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48 hours in ...Jakarta

/ Feb 01, 2013 6:50AM / Print / ()

48 hours in ...Jakarta

With a population of over 10 million, Indonesia's capital Jakarta is nicknamed the 'Big Durian'. Expect dramatic flavours from this big, busy mega-city, a combination of rich colonial roots and modern dynamism.

Sleep: Gleaming urban hipster Kemang Icon by Alila boutique hotel in Jakarta is a slinky shrine to urban luxury with just 12 themed suites. You'll love the sleek rooftop infinity pool, with partial glass-wall sides so you can watch bathers swim by from your white poolside lounger.

Shop: Pop downstairs and you'll find innovative lifestyle brands on the ground and first floors, as Alila shares premises with a boutique shopping mall. For antique curios, bric-a-brac and an amazing array of bags, head to famed shopping street Jalan Surabaya Menteng. Hone your bargaining skills while snapping up anything from old vintage cameras to typewriters and lamps.

Snack: You'll find culinary influences as diverse as Japan, Morocco, India and Europe in the Kemang quarter surrounding Alila, as well as Indo fare. Casa café offers modernist Fifties design and good coffee at Jalan Kemang Raya 8b for laid-back lazing. At number 10a, Koi Galeri Kafe is a creative furniture and art gallery where you can also snack or sip. If you're hankering after local specialities, the food court at upscale mall Plaza Senayan, at Jalan Asia Afrika 8, offers affordable grazing, as well as global coffee, tea and ice-cream. It's also opposite Senayan City mall for chic shopping, including Banana Republic, Burberry and TopShop.

See: For a bird's-eye view of the cityscape, pop up to the observation platform of Monas, the National Monument, which stands an impressive 137 marble-made metres above the ground.

Stroll: Wander the trendsetting local Kemang district near the hotel, home to a hive of art galleries, antique stores, book shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. Top tips include Edwin's Gallery at Jalan Kemang Raya 21 and Galeri Hadiprana, at number 30. Alternatively, take a morning stroll along Sunda Kelapa Harbour, the city's 16th-century port, where you'll find traditional sailing ships known as Makassar schooners, or phinisi.

Spa: Round off the day with a spa session at Harnn & Tharnn on the first floor at Plaza Senayan Arcadia, Jalan New Delhi 9. Indulge in one of their natural herbal treatments or a circulation-boosting hot stone massage.

Savour: The Edge restaurant, on Kemang Icon's rooftop, dishes up a tasty combination of Indonesian and international cuisine in an elegantly minimal space. The elevated tables by the transparent walls offer vistas of Kemang Raya's neighbourhood scenes below.

Sip: Sup cocktails while soaking up the rooftop views from the Edge's bar or cosy up in the exclusive Concierge Lounge. In the mood to head out? Award-winning Potato Head bar at Pacific Place Mall, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, sports quirky salvaged shutters, retro furniture and industrial lighting. There's a tempting cocktail menu, including forgotten classics and cutting-edge contemporary mixes, plus bistro fare, served both indoors and out in the stylish garden.

To book any of Mr & Mrs Smith's stylish boutique hotels visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 1300 896 627. Smith guests enjoy exclusive extras at all stays.

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