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The Best Nightlife in Jakarta and Bali: Clubs, Bars, Spas, Restaurants
The #1 Reference of Bali and Jakarta nightlife: Bars, Night Clubs, Discos, Restaurants, Karaokes, Massage and Spas!...

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2014 12:31:00 PM CEST.

Favicon Bengawan Solo Restaurant (Indonesian/Javanese Food)
15 Oct 2014, 12:31 pm

I rarely go to Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel on Sudirman (it is located right next to Le Meridien Hotel), but I did go there recently because I heard there was a new Indonesian restaurant. The name of the new place is "Bengawan Solo" (it is not related to the popular coffee chain located in many malls in Jakarta), named after the longest River in Java. It is located on the lobby level of the Hotel.

I had a great dinner there, I like the idea of having truly Indonesian (or Javanese) food like chicken satay, Sosis Solo, Nasi Goreng, Bebek Goreng, Gurame Bakar or Iga Sapi Asam with a modern presentation you would find in any western restaurant. The decoration of the place is also modern with Indonesian Wayang and other javanese objects.

The place reminded me another Indonesian restaurant Seribu Rasa, located in Menteng, but with a more indonesian crowd. I would recommend Bengawan Solo for a business lunch or dinner or if you want take somebody who is in the city for just a few days and you want him to discover tasty indonesian food in an elegant place. The price are very reasonable for Jakarta standard and for the quality I had there (200 000 Rp per person for a Menu).

The plus: they have a dessert menu, which is quite rare for an Indonesian restaurant. I had a Vanilla ice cream and it was a blast !

Bengawan Solo in Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel 
(near Le Meridien Hotel)
Jalan Sudirman Kav 86
Jakarta 10220

More information on their website
Phone: 021 570 4444 ext 1610 - 1613
E-Mail: prm@grandsahidjaya.com

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11 AM to 11 PM

Other pictures from Bengawan Solo Restaurant:

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Favicon Red Square (Senayan Arcadia) - CLOSED
24 Sep 2014, 1:14 pm

Update: Red Square is currently CLOSED: According to the management, it will reopen in a new location to be announced...

Red Square is one of the most popular bars in Jakarta for foreigners, and for many, it is the only place they go to for party in the city. Extremely busy on Friday and Saturday, it is so crowded that it is best to book a private table if you want to avoid suffocation. On other nights, it varies a lot: Thursday can be quite good, but from Sunday to Wednesday, it is empty the more often.

If you are a single, male expat looking to score with "normal" girls, this might be the most easy spot in Jakarta. Most girls aren't prostitutes (but more and more are), yet they are hunting foreigners with a lot of energy. This is probably why Red Square is so famous and popular. The other reasons could be the sexy dancers on special nights, the pumping house music (mostly famous western songs), their funky bartenders and the people dancing on the tables. 

The bar has a nice selection of cocktails, especially those with Vodka. The entrance fee is now around rp100,000 on weekends and the drinks are pretty expensive.

Here are two videos of Red Square (the first one at closing time, the second one on full party mode):
Red Square Jakarta
Plaza Senayan Arcadia
Unit X210-211 Jl. New Delhi No 9
Pintu I Senayan Jakarta 12710

Phone number: +62 21 5790 1281
Fax. : +62 21 5790 1286
Email : redsquarejakarta@gmail.com
Website: Red Square Bar Jakarta
Facebook fan page: Red Square Fan page

Red Square Balikpapan
Hotel Sagita Jl. Mayjend Sutoyo No. 69
Balikpapan 76113 Indonesia
Website: Red Square Sagita Balikpapan

Phone number: +62 542 820 300
Fax: +62 542 820 333
Email : info@hotelsagita.com

Red Square Bali (CLOSED, replaced by 88 Club):
Pullman Legian Nirwana
Jalan Pantai Kuta Legian, Kuta, Bali 80361
Website: Red Square Bali

Phone number: +62 361 767540
Fax : +62 361 767541
Email: redsquarebali@gmail.com

Similar clubs (small urban afterwork clubs for young executives and expats): Luv's bar & Dine, Only One Club, Flo Lounge (closed), Nu China.

