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Where to Party in Jakarta - Nightlife Areas + Hotels

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
If you are wondering where you can party in Jakarta, this review will guide you through all the most famous nightlife areas in the city. You can also read 10 Best Nightclubs in Jakarta and Where to Stay in Jakarta for more detailed information.

I've circled in blue two main areas: South Jakarta and North Jakarta. Each has its own characteristics:

• South Jakarta is the most modern part of the city, with plenty of skyscrapers, luxury malls and upmarket houses. Naturally, this is where you will find the most high-end nightclubs and bars in Jakarta. Expats and rich Indonesians will normally party there.

• North Jakarta, or Kota Tua (Old Town) is the historical part of town. Most of the buildings are only a few floors high, and they may look shabby. The nightlife is often within large one-stop entertainment complexes comprising of a club, a massage parlor and a karaoke.  Drugs and prostitution are common. The party crowd is local and you'll only spot a random tourist once in a while. It is not as safe as in the South, particularly for the taxis, but it is still OK compared to any other world capitals.

South Jakarta Nightlife
Where to Party in South Jakarta?
SCBD
SCBD, which stands for Sudirman Central Business District, is a mixed-use development with many prestigious offices, a luxury mall and high-end residences. It has been the most happening party area in Jakarta for a few years already, especially among hip Jakartans and younger expats.

The best location for party in SCBD is the Fairgrounds complex where Lucy In The Sky, Fable Nightclub, The Pallas and Hide & Seek are located. Other popular nearby venues include Empirica, Beer Garden and the restaurants on the Ground Floor of Pacific Place Mall (Potato Head, Cork & Screw).

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Harris FX Sudirman

Senopati
Just a kilometer South of SCBD, Senopati is the most expensive residential area in Jakarta. There, you'll find smaller clubs, lounges and restaurants catering to the elite. The trendy places change every year, but currently you can go to Monty's, Pao Pao, Lola, Branché and H Gourmet & Vibes.

Best Hotel Nearby:
→ 4-star: The Gunawarman (Boutique hotel, 120$/night)

Mega Kuningan
It is also a mixed-use development, similar to SCBD, but with more residences and hotels. This is where many single expats in their 30s choose to live.

There are no nightclubs but several busy bars and restaurants like Loewy, Basque, E&O or Bauhaus. All of these are walking distance from each other and they are great for meeting expats and Indonesian girls.

Mega Kuningan is bordered to the South by Jalan Gatot Subroto on which two famous nightclubs (Dragonfly and Blowfish) are located.

Read also: Best Bars in Mega Kuningan

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 5-star: Ritz Carlton Mega Kuningan or Oakwood (near Loewy)
→ 2-star: Favehotel Gatot Subroto or Amaris Satrio (35$/night both)

Senayan
Between Senopati and SCBD, Senayan is a popular shopping hub with 3 major malls: Plaza Senayan, Senayan City and FX. 

Each of them has bars, restaurants and nightclubs. X2, the largest and most crowded nightclub in Jakarta, is located inside Plaza Senayan. Domain Club is within Senayan City.

Some other recommended venues are Union Lounge (for a date/drinks), CJs (for live music if you don't mind freelance prostitutes) and Prohibition (jazz bar).

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 5-star: Mulia Hotel (with CJ's bar) and Fairmont (connected to Plaza Senayan)
→ 4-star: Harris FX Sudirman

Sudirman-Thamrin
The axis Jalan Sudirman-Jalan Thamrin is the most important thoroughfare in Jakarta as it connects the South and the North of the city. It is lined up with skyscrapers, most of which have a lounge, a rooftop or a restaurant.

Around the iconic Bunderan HI (or Hotel Indonesia roundabout - see photo above), you have some of the most exciting nightlife venues in Jakarta (most of which are within the malls Plaza Indonesia or Grand Indonesia): Immigrant nightclub, the rooftops SKYE and Cloud, and plenty of bars like Cork&Screw, Social House and Paulaner Brauhaus.

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 5-star: Kempinski (Grand Indonesia) or Grand Hyatt (Plaza Indonesia)
→ 4-star: Pullman Thamrin
→ 3-star: Holiday Inn Express

Jalan Jaksa
300 meters from Sarinah, Jalan Jaksa is the backpacker street of Jakarta. There are some cheap, friendly, open-air cafés where you can easily meet travelers and young Indonesians. You can also go to the nearby Wahid Hasyim street to visit popular bars like Beer Garden Menteng or to the B.A.R.T. rooftop in Artotel.

