Who is this Morrissey, you’d ask, when stepping into this hip lodging located in the area that borders Sudirman, Thamrin, Kuningan and Menteng? Hard to say, but what demands your attention is the hotel’s uniqueness that seeks definition through a persona, personality and disposition rather than a description of the hotel.
Words: R. Rajendra
This hotel encapsulates the characteristics of ‘Morrissey’ – a savvy young man, in his late 20s, intelligent, urban, stylish and worldly but never pretentious or snooty. You’d take to him immediately. He is intelligent and well-read but never pedantic; fashionable but never faddish; the kind of person who enjoys good food and great company but is never fussy. All in all, you’d be eager to know him and enjoy his company. This, perhaps, also sums up the experience you’ll get at Morrissey – both the hotel and its persona.
What I truly liked about Morrissey was its pared down design concept that promulgates the minimalistic, unencumbered nuances of life. A white and grey palette in the rooms may sound austere but, quirky accents like a gleaming handbeaten copper tray on a table and a life-size figurine of a black dog at its foot conspired cleverly to eliminate the harsh while introducing the stylishly kitsch. You’ll find similar pairings elsewhere such as in the lobby where comfy armchairs under leafy trees paint a pastoral scene contrasting sharply with a stairway grilled up like a prison cell and accented with oversized velvet wingchairs, fit for both royal and drag queens!
The lodging options at this award-winning hotel are best described as a quaint amalgamation of traditional Indonesian and Dutch with a lashing of industrial chic. The 135 serviced apartments are categorised as Studio, Studio Luxe, City Luxe, The Loft and the Apartment, and all come with a small but complete kitchenette. My Loft unit, apart from helping me keep fit climbing the 18 dark, wood steps that led to my chambers, also had a guest WC on the lower level, with a small living area. Up in the bedroom, my initial reaction to the bathroom that was separated from the bed by a transparent glass wall was a prudish, Victorian gasp. The exposed vanity didn’t help either. But as the sexy vibe of the space started playing games with my imagination, the devilishly naughty layout seemed just so right. Look at it this way: Morrissey is a young man who enjoys life in a carefree manner. Sexy is in his blood. But if you are still not convinced and must be shielded by a 10 foot thick titanium wall before you loosen your braid or pull down your zipper, other rooms have ‘normal’ bathrooms.
Morrissey comprises two buildings, a four-storey and a nine-storey block. A hanging garden in the centre of the taller block creates a diversion to its streamlined façade while on the rooftop, a shaded lap pool provides an antidote to the Jakartan sun. A small jogging track around a little patch of greenery there might encourage you to work out and surprisingly, I observed, hotel guests did enjoy exercising on the lawn despite an adequately equipped gym nearby. The true pull, however, is the Resident’s Lounge, a welcoming space for you to kickback with a book or catch up on some work with the city sprawled out for your viewing pleasure. It even has a fully-equipped kitchen for guests to rustle up simple meals or entertain guests while enjoying views of the city or, the sexy bodies by the poolside. But if you think preparing a sandwich or opening a can of beer is the most dastardly thing to impose on a person on holiday, simply call the staff at Ocha & Bella on the ground floor to beam up some grub to you. Be warned: This outlet serves delicious Italian and Japanese nosh and is positioned facing the main street. Dining al fresco or grabbing a pre-dinner drink here is de rigueur, as you get to thumb your nose at all those poor sods on the street while you clink glasses and graze on fabulous food!
There is this other person at Morrissey: Someone even more accommodating and willing to go all the way to show you a good time. His name is Ed and he isn’t shy about his ‘services’. I was a little taken aback when Ed asked me if I wanted to taste the untold pleasures of the city. Off we went and Ed showed innocent ol’ me the Jakarta that even the locals are often not privy to. Before you start getting all hot and bothered, let me tell you that Ed is the resident three-wheeler that’s used to transport guests FOC to the foodie district of Sabang that’s just around the corner.
Other hotels have style or class, Morrissey has personality. Others welcome you to experience a concept, Morrissey invites you to become that very concept. How’s that for unique?
Address: KH Wahid Hasyim 70, Menteng, Jakarta 10340
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