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“Reasonably priced, comfortable choice for Jakarta - but very dated”

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The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta
Ranked #74 of 471 Hotels in Jakarta
Reviewed July 31, 2013

I stayed at the Sultan Hotel for three days for a conference I was attending at the property. I considered staying at the nearby Crowne Plaza (so I could collect points) but being unfamiliar with the city I decided to stay on-site. The reviews looked good, if varied, and I thought staying at an Indonesian chain would make a change.

First impressions of the property are that it obviously used to be the place to stay in town – possibly 20 years ago. It was interesting to find out later on that it used to be the Jakarta Hilton. My pre-arranged airport pick-up wasn’t at the airport when I arrived which was incredibly frustrating after what can only be described as a hellish immigration process. I took a regular taxi which was good enough though and was at the hotel in no time (I arrived late at night). You have to drive through a maze of security to get to the entrance, which is both reassuring and unnerving.

Check-in was simple and very welcoming. The staff at the hotel were incredibly friendly and efficient. The lobby itself was very dated, but you realise quickly that the whole property is. I ignored it though and decided to enjoy the retro feel to the stay.

The room was large but in need of a bit of an overhaul. The bed was large and comfortable. The bathroom was very large (separate bath/shower). The toilet water ran dark brown at one point but that’s to be expected in the region sometimes. The shower was difficult to get to the right temperature and in the mornings it takes a while to get hot water.

The buffet breakfast was quite interesting. It gets busy. Very busy, very quickly. The selection was varied but a little confused at points. They make croissants fresh, in an oven out on the buffet which was nice – but meant you had to wait sometimes. There are a lot of local options and a few very disconnected western ones. The coffee was great – unsurprising being in Indonesia I expect. Despite quite a peculiar selection of things ending up on my plate it was satisfying. The only complaint I’d have is that the hot food was pretty cold.

The gym was amazing. Although it’s a hotel gym it seems to mainly be a private, members-only gym with everything you’d expect from a city facility – including classes. This was one of the best features of the hotel from my perspective and it beats the usual “spare room with a treadmill” offering you tend to get these days.

There’s a large bar in the lobby which plays loud, live music every night. It’s quite entertaining. It is surrounded by a few restaurants so you can get quite a few types of food.

All in all I had a good stay at the Sultan and would consider it again. It’s great for a business stay but they do really need a major overhaul soon.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank moaksey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Dear Moaksey,

Thank You for sharing your experience when staying with The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta.

We value your comment and will share this with our team. The hotel is in stage to refurbishing the facilities and service, and we hope that you are able to experience them in the future.

We look forward to welcome you back at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta.

Sincerely Yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2013

The Sultan Hotel in Jakarta was formerly the Hillton, and is now being operated under a new name and apparently marketing to a different clientele. A very large property in an excellent location within the Central Business District, the Sultan has a tunnel connecting to Jakarta's convention center, and is surrounded by gardens which provide some buffer against the awful Jakarta traffic. The staff are very pleasant and service overall is excellent, but the transition from a 5-star international hotel to something else is showing in different ways.

The large rooms are still well appointed and comfortable but need a great deal of maintenance. In mine (as in cases described by other reviewers), the toilet ran constantly and I had to remove the lid after each flush to make sure the valve had closed. The faucet in the sink was also dripping, and some signs of mold and mildew were found inside the shower. Electric wires were falling out of one of the wall sockets, and one of the windows overlooking the park would not close completely, letting in noise and several mosquitos. An improvised repair had apparently been done in the past, with a large screw forced into the latch mechanism, but there was no way to completely close the window. Some of the drawers were stuck and wouldn't open, and there was wallpaper peeling from one corner of the room. One of the curtains had a cigarette hole burned through it (on a non-smoking floor), and some of the bathroom towels looked like they had stains which couldn't be washed out (the towels were clean, but the appearance was off-putting).

Several of the shops and restaurants seem to have closed since the change in ownership, and in the barbershop I was told that business has fallen dramatically. Service in the Lagoon Restaurant remains very efficient and friendly, but the breakfast menu now seems to cater mainly to east Asian tastes (noodles, rice, fish etc.) though the croissants are excellent (buttery and crusty).