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Morrissey Hotel
→ 3-star: A One (New property)
→ 1-star/backpacker hostels: It is better to go to Jalan Jaksa directly and ask around. You can get a room with a fan for 10$.

Kemang:
Kemang is a residential expat area with many of the best-value Western restaurants in Jakarta. The bars and nightclubs are affordable, some catering to foreigners (Eastern Promise) and some to Indonesian teenagers (Tipsy, 999, Venue, Nu China).

Read more: Kemang Nightlife

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Grand Kemang Hotel
→ 3-star: Amaris La Codefin

Blok M, Wijaya, Melawai (Little Tokyo)
Those 3 red-light districts are located near from each other but they have their own characteristics:

Blok M (Jalan Falatehan) is a small street with 4-5 bars that have freelance prostitutes. They are popular with older expats.

Wijaya is a complex with small massage parlours and karaokes. It is popular with Koreans, Japanese and Indonesians.

Melawai (or Little Tokyo) is made of a few streets with authentic Japanese restaurants, Izakayas and karaokes.

Best Hotels Nearby:
Since the area is considered low class (due to all the prostitution activity), you can find rather good-value accommodation. The hotels are girl-friendly and they sometimes offer short-time.

Pondok Indah
Pondok Indah is an upmarket residential area in South Jakarta. You have a few bars in Pondok Indah Mall (Street Gallery) and a few more outside (like the expat bar De Hooi).

→ Don't sleep there unless you live in Jakarta.

Cilandak
Cilandak is a growing residential and business area (oil & gas). For the moment, its nightlife is limited to a few laid-back bars and Jenja nightclub in CITOS mall.

→ Don't sleep there.

North Jakarta Nightlife:
Where to Party in North Jakarta?
Gajah Mada - Hayam Wuruk
Gajah Mada and Hayam Wuruk are actually the same street but bizarrely, the left side is called Gajah Mada and the right side Hayam Wuruk.

On this 2 kilometer road, you will find almost all the high-end prostitution venues in Jakarta (Malioboro, Malio Club, V2, Sun City, Illigals, Paragon, Club 36).

Best Hotels Nearby:
There are affordable mid-range hotels in this area, only 15-30 minutes from Grand Indonesia.

Pecenongan
Pecenongan is just a few streets away from Hayam Wuruk. It is famous for just two properties: Emporium Spa (with Tease Strip Club) and the gigantic Classic Hotel bordello.

Best Hotels Nearby:
Note that you can actually book a room inside Classic Hotel. If sleeping inside a brothel is not what you are looking after, you can go instead to the Alila Pecenongan.

Kota Tua, Mangga Besar, Glodok
This is also a red light area, but more middle class compared to Hayam Wuruk. Dozens of brothels, lady bars, karaokes, discos and massage parlours are spread around. You will find most of them in the Lokasari complex, on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya, or on the smaller street Mangga Besar VIII.

Glodok and Kota nightclubs have a high number of drug users (ectasy, crystal meth). Since Stadium and Mille's closed down, the go-to venues are Exotis, Puja Sera, Golden Crown and Old City. 

Colosseum, a more luxurious nightclub within the 1001 one-stop entertainment complex is also located there, just 200 meters from Taman Fatahillah.

Best Hotels Nearby:
This area has a bad reputation so you can get cheap prices for budget hotels. I once lived there and it was not as bad as it seems. I really enjoyed the authenticity and the hundred of street food stalls around.

Ancol Beach
Ancol has two sides. A "clean" one with laid-back live music cafés by the sea, and a more dirty one with dangdut bars and a naughty one-stop entertainment complex (the infamous Alexis).

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Discovery Ancol

Mangga Dua
Mangga Dua is a cheap shopping destination with several budget hotels. There are some massage parlours and some karaokes as well.

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 5-star: Le Grandeur (maybe the cheapest 5-star hotel in Jakarta)
→ 4-star: Novotel
→ 3-star: D'Prima

Kota Indah/Pang-Jay
Sometimes referred to as the Blok M of North Jakarta, Kota Indah is a small street with 5-6 "massage bars", a euphemism for brothels. It is local and cheap.


Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 3-star: Zuri Express or Orchardz (with a spa ++)

Kelapa Gading
This is a residential area for middle to upper class Indonesians. You have several bars and coffee shops in and around Mall Kelapa Gading, Mall of Indonesia and La Piazza. There is also a red light district with 5-6 massage parlours and strip clubs (Sumo, King Cross).

