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Jakarta was the turnaround point on my crazy 11 day trip around the world and I had planned to stay two full days before starting my journey home. While Jakarta wasn’t on my list of places to visit, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to redeem 30,000 Alaska miles for a first class flight from Tokyo on Japan Airlines, which was one of the best flights I’ve ever had. I’d previously heard really mixed reviews about the city, with most citing terrible traffic and not much for the average tourist to do. To me Jakarta seemed like any other world city, and I didn’t plan to do much exploring. Instead I thought I would splurge on a hotel and spend most of my time relaxing poolside!
My attention was drawn to the recently re-opened Four Seasons Jakarta after reading a post from One Mile At A Time. They are currently offering a second night free promotion in their Premier Suite, which is their highest category non-specialty suite. Rates were approximately $700CAD per night, with the second night complimentary. Furthermore, Premier Suite guests enjoy enhanced services, including lounge access with snacks and complimentary evening cocktails, late check-out, laundry pressing, and more. Even better, this rate could be stacked with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits (available through select travel advisors only) which includes a $100USD property credit, daily breakfast for two, as well as early check-in and room upgrade based on availability. I went through Ford Beckett for the preferred partner benefits and had a confirmation in less than 24 hours, with a total cost of $700CAD for my two night stay.
The following morning I was showing Brad some pictures of the hotel when I noticed a ‘too good to be true’ rate on an online travel website. The same room was being advertised for $175 CAD per night, or roughly half of what I had confirmed just the night before. I hesitated for about 2 seconds and decided to make the booking. I would be coming out way ahead (about 75% off the standard rate) and was willing to lose my preferred partner benefits by booking online. I immediately put in a best rate guarantee claim, although my original travel advisor was not optimistic they would offer to match the rate with the additional benefits. To his surprise, I received an email from Four Seasons just a few days later informing me the claim had been approved, and I would keep all original details from my first booking with the new low rate. Awesome!
My flight from Tokyo was scheduled to arrive just before 5:00pm and I knew traffic would be horrendous at that time. I also suspected I would be tired, and being my first time in Jakarta, decided to book the hotel airport transfer through the concierge. While roughly twice what you could expect to pay for a premium taxi, it was nice being met just after the jet bridge, walked through immigration, and brought to a waiting Mercedes-Benz just outside customs.
The traffic was…..bad. It took about 90 minutes to cover the roughly 30km journey to the hotel, with much of that spent in bumper to bumper traffic. The car was searched thoroughly upon arrival at the first gate, and again once the car was parked. I was greeted by a friendly hotel associate and walked through a metal detector where my bags were also screened.
This property is less than a year old and it shows in every way. Everything felt new and the attention to detail was stunning. I’ve had the opportunity to stay in some beautiful properties around the world but this was really in a different league. The main lobby was broken into a few different sections, with a sweet shop and library to the right of the entrance, the Palm Court Restaurant directly in front and the checkin and concierge desks to the left.
Checkin took about 5 minutes and I was personally greeted by the head concierge whom I had been communicating with before arrival. The level of professionalism and eagerness to please was what you would expect in a Four Seasons property, much like my recent stay at The Four Seasons Vancouver.
I was ushered up to room 1507 by the front desk staff and given a quick tour. I had booked a Premier Suite to take advantage of the two for one promotion, and wasn’t eligible to receive a further upgrade under the Preferred Partner benefits as this was their top level (non speciality) suite. It didn’t matter. This. Room. Was. Stunning. The Fifth Avenue Suite at The St Regis New York was a bit bigger, and had the one of a kind view down 5th avenue, but this suite topped it in style and function. Just inside the door I was immediately drawn to the high ceilings, high-end furniture, and tasteful decor. At the main foyer you could continue straight to the living room or go left for the dressing area and bathroom entrance. The room minibar was located on the right side of the entrance hall and featured everything you would expect for beverages and snacks at a reasonable price (7CAD for an imported beer).
The hallway also featured a large closet which housed the ironing supplies. The Premiere Suite benefits included complimentary pressing of 3 garments per day, which is a generous allowance and the iron wasn’t used.
The main living room consisted of table with two chairs, a comfortable lounge seat near the window, and a workspace with desk and television in the opposite corner. The space was very relaxing, with beautiful decor and lots of natural light. There was a welcome amenity on the table when I arrived along with a note from Christian Poda, The hotel General Manager.
