A few weeks back I spent a few days in Jakarta with my boyfriend and our mudra (that sort of means “mother”, in perhaps what is probably outdated gay linggo). Yes, Jakarta! The capital city of Remarkable Indonesia. A metropolis on one of the world’s most populated islands. The raw vibe, the energy… goodness, it’s overwhelming and exciting. Writing about it now makes me already want to go back.
A massive city can be much to take in. With only a quick weekend to spare in Jakarta, I wanted to stay downtown. But I also wanted to stay out of the boring business hotels. We found ourselves at ARTOTEL (Thamrin), an artsy boutique hotel just a kilometer or so away from Plaza Indonesia. It’s also a few steps away from Sarinah station on the TransJakarta (Busway)
The facade already sticks out. Next to ARTOTEL (Thamrin) was a Catholic church, a parking lot, a popular mall, and low-rise buildings that had restaurants and cafes.
All the staff were impeccable. They carried a welcome smile in the morning, afternoon and evening. The lobby was pretty large and airy. The RoCA resto-bar was on the side parallel to the lobby. A little art exhibit was on the mezzanine.
We booked two rooms (the smaller Studio 20 variant). Like other ARTOTELs in Indonesia (they have other branches), each room has its own little design. Pretty cute. 🙂
The rooms were very clean and the TVs were pre-programmed (perhaps coincidentally?) to MTV Live. This was way better than the hotel I stayed at a few blocks away on my first visit to Jakarta. In some ways it felt like a STAYCATION because of how homey everything felt… even if this was in Jakarta.
The room rate we paid for came with buffet breakfast. It was pretty standard fare, almost generic actually. Enough food to get you going for the rest of the morning. I seem to be obsessed with potato wedges and noodles for breakfast.
We sat at the smoking area outside which is like a narrow alley with a transparent ceiling.
Perfect location. The location of ARTOTEL is near Sarinah Building. According to our local friend Hindra, the McDonalds branch around the corner is the first McDonalds in Jakarta. Sarinah Building has a money changer, a karaoke bar on one of its floors, a KFC, a local coffee shop, and a convenience store. You can also walk to Jalan Jaksa a few blocks away. If you don’t mind breaking into a sweat, MONAS (Monument Nasional) is also walkable from ARTOTEL.
If I were staying in Jakarta for a quick weekend, I would definitely stay at ARTOTEL again. Especially for the BEERGASM! (Bottomless Bintang Beer) for IDR 150,000 (SGD 16.00 or PHP 560.00). The truffle fries were also a perfect match for the beer. I can’t remember how many rounds we had.
This isn’t an advertisement for their hotel but an honest review of our pleasant experience there.
We spent about SGD 55.00 for a room for two for one night. It includes breakfast. You can visit their website here.