The Jakarta Post
Lobby at InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah (ICJPI/File)
It was a very busy Sunday morning in Sugar & Spice, the main dining room at the InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah. Families with members of all ages flocked around the breakfast buffet and dining tables.
The Sunday breakfast situation shows that the family staycation trend seems unlikely to fade in the near future, and as long as Jakartans still like to check-in to hotels over the weekend, we can expect new hotels to keep coming. However, this new InterContinental property adjacent to the well-known Pondok Indah Mall has its own charm as a business hotel, too.
Guests who check-in without young children can opt to eat breakfast at Club InterContinental on the 25th floor, if they book the room type of the same name.
The Jakarta Post tried breakfast on that 25th floor space as well as staying in a Club room at the invitation of the hotel, and it was an attractive way to start the weekend. For us who live in houses, eating breakfast with a panoramic view of South Jakarta is a nice change.
As I dug into my vegetable frittata, I was thinking that if I had work to do, I would just stay in the club with my laptop. The club offers tranquility in the midst of the urban hustle and bustle, and free flow light bites as well as drinks are available to keep us recharged.
For those who have time for leisure activities, a game of golf at Pondok Indah Golf Course is available if booking the Golf Package, while free entrance to the nearby Pondok Indah Waterpark comes with the Staycation package.
There is always Pondok Indah Mall to explore. Apparently, even for South Jakartans or anyone at all who knows this mall, a walk around this shopping and leisure center never loses its charm.
Following the mall excursion, what could be a better idea than getting pampered in the spa?
I tried the “Robust Sasak” massage, which is inspired by the West Nusa Tenggara tradition where the Sasak tribe hail from. It is as relaxing as any other Indonesian massage I am familiar with, i.e. Javanese, Balinese massage, but what I enjoyed the most was when I combined the treatment with a few minutes in the sauna, steam room and hot tub.
I had sore feet prior to the treatment, but as soon as I stepped into the warm wooden floor of the sauna, my feet and then my whole body started to relax. Sweating ensures that toxins are removed from the body, and a moment in the hot tub further prepares the body for massage.
Although optional, it is a really good idea to go through the sauna, steam room and hot tub prior to the spa treatment. There is also the cold shower with ice cubes for a more invigorating effect.
In less than a day, I became fond of the hotel. Monochromatic tones and minimalist style is very common in trendy boutique hotels these days, I surprisingly found the blue-green tone of the carpet in my room to be relaxing yet stimulating at the same time, and the typical, usual hotel room feels user-friendly.
My admiration of the hotel grew the next day when we explored the function halls and meeting rooms. The grand ballroom has a staggering capacity of 3,500 people for reception layout, and it is equipped with a space nestled above — dubbed the Sky Box — where VIP guests can privately dine and socialize with a view.
Sky Box is an exclusive space nestled above the Grand Ballroom of InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah (ICJPI/File)
Apart from the large ballroom, there are meeting rooms with various designs that have plenty of natural light. One called the Studios, for example, has a Living Room area that gives the feeling of an executive club. Meanwhile, Vineyard could be the venue for an intimate culinary event such as a private wine tasting, and Chef's Table which is adjacent to the banquet kitchen makes an ideal tasting room for wedding clientele.