Adjacent to the living room was the large master bedroom, separated by sliding doors. The room was fairly standard in layout with a large king size bed in the centre and television/small seating area in opposite corners. The room had floor to ceiling windows with blackout drapes that could be controlled electronically at the bedside. I hadn’t slept in about 24 hours at this point and had just flown 18 hours, so to say this bed was comfortable is a bit understated. The mattress was perfect, and the pillows and linens were amongst the best I’ve ever experienced. Comfort aside, I also found the decor soothing and relaxing. I loved the blue headboard with gold trim and thought the contrast to the crisp white linens was perfect.
At the base of the bed was a small bench with laundry supplies put out during turndown. There were two bedside tables with fresh bottled water, a small floral arrangement, and controls for lighting and drapes.
The small seating area in the corner was comfortable and offered nice views of the museum outside, as well as the pool deck and some city views.
The bathroom could be accessed directly through the master bedroom or through the changing area off the entrance foyer. There was nothing I didn’t like about this space, and for me, was the highlight of the entire hotel. Just off the hallway was the main closet, which featured tonnes of functional space for a lot of luggage, and a small dressing area with vanity seat.
The main bathroom was just through the closet dressing area and absolutely stunning. Immediately inside was a large soaking tub just opposite the dual-sink vanity, all surrounded by the most beautiful marble I’ve ever seen. At the far end of the washroom was a large walk-in steam shower and separate water closet with toilet and bidet.
Amenities were by ETRO and very high quality. I immediately regretted not having checked luggage as I would have liked to take some of these home with me. There was also a drawer of other standard bathroom kits with anything you might need.
Admittedly, I didn’t even leave the property during my two night stay. I spent an entire day at the pool and my two half days either eating or resting. It was absolutely perfect! Breakfast was included with my Preferred Partner benefits and I also had a $100USD property credit to use during my stay, which was applicable to poolside beverages and minibar consumption. While I love property credits, I sometimes find their use restrictive, which wasn’t the case here.
Breakfast was served daily in the Palm Court and is exactly what you would expect for a 5 star hotel. While the food was good, the service was amazing. On my second morning, I was greeted by name by a staff member I didn’t recognize and asked if I would like the same thing as yesterday. Wow. I didn’t even remember what it was, so kudos to her. The decor in the Palm Court was beautiful, but maybe a little too beautiful for breakfast. It seems this hotel caters to a lot of wealthy businessmen and quite honestly I felt a little out of place in my casual clothing, though I was probably overthinking it.
I went with the western option on both days as I’m not an adventurous eater, and the food was perfect on both days. Guests have a choice to partake in the breakfast buffet or order from the menu.
Breakfast would have been approximately $45 CAD per day, though it was complimentary with the Preferred Partner benefits, which made it taste even better.
I also had room service on my second day and went with a turkey club, which was delicious with beef bacon.
I spent most of my time at the pool, which is located on the 5th floor, just outside the large spa and fitness centre. The pool was fantastic, with lots of seating and very attentive service. There was never a shortage of seating, and the space never felt crowded. Complimentary services included popsicles, frozen fruit and smoothies, which were all well-receieved in the Jakarta humidity. I also ordered a few beverages, which were reasonably priced, unlike the $18 poolside cocktails at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler! There were also change rooms with showers, and a large sundeck located up a flight of stairs behind the bar area, though there wasn’t much sun while I was there.
Checkout was a sad time indeed as I really didn’t want to leave. I had requested a taxi to the airport, but the hotel surprised me with the Mercedes limo transfer at no additional charge, and many of the staff came outside to wish me a safe journey.
While not a traditional points hotel, I do think there is a lot of value to be had for certain travellers looking for ultra luxury accommodations. Four Seasons properties regularly participate in American Express Fine Hotels And Resorts, which can offer tremendous value for one or two night stays. Similarly, booking through a Preferred Partner agent entitles you to various perks, including daily breakfast for two and a $100USD property credit. For this stay, I paid roughly $175 per night including taxes, which is phenomenal value. Once factoring in daily breakfast and my property credit, I paid roughly $100 per night for a 5 star luxury hotel – incredible!
I can’t wait to return to Jakarta for another stay at The Four Seasons and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a true luxury experience. I just hope the second night free promotion sticks around, otherwise this level of luxury is well outside of my budget.