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Grand Whiz or All Sedayu
→ 3-star: Whiz Prime

Pantai Indah Kapuk
The trendiest area in North Jakarta, PIK (for Pantai Indah Kapuk) is made of two roads with 30-40 restaurants, bars, cafés and nightclubs. It is popular with rich Indonesian-Chinese living in the upmarket neighborhood of Pluit.

If you are an Asian tourist craving for Taiwanese desserts and soju, you may enjoy it.


Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 3-star: Ozone

Grogol
Grogol is a middle class area strategically located between Jakarta and Tangerang (the airport). There are normal bars and clubs inside the malls Taman Anggrek/Central Park, but also many brothels, massage parlors and dirty discos (Bandara, Top 1, etc) in smaller nearby streets.

Best Hotels Nearby:
→ 4-star: Ciputra
→ 3-star: Grand Tjokro
→ 2-star: Hotel 88

Tanjung Priok
Near the busiest port in Jakarta, there are at least 30 small, low-end prostitute bars catering to seamen (many of whom are from Sulawesi). I wrote a full review here: The Far Away Nightlife of Tanjung Priok.

→ Don't sleep there.

Hotels Near Jakarta Nightlife
For those looking for the best hotel near the nightlife, you should consider the following rules:

 If you are interested in South Jakarta nightlife only   Stay between Plaza Senayan and Plaza Indonesia not too far from Sudirman street.

• If you are interested in North Jakarta nightlife only  Stay in Hayam Wuruk (3-star and 4-star) or stay in Mangga Besar (budget)

 If you are interested in both South and North Jakarta nightlife  Stay near Sarinah (2-star to 4-star) or near Grand Indonesia (5-star)

Where to Stay in Jakarta - Best Areas for Tourists

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
If you visit Jakarta as a tourist, you are probably wondering about the best areas to stay in the city.

Due to the horrible traffic and the lack of public transportation, I advise you to choose your location carefully. 1 kilometer in Jakarta is like 10 kilometer in normal cities. Just going to the opposite side of a street by car can sometimes take up to 30 minutes!

If you don't have time to read my entire review, the following paragraph is a short summary:

The best place to stay in Jakarta, either you are a tourist or a businessman, is around Plaza Indonesia or Grand Indonesia, for instance: KempinskiGrand HyattPullmanMandarin Oriental. It is an expensive area though so if you are on a budget, you can stay near Sarinah Mall instead. You'll find backpacker hostels (Jalan Jaksa), 2 star hotels (Favehotel), 3-star hotels (Holiday Inn or Ibis Tamarin) and 4-star hotels (Morrissey, Four Points by Sheraton, AONE or Akmani).

Need more addresses? See the following recommendations for Hotels near Grand Indonesia and Hotels near Sarinah.

If you have time to read my whole review, I will list below all the potential areas for you to stay in Jakarta, starting from the best.

(I included a direct link to Agoda to help you book your hotel. I make a small commission on every booking but the price is the same for you. You can compare using HotelsCombined.com (excellent hotel comparator) or  Booking.com.)

Hotel Indonesia (Plaza Indonesia / Grand Indonesia)

The iconic Hotel Indonesia roundabout (Bunderan HI in Indonesian) is one of the most famous landmarks in Jakarta. All around it are 5 luxury hotels (KempinskiGrand HyattPullmanMandarin OrientalKeraton at the Plaza) and the two best malls in Jakarta (Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia).

Both of these malls are great meeting points with lots of popular cafés, cinemas, restaurants, bars (Cloud, Social House, Skye) and nightclubs (Immigrant). It is a modern part of Jakarta ideal for lifestyle travelers who are interested with shopping, eating out and partying.

It is also central, so you can reach other parts of Jakarta fairly easily (for Jakarta standards). In particular, it is just a few minutes away from Tanah Abang (budget shopping), Jalan Sudirman (business district) and Menteng (government offices). Attractions like the Monas or the National Museum are only 15 minutes away. You can use public transportation to reach any of these (Transjakarta).
Summary:
Distance from airport:
Between 1h and 1h30m with normal traffic conditions.