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Favicon BART (Bar at the Rooftop) Artotel Jakarta Thamrin
2 Oct 2014, 5:26 am

BART is the latest of the Rooftop Bars in the city. Going on the roof is a very good option in Jakarta since most of the place are closed, with no windows and with full AC. That is maybe one of the reasons why so many rooftop bars have opened recently in Jakarta, and why it is so trendy.

BART (Approximate Acronym of Bar at the Rooftop) is the latest of this long series, it is located in Artotel Hotel on Thamrin near Sarinah. The Hotel itself is very art-friendly with a different Indonesian artist decorating the rooms for each floor. This hotel opened in late 2013 and in October 2014 they are just opening the rooftop bar, maybe after the huge success of Awan Lounge, rooftop bar of Kosenda Hotel, located 200 meters away.

I went to BART for a private party, before the official opening and I was quite impressed by the size of it. It is bigger than Awan Lounge. It is approximately 2 times the size of it and you can actually walk and navigate in the whole place. The other positive thing about BART is that you get some breeze, some air so you are not totally hot and sweaty while drinking your cocktail. The design of the place is not extraordinary I would say, the whole black and white theme colors on the furniture and on the ceiling makes you feel you are a zebra. Girls, you know what colors to wear if you want to be in tone with the place ! If you feel a bit hungry, try the food there: it comes from the restaurant located on the lobby of the hotel and it is very tasty. The Menu is mostly Asian with some western dishes. I had the chicken panini and it was great.

The Bar is located on the seventh floor of the Hotel and you can have a great view at Jakarta Skyline, towards Thamrin, Sudirman and Rasuna Said. This bar is a great addition to Jakarta's nightlife Rooftop Bars list along with Skye Bar and Cloud Lounge in the same area.

Last but not least, you cannot seat on the counters located all around the place.. Even though it is at the perfect height to seat, and there will be a shortage of seats when the bar will be packed, the waiter/waitress will gently tell you that you cannot do that...

Give us your impressions in the comments box and tell us which is your favorite rooftop bar in the city ?

BART @ Artotel Jakarta (near Sarinah Mall)
Jalan Sunda #3
Phone: 021 3192 5888
Website: Artotel
Twitter: Artotel

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Favicon Bali Nightlife Tips from an Expat in Bali
31 Aug 2014, 5:47 pm
As South Bali is becoming more crowded and more urban, its nightlife has somewhat improved. It is still much less interesting that Jakarta nightlife, but if you come to Bali for the weekend you will certainly enjoy it.

Most things haven't changed for many years so you can also read my previous Bali Nightlife review from 2013. Here are my top recommendations for partying in Bali in 2014/2015:
Skydome in Skygarden Kuta
In Kuta, Skygarden is still the number one club: It is the most crowded, the largest, has the best marketing and the best line-up of international DJs (famous House/Trance/Progessive DJs comes at least twice a month). If you are a tourist between 18 and 30-year old, this is where you should go. If you are single and looking for a place to get a guy or a girl, this is the place too. The prices before midnight are very low so it can be a cheap way to get drunk before heading somewhere else too. At last, it is the only club in Bali which is happening 7 days a week. Go there on Sunday or Monday night when everything else is empty.

