The Shangri-La Hotel is one of the leading five-star hotels in Jakarta, billed as ‘an oasis of serenity and calm’ in the centre of one of the world’s biggest and busiest cities. The Vegan Food Quest checked in for some peace, luxury and top quality food…vegan style.
There are 661 guest rooms in the Shangri-La Jakarta and we stayed in a Horizon Club room which gave us access to the Horizon Club Lounge where we could enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea & cocktails.
We were pleased to see the option of non-feather vegan pillows in our room and can report back that our bed was very comfortable.
Our room was quiet and comfortable meaning that we got a great night’s sleep (very important after a day searching for vegan food) and we could also get some work done.
As Horizon Club guests we were provided with deluxe bathroom amenities – thankfully labelled with a ‘not tested on animals’ sign – and a quick check of the ingredients in the shampoo, conditioner and body lotion showed lots of natural plant-based ingredients although we could not confirm if they were 100% vegan.
The Shangri-La had a grand and opulent feel with huge chandeliers, fresh flowers and ornate furnishings decorating the corridors and open spaces.
We really enjoyed the hotel grounds; lush, manicured tropical gardens with beautiful plants and trees created a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city outside.
There was even a thriving vegetable and herb garden and we really appreicated the way plants were labelled so our plant based questions were answered.
The Shangri-La garden is a beautiful place to sit under a shady tree, listen to the birdsong and watch the butterflies fly past; all in the heart of a big and busy city!
The pool was huge with good number of really comfortable loungers and if all this relaxing wasn’t enough, we even squeezed in a few visits to the CHI Spa where there was a whole range of treatments, steam room, hot tub and sauna to choose from, not to mention a modern and well equipped gym.
The Horizon Club Lounge was the perfect location to catch up on emails, read the local newspaper or simply enjoy the daily afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapés.
From our arrival, where we were checked in within our room, to our check out and assistance with onward transportation, the Shangri-La team delivered a first rate service.
The staff were always able to help with our questions and were always courteous & polite, resulting in a very high level of service during our stay.
The vegan food in the Shangri-La was nothing short of amazing, everywhere we ate we were spoilt for choice.
In the Horizon Club we enjoyed a breakfast that covered all the bases in terms of being healthy, tasty, indulgent and vegan. Homemade muesli with cold soya milk and fresh berries was low on sugar, full of healthy seeds and fresh and dried fruit.
We loved the gluten-free savoury pancakes filled with hummus, avocado chunks, tomato, onion and coriander. We marvelled at how light and spongy the pancakes were and thought the filling inside was perfectly tasty. Maybe it’s time to admit that these were so good that we had seconds?
We were discussing how the chefs from the Shangri-La were excelling themselves when they brought out vegan versions of some of the other breakfast dishes available to guests.
Well we did say the breakfast was indulgent.
Soft slippery rice noodles seasoned with soy, generous amounts of black pepper and crispy fried garlic on top; wheat noodles with a spicy peanut sauce and a sour, spicy ‘pav bhaji’ accompanied by cauliflower fritters that were nicely dense with spiced gram flour, giving them a very satisfying texture.
We also ate breakfast at the main ‘Satoo’ restaurant. Vegan travellers often miss out on experiencing the full range of dishes available at breakfast in luxury hotels but not at the Shangri-La Jakarta.
There was an impressive and tasty range of Indian dishes including a lovely mild upma, well filled spicy samosas, light sour idly pancakes and cubes of sweet, sour ‘besan dokhla’.
A very well stocked and vegan friendly salad bar with an excellent range of dressings awaited us, meaning that making a salad was quite an exciting experience. Our vegan hands selected fresh salad leaves, beetroot, sun dried and fresh baby tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts finished off with a fruity and sharp, sweet raspberry vinaigrette.
There were local Javenese dishes for us to sample too, with Chef Freddy showing us how the rice cakes in our ‘Ketoprak’ were made using banana leaves and bamboo. The dish itself was delicious, with spicy rich peanut sauce covering fried tofu cubes, soft rice cakes and crunchy beansprouts.
We enjoyed sampling the ‘jamu’ traditional herbal medicinal drinks, made especially by a lady who had many years of experience in the creation of these health giving drinks, allowing us to experience some local culture too.
The amazing vegan food at the Shangri-La didn’t stop at breakfast though.
In the Horizon Club at afternoon tea, we were served sweet lotus rolls, spicy ‘asinan betawi’ salads and edamame beans and in the evening they prepared vegan canapés to serve with fabulous cocktails.
At Shang Palace we were treated to an adventure in Cantonese Fine Dining, vegan style and Rosso delivered one of the most memorable vegan Italian meals we’ve every eaten.
Located in the centre of the Sudirman business district, the Shangri-La is perfectly located for your business meeting, sightseeing or shopping trip.
Jakarta is renowned for the traffic, meaning your journey from the airport can take anything from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but once you arrive your journey will be forgotten and you can indulge in all the Shangri-La has to offer.
In our opinion, free & fast WIFI should be standard at all hotels and we are pleased to report that this is the case at Shangri-La Jakarta where the WIFI is not only free & fast, but is available throughout the property.
Check in here if you want a peaceful, luxurious escape from the busy city outside, you’ll experience a vegan friendly stay where amazing vegan food is never far away.
If budget allows, pay the extra for a Horizon Club room and be sure to check out both Rosso and Shang Palace for a vegan culinary adventure.
We were guests of Shangri-La Jakarta but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Telephone: (62 21) 2922 9999
Cost From: £200 / $300 per night (May 2015)