Pros:
Central, easy to access, upmarket area
Good for nightlife, shopping, eating and drinking out

Cons:
Nothing touristic in the immediate area (no monuments, no historical buildings, no traditional markets)
Busy, crowded with a lot of traffic
Nowhere to walk around except inside malls
No street food
Expensive

Sarinah Mall (Jalan Jaksa, Wahid Hasyim, Sabang)
The Sarinah Shopping Center is only a kilometer north of the Hotel Indonesia roundabout (see above), but the feel is much different. It is a middle class area with affordable shopping and restaurants. You will also find great Indonesian street food 24/7. Most buildings are low-rise but this might change soon as several towers are being built.

There are many convenient businesses for travelers, some of which are open 24-hour: Money changers, travel agents, internet cafés, printing services, photography shops, etc. You also have several laundries (one of which is a coin laundry).

The mid-range hotels are along the streets Wahid Hasyim and Agus Salim (nicknamed Sabang).

If your budget is very tight, meaning under 10$ a night, you can get a room in Jalan Jaksa. Many of the cheaper guesthouses are not listed on internet so it's best to just walk around and look for "room for rent/kos" signs.

The location is just as strategic as the one in Hotel Indonesia (you can walk there in 15 minutes). If you are not interested in going to malls, it is probably even better.

East of Sarinah is the upscale area of Menteng-Cikiniwhere some of the richest Indonesian families live. It is central with many nice restaurants, a few museums, public parks and cultural attractions. Hotels tend to be either pricey or low-quality. 
Summary:
Distance from airport:
Between 1h and 1h30m with normal traffic conditions.

Pros:
Central, in-between modern Jakarta and old Jakarta
Many budget hotels with good value for money
Cheap shopping options
Travelers shops (Money changers, travel agents, etc)
Good street food
Very lively, even at night (many shops and restaurants are open 24-hour)
You can meet other travelers more easily (see Jalan Jaksa Nightlife)

Cons:
Not an upmarket location
Not walking distance from any tourist landmarks
It was the location of a terrorist attack in January 2016

Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/kroenisme/
Golden Triangle
Mega Kuningan Streets
The Golden Triangle is the main business area of Jakarta and it is made from the following streets: Gatot Subroto, Rasuna Said and Sudirman. It comprises some famous neighborhoods such as Mega Kuningan, SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) or Setiabudi. It extends in the South until Plaza Senayan and Senopati.

Mega Kuningan and SCBD are exclusive and modern areas with a Western city planning model. You'll find blocks, large streets and sidewalks, just like you would in an American city. It is the trendiest part of Jakarta and home to dozens of hip bars, clubs and restaurants. There are also several 5-star hotels (Ritz Carlton Mega KuninganMarriott) and luxury malls (Pacific Place). It is cleaner than the rest of Jakarta and you have less traffic jams. Some would say it's a ghetto for rich people that has nothing to do with the real Jakarta.

Many young, single expats choose to live there when they can afford it. If they don't have the budget, they may choose to stay in Setiabudi instead (see below).

Jalan SudirmanJalan Rasuna Said, Jalan Gatot Subroto are some of the busiest streets in Jakarta. They are packed with cars, messy and polluted. Still, choosing a hotel directly on one of these thoroughfares is a good idea to avoid unnecessary commuting time. Most are 4 and 5-star hotels though.

Summary:
Distance from airport:
Between 45 minutes and 1h30m with normal traffic conditions. Gatot Subroto is the closest and it is connected to the airport highway. Mega Kuningan is more difficult to access (traffic bottleneck).

Pros:
Modern, Westernized part of Jakarta
Easy access to nightclubs, malls, trendy restaurants
Central
Public transport options (Transjakarta)

Cons:
Expensive
Limited street food options
No traditional street life
Heavy traffic during peak hours
Setiabudi
Setiabudi is a residential and low-rise neighborhood in the northern part of the Golden Triangle. Its residents were originally low to middle income families, but this is starting to change as the land prices increase. Many houses have been transformed into boarding houses, small apartments or hotels which are popular with single office workers (both Indonesians and expats).

You can get a room there for an affordable price while being near from the Central Business District (more information: How to Rent a Cheap Room in Jakarta). It is a great area for street food as well.

Staying in Setiabudi would not be my first recommendation though if you are a tourist because it can be difficult to get there (traffic) and to find your hotel (small streets).

Summary:
Distance from airport:
Between 1h and 1h30m with normal traffic conditions.

