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Category: Indonesia

Intercontinental, Bali Aug 2015

As the resort’s premier accommodation category, Club Intercontinental offers luxury all the way.

The luxury and premium service begins where dedicated staff meets you at the arrival hall, help you with your baggage and escort you to a very clean and shiny air-conditioned limousine. It saves you the hassle of queuing for taxi. Once settled in the limousine, you are offered a very cold towel and bottled water. Believe me, after waiting through a flight delay at a very old and run-down airport and flying on a budget carrier where everything is charged, the cold towel and water were gold! The transfer to and from the airport is complimentary for Club Intercontinental guests.

I arrived at the resort at night. The warm lighting made me feel welcome and cocooned by luxury straight away. For Club Intercontinental guests, a butler welcomes you (24 hour butler id available for your needs) and escorts you to the air-conditioned Club Intercontinental lounge for check-in (ordinary guests check in at the un-airconditioned reception).

This Club Intercontinental lounge has got to be the most elegant lounge I have seen. The lounge exudes old world grandeur so rarely seen today. Think high ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a landscaped pond, a grand piano with a live pianist in the evenings, starched white table cloths, mother of pearl napkin rings and immaculate uniforms.

Besides dedicated check-in, the Club Intercontinental lounge also offers:
6.30am to 11am
Gourmet breakfast for indulging start to the day
2pm to 4pm
Afternoon tea served with a 4-coure menu of snacks paired with specific tea blends.
4.30pm to 7.30pm
Evening cocktails, wines, sparkling wines and a selection of canapes.

The hours are generous (3 hours of complimentary cocktails as opposed to 2 hours in other resorts). Also, in addition to local Indonesian Hatten sparkling wine, they also offer Italian prosecco and Australian sparkling wine. This is a notch superior to other resorts which cut cost by offering only Indonesian Hatten sparkling wine.
Cocktails are also served at the Club Pool for families who do not wish to be separated.

The sense of luxury continues in the Club Intercontinental rooms. They are very spacious—- besides a King bed, there is a couch/ day bed. Around these furniture, there is still a lot of space to walk around. You may want to wander to your own private balcony, complete with 2 deck chairs.

The colour scheme of red and gold whispers luxury. Luxury is also found in the details. Instead of a plain white duvet cover, the duvet cover has a subtle pattern of feathers, elevating it above the plain common ones. At the in-room bar, there is a coffee machine complete with fresh, unground coffee beans. There is also a selection of 6 different TWG tea.

For Club Intercontinental guests, they have a choice of 5 different venues to take their breakfast: Club Intercontinental lounge (air-conditioned), Taman Gita (air-conditioned, buffet, a lot of families and children), Jimbaran Gardens (buffet, poolside, no airconditioning), Club Pool (poolside, no airconditioning) and in the privacy of your own room.

I would highly encourage you to take your breakfast at the Club Intercontinental lounge not just for the airconditioning. Besides a small buffet selection of cold cuts, cereal and fruit, they have an excellent a la carte menu. You can select the usual Western breakfast, the Balinese breakfast (rice porridge with boiled egg and chicken), Japanese breakfast (soba noodles, Wakame Tamago, California rolls) or Chinese breakfast (rice congee with dim sum and you tiao). You may also order additional sausages, omelette, French Toast, waffles, fried rice, fried noodles, chicken curry and the like. With beautiful presentation and excellent flavours, breakfast at the lounge is excellent.

For relaxation, Club Intercontinental guests, may head to the club exclusive Club Pool. Families with children are discouraged from the Club Pool and encouraged to use the main pool instead. There are cabanas, fountains and deck chairs surrounding the Club Pool.



Alternatively, guests may wish to head to beautiful Spa Uluwata, conveniently situated at the middle of the resort. Guests can enjoy a Jacuzzi, a plunge pool, sauna and steam room. Complementing these facilities are beautiful statues and a chair where you can relax and enjoy the sunlight.

Just a mere 10-15 nins ride from the airport, the resort is great if you have a long flight and/ or many connections (plus you probably had to wait for your baggage at the Denpasar airport). It’s a huge plus that the resort is near the airport. There are a couple of laudromats just outside the hotel. Also, there are a couple of ridiculously cheap massage places (IDR80,000 for 60 min massage). The place looks a little rundown but the prices cannot be beaten. There is also a minimart right outside.


Keraton at the Plaza, Jakarta Jul 2015

Inspired by the Javanese word for “palace”, Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta is a distinct and intimate luxury hotel offering a unique, modern interpretation of the rich Indonesian culture.

Located at the Thamrin roundabout, the hotel can be considered to be at the epicentre of Jakarta city. Besides being connected to a huge and one of the most upscale shopping and entertainment complex, Plaza Indonesia, the hotel is also prominently situated in the business district. It is within walking distance to government offices, corporate headquarters, key cultural attractions, museums and vibrant nightlife.

With only 140 lavish and spacious guest rooms and suites located between the 8th to the 22nd floor, this address whispers exclusivity. As soon as you step into a room, you will be amazed at the space the room affords you. This is one of the biggest hotel rooms I have seen. In addition to the work desk, the bench in front of the bed, the couch, there is still plenty of space to walk about. You can put 4 more beds in the room. Yes, there is that much space.

The bathroom is equally spacious. There is an open closet, a bathtub, a huuuuuugge shower stall (with a bench inside) and a counter with 2 wash basins. I really like thaht there are 2 wash basins. You don’t have to fight with your travelling companion in the morning to use the basin at the same time. Also, the toilet is a separate stall with its own door. That is great if one person is showering and someone else needs to use the toilet. They have paid great attention to details—– the toilet seat is heated.

