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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
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Travel to Jakarta


A Javanese retreat

1 March 2018

Escape the city noise with a hotel that delivers impeccable service, show-stopping interiors and heaps of fine-dining flair

Located in the heart of Jakarta’s financial and diplomatic district, the award-winning Mandarin Oriental hotel is a stylish antidote to the concrete jungle and traffic-frenzied chaos outside its doors.

Stage one of your transition to Zen occurs on entering its luminous lobby, complete with mirrored pillars and handcrafted marble flooring. Stage two is being ushered, welcome drink in hand, to its freeform outdoor pool on the fifth floor, ensconced in lush, tropical gardens.

If the hotel’s VIP patrons (which include the Obamas and Scandinavian royalty) are anything to go by, its 2009 multimillion-dollar renovation has paid off. With 272 rooms and suites, you can plump for a sleek and spacious, light-filled corner room with dramatic skyline views, or a colonial-styled den, dressed in dark teak panelling and sumptuous fabrics. All exude the brand’s benchmark Oriental heritage.

Elegant entreés and visual distractions

Its foodie credentials aren’t too shabby either, and guests can indulge in haute French fare at Lyon, or modern Cantonese cuisine at newly unveiled Li Feng, which is causing quite a buzz in the capital. For a delicacy with a side order of drama, request Chef Loy’s deep-fried miniature Black Swan Dumplings from Li Feng. With the help of a teapot and lots of dry ice, the tasty morsels of minced black-pepper duck-filled dim sum are transformed into swans floating on a misty lake.

There are plenty of visual distractions too, from the seascape chandelier crafted by Czech crystal sculptor Lasvit, to the exquisite gilded glass art-work A Voyage of the South, inspired by the ancient spice trade between China and Batavia (old Jakarta). One thing is for sure, when your time comes to head back out into the city, you’ll be ready to tackle the hustle head-on.


Words: Sarah Freeman
Images: Mandarin Oriental Jakarta