Despite its sheer size, over 900 rooms, The MULIA Hotel has maintained its leading position among luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital, rivalling major luxury chains such as Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental and five star hotels such as Kempinski, Hyatt and JW Marriott. Now in its 15th year of operation, The Mulia reflects the passion of its owners which have understood that a high luxury standard can only be achieved and maintained, in the long run, by constantly investing in its product and personel. Mulia’s achievement is even more impressive, considering the owners, the Mulia family are not experienced hoteliers, their main businesses
spreading over very different sectors such as food manufacturing, real estate etc.
The Mulia has undergone a major renovation in 2010 and management confirmed that every 8 months soft refurbishments are made, whether in terms of decor, furniture or technology. The F&B outlets have updated menus every two months.
Mulia’s representative at the airport welcomed me right after passport control, helping with luggage pick up and customs. The airport pick up and the chauffeur are the first impression a guest forms about the hotel. Theo had an impeccably elegant black suit (the uniform of the hotel) and spoke excellent English, making my journey seem even shorter. He kindly let me in on many interesting features about Jakarta and Indonesia in general and spoke very proudly of the hotel he worked for. The Mulia is situated within the affluent district of Senayan, 10 minutes drive from the centre of the city and 5 minutes from Senayan Plaza, one of Jakarta’s prominent shopping malls, with a wide selection of international luxury brands.
Check-in was swift and I was escorted to my room by a Guest Relations attendant. My room, on the 36th floor had great views of Jakarta – the city’s 18 hole golf course and the skyline of very modern buildings. With panel controlled lighting and air-conditioning, high speed wi-fi(complimentary) and a generously sized office desk, the room had all the essentials for a business guest. Design is classic, very plush and warm, instilling a residential feel. A large velvet couch complents the nice set up of the room. A generously sized marble bathroom features a bathtub and a separate walk in shower as well as a Toto fully equipped automatic vanity.
My only suggestions for improvement in the rooms are: the large plastic palm tree could be replaced even with a smaller but live plant and the quality of the bathroom amenities can be improved (natural or bio, instead of artificial ingredients). The king beds had great mattresses and top quality bed linen, providing for a great night sleep. The entire room looked fresh and extremely well kept.
I had breakfast in the Mulia Executive Lounge, on the 39th floor of the hotel – one of my favourite spots in the hotel. It is probably one of the most luxurious executive lounges I have seen in a business hotel – beautifully appointed furniture, with a contemporary luxurious twist. The breakfast selection is impressive and service is flawless. Despite the traffic, the lounge never seemed too busy. And the panoramic views of the city were the perfect start of a day.
The lobby is probably the most impressive of all luxury hotels in Jakarta, instilling a grand feel – with impressive high ceilings and an array of top quality marble beautifully polished. On the lower groundfloor of the hotel is the cake shop, a paradise for children and adults alike, with the most creative designs, from marzipan to chocolate – large crocs and other toys, all in large size as well as special occasion cakes. I found it funny that the management would put a ”no photography note” in the windows of the cake shop, to later find out the reason is that other competing hotels copy the designs.
The Mulia undoubtedly has the best choice of dining among all luxury hotels in Jakarta, my favourite being Table8, a pan Asian – French restaurant, with a stunning decor which ideally blends French classic elements with Asian influences, the result being a sumptuous ambiance, sophisticated, yet friendly and welcoming – of course thanks to the amazing staff. There is also Orient8, specializing in Asian food, especially Chinese, with three open kitchens. Again, the hotel has excelled in a contemporary design, mixing Western and old Chinese traditional influences. Needless to say, throughout all the venues, the very best of furniture and finishes have been used, including hand sewn embroidery, silk wallpaper, Italian crystal chandeliers etc. Il Mare is Mulia’s Italian restaurant, with a distinctly Northern Italian menu and focus on seafood and fish.
The restaurants and the bars are a major attraction not only for hotel guests but also for locals, making for a very nice mix. As a foreigner, one could hardly feel like in a hotel, but in the heart of the local community. The gym and Olympic size swimming pool are also frequented by outside guests, as members.
On my second day, I had the opportunity to visit some of the suites from the impressive suites collection of the hotel. The Mulia has the largest selection of luxury suites, not to mention themed suites. The first category of suites is the Royal Suite, a large Junior Suite at approximately 100 sqm, followed by themed suites, such as the Marquis and the Duke Suite, which is also the Presidential Suite of the hotel, at over 590 sqm. The Duke Suite features the largest bed I have ever seen, a sort of a triple king, with real fox bed spreads, Lalique crystals and hand made carpets. I have learned this is not only the largest luxury suite in Jakarta but it is also the favourite for state visits – Presidents and Royalty having stayed. The suite has its very own private massage room, library with study and a fully equipped kitchen.
Service throughout the entire hotel is genuine, warm and very welcoming – the only small issues I have had were at Front Office, where, if busy, staff tend to be rather robotic and slightly impersonal. The concierge have been extremely helpful and efficient throughout my entire stay, making swift arrangements for all my needs. In a hotel with 900 rooms, it was a huge performance for some of the staff to remember me by name.
After the success of The Mulia Jakarta, the Mulia family is preparing for the inauguration of its second hotel, this time in Bali, an ultra luxury resort hotel. Although official photos and details have yet to be released, the Mulia resort in Bali is said to be a small city in itself, with lush gardens and swimming pools. Knowing the passion of the owners for numerology, the inauguration will probably be on a 1st or 8th of a month, considered positive and lucky numbers…
Oliver Petcu in Jakarta
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