Jakarta may not have the grand spanking concentrated skylines of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok of Singapore, but this does not mean the Big Durian has a lack of sky high watering holes. These are my three picks in the city centre, which, personally, has the best views of the Indonesian capital.
The Bar, Altitude at The Plaza
Located on the mezzanine floor of Altitude, a collection of restaurants spread over three floors, this quiet spot feels more at home in London or New York, with its dark wood and leather trimming.
With its stunning overhang above the restaurant, intimate atmosphere and private member’s lounge feel, you could easily imagine James Bond sipping his martini while planning his next rappel down the skyscraper.
The cocktail selection is decent, though I would personally opt for the wine or liquor on hand. The view, though, is second to none. Without any supporting structure or safety barriers, the view looking south towards the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout and onwards along the Sudirman skyscraper cluster makes the effort worth it.
While not as popular as the other two in my list, this personally takes top billing from me.
View: Southwards, overlooking the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout and the central business districts (yes, plural) of Jakarta. Unobstructed by any supporting structures, safety recesses or buildings.
Drinks: decent selection of drinks, reasonably priced.
Price Point: re above. Reasonable. IDR 110k++/drink
Feel: come by in the afternoon onwards. It does get crowded and busy from 7pm onwards.
Address: The Plaza, 46th Floor, Jl Mh Thamrin Kav 28 – 30, Jakarta 10350
(Tel: +62 021 2992 2448)
Cloud Lounge and Dining, The Plaza
Located just above Altitude, this rooftop bar has a nice terrace and outdoor bar that has a very similar view to Altitude, looking south towards the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout and Sudirman beyond.
The view down towards the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout may not be as stunning as The Bar at The Altitude, thanks to the structure of the rooftop and the set-back at the building’s crown, but it is still a sight to behold, and has a wider view in comparison.
Drinks are stiff, with my vodka martini very well made. The layout on the terrace may be a little awkward with the seating, but the view makes up for it
The bar opens from 5pm, and it does get crowded pretty quickly at opening hours. Stay to watch the sun set in the west, as the bartender quite literally sets the bar on fire, and not for a flaming Lamborghini.
The terrace has a covered area just in case it rains, and the men’s room is truly interesting. Sorry, ladies, but I doubt you can come in to the men’s room for the urinal with a view.
View: 180* view of south and southwest Jakarta, and perfectly sited to watch the sun set. The view may be slightly obstructed by the terrace’s set-back, but the wide angle of the Jakarta skyline make up for it.
Drinks: Good cocktail selection, including chocolate and coffee martinis. Pretty stiff drinks.
Price Point: For the view, they could charge a premium, but drinks are reasonably priced at the IDR 110k point.
Feel: This is a somewhat popular place, for both locals and visitors. The feeling is relaxed, and you can come in shorts (at least for sunset. It might be different after sunset).
Address: The Plaza, 49th Floor, Jl Mh Thamrin Kav 28 – 30, Jakarta 10350
(Tel: +62 21 2992 2450)
Go to Altitude at Level 46 and change lifts to Level 49. The Plaza, at Plaza Indonesia
Skye Lounge, Jakarta
This particular perch is definitely the highest in Jakarta, and is part of a bar and dining area of Level 56, Menara BCA. The outdoor terrace, however, feels smaller than Cloud Lounge, but it has a pool: the highest rooftop pool in Jakarta. Not sure if you can or if you want to swim in it: it is more a plunge pool than anything.
The bar has unique sunken seating areas, and cool lounge vibes. However, the view is both obstructed by a rooftop garden, set-backs and not towards the edge due to the pool. Drinks though are decent.
Overlooking the south of Jakarta, the view is good, but not as stunning as Cloud Lounge or the Bar at Altitude. However, I suspect the better view is at the dining room that looks north towards the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout.
View: Views towards the south skyline of Jakarta. Good view but not as iconic as the view from Cloud Lounge or The Altitude.
Drinks: Good cocktail selection, including interesting champagne cocktails.
Price Point: Reasonable by Urban Asia-Pacific standards. IDR 100k++/drink. There is a minimum ‘lounge credit’ of IDR 200k, payable upon entry, which can be used to purchase drinks.
Feel: Very dressed down and casual in the daytime. Relaxed atmosphere with chilled music just makes you want to do absolutely nothing but relax.
Address: BCA Tower, Level 56, Jl MH Thamrin No 1, Jakarta 10350
(Tel: +62 21 2358 6996)
What is my criteria?
-View: do I get a unique insight to the city? And is the view majorly obstructed?
-Drinks Selection: Beer? Wine? Cocktails? Variety helps with the view.
-Price Point: Rooftop bars are known to charge a premium, but is it reasonable?
-Feel: Now this is hard to quantify, but a fantastic view can be spoiled by that intangible thing called ‘feelings’
Jason is a world traveller and avid seeker of high perches, on a mission to capture the unique experiences that makes destinations iconic.