The JW Marriott Jakarta unfortunately was the target of a bomb attack in 2009. This landmark property near the Ritz Carlton Jakarta has now been transformed into a fortress with security at level you wont find at most airports. The security checks are done at street level – away from the lobby and they are done twice including K9 dogs and modern detection equipment.
The hotel itself is similar to the JW Marriott Surabaya (Review) than I’d like. It’s an old hotel (though in a much better shape than the JW Marriott Surabaya). Its making up for the old hardware with world class service.
When I entered the lobby I had heard ‘good morning sir’ about 20 times. The front desk agent literally dropped everything and asked me which floor I’d like for my reservation. She did not even ask my name and by the time I had passport and credit card out my keys and Internet access were done already. World class check in!
The room itself looked like from a 70s movie! Outside the maintenance crew were busy fixing new cables (the entire hallway was a big cable storage system). My room was creaky – not as bad as the JW Marriott Surabaya but still it felt pretty old. It was clean however and the bed huge and comfy. I also liked the view from my room a lot.
The WiFi was easy to connect to and was fast – at times exceeding the 10Mbit – the limit at what I consider fast – easily. After a quick dip into the pool (I was the only person at the rather sorry looking pool) I made my way to the Executive Lounge for high tea. The lounge is huge and there were plenty of ‘high tea’ offering for 4 PM. After a few hours of busy work (Alaska Airlines had just gutted their Emirates award chart) the dinner service started. And what a service it was!
There was hot food aplenty (including various curries), lots of cheese variety, salads, soups and excellent whines and beers. The food was easily restaurant quality – good thing I was hungry! I liked the food so much I feel it was on First Class airline food level. One of the best lounge food ‘appetizers’ I ever had!
The staff at the lounge was excellent as well – they did try to learn the names of the (around 20 ) people at the lounge and extended personal greetings as the evening progresses. My table was cleaned and alcohol kept flowing freely. I was duly impressed!
I returned to the lounge in the morning but wasn’t as impressed. The coffee was bitter, the cheese old and the smoked salmon in a sorry state. The front desk offered to have the full buffet breakfast downstairs as well but I wasn’t in the mood.
Since this is Jakarta you can’t really go anywhere else once you commit to a neighborhood. There are a few more places in the direct neighborhood you can walk to.
Rates at the time of my stay were just about $180 – I had used 15,000 Marriott Rewards points which I thought was a great deal.
In summary if you are a Marriott Gold or Platinum this hotel is worth every penny – especially if you use points. If you do not have lounge access it’s still a good hotel but the old hardware will become more a focus of yours.
You can book the JW Marriott Jakarta here.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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