When you visit a chaotic metropolis like Jakarta, staying in a decent, comfortable hotel is more of an investment for your sanity than a frivolous luxury. You won’t go wrong when you stay at Mercure Jakarta Cikini, a centrally located mid-range hotel that’s within reach from the throbbing heart of the city where all the action is (ie. the shopping-cum-business district around the Selamat Datang Monument) but along a not-too-busy street a little farther east that allows you to quickly escape when you’ve had enough of the madness.
This newer hotel had a more contemporary design compared to the sister hotel I stayed at on a previous trip – Mercure Jakarta Kota, the first Mercure hotel in Indonesia – located near the historic quarters of Old Jakarta. Most importantly, this hotel staff’s friendly and accommodating demeanor was as refreshing as the bright and youthful decor.
Providing a refreshing retreat from the rest of the city, this relatively new hotel has 207 rooms with modern and brightly-accented interiors that exude a friendly and youthful atmosphere. Each room is furnished with LED TV with international TV Channels, high speed internet connection WIFI, 24 hours room service, and additional amenities for privilege accommodations. I especially loved the wall painting of a street scene in Old Jakarta in my Privilege Room! In contrast to the rest of the room, the toilet and shower (which was glass-walled) had a toned down black and white palette. It was also just the right size. And although I’m not a coffee person, my accommodation also came with a personal espresso machine.
My favorite part of the hotel was the rooftop, which had a small fitness center and two swimming pools: a kiddie pool and lap pool for adults. There was also the De’Langit Rooftop Bar and canopied lounge chairs. The rooftop overlooked the surrounding neighborhood and the skyline of central Jakarta, and provided an excellent vantage point to watch the sunset. Seriously, I could spend all day on this high-rise oasis chilling out with an ice-cold bottle of Bintang to the beat the heat!
Rooms can be booked with optional buffet breakfast served at the De’Kafe restaurant on the ground floor behind the lobby. The restaurant serves both Indonesian and Western food. Among their local specialties are tahu isi ranjau, a popular Indonesian snack of fried stuffed tofu served with bird’s eye chili, and mie godog jawa,
traditional Javanese noodle soup with shredded chicken, boiled egg, and shrimp crackers.
Privilege rooms come with complimentary tea in the late afternoon with the option to have it served at the ground floor cafe or – my absolute preference – the poolside bar.
How to Get There
The new SkyTrain now links Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to central Jakarta in 55 minutes (IDR 70,000 or PHP 260). Alight at BNI City Station / Sudirman Baru Station, then take a taxi or book a ride on Grab or Go-jek (IDR 19,000 or PHP 71, Grab fare) to Mercure Jakarta Cikini, located 5 km away.
AirAsia now flies direct between Manila and Jakarta.