There’s not a great deal to be said about the Meridien in Jakarta. There are a bevy of top notch 5-star hotels. Shangri-La, Ritz Carlton, etc… On top of that, they are all usually priced well below what another hotel in the chain might run per night. I would like to say that I gave the Ritz a miss because I was worried it would be bombed again, but in truth, even at a greatly reduced price, the Ritz was still way more than the Meridien, which came in around $100 USD / night.
Like I said, there isn’t much to say about the Meridien, it is a perfectly adequate hotel. The location is very central, the common areas are clean, bright and nice enough, perhaps a bit tacky. There’s a tiki bar in the lobby (the site of my first pint of Bintang…a rather decent beer) that harkens back to the Jakarta of old and on balance you get what you pay for, maybe a little bit extra.
The staff were all very helpful and the air conditioning was outstanding. It was horrifically humid when I was in Jakarta and this Aircon was tops, perhaps the strongest I have ever come across. Overall, for a quick stop in Jakarta and a bargain price, I was satisfied.
Pros: Good location, onsite bar and nightclub (didn’t visit the club), brilliant air conditioning, helpful staff, cheap.
Cons: Small rooms, no upgrades for SPG Gold, doesn’t feel as polished as other Merdien hotels.
Verdict: I would definitely return to this hotel. I didn’t spend that much time in the room anyway. The bed was comfortable, the aircon made the room very pleasant, the concierge recommended me a restaurant that I greatly enjoyed and he even assisted me with my ultimately futile quest for size 13 running shoes in Asia. Also, there is an ATM in the basement should you run low on cash.