INDONESIA - Affordable design was not until recently a very popular term in the hospitality industry.
Hundreds of affordable boutique hotels have been established throughout the year, increasing the availability and competition.
The good thing is that their prices are competitive and the designs are becoming fancier. You can forget about the same old boring hotel room layouts. Many more features have been added, amenities have been improved and connectivity has been advanced.
Here are The Jakarta Post Travel's picks for good design hotels that go well with your budget.
Artotel Jakarta Thamrin
Claiming to be an art-inspired, urban boutique hotel, the Artotel Jakarta Thamrin is certainly a sight to behold with its original contemporary design, both inside and outside the building. The eye-catching mural on the hotel's outdoor facade, for example, is just one of many unique artistic flourishes that will leave guests marveling while staying in its 107 studio rooms.
"We wanted to create a hotel that is like a work of art in itself by integrating the art into the substance of the building rather than simply hanging some paintings and displaying artworks," Artotel CEO Erastus Radjimin told The Jakarta Post Travel during the hotel's soft launch last month.
Six young Indonesian artists collaborated to paint the signature murals on the hotel's six floors. "This was my first time drawing on a hotel's walls and I enjoyed the challenge," said Wisnu Auri, one of the artists, who resides in Yogyakarta.
"I chose a landscape and living in harmony as my concept. It took me about nine days to finish the artwork for the whole of the fifth floor's 22 rooms and its elevator area using markers," Wisnu added.
Until the end of October, the Artotel is offering a promo with room rates starting from Rp 698,000 (US$58). Thereafter, they will rise to Rp 888,000.
Location: Jl. Sunda No. 3, Central Jakarta
Named after the hotel's owner, Tanah Abang native Ruben Kosenda, this 60-room property combines Betawi culture with a splash of humour.
The Kosenda's highlights include a striking eight-story feature wall made entirely from solid teak offcuts in the centre of the hotel, artwork through the corridors that presents glimpses of the city's past, and a humorous mural by a local artist that depicts life in present-day Jakarta, which can be viewed through towering windows situated on the building's lower floors.
"We wanted to highlight the local culture in our properties. This is our first hotel and we plan to build a series of Kosenda hotels in other cities such as Yogyakarta and Surakarta [Solo] and also on Bali," operations manager Rury Ilham told The Jakarta Post Travel last month. The hotel's recent soft opening took place on June 22 and plans are afoot for a grand launch on Sept. 28. Currently, the Kosenda's foreign guests - mostly businesspeople - account for 60 per cent of the hotel's overall occupancy.
The Kosenda Hotel's most popular room is the Petita. Starting at Rp 1.1 million, the 16-square-meter room offers an iPod dock, four bottles of distilled water, Khiel-branded products, free in-room Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, hand-crafted kimonos and batik sandals. For women traveling alone, the Kosenda provide a ladies-only floor with six rooms that offer more privacy as well as feminine products and amenities.
The Kosenda's lounges, Tick Tock and Awan, offer guests some cozy spaces in which to refresh and relax. A Tick Tock lounge is located on every other floor, while the Awan Lounge, which will open at the same time as the grand launch, is situated on the hotel's rooftop on the ninth floor.
Location: Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim No. 127, Central Jakarta
Mercure Jakarta Simatupang Hotel
Until recently, South Jakarta's growing business district, which stretches along Jl. TB Simatupang all the way to Pondok Indah and Fatmawati, only had a few international-brand hotels to accommodate both business and leisure travelers' needs.
But now the Mercure Jakarta Simatupang Hotel offers trendy, feature-full, mid-scale accommodation in the city's south. It may not have the most strategic location but it is close to executive residential areas and the city's outer ring road.
The establishment features modern and minimalistic interior design with a touch of urban art.
Collaborating with Yogyakarta-based street artist Miko, who is more commonly known by his nickname Tuyuloveme, the Mercure highlights the capital's urban culture and landmarks through murals painted on its outside walls and on the interior of its Graffiti restaurant.
"This hotel has a very particular design. We wanted to incorporate local culture with international hospitality standards," the hotel's general manager, Gilles Tressens, stated in a press release. Its 232 modern rooms are also decorated with murals above the bed heads. Each mural tells a story about life in the Big Durian, from street hawkers to the never-ending traffic jams.
Murals depicting the National Monument (Monas) can also be found inside each of the hotel's bathrooms.
"We want to give our guests, many of whom are only in Jakarta for a few days, an opportunity to feel the vibe of the city just by staying in our hotel," Gilles added.
Its rooftop S.L.A.M. lounge and bar offers visitors an amazing view over the city.
Room rates start from Rp 666,000 per night.
Location: Jl. RA Kartini No. 18, Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta
House Indonesia, Bandung
The result of a restored Art Deco house overlooking Jl. Siliwangi in the Dago area of Bandung, this hotel wants to be a second home for its guests.
The concept is to provide travelers with delightful rooms to stay in as well as personal services in this family-run hotel, where the host prioritizes each guest's comfort.
The hotel, which was opened in June, is located at Jl. Sangkuriang No.1.
House Indonesia has three types of rooms: Siliwangi, Sangkuriang and Family Rooms, while the property is equipped with an infinity pool and terrace cafe overlooking the lush green expanses of Babakan Siliwangi.
Room rates start from Rp 890,000.
Location: Jl. Sangkuriang No.1, Bandung
100 Sunset Boutique Hotel, Bali
Archipelago International may already have an impressive line of budget hotels with their Fave and Neo brands but, with the new 100 Sunset Boutique Hotel, it is taking affordable design to a new level.
As a boutique hotel, 100 Sunset's design is unique and completely unlike the uniformed style of the Fave and Neo hotels. It also makes itself distinct by providing the comfort of a three-star hotel.
That extra star does not mean that the 100 Sunset is significantly pricier than the other budget hotels. As of November, for instance, the lowest deal at a Fave hotel was Rp 241,200, while the 100 Sunset offered rooms starting from Rp 313,200.
With such low prices, there is no excuse not to stay at this exquisitely built hotel, which also has an appealing, asymmetrical architectural design.
Twenty-eight elegantly designed rooms are available at the 100 Sunset Boutique Hotel, while a further 101 deck rooms are available at the complex next door, called the 100 Sunset 2.
Location: Jl. Sunset Road, Kuta, Badung, Bali