In Asia, the Shangri-La name connotes a certain kind of utterly maximal hotel, a strong measure of traditional opulence, along with a grand scale that can easily seem intimidating, especially to Westerners who have grown accustomed to 40-room boutiques and intimate country inns. Never fear; this is the kind of hotel that must be experienced to be believed, even if for nothing more than an education in what real service looks like.
The location is ideal for business travelers and professional shoppers alike-the Shangri-La stands some 32 stories high, towering over the BNI City Complex, in the heart of Jakarta’s Golden Triangle. Services include practically anything under the sun, true to the form of the best Asian hotels; the health club is particularly remarkable, offering massage to stressed executives as well as tennis courts and a pool for the athletically inclined.
A certain classical Western style is pervasive in the public spaces, with the massive chandeliers and the string quartet of the lobby. Guest rooms are more traditionally Javanese, with Batik textured carpets and plenty of silk and dark hardwoods. Every room has a view of the city, the prime advantage of a downtown skyscraper hotel, and the generous modern spaces make for the utmost comfort, with room enough for deep sofas and separate baths and showers. Multiple fine restaurants mean multiple chances to spot visiting dignitaries-this is certainly the place to see them.
BNI City Complex, Jakarta, Java
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