HKTravelBlog

A Hip Hotel in Jakarta: Review of The Monopoli, Kemang

Kemang is already a fairly hip area but the Monopoli Hotel has made it even more so, offering a contemporary design in a great location.

Booking

I paid for several nights upon arrival. The price I was quoted was more than was then available on online booking sites, but when I asked if I could have that rate booking directly the checkin staff agreed. It was around $500 a night which I thought was pretty good for such a lovely hotel, including breakfast.

Location

Kemang is one of the hip areas in Jakarta, and if you want to be there then this location is ideal – in a central position, with amenities including restaurants, bars and a good supermarket within a short walk.

Checkin

Of course checkin was a bit of a faff with endless requests for deposits, paperwork and all the usual Asian checkin paraphernalia. But the staff, attired in very comfortable looking outfits designed for the hotel, were helpful and friendly.

Design and Amenities

The most notable thing about the Hotel Monopoli is its contemporary design, with traditional Indonesian twists. It is contrived but does not feel overdone. It creates the sort of cool buzz one gets as soon as one walks into a contemporary hotel in the right part of London or New York City, but none of the aloofness which one sometimes finds there.

This carries up through the interior which is dominated by a winding staircase, and into the rooms themselves.

The rooftop has a small bar and very small pool, where the consistency of the design falters although having a rooftop is a welcome touch. Meanwhile the basement bar is frequented by some of the city’s beautiful people, although with its red lights and seating layout, lined up against the walls, it does not feel as warm in mood as the rest of the hotel. Still, it is convenient to be able to go downstairs and have a cool bar right there.

Meals

The foyer café is brightly lit thanks to its large windows. It is a popular spot for eating and the food is alright although there is better value closeby outside. The breakfast buffet had quite a few options but many of them, especially the pastries, were not especially flavourful.

In the evening, the foyer cafe was busy as a sort of cafe cum pre-dinner drinks spot and had a funky vibe.

Room

My room felt very relaxing. From a Japanese style kimono woven for the hotel, to the very comfortable bed, it was a haven of restfulness to look at. If one used other senses, it changed somewhat: my bathroom often had the sort of damp smell a lot of southeast Asian hotel bathrooms seem to have, which although one got used to it was not pleasant. Meanwhile, the walls are far too thin: I could often hear noise from elsewhere in the hotel and one night ended up reluctantly knocking on my neighbours’ door in the wee hours as their “YouTube party” had wakened me. Earplugs or not, this is a big design flaw for this sort of hotel and damages its premiumness.

The bathroom had only a shower, which  was fixed, so despite the good toiletries and pretty tiles, the space was not as flexible as I would like for a bathroom.

Conclusion

Although the smell and noise bothered me, I thrilled to the Monopoli. It is in a great spot, has lovely, original design and brings something new to Jakarta. At the price I paid I thought it was good value and would stay there again in future if the prices stay at a similar level.

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