Sat, 09 Dec 2000

Resort hotels booked up for long holiday

JAKARTA (JP): Many hotels and cottages in popular resorts in and around Jakarta say they are fully booked for the duration of the coming holiday season.

Many affluent Jakartans not spending the holidays in their hometowns or abroad will be heading either for Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands) off Jakarta, the beaches of Ancol in North Jakarta or Carita west of Jakarta, or for the cooler climate of Puncak south of Jakarta.

There are precious few rooms left in any of these four resort areas from Christmas until after the New Year.

Luxury hotels in Jakarta also are cashing in on the holiday season, offering special New Year packages. While they still have rooms available for Christmas, most have reported that all of their rooms are already spoken for on New Year's Eve.

This year, the holiday will be celebrated by both Muslims and Christians because the Muslim holiday of Idul Fitri, marking the end of the Ramadhan fasting month, falls on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28.

About a third of Jakarta's 11 million residents usually spend Idul Fitri in their hometowns. Some of those who stay behind will hit the islands, beaches or hills.

Sepa Island Resort in Pulau Seribu said all its rooms were booked from Dec. 25 to Jan. 2.

"Many customers are on the waiting list," the head of marketing, Herryanto, told The Jakarta Post.

Even with the heavy demand, Sepa resisted increasing its room rates. But there will be an extra charge of Rp 100,000 per person for the Christmas and Idul Fitri packages, and Rp 200,000 for the New Year package, he said.

Business is even better at the nearby Pantara Island Resort, with all of the rooms booked from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3.

At Pulau Ayer Resort, also in Pulau Seribu, where there are no more vacant rooms for between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2, as many as 80 percent of the customers already have paid for their reserved rooms.

"We charge the usual weekend rate for Christmas and Idul Fitri. For New Year's Eve, there is a 50 percent surcharge on room rates," executive manager Jonny Iteh said.

The situation is not much different in the resort hotels along Carita beach in Anyer, some two hours drive from Jakarta if the traffic situation is normal.

At Sol Elite Marbella Resort all the rooms are booked between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, and this after a 20 percent increase in prices, director of sales and marketing A. Ferdy said.

Yani Heryani of Mutiara Carita Cottage said it was difficult to find vacant rooms for the period between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. She said some rooms were available from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25.

Tanjung Lesung Beach Resort, south of Carita beach, still has plenty of rooms for New Year's Eve, but not for the duration of the Christmas and Idul Fitri holidays.

In Puncak, many hotels offering bungalows say they are already fully booked for the holiday period.

Lembah Bukit Raya Hotel in Cipanas has no more rooms available for between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2, even after it put up its rates by 15 percent, Lilik, a member of the marketing staff, said.

Green Hill Resort raised its rates by 10 percent and is still booked for the holidays, marketing manager Dadang Suherman said.

At Indo Alam Hotel, all the rooms are booked from Dec. 27 until after the New Year.

Many Jakartans who want to get away but dread the holiday traffic jams will head for Ancol, where the three major hotels there are reporting brisk business.

Horison Hotel is fully booked for between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2, while Putri Duyung Cottages has no vacancies from Dec. 26 to Jan.1.

Raddin Ancol Jakarta says it still has vacancies for the Christmas and Idul Fitri holidays, but not for New Year's Eve.

Five and four-star hotels in the capital also are vying for the holiday business.

Many families will be left without their domestic helpers, who will be joining the Idul Fitri exodus to their villages. Some of these families retreat to the comfort and care of luxury hotels.

Hotel Indonesia says its rooms are already fully booked for the year-end celebrations. Shangri-La Hotel, Borobudur Hotel and the Jakarta Hilton also expect to sell all their rooms with New Year's Eve dinner packages.

Henny Puspitasari, public relations manager at Sheraton Media Hotels, said that based on last year's experience, she expects the hotel to book all of its rooms from Dec. 23 until after the New Year. (04)