Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In my dreams, we're there...

The Hotel Dahrmawangsa, Jakarta, Indonesia. In a previous life I hung here. And in a recent dream, I was back again. In fact, we were all there, at a cocktail party in the colonial lounge; Beloved readers and commenters I have come to know, esteemed blog colleagues from far afield. More on that later. In the meantime, let me introduce you to our location.

The facade is not the greatest. Its no Raffles.

Lobby and elevator bank. Stunners.

As international sourcers, we were lucky to have our days end in rooms like this. This is the lounge, I always thought there was a barely discernible stroke of colonially-touched genius in here:

The hotel also house five of the finest restaurants in Jakarta, an unbelievable health and swim club, and the spa, below. The people who work there are proud to remind you that the true spa arts were born in this region of the world. I don't know enough about it to know if that is factual. But I do know that all the treatments run one and a half hours, can be experienced in your room as well as the spa, and on average cost about $19 US. I recommend the spa, however, do let them draw you an aromatherapy bath in the fabulous tub in your room at the end of the evening...

The swimming pools are everywhere, inside and out. If I ever have a moat again, I would model it on these pools.

I have never stayed in this room, the Penthouse Suite. It is said to be the nighttime destination of every top management hitter that does business in Jakarta. People say it puts the PH at the JW Mariott to shame (I had friends who stayed at the JW before the bombing, but no more.)
These next two shots are bothering me a smidge. These rooms were recently "renovated". Previously, they were just as plush but they were more rustic and encompassed native woods and textiles. They were so much better than these, really, not so luxe hotel cookie-cutter. I wish I had pictures for you. I stayed here. At five every morning, you will awake to the haunting rhythm of the Muslim morning prayers throughout the city: It is an experience I treasure more than any other thing I came in contact with in all the years I was on the road.

Another sad event at the hotel is that the restaurant which served, perfectly, Indonesian food in a traditional space defined by low tables and huge embroidered pillows on the floor on which one sat, has been closed and replaced with (yet another, gag) western-style business-persons steak den. But what can you do, I guess?

Anyway, these joints are world-class (the world and I being more than passing acquaintances).

You can have tea in the library in the evening. I have never had the pleasure, I was always at work. So tedious.

Here's that steak joint I mentioned. Still nice, if you want higher tables and chairs.

Or you can have absurdly delicious sushi, which is a bit more adventurous than most sushi dens I have known in the west.

Western or not, outdoor dining by the pool is also a desirable dinner location.

Hotel Dahrmawangsa


pve design said...

Truly, when I came to the end of this post, I had to pinch myself for I was in a dream. What a glorious spot. I have not forgotten you my friend.

Blushing hostess said...

Hello PVE, lovely to see you here! Not to worry, I can see in your posts that things are a mite busy. Look forward to hearing from you when you've a moment to spare. Meantime, let me know if you are up in my neighborhood and I shall see you for a skinny latte. Be well, The Hostess