sojourneys


The Grand Hyatt Jakarta
October 15, 2011, 7:54 am
Filed under: hotels, Hyatt, Indonesia | Tags: , ,

There are a few qualities about the Grand Hyatt Jakarta that positions it ahead of the surfeit of luxury properties in Jakarta.

To me, the most important is that it is integrated with Plaza Indonesia, a gargantuan shopping mall that has a basement grocery store, bakeries, as well as an array of restaurants. Yes, it has it has Bally, Givenchy, Armani–the temples of consumption–but direct access to the more practical amenities are crucial for safety reasons in case one needs a quick dash to the grocery store grab for some daily essential or to a bakery for quick sustenance.
 

 

 
The other strength of the Grand Hyatt Jakarta is its fitness center. It has one of the best, most comprehensive, and wonderfully spacious hotel gyms I’ve come across yet. The gym–called Club Olympus–is open to non-guest members, but I’ve never seen it crowded. The pool, likewise, is huge, with swimming lanes as well as a play area for children.

 

 

 

 

I’ve also had the opportunity to taste the fares at all-day dining Grand Cafe, and the food is above average.

The rooms are spacious, featuring a neutral, clean-lined decor that cannot possibly offend (although one might on the other hand say they lack character). Room service is diligent and attentive, and generally, for a large all-rounder hotel that aims to cater to business as well as leisure travelers, the Grand Hyatt Jakarta does a creditable job.



The Holiday Inn Downtown Wichita
October 8, 2011, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Holiday Inn, hotels | Tags: ,

The Holiday Inn Downtown Wichita is in a rather sorry state.  While certainly serviceable and located in a convenient pat of central Wichita, the age of the hotel–and the dated interiors–are embarrassingly obvious.  The refurbishment of the Holiday Inn properties in the U.S. and around the world over the past couple of years must have missed this property by.

The carpets are stained and strained, and the rooms are the smallest I’ve seen among U.S. hotels.  The door, when opened, misses the edge of the bed by mere inches.  And this is in Kansas, where there is a surfeit of land.  Even the Holiday Inn Los Angeles Airport feature larger rooms.

The air-conditioning unit works in fits, and does a rather poor job of cooling the miniscule room.  Even the toiletries, featuring a coconut-lime-verbena concoction from Bath & Body Works smell a little too much like a pina colada mixed by an over-enthusiastic bartender.

That aside, there were some obvious repairs that need to be done, such as the towel bar that is falling off the wall.  The choice to locate the electric breakers in the bathroom of all places was also a most curious choice, not to mention unsightly and potentially a fire hazard.

The sorry state of affairs at the Holiday Inn Downtown Wichita is a real pity, for I’ve had pleasant experiences at other Holiday Inn properties such as at the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport, Holiday Inn Columbus-Hillard, and the Holiday Inn Kansas City Airport in recent years.