If you have business nearby, and especially at the convention centre, the Sultan is a good choice. Otherwise, you may want to look at other options. In principle, shifting from a luxury international property to a new concept could be interesting, but the Sultan seems to be in search of its identify.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank fredswartz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2013

Dear Mr FredSwartz,

Thank You so much for your valuable time to write a review about us.

Let assure that we are taking your comment seriously. We would like to inform you that we are doing a several refurbishment and renovation project and one of our focus will guest room and facilities.

We hope that we are able to welcome you back at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta in the future.

Sincerely Yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The was a nice hotel. Staff are very friendly.
The rooms are large and clean but a bit date. Could do with a make over.
The breakfast buffet was poor and so was the one even buffet I have.
The pool was great.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2013

Dear Loizides,

Thank You for spending your time to write a review for The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta.

Refer to your comment on the breakfast and buffet on one of the event you had with us, we will assure you that we will improve our F&B quality to meet our guest expectation.

Once again thank you so much and look forward to welcome you back at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta.

Sincerely yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

First i would like to thank this hotel for giving the extension of stay until 2 pm. I was really grateful for that. I got room 507 facing the lagoon. This hotel was recommended to me by my Indonesian friend.

Good thing was this hotel provide international electrical adaptor, and the bell boy came immediately upon request. Wi fi is free.

I stayed here for only one day - 20 July 2013. Booked through Booking.com. At first the published rate was written as RM297.89. But when it come to payment, i was charged RM360.45. The rest (USD 23.81) was for 'taxes and fees' (also written as 'additional fees charged by the hotel'). I felt cheated because that 'taxes and fees' was not declared earlier, but then it was too late. Next time i have to be careful when booking through Booking.com.

As for Hotel Sultan, the room is clean, the size is suitable for its 5 star standard, and the compound is huge, green and well maintained. This hotel is representative of a five star hotel of the olden days; fully carpeted room floor, marble wall bathroom, working table facing the door and have a wooden box cabinet with TV inside. Only thing, the TV is now flat screen.

The hotel have two building wings; Lagoon and Garden. For those who had not been to the hotel for a long time, they might get confused when trying to find the hotel lobby. The lobby at Garden Wing had been closed (was told after an incident of short circuit there). Now the lobby is located at Lagoon Building and it is better to tackle from Jalan Sudirman Road rather than from Jalan Gatot Subroto.

At first i thought the hotel is isolated (in terms of walking distance) from the surrounding area. But in fact it was near to a place called Benhil or Bendungan Hilir, and quite near to Thamrin City and Tanah Abang. Benhil is full of restaurants and eateries, and so alive at night. The only catch is, there will be trouble if you want to go from the hotel to Benhil or Tanah Abang or Thamrin City on Sunday.

Every Sunday, the protocol roads around the hotel will closed to traffic from morning to 12 noon. I went to Benhil at 7.30 am on Sunday 21 July 2013 by taxi. The taxi had to find alternative roads to reach and it cost me about Rupiah 15,000. Now coming back to the hotel from Benhil at 8.45 am was trickier. The second taxi driver was not really aware of the road closure and he went round and round to find the hotel entrance. At last he spent about 20 minutes (instead of the usual 7 or 8 minutes) to reach the hotel from Benhil Market. It cost me Rupiah 55,000! See, triple the going fare. Hah. The GPS monitor he had in his taxi helped nothing in this situation.

The worst is yet to come. I was caught in a very severe traffic jam when i wanted to go to Thamrin City and Tanah Abang shopping complexes. The car took about an hour to cover one or two kilometer. After more than an hour i left the car and walk across the road to get to Thamrin City. I cancelled my plan to go to Tanah Abang. So if you want to go to these places and still want to stay at Sultan Hotel, avoid at all cost going on Sunday morning.

On the way to Thamrin City I even saw a quite funny sign board written by 'ojek' owner (motorbike passanger owner), put on a tree, stating the obvious. The sign was written in Bahasa Indonesia which read 'Jalan ke Tanah Abang macet total. Lebih baik naik ojek. Kalau boong batal puasa', which roughly translated into 'the road going to Tanah Abang is totally traffic jam, it is better to take a motorbike. And (since it was Ramadhan or fasting month), i am not lying. And if i lie, my fasting will be void. Ha ha that was funny.

