Firstly, please note: the map for this place on TripAdvisor and a lot of the main booking sites is wrong. The hotel is actually about 100m west of where the map shows, on the corner of Jl. Riau. Also, do not expect Jakarta taxi drivers to have a clue where Jl Lombok is, so ensure you have a decent map with you, so you can direct them to the hotel. If you need a nearby landmark to start the taxi driver off, the well-known Pullman Hotel is only a couple of minute's away from Menteng House.
Now, onto the review:
There's a lot this place does right, but do they let themselves down in a one crucial area.
- A good location, within easy walking distance to the main sights (Monas, the National Museum – which is wonderful if you're at all interested in ethnography and local culture), a train station (so convenient for moving on to places like Bogor), and close to 2 large shopping malls.
- It's also a quiet street (for Jakarta), which means there aren't many motorbikes going by after 11pm, so you're more likely to be able to sleep through the night. Although the call to prayer is audible in the hotel – like it commonly is in Muslim countries – it's not loud enough to wake you from a deep sleep.
- The hotel rooms are well appointed for a budget hotel – all rooms ensuite with toiletries, and including a small fridge, bottled water (both small bottles in the room, and a large bottled water dispenser on the landing), kettle and tea and coffee making facilities, TV with good selection of cable channels (HBO, Fox Movies, sports channels, cartoon channels, CNN, BBC World News, etc.).
- Free wifi in all rooms, with routers on each floor, so all rooms can pick up a signal (although I had problems getting a signal on my floor - I think the router might have needed to be reset, and as I don't speak Bahasa, it was difficult to explain a technical concept to the staff on the front desk).
- The rooms aren't a bad size, either. I was in a single room, and it had more than enough space to move around.
- The staff are really nice – very welcoming, offering helpful advice, making sure I was happy.
- Daily maid service (again, not something you always get in budget hotels).
- The A/C worked well, and cooled the room down nicely.
- Good price - quite cheap for Jakarta.
The so-so but rather expected in a budget hotel:
- Like many buildings in this part of the world, the floors are all tile, and it makes the hallways a bit echo-ey. If the other guests are insensitive (stomp up and down the stairs, talking loudly and slamming their doors), you will hear it loudly. That's not really the hotel's fault, though.
- I found the bed rather hard for my tastes, but the bed was also made up with a duvet, which I really didn't need in that climate, so I folded the duvet and laid it on top of the mattress as padding, and that made the bed noticeably more comfortable.
- The main negative thing I found was the housekeeping was fairly lax. My room, when I first arrived, was not very clean. There linen was clean, I think, although badly stained which is always a bit unsettling. But there were hairs on the floor. Most damning, the toilet was obviously not clean (there was dried brown liquid spattering the seat and bowl – it looked to me like someone had thrown away the dregs of a cup of coffee or tea into the toilet, missed the bowl with half of it, and then the toilet hadn't been cleaned afterwards). I shouldn't have to grab my handy-pack of alcohol cleaning wipes and reclean a hotel toilet seat myself before I'm willing to sit on it.
- The rooms overall had a slight feeling of grubbiness – lots of marks on the walls, badly discoloured grout, etc. The general feeling I got from the room was that the whole thing needed a really, really good scrubbing – as if it had only ever received basic or perfunctory cleaning, and no one had ever deep-cleaned it, so over time things had gotten a bit shabby. Which is a shame, as there are so many other things the hotel does really well. If they just upped their cleaning game, I'd give this place a glowing review.