Island paradise

Jakarta’s Ritz-Carlton is a perfect match for a country with big aspirations

Massimo Morello
August 5, 2013

Jakarta’s Ritz-Carlton is a perfect match for a country with big aspirations

By Massimo Morello Photography by Andrea Pistolesi
Just as Indonesia is a nation of 17,000 islands, so its capital city, Jakarta, is an archipelago. Skyhigh atolls surround immaculate green spaces, which are in turn enveloped by streets covered in hundreds of thousands of cars and mopeds.

Island paradise
Balinese nights: the garden square at the Ritz (above) is nestled among high-rise buildings that house banks, insurance companies and the stock exchange

Each of these skyscrapers is a microcosm with its own ecosystem of malls and big hotels, and where the services are designed and structured around their inhabitants – or rather, their consumers. Pacific Place is the business ‘atoll’, which can be viewed while sipping a drink in Ritz Pacific Place Hotel’s Level 8, a bar located in a square garden. Beyond the palm trees and the Balinese-style pavilion of this green space lies not the sea, as one would expect on an atoll, but the glass and steel surfaces of the stock exchange, to which the hotel is directly connected with a bridge.
It is a symbolic vision of the economy of a country aspiring to become one of the emerging global powers.
“Political stability, public finances and reserves of raw materials can trigger extremely high growth potential,” said Chetan Ahya, an analyst at Morgan Stanley bank.
Island paradise
The Ritz Pacific Place, after all, was designed to make a select number of super-managers feel at home. Located within the One Pacific building it houses just 62 rooms, including nine suites. All are furnished according to a design that teams functionality, comfort and discreet elegance.
Another significant feature, especially for Asian businesspeople, is that everything has been made and arranged according to strict feng shui guidelines. The owner and builder of the complex is property baron Tan Kien, one of Indonesia’s wealthiest men and a lover of the art of harmonising humans and the environment.
To complete the harmony, the Ritz offers the services of the Spa & Health Club. Hidden among the steps of level eight, it offers a variety of beauty and relaxation treatments using customised organic products.

The other Ritz  

For those with political or diplomatic commitments in Jakarta, or simply for shopaholics, the right Ritz for you is located in the Mega Kuningan area. We suggest a visit to the Asia Restaurant, serving a distinctive blend of cuisines prepared in an open kitchen and featuring Jakarta’s largest buffet. Tel: +62 21 2551 8888. Rates: from $250 per night.

Good old days

Beyond the postmodern archipelago of Jakarta lies the Java Sea and, on its edge, the Sunda Kelapa harbour, surrounded by the capital’s oldest districts. It is a Conradian scene where a million fantasies of adventures materialise. Find the time to visit and stop at Café Batavia, a distinguished bar in a refurbished colonial warehouse.

Island paradise

Passion for Paris

For those with money to burn, Paris’ world famous department store Galeries Lafayette has just opened its Indonesian arm in the same complex as the Ritz, the Pacific Place Mall.

The superblock

One of Jakarta’s focal points is the Rasuna Epicentrum, known as ‘the superblock’, a property complex created by Abdulrizal Bakrie, Indonesia’s Donald Trump, and modelled on the image of Singapore. It is dominated by the 215-metre high Bakrie Tower, a skyscraper with an impressive, rippled aesthetic.

Pincky is perky

The Indonesian art scene is one of the most interesting in Southeast Asia. Gedung 28, a private gallery owned by Pincky Sudarman, exhibits her beautiful collection of tribal artworks collected in the islands of the archipelago.


Address: Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD),
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav.
Tel: +62 21 2550 1888.
Rates: from $300 per night.
Also view:
“Going strait” – Discover the cultural melting pot that is Malacca
“Rolling in the reap” – Temple town’s most luxurious accommodation for weary explorers
“Resting on the river” – A watery oasis on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh City

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