All guests here enjoy 24-hr butler service, which only heighten the sense of luxury and exclusivity.

Should you be bored, you can enjoy a workout in the 24-hr gym (accessible with your key card). Or you may enjoy a swim in the indoor swimming pool. Keraton at the Plaza has one of the best spas in Jakarta. It is extremely clean. There is a huge jacuzzi with views overlooking the city. The massage therapists are highly trained and give firm, detailed massages.

After your spa treatment, you may head down to the luxurious lounge for the utterly decadent Godiva chocolate afternoon tea. Besides hot and cold items, you can enjoy the yummy Godiva chocolate in various forms —– chocolate truffle, hot chocolate etc. They have a wide selection of premium tea and coffee to accompany this unique afternoon tea.

With all the luxury you can ask for and an unbeatable location, Keraton at the Plaza is definitely one of the top hotels in Jakarta.

Enmaru, Altitude, Jakarta, Jul 2015

At Enmaru, located at the top of The Plaza, you can enjoy Izakaya dining style while enjoying a bird’s eye view of Jakarta.

Originally a style of eating where one sits down for sake after a long day of work, Enmaru is enhancing the experience of devouring delicious pub food. Here, you get to enjoy in a modern, lively ambiance set in traditional, down-to-earth Japanese decor in the heart of the city.

Sashimi Moriawase IDR100,000
Chef’s choices of 3 kinds of sashimi

Ikasumi Roll IDR95,000
Squid ink rolled rice with cream cheese and deep fried chicken topping (8pcs)
Innovative, modern, eye-catching.

Foie Gras Chawanmushi IDR50,000
Steamed egg custard with foie gras
The usual Chawanmushi given a boost of luxe in the form of foie gras. It’s like Chawanmshi on steroids!!!

Kushiyaki 5 Kinds Moriawase IDR85,000
Chef’s choice of 5 kinds skewers (5 pcs)

Atsugiri Wagyu Tongue Steak IDR150,000
Grilled wagyu tongue on salt plate

Foie Gras and Yaki Onigiri Steak IDR160,000
Grilled onigiri topped with sautéed foie gras, served with teriyaki sauce
A complex harmony of flavours, colours, textures, carbohydrates, fats and protein. Deceptively simple, yet it works, works, works.

Buta Kakuni Wasabi Potato An IDR130,000

Braised pork belly with soy sauce and sugar, topped with wasabi mashed potato
Really like the sweet, very very tender pork. The best of the lot!

Maccha Fondant Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream IDR50,000
Maccha chocolate fondant cake served with vanilla ice cream
A favourite with the ladies. I guess that should be testament enough.


Salt Grill, Jakarta Jul 2015

Salt Grill by Luke Mangan is the one of the three restaurants of Altitude, a premier dining destination perched on top of Jakarta. Helmed by Executive Chef MJ Olguera, the restaurant is situated right at the centre of the Thamrin shopping district.

Sashimi of Kingfish, Ginger, Eshallot and Goat’s Feta IDR145,000

One of their signature dishes, the freshness and lightness of the sashimi and rucola, the sweetness and nuttiness of the eschallot, the creaminess of the feta, the saltiness of the salt sprinkled on all come to make an excellent blend of flavours. The dish is complex, tantalizing and teasing to the palette.

Sydney Crab Omelette, Enoki Mushroom, and Herb Salad, Miso Mustard Broth IDR140,000

This appetizer has an unmistakable Asian quality. The crab omelette is flavourless. Hence, it is highly recommended to consume the omelette together with the herb salad on top and the miso mustard broth. The herb salad, consisting basil, fried shallots, chili strips for colour and enoki mushroom, add welcomed crunch and textural complexity to otherwise soft, limp egg. They have also cleverly added mustard to the miso broth. That adds a certain depth or volume to the broth. When all the components are taken together, this appetizer works well.

Pan-fried Gnocchi, Corn, Asparagus, Zuchini, Parmesan, Thyme, Truffle and Verjuice dressing. (Vegetarian) IDR120,000 for entree or IDR180,000 for main course
Starchy and greasy, this is comfort food.

This place is often booked up for events, so call in advance.

Gaia, Altitude, Jakarta Jul 2015

Gaia is a hip restaurant. It sits tall in the office block The Plaza overlooking Monument Selamat Datang at the famous Thamrin roundabout in Jakarta. Gaia’s neighbours are five-star hotels and huge shopping malls.

Helmed by a new executive chef Orlando Nazario, it would do well to come back regularly to the restaurant for the menu changes regularly. Instead of following a fixed menu, Chef Nazario prefers working with produce available at the market to ensure the freshest cuisine and a changing roster of dishes to excite the palette of diners.

Panzanella Crab Meat Salad Granchio with marinated Tomato Lemon dressing IDR110,000
Traditional Italian bread salad topped with modern salad. Light, fruity, zesty.

Spaghetti with Sunset Clams and Sea Urchin IDR185,000
A wonderful blend of the taste of sea, the spiciness and heat of chilli, a slight creaminess and a certain umami quality. The spaghetti was the very definition of al dente. This calibre of cuisine excites me.

Grilled 200g Angus Beef Tenderloin Filet with Foie Gras, Crouton, Figs, Port Wine sauce IDR490,000
The very tender beef was plated on a crouton disc and topped with salted pan-seared foie gras. The very important figs decorate the side of the plate— their sweetness balance out the saltiness of the four gras; their fruitiness balance out the fat of the foie gras.

1956 Recipe Mascarpone Cheese Tiramisu Cake With Espresso Coffee, Biscuits and Cacao
Lots of mascarpone.

Fashionable and the place to be, this restaurant is often booked up by immediately recognisable international brands for private functions.