Pros:
Very good location between Sudirman and Rasuna Said streets
Low-rise, middle class neighborhood
Near offices, malls, nightclubs, bars, restaurants
Street food
Convenient shops (laundry, photocopy, etc.)
Possibility to walk around

Cons:
More complicated to access when you are not familiar with Jakarta
More difficult to get public transport
Traffic Jams
Kota Tua
Street food near Jalan Kali Besar in Kota Tua
Strictly speaking, Kota Tua (Old Town in Indonesian) is the area around Taman Fatahillah Square in North Jakarta. In this review, I use it to describe a larger zone inclusive of Mangga Besar and Glodok.

Kota Tua is infamous for being a red-light district: This is where you will find the most expensive naughty massage parlours, strip clubs, nightclubs and gogo bars in Jakarta. Most hotels are used for short time and the streets are busy 24/7.

In spite of this, staying nearby has several advantages: Hotels are much cheaper than elsewhere and they are close from many tourist attractions (Chinese temples in Glodok, Museums, Sunda Kelapa). Some people, including myself, also enjoy the authentic street life. Jalan Mangga Besar in particular is one of the best places to eat street food in Jakarta.

From Kota Tua to the city center of Jakarta (Plaza Indonesia), it will take about 1 hour with normal traffic conditions (30 minutes at night). There is a very convenient Transjakarta line from Kota Tua down to Blok M that goes through Monas and the the National Museum.
Summary:
Distance from airport:
Between 45m and 1h15m with normal traffic conditions.

Pros:
Near most tourist attractions in Jakarta
Near nightclubs, bars, massage parlours and karaokes (naughty ones)
Cheaper area in Jakarta for sleeping and eating out
Great and colorful street life
Street food stalls open 24/7 - Excellent Chinese food
Busway line

Cons:
More dirty and dodgy than average
No modern malls and restaurants
Lots of prostitutes
Other possible areas for staying in Jakarta
Kemang
Kemang is a popular area with expats because it is near from the international schools. Many live in expansive villas with swimming pool and gardens. It has a vibe similar to the one in Seminyak.

As a tourist staying in Kemang, you will be near from many designer shops, good Western restaurants and several bars and clubs. On the negative side, there are no tourist sights and it is far from the city center.

Gajah Mada/Hayam Wuruk (+ Pasar Baru)
This area is strategically located as it is between Sudirman and Kota Tua. There are not so many things to do in the immediate vicinity apart from some famous strip clubs and massage parlours (Malioboro, V2, Emporium).

Recommended if you are planning to visit places in both South and North Jakarta. They have recently opened several brand new hotels such as Harris Harmoni VertuHotel Santika Premiere Hayam Wuruk and Novotel Gajah Mada.

Mangga Dua
In North Jakarta, Mangga Dua is a shopping area with several naughty nightlife venues. It can easily be reached from the airport by the toll road, and it is not too far from the city's tourist attractions like Kota Tua or Ancol. If you need to go to the South, it will take you about an hour.

If you only have one night in Jakarta, it can be a more fun option than staying near the airport. After two nights, you might get bored.

Slipi-Taman Anggrek
This area is in the vicinity of the malls Central Park and Taman Anggrek. You can stay there if you want to be closer from the airport as it is only 40 minutes away by car. Downtown Jakarta is about 30 minutes away.

Pluit and PIK (Pantai Indah Kapuk)
This is an upscale area where many Rich Indochinese families live. It is close from the airport (less than 40 minutes) and you have a growing nightlife scene (see my review Nightlife in PIK).

Kelapa Gading
There are not many reasons to stay in Kelapa Gading apart from shopping and nightlife.

For shopping, you have several malls including the gigantic Mall of Indonesia and Mal Kelapa Gading.

For nightlife, you'll find mostly massage parlours plus plus, brothels, strip clubs and beer houses (Sumo, Delta, King Cross, Level 5 and other prostitution joints).

Map of the Best Areas in Jakarta - Summary
If you are interested to stay in Jakarta near the nightlife, please read my other hotel guides:

Contact me by email thibaud@jakarta100bars.com if you have any questions about where to stay in Jakarta (or just leave a comment below).

Guide to Choosing Your Hotel in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I am asked daily by readers for tips about choosing a hotel in Jakarta. This little guide should answer all the questions I've ever received such as:

- What is the best area to stay in Jakarta?
- Where can I find a cheap guesthouse for under 10$ per night? Is there a backpacker area in Jakarta?
- What are the best budget hotels in Jakarta? Which hotel chain offers the best value for money?
- What is the best accommodation for less than 50$?
- Which 5-star hotel should I choose? Which 5-star hotel is the closest from action? Which 5-star hotel has the best bars and restaurants?
- Can I bring girls to my hotel in Jakarta? What are the names of girl-friendly or guest-friendly hotels in Jakarta?
- Can I actually sleep in Alexis Hotel, Malioboro Hotel, Travel Hotel or Classic Hotel?
- Is there a spa or massage parlour near my hotel?
- Which hotel do you recommend near the airport?
- Which hotels are connected to popular malls?

