It’s been a few years since Jakarta got its last new big-name luxury hotel, but the dry spell has ended thanks to the openings of the Fairmont and Raffles—sister properties that each have a look of their own.
Overlooking the 18-hole Senayan National Golf Club on one side and the park-like Gelora Bung Karno sports complex on the other, the Fairmont is one of those rare Jakarta high-rises with views of greenery. Inside, the hotel is Japanese-informed with tastefully sparse decor, and while the 380 rooms and 108 apartment-style Sky Suites sport Fairmont’s polished, if predictable, style of plainclothes luxury, the 10 dining venues will contribute a measure of glitz once they’re all open by the end of August. Among them will be an outpost of New York’s Cotton Club and the top-level K22 Bar & Lounge and View, which respectively promise DJ-hosted nightlife and one of the best new restaurants in the region. For daylight diversions, there’s a 1,000-square-meter spa, the neighboring Plaza Senayan mall (connected to the hotel by an underground tunnel), and an elevated outdoor pool with, of course, great views (Jl. Asia Afrika No.8; 62-21/2970-3333; Fairmont Jakarta; doubles from US$375).
Seven years in the making, Raffles finally opened mid-March in the Kuningan area. With three restaurants and 173 rooms—which even at entry level have separate living areas and butler service—it’s less than half of Fairmont’s size. And the look? Tremendous. The owner, famed Indonesian architect and art maven Dr. Ir. Ciputra, created the hotel as a tribute to his favorite painter, the late Hendra Gunawan, and while the artist’s actual works reside in the Ciputra Artpreneur museum next door, the hotel’s design extensively ties back to Guna-wan’s deeply emotive narratives and colors, from the golden chairs and the etched elevator doors to the lobby’s huge mosaic mural. The exceptions are the 14th-floor pool terrace, with its gardens and draped cabanas; the spa; and the colonial-style Writers Bar, a nod to the original Raffles in Singapore (Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio No.3-5; 62-21/2988-0888; Raffles Jakarta; doubles from US$375).
This article originally appeared in the April/May print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Double Debut”)