Courtesy of Langham Jakarta
Welcome to Checking In, a review series in which our editors and contributors rate the best new (and updated) hotels based on a 10-point system: Every question answered “yes” gets one. point. Will room service bring you caviar? Does your suite have its own butler? Does the bathroom have a bidet? Find out below.
Describe this hotel in three words: Welcome to England-nesia
What is the deal?
Perched atop Jakarta’s glitzy new Central Business District, the hotel may only be 12 months old but it is built on a legacy of more than 150 years, precisely in 1865 when the original Langham debuted in London as one of London’s grandest hotels. Europe. So expect classic British elements such as white wooden floors, Victorian fireplaces (both real and fake), ballerina-style schemes within the 65-storey building. Other features include London Langham’s award-winning outdoor Artesian Bar and daily high tea (although I was disappointed to see whipped cream here and not traditional cream).
Very nice room
The Presidential Suite occupies most of the 60th floor and has a living room large enough to roll up. From the floor-to-ceiling windows and outside there are views of the sprawling metropolis of Jakarta beyond the horizon. Other highlights include a dining room with a white Ritmüller R8 Baby Grand Piano, a study, a whirlpool tub and a wardrobe with enough space for Mariah Carey to enjoy. The decor is contemporary, white and mineral blues and a private elevator allows discreet visitors. Prices
Did they greet you by name at the entrance?
Yes, the brave doormen paid attention to attention, while two members of the Langham Club lounge were waiting inside to receive me alone. I was ushered into the cathedral-like lobby and upstairs to check in before being escorted to the Langham Lounge for a late lunch.
Was a welcome drink ready and waiting when you arrived? (Bonus if it wasn’t fruit juice)
Yes – a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was waiting in my room, along with a posy of pink roses and a tray of artisan chocolates and macarons. When you choose to enter the Langham Lounge, you will be served tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits.
Is there a private dining area in each room?
No. Of the 223 rooms, only the president comes with a 24-hour concierge service. However, guests staying in the main rooms and suites can find the best place in the 59th-floor Langham Lounge, where the gracious staff will help you with everything – make an appointment for nail polish, printing documents, booking transport – in the blink of an eye. Food and drink wise, the Langham Lounge is one of the most generous we’ve experienced anywhere, serving hot and cold food from breakfast until 11pm (including a la carte dishes, afternoon tea service and evening cocktails).
Is the paper higher than 300 thread count?
The fabrics are made exclusively for the hotel and have a maximum thread count of 300. Langham Luxury Beds, made by Swedish mattress experts Duxiana, combined with solid sound insulation and electric blinds that dim any light ensure a good night’s sleep.
Is there a heater in the bathroom? What about a bidet?
No, but it’s the cool white marble you want to walk down in the city. Bidets come in the form of Japanese electric Toto toilets, which appear when you enter the bathroom and have heated seats, night lights and a variety of washing and drying options.
Are the toilets big enough?
Yes, Langham’s lightly scented eau de toilettes are packaged in large ceramic bottles. The bath salts and loofah were effective but it’s disappointing that the deluxe rooms and suites lack such luxury amenities.
Is there a private pool that you can use in this room? How is the spa and gym?
This is a city hotel and none of the rooms have private pools. However, if you want to take a dip, there are two community swimming pools: a palm-fringed outdoor pool on the sixth floor and a heated indoor infinity pool on the 63rd floor with superb sunset views. Next door, there is a fitness center that shares the same layout and is equipped with the latest Technogym machines. Inspired by Chinese tradition, the Langham’s Chuan Spas are always good and Jakarta is no exception.
Do you want to spend Friday night in the lobby bar?
Yes. Tom’s by Tom Aitkins anchors the lobby and serves as the hotel’s restaurant and bar. The stark white interior of the hotel, Tom’s, is warm and welcoming, decorated in dark woods and Merlot reds, with leather upholstery and a horseshoe-shaped bar. It is here that well-heeled Jakartans mingle with expats and street warriors before moving upstairs to enjoy a British dinner.
Is there caviar on the menu? If so, which child?
No, caviar did not appear in any of the restaurant’s menus or room service.
Would you buy the hotel if you could?
Yes. Jakarta is a city on the rise (even if it is sinking) and the prices of commercial and residential properties are rising.
What Our Results Mean:
1-3: Get rid of your agent if he tells you to stay here.
4-6: Tough if you’re in a pinch – but only if you’re in a pinch.
7-8: Very nice. We would stay here again and recommend this without hesitation.
9-10: Forget about booking a weekend. When can we move forever?