Important: I included a direct link to Agoda to help you book your hotel. I make a small commission on every booking so if you like this review and value the hours I spent writing it, I would be really grateful if you used one of these links. If you don't like Agoda, you can also use my links to HotelsCombined.com (hotel comparator) or  Booking.comThe price is the same for you!
16 Cheap Girl-Friendly Hotels in Jakarta

If you have other questions, please write them in the comment section below and I'll do my best to answer it.

What is the best area to stay in Jakarta?
Since Jakarta is so big, deciding on where to stay in Jakarta really depends on what you will do there.

Traffic should be your main consideration and you should choose the location that will minimize as much as possible the time spent going from one place to the other.

1) If you are in Jakarta for work and you need to go to a lot of meetings, choose a hotel close to your meeting points or close from your office, even if they are not in central locations. The traffic usually gets better starting 9pm so you can still go out quite easily after that.

Anyway, there are now malls almost everywhere in Jakarta so wherever you'll stay, you will be close from a fair number of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, gyms, cinemas and hang out spots.

If you are having meetings all over the city, then choose a location near the major roads such as Gatot Subroto, Sudirman, Thamrin, Gajah Mada or the Jakarta Inner Ring Road.

2) If you are in Jakarta for fun or for party, then you must decide what is your style:

- You want to party in the expensive nightclubs in Central and South Jakarta?
It is best to stay anywhere near from Jalan Sudirman, Plaza Indonesia, Mega Kuningan, Jalan Rasuna Said, Plaza Senayan. Kemang is too far in my opinion but it could be an option if you want to be close from the best Western food options.

If you are with a group, you can consider renting an entire apartment:  Check for apartments in Jakarta.

- You want to party with locals in North and West Jakarta?
Choose a hotel in one of these neighborhood: Chinatown (Glodok), Gajah Mada, Mangga Besar, Hayam Wuruk, Tamansari, Lokasari, Pecenongan. Hotels in these areas usually offer a much better value for money than in the South but the surroundings are more dirty and less safe. You also won't have nice malls, only Gajah Mada Plaza and Lokasari Square. Mangga Besar hotels are all girl-friendly and they are close from hundreds of great street food options.

Another good point with this location is that you can still reach Central Jakarta quite easily within 30 minutes. There is a very convenient busway line running from Kota Station to Blok M that you can use.

Alternatively, if you are mostly interested with karaokes and massage parlours instead of clubs, you can go to Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua, Grogol and Taman Anggrek. These areas also have huge malls nearby and they are not too far from the airport with the toll road.

Read my guide: Bachelor Party in Jakarta

3) If you are in Jakarta as a tourist, then I would recommend staying near Thamrin or Wahid Hasyim. Alternatively, you could also stay near Mangga Besar or Kota, but if you are not familiar with Jakarta you may feel uncomfortable as those areas are 100% local.

Where can I find a cheap guesthouse under 10$ per night? Is there a backpacker area in Jakarta?
As you will read in any guidebooks about Jakarta, the backpacker district is located in Jalan Jaksa. It is nothing compared to other popular traveler hubs in Southeast Asia like Khao San Road in Bangkok or Bui Vien in Saigon. You will only find a handful of guesthouses, usually not well-maintained and not very clean. Nearby, Jalan Wahid Hasyim has more choice but the prices are higher (at least 30$).

To find a decent room in Jalan Jaksa, you need to go inside the gangs (small streets) and look for guesthouse signs.  The prices are currently set at around Rp70,000 per night for a room with a fan. AC will cost you at least double.

In the past few years, there has been an increasing number of backpacker hotels that have opened elsewhere in the city, sometimes with higher standards. Teduh Hostel in Kota Tua or Six Degrees in Cikini are good examples. Their prices are quite high though, even for a bed in a dormitory.

I would still recommend Jalan Jaksa because of its very central location. It is next to Gambir train station (from where you can go to Yogyakarta or Bandung). It is also near from several key things to do in Jakarta like the Monas or the Istiqlal Mosque. 500 meters from Jaksa, the Sabang street is famous for its street food options.