Along the road going the opposite site of Thamrin City I even saw not less than three three-storey shophouses advertised for sale. Business must be bad there because of bad traffic jam.

During fasting month the complimentary breakfast was changed into 'sahur', or predawn meals before fasting. The meals are served from 2 am until 5 am. This is good but the buffet spread is definitely not half as good as real breakfast buffet spread. However, there were white and fried rice, fried chicken, omelet, fish in chilly sauce, vegetable, Chinese style porridge, and fruits. There was tea but coffee was not served. You have to request to have it. I had my sahur at about 4 am and there were still a lot of food left.

The staffs there were friendly and helpful.

In Room 507 i had a bit problem finding the direction for praying (Kaaba direction). There was green paper arrow sign which was supposed to be pasted to the inside of the drawer but somebody had remove it, so the sign no longer showing the correct direction. I think it is better to paste the arrow sign on the ceiling so that no body can manipulate it. So for Muslim guest, it is better to bring your own compas to help you set the Kaaba direction.

The taxi on standby at the hotel is from Silver Bird, which is more expensive that the Blue Bird taxi. If you want to ride in a Blue Bird taxi you have to wait for it coming from outside when they bring passenger to the hotel, or walk a little bit outside and flag them by the road side. That was what i did because i did not want to wait for a long time in a que.

Overall i had an enjoyable stay at this hotel. Would i like to stay here again when i visit Jakarta next time? Probably not after experiencing the worst Sunday traffic jam. Even if this hotel is good.

Room Tip: Room 507 was ok.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Titi Rahmawati H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2013

Dear Ms Titi,

Thank You so much for spending your time to review about your stay experience with us. We assure you that we are taking your comment to improve our service and facilities.

We are sorry to hear your comment about the missing information on tax and services by Booking.com. We would like to inform you that all hotels in Indonesia will charge 10% service charge and 11% government tax and it should be indicated in all prices. However, we will address your comment to our partner to service you better in the future.

Refer to the hotel access, we are accessable form both Jalan Jendral Sudirman or Jl Gatot Subroto (pleas, take the second entrance near the JCC).

During car free day on Sunday morning ( before 11am), Jl Jendral Sudirman will be closed for vehicle. Should you like to go to Tanah Abang or Thamrin City you can easily take the Trans Jakarta from Jl Jendral Sudirman (it takes only IDR 3,500) and you can access Thamrin city or Tanah Abang by walk distance (5 minutes). For other details you can always contact our concierge who will be happy to assist you with direction. Also seek recommendation from our concierge for metered taxi.

In addition to that, we also would like to inform you that we are only a walking distance to some major shopping malls in Jakarta such as Pacific Place, FX, and we extend shuttle to Senayan City.

Once again thank you so much for staying with us, and we hope that we are able to welcome you at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta in the future.

Sincerely yours,
I Nyoamn Sarya
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Only a short walk to the convention center (which saves the hassle of having to use a taxi in Jakarta), The Sultan Hotel was very convenient for me and my team (5 total) to stay during one of the exhibition.

The entrance to the hotel is grand, and well kept. Service was with a smile (unforced it seemed) and the whole check-in process was very easy. My room was not the best, but it was large and had a great bed with a large window and view. An old tube tv went with the older furniture, and I hope the management will one day update the rooms. The only real issue I had was with the washroom, and this is only on the slight wear around the edges and not being very well cleaned. All in all though, lots of hot water, and lot of room.

The restaurants were ok, and so were the bar/lounges. It also has a large pool and green area for hotel guests to wander and swim. Once again, not the best maintenance, but worked.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Ryan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Dear Ryan,


Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comment during your recent stay with us.

We particularly appreciate your comments as you provide us with valuable information and help us in our constant endeavor to offer the finest levels of hospitality to our guests.

We have discussed your stay experience with us and made those as our focus of attention.

We are looking very much forward to welcoming you back to The Sultan Jakarta .


