In January 2023, I checked into the Deluxe Cityscape room at The Langham, Jakarta. Set within a 65-storey skyscraper within the prestigious District 8 mixed development at Jakarta’s SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District), the 223-room hotel is the ultra-luxury brand’s first property in Southeast Asia. Nearby shopping and dining destinations include ASHTA, Pacific Place Jakarta and Grand Indonesia.
For the uninitiated, The Langham Hotels and Resorts is the flagship brand from Langham Hospitality Group, which is headquartered in Hong Kong. The oldest hotel in its portfolio, The Langham, London, was launched in 1865 as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’ and has the unique distinction of being the first hotel to serve afternoon tea in 1860s London.
Notable nearby hotels include Alila SCBD Jakarta and The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): British-tinged ultra-luxury with superlative service in the heart of Jakarta.
Must Dos: Enjoy meals at the Langham Club and Tom’s by Tom Aikens, soak in the heated indoor infinity pool, go for a treatment at Chuan Spa.
THE LANGHAM, JAKARTA
Designed by Smallwood Reynolds Stewart Stewart (who also designed the nearby The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place), the ultra-luxury hotel is an intriguing combination of glamorous opulence and playful sass. As soon as guests pass the brand’s iconic pink taxi parked at the driveway and make their way into the arrival hall, they are greeted by “Haven”, a showstopping champagne-coloured chandelier depicting 3,000 suspended fluttering butterflies, a creation by Czech designers Lasvit famed for their bespoke light installations. Beyond the chandelier lies a giant pink teddy bear and pink phone booth, Langham brand statement pieces that add dashes of quirky charm amidst the otherwise austere white marble proceedings. An express elevator connects you to the lofty Sky Lobby on the 62nd level, which plays it almost Greek palatial with its soaring ceiling, art deco style, Calacatta Vagli marble and ornate reception counters. Various art pieces around the property from Indonesian artists such as John Martono and Hanafi add to the hotel’s overall sense of grandeur.
In terms of wellness, the 6th floor offers a swimming pool and an expansive garden lawn space as well as Chuan Spa which offers treatments inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophies. Spa guests are invited to complete a questionnaire about their lifestyle habits, and their therapist would use their responses to help identify their respective elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). My element was identified as Wood, an element associated with the colour green, the season of spring and sour flavours, and my element-specific massage oil was a calming blend of jojoba oil, bergamot, neroli, ylang ylang, juniper and bitter orange. Prior to my treatment, my therapist conducted a few breathing exercises with me, and I would forever remember this as the first ever spa treatment I had where my meaty cheeks were pinched as part of a treatment which focused on acupressure points along the body’s meridian system.
In addition, the 63rd level houses a jacuzzi and 16-metre heated indoor pool – the highest infinity pool in the city – as well as a Health Club fitted with Technogym equipment.
Offering panoramic views of the Jakarta landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows, the 45sqm Deluxe Cityscape room felt like a luxurious residence with its white panelled walls, oak herringbone floors, plush armchairs, faux fireplace and objets d’art. While many hotels have their own branded beds, there was something special about the Langham Blissful Bed and the accompanying bedding which facilitated an excellent night’s sleep. The minibar was stocked with an assortment of beverages, with the Veuve Du Vernay Rose Brut being the headliner item.
Decked in Calacatta marble with gold accents, the bathroom was furnished with double vanities, a free-standing oval deep-soaking bathtub as well as rainfall shower facilities. The signature Langham house-branded bathroom products were dispensed via big pump bottles.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by chocolates as well as a bottle of complimentary wine in my room. Throughout my stay, more surprises and complimentary gifts were to come my way, including a surprising serving of Negroni prepared specifically using Roku gin (and a cute hand-drawn note) courtesy of the staff from The Langham Club who noted my gin preferences from prior interactions.
More on The Langham Club in a later section.
Breakfast is served at Tom’s by Tom Aikens. Launched in partnership with the titular English Michelin-starred celebrity chef (who also recently launched The Jade Room at The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon), the double-storey restaurant on the 62nd level serves modern British and European specialties. Outfitted by AvroKO (who also designed restaurants at Rosewood Bangkok, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore and Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River), the sophisticated space sports deep blue walls and plush leather banquettes for an elegant dining experience.
The breakfast selection is fairly extensive. A small buffet offers local dishes such as Tahu Belado (spicy stir fry fried tofu); Daging Serundeng (fried beef with spicy sauteed grated coconut); Bubur Ayam (chicken congee) as well as a dedicated Ayam Sate (chicken satay) station. Commendably, the buffet gives you access to no less than nine different types of sambals – Sambal Soto, Sambal Mbe, Sambal Colo Colo, Sambal Kacang, Sambai Ijo, Sambal Matah, Sambal Terasi, Sambal Kecombrang and Sambal Kemangi.
In addition, guests are able to order from an ala carte menu comprising dishes such as The Langham Nasi Goreng (nasi goreng ikan bilis, beef rendang, prawn crackers, sunny side up egg, acar); Soto Ayam (vermicelli, boiled egg, turmeric broth); Mie Goreng (Hong Kong noodles, Julienne vegetables, egg, shredded chicken, prawn crackers); and Rawon (blacknut broth, beef shank, beansprouts).
