Let’s be borderline offensively honest: There’s not an abundance of reasons to spend time in Jakarta as a tourist. It’s crowded, noisy, polluted, and the top rated attraction is said to be a shopping center. However, for your couple nights’ stay (more would be overkill), there is a hotel that is going to fit budget-minded traveler’s needs perfectly, and it is the Amaris Hotel Juanda.
Tall enough to have an elevator
The Amaris Juanda should run you just a bit north of 35 USD a night for two people with buffet breakfast included. With your expectations calibrated accordingly, great satisfaction awaits. For not only is the hotel a solid property in its own right, but it is also well located, with the National Mosque, a train station, and even the National Monument all within walking distance. Taxi rides make quick – and cheap – work out of any other central Jakarta excursion you may make. For your grand ingress and egress, without traffic you should figure 30 to 40 minutes from the airport.
Bed? Check. Desk? Check
The basics are all in place. You’ve got a firm but not painful bed. There’s a desk – which is graciously accessorized with two complimentary bottles of drinking water – and one chair to go with it. Air conditioning is powerful and quiet, and there’s enough space to store your luggage without tripping over it. An in-room safe completes the essentials checklist. There’s one window, which is not particularly large, but then there is nothing particularly interesting to see out of most of them.
The bathroom with medicinal soap
You may be impressed that a hotel at this price point has a massage showerhead. This emotion may wane when you realize the water pressure is not exactly conducive to water jet massage mode. Still, the bathroom is clean, and you can take a shower without drenching the rest of the room. Sadly, the liquid soap is somewhere between medicinal and putrid smelling, so it is suggested you bring soaps and shampoo you may have liberated from previous stays at other hotels. If you are that type of person.
A breakfast spread that impresses
Breakfast is served between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., which makes it easy to take advantage of the free meal regardless of what your schedule is like that day. There are a number of hot dishes at the ready, including favorites like chicken curry, stir-fry vegetables with chili sauce, and nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice). There’s also a manned egg station, where you can get your almost-chickadees anyway you like. Coffee, tea, juice, fruit, and the tried and true porridge bar are also all available.
In summary: Make the most of your Jakarta time, sans profligacy
Do like the middle class Indonesians, and stay at the Amaris Juanda for value, satisfactory comfort, and a great breakfast. The location is hard to beat, and friendly smiles abound. Sure, the soap could be better, but at this price, in this city, it shouldn’t be a deal killer.
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