Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Enjoy the countdown at five-star hotels

Debbie A. Lubis Contributor Jakarta

Most people are aware of something they would like to change about themselves, and new year's resolutions are considered to be an effective instrument for personal improvement. Some people like to go to a tranquil place to cherish the New Year's countdown solemnly. Others like to hang out with their friends around town or attend a lively party. But before committing to your resolution, remember you have one last chance to live-it-up.

For the upcoming New Year's Eve, star-rated hotels in Jakarta have prepared a variety of entertainment packages for those who like to spend the last night of the year with their partner, friends or family. Such packages usually comprise of live music, a gala dinner, door prizes, games, dancing, thematic costumes and a balloon drop.

Crowne Plaza Jakarta plans to transform its lobby into the "Ultimate Party Venue" and guests are expected to arrive in black and white dress. With the entrance ticket of Rp 100,000 (about US$12), guests will be entertained by non-stop music played by local band D'SOTA until countdown time.

"Black and white are the 'eternity' colors. So we hope the happiness brought by the festive event will be enduring. The guests will be included in a lucky draw after the balloon drop at midnight," said Tati Haryo, marketing services manager of Crowne Plaza Jakarta. The lucky winners will get a free weekend at the hotel or accommodation at Bali International.

The hotel also offers special packages at its food and beverages venues. Each of the first 100 guests who reserve New Year's Eve Package Rooms will receive two complimentary entry tickets to RETRO night club on the lobby level. The entrance ticket for the pub is worth Rp 150,000.

Meanwhile, Hotel Borobudur Jakarta offers special live entertainment from the Plug & Play Band and an extravagant buffet at the Pendopo Lounge for Rp 300,000, including first drink (beer, juice or soft drink), starting from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The hotel's other restaurants such as Bruschetta Italian Restaurant, Miyama Japanese Restaurant, Bogor Cafe and Singosari Poolside Restaurant also offer special prices for guests during New Year's Eve.

"To make the evening relaxing for parents there will be lots of children's activities in the lobby, such as face painting, (temporary) henna-tattoo application, a fortune teller and competitions with attractive prizes," said Sarine Rajagukguk, the hotel's public relations officer.

In addition, the hotel will provide special packages for those who want to stay and enjoy a special dinner at the hotel while counting down the hours, minutes (and finally!) seconds until midnight.

Guests can enjoy the luxury of the hotel's lavish rooms at a special price. Staying in a Deluxe Room is priced at Rp 1.6 million (for two persons) or Rp 1.2 million (per person) per night. This package include an American buffet breakfast at Bogor Cafe and a gala dinner at Miyama, Pendopo or Singosari Poolside restaurant.

European classical opera will infuse the atmosphere of Le Meridien Hotel with elegance and sophistication. With a door charge of Rp 150,000, the lobby party will be the center of the hotel's festivities. There will be a door-prize, balloon-drop at midnight and live music from the Arnesia Band, popular for playing R & B and also pop music.

"We provide the guests with masks, but we ask that they wear black attire or European-style dress. Different masks will be given to the patrons of each restaurant, cafe or bar. The lobby party will also be organized with the same theme in mind. In fact, we are so enthusiastic about our concept that even our employees will abide by the dress-code," Anita H. Ilcken, the hotel's public relations manager said.

La Brasserie cafe and Lemon Grass restaurant will embrace the theme of 'Phantom of the Opera' for their gala dinner buffets. Starting from 7.00 p.m., guests can enjoy live entertainment, from strolling musicians to the Arnesia Band. The package is worth Rp 350,000 for adults and Rp 175,000 for children. For their special New Year's brunch buffet, La Brasserie will provide a lavish international menu and strolling musicians, the menu will cost Rp 135,000 for adults and just Rp 67,500 for children.

With the same price (and starting at the same time), adults and children can also enjoy a festive belly dancer and live Arabian music at Al Nafoura Lebanese Restaurant. The guests will be provided with Egyptian masks while enjoying Aida' Middle Eastern gala dinner buffet.

With an entrance fee of Rp 250,000, the guests of Tiga Puluh Bar can enjoy the entertainment provided by Canadian band Starband and join in the 'Cats' Party with cat masks provided for party-goers. They can also enjoy the Oyster and Champagne Bar (not included with entrance fee).

In addition, the guests of JW Marriott Hotel can soak in the cruise-ship atmosphere in the hotel's lounge. Under the theme of "Elegant Cruise", guests will be provided with a cocktail buffet, photo memento, and top 40's tunes from local band Popo & Friends, starting from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The package, which is worth Rp 300,000 also includes a balloon-drop during the midnight countdown.

"There will be waiters, greeters, and the captain of the "ship" wearing colorful cruise uniforms and hats," said Mellani Solagratia, public relations manager of JW Marriott Hotel.

Sailendra restaurant will have a "Fun Cruise" theme, Pearl restaurant will have a "Cultural Cruise" theme, Asuka Japanese restaurant will have a "Romantic Cruise" theme, while Untitled Pub will have a "Party on Board".

With first drink charge Rp 250,000, guests of the pub will enjoy a special cocktail buffet, entertainment by multinational band Raw Energy, and a "sexy" dance performance with male and female dancers.

"There will be also special prize for the guest with the sexiest dress," Mellani said.

Dewi Damayanti, assistant public relations manager of Grand Hyatt Jakarta said that the hotel would present Platinum Horns and The Trio of Leaping Loonies from Australia at the Grand Lobby Party, starting from 9 p.m. during their New Year's Eve celebrations.

The hotel's pub, Burgundy will feature the Foreign Exchange trio from Cape Town, South Africa who will play the lively sounds of Jazz, Blues, and a selection of melodies.