) is located just by the right of the entrance; another one is located inside the bedroom. The main bathroom has long table with 2 sinks, a shower box (with rain/hand shower), and bathtub in it. I love, love, love the bathroom. It’s very comfortable and clean, and surprisingly, modern. I was amazed to see that their toilets are already changed to the modern type: the one integrated with bidet spraying water for cleaning purpose. Seriously, this hotel keeps surprising me with lots of things! It’s true that you’ll feel best when you expect less or nothing, LOL!
And… do you know what I saw when I went to the window? I saw this frikkin’ beautiful Jakarta view like no other. I mean, I had ever stayed in 5-star hotel nearby (if you know what I mean) and all I saw from my window was just a trashy, unattractive view of the city that noone wants to see. And here? I got to enjoy this amazing view despite the fact that it was very cloudy that day, and I never expected that West Jakarta has such kind of view. XD
After putting our stuffs down in the room, we continued with hotel tour. The first thing we search after the room in a hotel is the main facilities like swimming pool, restaurant, or spa. Everything is located strategically on 7th floor, with direct access from elevator. We were welcomed by The Pulau Bar, where we can enjoy snacks and tropical drinks (they have hookah too!) while relaxing in the pool area. The pool is not big but good enough for few laps and the clean surrounding makes it more inviting to dive in.
The fitness center and spa is maintained by tenant but hotel guests are welcomes to enjoy the service. Mind you though that outsiders or non hotel guests are also allowed to visit and use the gym/spa, so it can be really crowded sometimes, just like regular gyms.
Oh yes, since we stayed in Suite room, we also had the privilege to enjoy complimentary access to Executive Club Lounge, located on 17th floor. The lounge is considerably small and private, but I love the place. It offers complimentary house wines and cocktails from 6-8PM everyday and we were amazed (again) by the variety of alcoholic beverages collection they have. For example, they have many kinds of beer from many countries, and our favorite was this Primator Chipper Grapefruit Beer from Czech Republic: so fruity and refreshing!
Aside from this, we can also enjoy breakfast (not as complete as the one in main restaurant, though), and process our check out here as well.
As the hotel now becomes more popular as business hotel, we saw many businessmen (particularly Westerners) in the lounge, and we also were informed that Hotel Ciputra Jakarta has many conference rooms and ballrooms for meeting, business, or events (like weddings) purposes, all located on 6th floor. Interestingly, the hotel also connects to the shopping mall from many floors, but most all the time, the open connection can be reached from the hotel lobby right to the mall.
What is a visit to a hotel without a visit to its main restaurant? The Gallery Restaurant is the main restaurant of Hotel Ciputra Jakarta. Located on the 1st floor, it is accessible by staircase just in front of the reception desk or by elevator. My first impression about this place is, modern. In fact, The Gallery Restaurant has been just recently reopened with a new concept of “Art of Dining”, showcasing more of Hendra Gunawan’s artworks everywhere in the scene, it’s difficult to get bored sitting here.
The Gallery Restaurant opens from 7AM to 11PM everyday, in the morning they offer broad selection of international breakfast. For lunch and dinner, they only serve A la Carte menu, except Wednesday night, when they offer a promotion of Buy 1 Get 1 Buffet Dinner for only IDR 299,000++/person. We didn’t try the buffet dinner, but we tried the breakfast and were pretty satisfied with the selection and quality of the food!
Beside the breakfast, we also got the chance to try some of the a la carte menu during lunch time. Apparently they have this seasonal menu, so every 3 months the menu will be changed and rotated by the chefs. For the starters, we had this recommended mushroom cream soup and grilled beef salad, which were quite promising. The grilled beef salad had me at first bite, the taste was brave and kicking I almost couldn’t believe my tongue. In fact, the chef really did improvised a lot with Thai spices and the flavor really came out beautifully like it should be.
For the main, we opted for Sirloin Steak ala Pizzaiola, which includes grilled sirloin steak, tomato concasse, sauteed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese. I must say that the dishes here definitely need to be improved in term of presentation/plating, but I am no expert either so I won’t comment much on this. The steak didn’t look appetizing to me at all (maybe it was the plating, I don’t know) but actually it was not bad. Texture-wise, the sirloin was slightly overcooked and I had difficulties cutting it, but the tomato concasse helped adding the unique flavor into it. I ordered black pepper sauce for my steak and it got even better when it met the tomato.
Since my eyes met this on the menu, I knew I wanted to try this the most! The signature dish from The Gallery Restaurant: Nasi Ulam Gallery! Apparently, this menu has been existing since the hotel opens, no matter how many chefs have changed, the recipe goes down like sacred tradition, LOL. I was confused why this was called Nasi Ulam when it’s clearly not, but I guess the name doesn’t have to represent the real Nasi Ulam itself. I ordered the one with complete ingredients (you can order only chicken, fish, or prawns, or any of the combinations) and was surprised to see how big it is when it was served! To be completely honest, I love this dish more than anything else that day, especially the sambal! And if you are not a big eater, you can order this and share with 1-2 friends, you all still will be very satisfied because trust me, the portion is darn generous!
For the dessert, we had this recommended Pavlova, which was good if you are a sweet-tooth. I enjoyed the berries compote so much and the refreshing fruits on top of it.
For a hotel built since 1993, Hotel Ciputra Jakarta is really too good to be true. I adore its elegance, its humble presence and its originality, clearly it’s not easy to keep its existence in the competitive hotel industry nowadays. However, judging from our visit recently, the hotel is doing very well in its own way and it has proven to us that “older” hotels don’t always mean outdated. In fact, compared to an “old” 5-star hotel in Central Jakarta where we also had ever stayed at, this hotel won in so many ways. Our 2D1N stay at Hotel Ciputra Jakarta was truly a blissful experience, thank you for having us!
** This review is written based on our stays on 10-11 March 2017.
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