Sincerely Yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

The Hotel’s location is great.. near the convention centre and short drive to the Senayan Shopping Centre.. in fact there is a tunnel from the hotel that leads you to the convention centre. The property is spread over a large area, hotel, residences, garden, large pool etc.
The hotel has two wings I would say.. the Lagoon side and the Garden Side. Yes, there is a nice little lagoon inside the hotel!. Our room was on the Lagoon side and I can definitely say that there is need of refurbishment on this side of the hotel. The rooms are large no doubt with large working area as well and the bathroom large as well with a large bath tub and the works. The towels defintely were a big big let down.. not the cleanest and one had a hole in it!.

I understand that the Garden side rooms are renovated recently and so would suggest taking a room on the Garden side if available. The Business centre, gym etc are also on the Garden side.

There are a number of restaurants including a Japanese restaurant ..also a nice little bar on the lobby level with live music.. The breakfast at the lagoon lounge was decent with a reasonably large spread..

The pool was nice and large, though we couldn’t use the same as it was raining throughout our stay. The walk around the Japanese restaurant is very nice.

There is also a convenience store in the hotel ( at the apartment Residence side), which was very usefull especially since it is open till late.

The staff were helpful I must say and made our stay comfortable.. our request for slightly late check out was also accomodated willingly, our request for vegetarian lunch was also entertained . However, the check out process took quite some time with separate billing for the room and separate payment for the extras etc etc.. and I could see others facing the same problem.

Room Tip: Rooms on the Garden side are renovated recently
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Vgaxyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Dear Vgaxyz


Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comment during your recent stay with us.

We particularly appreciate your comments as you provide us with valuable information and help us in our constant endeavor to offer the finest levels of hospitality to our guests.

The feedback you have given assist us to continually monitor and improve both our product and service. We would like to inform you that The Hotel is in the process of upgrading some of our facilities.

We are looking very much forward to welcoming you back to The Sultan Jakarta .


Sincerely Yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

This hotel compound is strategically located very close to Sudirman CBD, and two of the major shopping malls in Jakarta namely Plaza Senayan and Senayan City. Recommended if you're in a short business trip.

Preserving its classic design and ambience, this hotel does have a high-speed wifi internet connection, spacious room, bed and bathroom. However, the service is not as I expected.

There are not many staff with 'can do' attitude as a five-star hotel should be. I did have that experience trying to place a room deposit using a debit card (as most hotels have accepted debit card nowadays) but they didn't accept it so I had to go all the way to the ATM to get cash.

Same thing goes in the Lagoon Lounge (the hotel's outlet) during breakfast. I tried to pay an additional pax by signing the cheque to my room, but it failed. I wanted to pay with debit, but they said (again) that they didn't accept debit card. Lucky I brought cash with me, otherwise I would have to pause my breakfast and (again) go all the way to the ATM just to pay an extra pax of breakfast. They actually have good quality of F&B.

Overall, there's nothing wrong with the hotel facilities, but they do have a homework with their hotel services.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank GraceSurya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SultanJakarta10002, General Manager at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta, responded to this reviewResponded July 7, 2013

Dear Grace Surya,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comment during your recent stay with us. We are really glad that you enjoy your stay experience with us.

We particularly appreciate your comments as you provide us with valuable information and help us in our constant endeavor to offer the finest levels of hospitality to our guests.

We will bring your consideration on your comment about our staff to serve you better. We would like to inform you that we do accept debit card for payment at the reception.

We are looking very much forward to welcoming you back to The Sultan Jakarta .


Sincerely Yours,
I Nyoman Sarya
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta

Address: Jl. Jendral Gatot Subroto, Jakarta 10270, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > Jakarta > Tanah Abang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#43 Spa Hotel in Jakarta
#58 Luxury Hotel in Jakarta
Price Range: $77 - $112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 707
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The largest hotel in Indonesia, and one of the largest in South East Asia, the 3 towers of The Sultan Hotel Jakarta rise distinctively over a vast garden, the most expansive in Jakarta (32 acres). The grounds house 694 rooms, 9 banquet rooms, and a ballroom, complemented with floodlit tennis courts, a basketball court, a 500-meters jogging track, 2 swimming pools, a fitness center, and a shopping arcade. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jakarta Sultan Hotel
Sultan Hotel Jakarta

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