Having recently opened about a month ago, Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasim is the latest addition to the Holiday Inn family in Indonesia, making it the 8th Holiday Inn Express in Indonesia. The difference between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express is that, Holiday Inn is a full-service brand while Holiday Inn Express is more midscale, offering quality but no-frill amenities and dining options at a reasonable rate. The hotel mainly caters to business travellers and short-term leisure stays, with services such as free express breakfasts and free high speed internet access to all Holiday Inn Express guests.
Jakarta is considered the third richest city in Southeast Asia behind Singapore and Bangkok, with a GDP of US$224 billion. However, the stark divide between the rich and poor is evident just by taking a stroll in the city’s business district. There are not many locals who speak English, considering it is the capital of Indonesia. The city boasts of having the best nightlife in Asia, although it is also susceptible to having some of the worst traffic.
Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim’s Queen Standard Room
The Queen Standard room is bathed in a cerulean blue theme, with modern furnishings to provide a comfortable, luxurious yet affordable stay. The first thing that drew our attention was the full-length window that opens up to a panoramic view of the city. The natural light seeping through served to accentuate the spaciousness of the room. The room also features a LED TV, an ergonomic work desk, a safe as well as a flask. The other alternative to a Queen Standard is a 2 Single Bed Standard Room, which is also 25 square meters large and offers the same room features.
With a choice of either a firm or soft pillow, as indicated on the pillowcase, Holiday Inn Express definitely impressed us with their thoughtfulness and commitment to ensure that every guest has a comfortable stay. As we were there on a short getaway, this was more than we could ask for.
Wi-Fi is also available free-of-charge to all occupants. All you have to do is ask the reception for a password and you’ll be able to connect your devices. The Wi-Fi connection did not pose any problems to us, even when we were on the top floor at the 9th level.
Adequate Amenities Whether on a Business or Short Trip
The hotel amenities include a 24-hour gym, a self-service laundry station, 3 iMac desktops for surfing of the internet and a conference room for business meetings.
The gym is equipped with modern equipment such as treadmills, a stationary bicycle and free weights. It is open 24 hours with a room key card access for all guests.
The conference room has a projector and a white board, and can accommodate up to 10 people. Together with refreshments and notepads, the room is available upon request.
Depending on the number of items that need washing, guests may choose to utilize the laundry service that cost SGD 7.50 per spin. Therefore, this may be a cost-effective alternative to the standard pay-per-item laundry service although the ironing has to be done by yourself.
Variety of F&B Options Available
All Holiday Inn Express guests are entitled to the free buffet breakfast at their restaurant, which is available daily from 6am to 10am. They offer an international buffet breakfast spread that includes Asian noodles and rice to toast and croissants. To cater to travelers with a tight schedule, Holiday Inn Express offers Grab & Go breakfast options, with takeaway boxes and bottled drinks.
Eat and Shop in the City Center, Located Just Minutes Away from the Hotel
Located an hour’s drive away from the airport, Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim is conveniently located right in the heart of the CBD. From the airport, a taxi to the hotel costs approximately SGD 25, while a bus costs SGD 4, with the nearest bus station being Gambir.
The hotel is a 3-minute walk and a mere street away from Sarinah Thamrin Shopping Mall and Djarkata Theatre XXI. It is also a 10-minute taxi ride to Grand Indonesia, the largest shopping mall in Indonesia. Grand Indonesia operates daily from 10am to 10pm, with a total retail floor area of 640,000 square meters. Spread over 2 wings – the East and West mall, shops are splayed across 8 levels. Needless to say, shopping as well as late night movies were at our convenience.
Directions to Grand Indonesia:
If you’re looking to pamper yourself, Taman Sari Heritage Spa is located on the same street as the hotel. They offer various packages that include traditional massage, hand/ foot spa, manicure/ pedicure as well as facials. While we were there, we gave the traditional Javanese massage option a shot. The 60-minute massage, which costs SGD 30, was a luxurious and relaxing one. We were entitled to our own private massage room, which comes with a private shower as well as a vanity room for us to dry our hair and freshen up after. While it claims to be a deep tissue massage, I felt that the massage failed to reach my deep tissues and release my muscle knots. Rather, it felt more like a relaxing massage to help release tension. Taman Sari Heritage Spa is just 100m away from the hotel and can be reached by taking a 1 minute stroll over.
For more options of spas and massages around Jakarta, check out Thibaud’s post in Jakarta100bars!
Further down the street of Wahid Hasyim is where Pasar Tanah Abang, the largest clothing wholesale market in Southeast Asia, is located. Prices of textiles and clothes are sold at wholesale prices when bought in bulk and therefore, are incredibly cheap. Upon visiting the market, we realized that the clothing designs were not what we had expected – the fashion there caters more to the locals and hence are more conservative i.e. most clothings covered the shoulders and legs.
Directions to Pasar Tanah Abang:
For food lovers, located near the hotel is Jalan Haji Agus Salim, a street lined with food carts selling foods such as Nasi Uduk (rice cooked in coconut milk), Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) and Nasi Goreng (fried rice). It is a 6-minute walk from the hotel, located behind Djakarta Theatre XXI. The food stalls are set up in the evening, so if you’re looking for the authentic way to eat like a local, this is the place you cannot miss.
It was easy to catch the attractions of Jakarta for free from this hotel as well! There is a free city tour bus that takes you around the CBD available just across the street. You will pass by attractions such as the National Monument, the Istiqlal Mosque and the Jakarta Cathedral on board the city tour bus. This saved us the hassle of taking a cab and being caught in the infamous jam or breathing the air pollution by walking over. Word of caution though – you have to be bold and catch a seat in the bus before the locals occupy it as there is a no-standing policy, or else you would have to wait another 10 minutes for the next bus.
In conclusion, the hospitality of the Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim’s team was impeccable. They went out of their way to ensure we had a comfortable stay – this included assisting to check the operating hours of Taman Sari Heritage Spa as well as recommending local food to us. Whether for work or leisure, Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim’s convenient location and value-for-money accommodation option allow guests to get to destinations easily and enjoy the best of what Jakarta has to offer.
Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim: Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim No.123, Thamrin, Jakarta, Indonesia 10240
Special thanks to Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.
Original post at Passport Chop.
For more ideas in Jakarta, check out Ruben’s post on how to spend a weekend in Jakarta!