Thursday, May 08, 2008

Indonesia Trip '08 – Accommodation Write-Up: Hotel Atlantic, Jakarta

When we first planned this trip, everyone going was given particular roles for the planning. One was our medical officer for the trip, the other out financial controller and myself being in charge of accommodation/travel plans. Given our mandate of not staying in any place rated more than 3 stars on our trip, my first challenge was to see what is available in Jakarta priced within our means. I hit the internet first for information but in hindsight I would recommend getting one of the travel guides and start from there instead.

Jakarta was not a place where accommodations will be cheap being the capital of the county. A lot of the places that I looked at was priced above our budget and offered very little in terms of comforts to justify the price. What was also difficult was that most of these places do not have websites or internet contact details that we could use to contact them for further enquiry. Some of the phone numbers listed on the hostel/homestay websites were also outdated making the task of contacting them much more difficult. After a few hit and misses, I finally was able to find us a place that looked halfway decent from the picture gallery on their website.

(Exterior of Hotel Atlantic)

Hotel Atlantic (Jalan Salemba Raya 26, Jakarta Pusat) was one of the places that had a fairly easy website ( to navigate and get contact information from. The staff answering my queries was also very helpful in terms of providing us with appropriately priced stay deals as well as helping us to arrange for airport pickup, which the hotel no longer provides with their package, through the local taxi service company. We finally settled for a 3 bed family room with AC, ensuite bathroom and breakfast which we reserved for 3 days and 2 nights at a discounted price 316,800 Rph per night. We were given the discount from the published rack rate since we made our reservations through the internet.

This was my first time planning accommodation purely based on what I was able to get off the internet so I didn’t really know what to expect. When we checked in at the hotel, we were immediately show to our family room which was decently spaced for the three of us. It was slightly on the dark side that even with the lights on, we had not noticed that the walls were painted pink if it were not from the pictures that we taken. Set towards the side of the hotel, the view from our window consisted of part of the busy street in front of the hotel and the public library next to it. The bathroom was also equally badly lit which lead me to believe that they would definitely need to look into improving their lighting to make the room more inviting.

(The room layout of the family room)

Other than the lighting issues, we also had encounters with cockroaches in the bathroom when we first arrive (much to the disconcert of one us who had to ask someone to help flush it down the toilet), which gave me the impression that the room has not been used for awhile. That and also the leaking mini bar fridge didn’t help to give us a favorable first impression but the staff were fast to accommodate our request for a clean up. By the time that we got back from our lunch, the fridge water was cleaned up. The cockroaches did make their appearance later during our stay leading me to think that they might have come in through the AC vents.

The hotel offers a 24 hours restaurant/cafe on the lobby floor where our breakfast was served every morning. The provided breakfast was a small local buffet of local food items like nasi goreng and some vegetables with hot coffee or tea. Quite filling but nothing to really be excited about. There was also a couple of seat provided in the lobby for people to sit and read the hotel provided newspapers which from what I was able to determine consisted of only local publications. There was also a computer setup near the concierge’s desk for what I assume was for internet access but we were told that they had some internet line issues so it was not able to connect to the net. Their website did mentioned free Wi-Fi connection in the hotel but since we were not traveling with Wi-Fi capable equipment, we were not able to test that out.

Location wise, Hotel Atlantic was nicely located by the main street heading into Central Jakarta. We did not have any problems getting taxis from the hotel as we only had to walk out of the door and hail one from the entrance. The blue minivans ferrying passengers known locally as “angkut kota” and the bajaj, a 3-wheeled motorbike taxi similar to the tuk-tuk in Thailand, was also easy to get near the hotel at almost any time of the day. The hotel was also very close to one of Jakarta’s Busway stops (St. Carolus) which was actually located in the middle of the road and accessible via an overhead pedestrian bridge that spanned the busy street. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to try the other mode of transportations as we had chosen to travel around Jakarta by taxi.

(Blue angkut kota and bajaj near the hotel)

(L: View from our hotel room, R: The St Carolus Busway stop - note that buses have their own lanes on the road)

Eating places were plentiful around the hotel as long as you were not too picky about eating local food. The Nasi Padang place that we had our first lunch in Jakarta was conveniently located across the street from the hotel. The road next to the hotel had warongs opened up quite late into the night selling local food and drinks. There were also numerous street vendors selling their food prepared on the spot from their push carts or bicycles. Since it was still in early in our trip, we had opted to skip eating street food on the first day until our stomachs have become accustomed to the local bacterial fauna. We only managed to get our first taste for street food off a pushcart later in the night which was definitely tasty.

Hotel Atlantic definitely fulfilled our needs in Jakarta. Despite the apparent need to a more through clean up, I appreciate how well the rooms were insulated from the noise of the busy street outside of our room. Food was easy to get from around the hotel but there were not many malls or shops to go to within the walking distance of the hotel. Thankfully, taxis and other modes of transport were easily hailed down at the taxi to take us to any destination that we wanted to go to. The hotel staff were also friendly and attentive to our request which made the stay a comfortable one. As far as cheap and adequate accommodations go, I would still recommend Hotel Atlantic but it would just be barely.

Full Contact Details:

Hotel Atlantic
Jln Salemba Raya 26, Jakarta Pusat 10430,
Jakarta, Indonesia.

PH: +62 21 314 6123
Email :

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