What are the best budget hotels in Jakarta?
There are several budget hotel chains in Jakarta: Ibis Budget, Neo, Fave Hotels, Amaris, Pop Hotel, Whiz, Hotel 88, D'Prima. The price vary between 20$ and 45$ per night.

One of the cheapest budget hotel chain in Jakarta is RedDoorz. They have dozens of locations in the city which are in fact independent small residences. The level of comfort is good considering the price, usually less than 20$ for a double bed room. In particular, they have some very-centrally located property that I've review here: 5 Best Budget Hotels in Central Jakarta.

I also recommend to check the properties of ZenRooms. They are cheaper than traditional budget hotel chains yet they offer the same value for money. They have quality linens, flat screen TVs, free WIFI, individual AC and clean bathrooms.

They are currently available in several locations in Jakarta and in the rest of Indonesia.

Fave Hotels also have a great value for money, though they are a bit more expensive than RedDoorz.

Based on my experience though, the standards can be quite different within the same chain depending on who is the owner. For instance, the Fave Hotel in LTC Glodok is fantastic, probably because it is owned by Agung Podomoro Land (one of Indonesia's largest developer). Another great one is Fave Hotel Gatot Subroto. On the contrary, I stayed in Fave Hotel Kemang and Pasar Baru, both disappointing.

Also, the price may vary a lot depending on the location: The Fave Hotel Thamrin costs double compared to the one in Kelapa Gading.

If you plan on going bar-hopping in Blok M, you may want to stay in Fave Hotel Melawai which is walking distance from the infamous hostess bars. It is guest-friendly/girl-friendly.

Finally, there is also a Red Planet Hotel in Pasar Baru. If you have been to the Philippines, you will know it's one of the best budget hotel chains there.

What are the best 3-star hotels in Jakarta?
3-star hotel chains in Jakarta are Ibis, Harris, All Seasons, Santika and Holiday Inn. The price depends on the location and the day of the week (cheaper on weekends). In general, they will cost between 45$ and 60$ per night.

Again, within a chain there can be big differences. Ibis Tamarin and Ibis Arcadia on Jalan Thamrin are getting old but Ibis Harmoni is brand-new. 

I think it is best to find out when the hotel was open and to choose the more recent ones. All Seasons Gajah MadaAll Seasons Thamrin and Holiday Inn Thamrin were all opened less than 3 years ago.

What are the best 4-star hotel chains in Jakarta?
The prices of 4-star hotels in Jakarta vary greatly depending on the location. The cheapest ones, located outside the city center in Mangga Dua, Gajah Mada or Ancol can cost less than 60$ while those located near Sudirman or Thamrin cost up to 100$ per night.

The best chains are Novotel, Mercure, Santika Premiere, Aston, Swiss-Belhotel and Best Western. Again, don't trust a chain blindly, make sure that the hotel was built recently.

The newest 4-star hotels in Jakarta are: Harris Harmoni VertuFour Points By Sheraton, AONE ThamrinMercure SabangHotel Santika Premiere Hayam Wuruk and Novotel Gajah Mada

Which 5-star hotel should I choose? Which one is the closest from nightlife?
5-star hotels in Jakarta are almost all located within the Golden Triangle (Sudirman - Rasuna Said - Gatot Subroto). For this reason, all are rather close from any happening places.

Still, it is even more convenient to choose a hotel attached to one of the big malls. For this reason, you may want to choose:

- Kempinski, attached to Grand Indonesia
- Grand Hyatt and Keraton at the Plaza, attached to Plaza Indonesia (other options nearby include the Pullman Thamrin and the Mandarin Oriental). The Hyatt is a great option as it is close from Immigrant club, Cloud Lounge, Dreams Ego Lounge and Skye Rooftop.
- Ritz Carlton SCBD, attached to Pacific Place (there is also a Ritz-Carlton in Mega Kuningan)
- Fairmont, attached to Plaza Senayan (2 minutes walk)
- Pullman Grogol, attached to Central Park
Sheraton in Gandaria City
Raffles Hotel in Lotte Shopping Avenue - Ciputra World

A JW Marriott was suppose to open in Lippo Mall Kemang Village in 2014 but the project seems to be late.

The Shangri La and the Mulia are also popular with male because of their live music bars, BATS and CJs.