From the lunch/dinner menu, the Hand Dived Spiced Scallops (pickled and curried cauliflower, curry vinaigrette) and Tuna Salmon Avocado Tartare (lemon aioli, baguette crisp) were suitably competent starters. In terms of entrees, the Tea Smoked Bass (lapsang tea, mango, peanuts) teased with its wisps of lapsang earthiness, but the Tom’s Fish and Chips (triple cooked chips, crushed peas, lemon) proved to be too thick-skinned for my fancy. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the sensational Japanese Wagyu Kagoshima A5 Striploin 250g, which was dreamily buttery and seductively smoky all at once. Until rooftop bar Artesian (the Jakarta offshoot of the famous bar at The Langham, London) eventually opens, Tom’s by Tom Aikens would be the preferred destination of choice for tipples – they have a commendably extensive selection of spirits stocked, and I was spoilt for choice as to which gin I wanted in my Negroni.
Located on the ground level, the Alice In Wonderland-inspired French brasserie and patisserie ALICE is the hotel’s afternoon tea destination, famed for their decadent afternoon tea sets paired with champagne. During my stay, I tried the Sparkling Crystal Collection Afternoon Tea, with the Onyx Cake (sesame praline and flores vanilla creme, lemon crunch); Blue Zircon Cake (coconut whipped ganache, exotic jelly and matcha crunch); Ruby Baklava (layered dessert, chopped pistachio, homemade valrhona chocolate spread); Lobster Cocktail (poached lobster, cocktail sauce, fuji apple, salmon roe in crispy shell); and Tartare Au Boeuf (classic marinated beef tartate, capers, aruga caviar, 70 c egg yolk, truffle aioli on warm brioche) being highlights from the sweet and savoury tiers. Cocktails here are more refreshing and floral than spirit-forward, crystal-cut glass affairs – think Chrysanthemum G&T, Alice Coffee Martini and Hibiscus Rose Highball.
Rounding up the list of hotel dining concepts would be 61F elegant Cantonese restaurant T’ang Court (which follows the three Michelin-star T’ang Court at The Langham, Hong Kong) and Japanese restaurant Morimoto, which will be helmed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto from New York.
THE LANGHAM CLUB
Situated on the 59th floor, The Langham Club is a luxurious sanctuary which offers private arrival and departure facilities as well as a variety of seating arrangements to suit your different needs, from dining tables near the buffet line to sofa seating for intimate tête-à-têtes and even a reading library for quiet moments with books and coffee. The club lounge offers multiple food presentations, including breakfast and evening cocktails.
Aside from the standard cold cuts, cheeses, pastries and fruits, the breakfast buffet spread at The Langham Club comprises local specialties such as Nasi Goreng; Sambal Krecek (traditional Javanese cattle skin spicy stew dish); Semur Tahu Telor (Braised Tofu & Egg Stew); Rendang Daging (beef rendang) and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken). In addition, guests can order from the a la carte menu which includes Eggs Benedict; Avocado Toast; Bubur Ayam Jakarta (shredded chicken, cakwe, quail egg skewer, chicken broth, soya, sambal, melinjo crackers, toasted peanuts) and Brioche French Toast (caramelised bananas, almond crumble, salted caramel, coffee cream).
Evening cocktails and canapes is a more international affair with buffet offerings such as Roasted Potato Wedges, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Chicken Cacciatore, Tuna Creamy Pesto and Black Pepper Beef, as well as a curation of wines (the sparkling option is De Bortoli Jean Pierre Brut) and cocktails such as Negroni, Dark and Stormy, Whisky Sour, Tom Collins along with the signature Sunset Blush (gin, cointreau, angostura bitters, lemon juice, strawberry syrup).
Beyond these food presentations, an all-day menu is available for guests comprising dishes such as Mediterranean Minestrone, Croque Madame, Italian Meatballs and Aglio Olio.
What was so remarkable about my Langham Club experience was how ready the club was willing to offer off-menu dishes based on my preferences. Aside from the already fairly extensive breakfast offerings, I was offered daily specials such as Sate Ayam and Bakso (Indonesian meatballs) which tasted fairly different from those served at Tom’s by Tom Aikens. Furthermore, the team was always open to dish customisation – for instance, when I requested for my Aglio Olio to have some form of protein, the club offered to add additional servings of smoked salmon.
To top it off, The Langham Club team went the extra mile to ensure I felt pampered and important throughout my stay. From accommodating my various guest requests to leaving little customised surprises in my room during turndown service, and even sharing my dining preferences with the team at Tom’s by Tom Aikens prior to my dinner, I was always made to feel like a VIP.
There are only a handful of hotels in the Asia-Pacific whose club service have left an indelible impression, Rosewood Hong Kong and The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore being two notable mentions. The Langham, Jakarta has joined that list.
Aside from looking absolutely gorgeous and offering wonderfully comfortable rooms as well as a stellar F&B programme, the ultra-luxury property boasts one of the best club lounges I have ever experienced. Certainly one of the best hotels in Jakarta.
The Langham, Jakarta
District 8, SCBD, Lot 28,
Jakarta 12190, Indonesia