When Jetstar launched another round of sales in December last year, we took the opportunity to book a pair of return tickets at only S$58 to Jakarta for a weekend break for October this year. Airport tax for the return leg would be 150,000 IDR.
Our flight schedules are as follows:
Singapore to Jakarta 8.20 am to 9.10 am.
Jakarta to Singapore 8.25 pm to 11.15 pm.
With such flights schedule, we have almost three full days to explore Jakarta.
As for accommodations, we waited until August when Accor sent out invitation for a private members sale of 50% discount. For the first night, we booked all seasons Jakarta Thamrin right in the city centre at slightly under 430,000 IDR which included breakfast. The second night stay was at Pullman Jakarta Central Park and the rate was slightly under 880,000 IDR without breakfast. These were very good rates at substantial discounts.
There was nothing much to prepare for this short weekend getaway for shopping and dining. Even though we booked air tickets ten months ahead, due to our busy schedule, this trip came rather quickly.
Day 1 – Singapore to Jakarta
As usual, our first stop at the airport was the food court at Terminal 3 for breakfast before our flight to Jakarta. We patronized our favourite noodle stall and had a nice meal and then proceeded to Terminal 1 and entered the secured area as we had already done online check in and printed out our boarding passes.
Not long after, we boarded our flight and shortly after we landed in Jakarta where the flight took lest than two hours. Since we had been to Jakarta several times, we simply went out of the departure hall and went straight to the Bluebird Taxi queue to request for a taxi to all seasons Jakarta Thamrin. The taxi was already waiting there and so we got in and off we went to the city.
While Sumatra was shrouded by haze due to forest fires, here in Jakarta, visibility was very good. As expected, there were traffic jams towards the city. However, we reached the hotel in good time before 11 am. Taxi fare was under 160,000 IDR which included a 10,500 IDR surcharge departing from the airport. The toll fee was 14,000 IDR.
We proceeded to the lobby and was too early to check in. We left our bags with concierge to wait for our room and then we went up to the roof top restaurant for lunch.
The restaurant at the roof top was bright and pleasant that offered a very nice view of the city centre. There were very few guests at the restaurant as we sat down next to a window. We ordered their local dishes for lunch and enjoyed our food admiring the nice view of the city.
After lunch, we approached front desk again and our room was ready. So we took our bags from their staff and went up to our room.
Since this was just a three stars hotel, our room was basic but clean, nice and trendy. The wash basin was outside the bathroom and inside the room. Unfortunately, the faucet was loose so we called the hotel to send someone who came and fixed it.
The bed was also clean and very comfortable and surprisingly came with a topper. There were quite a lot of channels on the wall mounted TV. Wifi was trouble free. Writing desk and table lamp was next to the TV beside the windows.
There was a dispenser in the shower stall for shampoo and body wash. No separate shampoo provided but we brought our own shampoo so there wasn’t any problem for us. With no more issue with the room, we set out for our shopping mission.
We exited all seasons Jakarta Thamrin and turned left and walked straight ahead towards the city centre. The pavements were not very good to walk on but their locals took it in their stride and walked on the uneven pavements and at times walked on the roads sharing space with vehicles which were not driving fast due to traffic jams on the roads.
So we did what the locals did and soon after crossing two roads, we reached the Bank BCA Building. We walked a little further and entered Grand Indonesia. This took us under ten minutes of easy walking. This day would be just an exploratory trip and we didn’t expect to buy anything. The real shopping would be the next two days at Central Park at Sogo and Matahari and other shops.
Our first station was Central. We made a quick survey on the few floors and then exited the departmental store and as expected, without buying anything. We then roamed the few floors at Grand Indonesia which was quite huge ground to cover. We just did windows shopping without buying anything as well.
We then went over to Plaza Indonesia for the next windows shopping mission. We took our time and went through little shops, sports shops, H&M, Uniqlo, Marks and Spencer and other departmental stores in both Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia. We didn’t manage to buy anything this afternoon.
It was getting tiring after walking the different floors of both huge malls. We went into a restaurant to rest and ordered a snack and also our favorite avocado juice. We took the opportunity to use their free wifi and got in touch with the world outside of Jakarta. It was good time to chat with the children for a short while during this tea break.
After that, we went to the basement and looked for bakeries to purchase some bread for supper that night. Crystal Jade was our first choice but didn’t have anything we wanted. We then went across over to Bread Talk and bought some bread.
Part of the mall was under renovation. The famous Hong Kong dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan would be opening a branch here after the renovation.
Next we exited Plaza Indonesia and walked along the perimeter of Grand Hyatt Hotel towards Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Thamrin. As Accor Plus members, we would like to explore Pullman Hotel to check what this hotel had to offer and see if we could have dinner there. We crossed the overhead bridge and went to the side of Pullman Hotel and entered the hotel after security check at the main gate.
Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Thamrin being a five stars hotel was rather grand. We took our time, sat at the lobby and checked out the restaurant. It was only 4.30 pm and the restaurant was not open for dinner yet and we had to wait till 6.30 pm.
We then moved over to the lobby lounge. The menu had quite limited choice of food. Moreover, they didn’t recognize our Accor Plus card which was a surprise to us. We even enjoyed 50% discount for meals at Pullman Danang Vietnam which was a five stars beach front resort hotel in the middle of this year. Perhaps there was some miscommunication from their management. Anyway, their seats were too low to enjoy a proper meal over at the lounge.
So we left Pullman Hotel and at the entrance, a Bluebird taxi was leaving so we hopped on and asked the driver to send us back to all seasons Jakarta Thamrin Hotel which was just a very short distance away. The taxi meter showed under 9,000 IDR when we arrived at our hotel but I gave the driver 20,000 IDR instead and he left happily with a big smile on his face.
So it was just 5 pm and time for a good shower to prepare for a good dinner at the Loft Restaurant at the roof top later. We rested for a while and watched TV to unwind. Not long after, we heard the call from our stomachs so we left our room for the roof top restaurant.
It was already dark when we arrived though it was not very late before 7 pm. Again, we took our seats by the windows and enjoyed the nice night view of the city, which was better than during the day. We ordered local dishes again. The dinner was good. The restaurant was having some diners but not crowded.
Next we went out to the Loft Lounge outside the restaurant. The night view of the city centre was quite beautiful. Sound proof of the glass walls and doors was very good as loud music was played outdoor but we could not hear a thing while we were dining inside the restaurant. After enjoying the ambience for a while and having snapped some pictures, we went back into the restaurant and then left and went to the lobby.
The lobby looked nice and funky at night. The self service welcome drinks were still there where we helped ourselves to a few drinks. We liked the ice lemon tea which was very refreshing.
With nothing much else to settle at the lobby, we returned to our room to rest for the night. The TV was our companion and we enjoyed those comedies on the celestial channel. At the same time, we were chatting with our children back home to keep updated on happenings for the day.
Later during the night, we made coffee and tea and enjoyed another round of food. This was supper time and the bread we bought from Bread Talk earlier was very good. We continued with our TV programs till we felt we could no longer keep our eyes open after a long and tiring day. In fact, we left home at 5.30 am to catch the first bus to Changi Airport for breakfast. So it was time to bid our children good night and we sank into slumber closing the day with much satisfaction. Real shopping mission would begin the next day.
Continue to Day 2 …