Can I bring girls to my hotel in Jakarta? Which hotel is guest-friendly or girl-friendly in Jakarta?
People are always wondering if they are allowed to bring a girl to their room in Jakarta. The answer is: 90% of Jakarta hotels are girl-friendly.

The only places where you may have problems are family guest-houses or small family hotels located in conservative areas. Outside Jakarta, there have been a few cases of over-zealous mayors raiding hotels to hunt unmarried couples sleeping together. These raids are actually against the law since it is not unlawful to sleep with someone you are not married to. The rule of law does not always apply in Indonesia, but hypocrisy does.

If you stay in any hotel with 3 stars or more, you will be most certainly allowed to bring guests overnight.

An ID is generally required so make sure your girl has her papers.

Hotels located in red-light districts are used to receive night visitors. If you are planning to go wild, then you may want to choose a room in Chinatown, Mangga Besar, Gajah Mada, Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua, Blok M or Taman Anggrek.

Some naughty hotels also offer plus plus massage services in the room or in their spas. For example: Orchardz Industri, Orchardz Jayakarta, Orchardz Hotel Airport, Sparks LifeB'Fashion, Fashion Hotel (Gunung Sahari), Prinsen Park, Olympic Hotel.

At last, you also have some famous transit hotels such as Hotel BI Executive in Ancol. In this hotel, rooms have mirrors and porn movies are available at reception. You can also park you car just under your room if you want to be discreet.

Can I actually sleep in Alexis Hotel, Malioboro Hotel, Classic Hotel, etc?
Brothels in Jakarta often have a hotel license because it gives them more flexibility with the law. In particular, it allows them to open during ramadan.

Even though they are not listed on the traditional online booking engines like Agoda or Booking.com, they do accept guests.

Update August 2016: You can now book a night in Classic Hotel on Agoda.

Is there a spa or massage parlour near my hotel?
I wrote a long review that I update regularly about the location of all spas in Jakarta. Please read it: Where are the massage parlours in Jakarta?

Where can I sleep near the airport?
There is a growing number of budget hotels that have opened near the airport. You even have one, Orchardz Bandara, which is a hidden bordello.

The airport hotels are located on both sides of the highway. If you have a flight early morning, it is best to choose a hotel on the left side of the road so it will save you 10 minutes.

A very good choice is the Swiss Bellinn or the Ibis Styles Airport.

Which hotels are connected to popular malls?
Choosing a hotel located inside a mall is a great idea as it will save you a lot of time. I already listed above the 5-star hotels located inside luxury malls:

Grand Hyatt and Keraton at the Plaza, in Plaza Indonesia
Fairmont in Plaza Senayan
Sheraton in Gandaria City
Raffles Hotel in Lotte Shopping Avenue - Ciputra World

You also have the following:

Mangga Dua Square: Amaris and Novotel
Pluit Junction: Fave Hotel (also not far from Emporium Pluit)
FX Mall: Harris Suites FX
ITC Mangga Dua: Le Grandeur
Seasons City: Amaris
Mahaka Square: Hotel Santika Gading
Mall Kelapa Gading: Pop Hotel, Harris Hotel and Conventions (and there is a Fave Hotel accross the road as well)

Some hotels are not connected to malls, but they are just located within walking distance. For instance:
Mall Of Indonesia: Whiz Prime
WTC Mangga Dua: Hotel Neo Mangga Dua
Emporium Pluit: Holiday Inn Express CityGate
Mal Ciputra: Hotel Ciputra
Plaza Semanggi: Crowne Plaza
Plaza Senayan: Century Park
CityWalk Sudirman: Intercontinental MidPlaza
Sarinah: Sari Pan Pacific, Artotel, KosendaFour Points By SheratonAONE Thamrin
Rasuna Epicentrum and Pasar Festival: Aston Rasuna and JS Luwansa
Kuningan City: Manhattan Hotel
Kota Kasablanka: Park Lane
Ciputra World One: Somerset Grand Citra
Bellagio Mall: Oakwood Premier Cozmo
Blok M Plaza: Oak Tree Urban, Hotel Melawai, Amaris Panglima Polim

Which Hotels are Gay-Friendly in Jakarta?
Only one hotel is openly gay-friendly in Jakarta to my knowledge. It is "House of Bare", a small guest house located in West Jakarta, not far from Taman Anggrek and Central Park.

Conclusion
I hope this Jakarta hotel guide will cover all your questions about where to stay in Jakarta. Again, if you have any questions, just type them below and I'll answer them.