Walking distance from Skygarden, you may walk into several other nightclubs or bars such as Eikon (popular with Australians), Engine Room, Bounty and Paddy's Pub (popular with Bogans), Vi Ai Pi (good for live music), MBarGo (Hip/Hop), Apache (reggae). All of them are normally busy as they are located in the heart of Kuta.
Still in Kuta, bars and clubs located on Jalan Pantai Kuta are more popular with Indonesians, in particular those from Jakarta. You have the new Velvet bar and Hypnotized club in BeachWalk Mall, maybe one of the best new clubs in Kuta in 2014. They have good events with international DJ about once in a month. Not too far from there, The Stones hotel also organizes regular events but it is almost always empty. Still on Kuta beach, Hard Rock Café is mostly popular with the Asian crowd: Indonesians, Malaysians, Singaporeans. This is the same crowd that visits the new District (replacing Musro) which gets busy only when they have concerts.
Concert in District
Party in Hypnotized Beach Walk
Speaking about the local and Asian market, there are a handful of clubs where you will find them. The largest is Akasaka, in the heart of Denpasar, which has two dance-floors, one with Western-style house music and the other one with Funky House / Chinese-style Techno Kota. Some expats go there too because the music reminds them of places like the Stadium in Jakarta. It is also full with prostitutes, among which a fair number of stunners (in A-Club in particular). There is also Boshe VIP Club, not far from the airport, which is a classier version of Akasaka. At last, you have Adora Club in Sanur, again with a similar concept of one-stop entertainment with bar, club, karaoke, live music.

Regarding these clubs, you can also read my review about Sex Tourism in Bali.
Sexy Dancers in Adora Club
Seminyak is still the favorite party location for expats, older tourists, residents from Java and regulars of Bali. Seminyak nightlife has actually spread out to the limits of Legian in Jalan Nakula (Jenja), Jalan Dewi Sri (Pyramid) or Jalan 66 (Double Six Rooftop). There have been quite many openings and closing in the past two years. The popular nightlife venues in Seminyak at the end of 2014 are the following:

- To have a drink: Mantra, La Favela, Jealous Lovers' Dive Bar, Mamasan, Red Carpet Champagne Bar (if you are above 40), Rumours, Zappaz (live music), Charlie. Jakartans usually prefer going to Motel Mexicola or Vin +. JPs Warung has closed and it was replaced by a strange Frankenstein bar which seems to be popular as well.
Mantra in Petitenget
Red Carpet's remarkable waitresses
Motel Mexicola
- To Party: Early in the night, Townhouse (European crowd), Huu Bar (Jakartans, Indo-Chinese). After 2am, move to Mint, Jenja, Pyramid. Coming in September is a new club called Mirror / Gardin: Opened by the owners of Fable in Jakarta, we can expect it will target the same crowd as Hu'u bar.
Hu'u Bar
Mint Club
- For Special events: Check the facebook pages of W Hotel (Silent Disco), Kudeta (White Party, Bikini Party, New Year Party), Potato Head, Cocoon (Hed Kandi, Splash Pool Party). Check also parties such as Disko Afrika or beach parties in La Plancha). You can also see most events in the guidebook The Beat Magazine which is available in all Circle K store.
Silent Disco in W Hotel
White Party in Ku De Ta
Disko Afrika
Splash Party in Cocoon
- For scoring with girls, hookers, transexuals: La Vida Loca, Mint Club, Bahiana, Jenja (and later in the night in DeeJay Café). For gays specifically: You should head to Jalan Dyana Pura to Mixwell, Bali Joe, and other places whose name I forgot. If you are not gay but open-minded, you can visit these bars and still have a lot of fun since they have great cabaret gogo dancers shows.
Mixwell Gay Bar in Seminyak
To conclude, it is good to know that DeeJay Café is the club that stays open the latest in Bali. It is still busy early morning at 8-9am. Needless to say most people who go there are on drugs.
Dee Jay Café in Kartika Plaza (Paradiso Kuta Hotel)
Warning about Safety in Bali: There is an increasing number of complaints about safety around nightclubs in Bali. Be careful with pickpockets. The main victims seem to be girls putting their purses in front of their motorbike. It is really recommended to put all your valuables in your trunk instead. If you have any problems, it is probably more effective to report it on the Bali Expat forum on facebook than to the police.

Photo Credit: Most of the pictures illustrating this review of Bali nightlife were taken on facebook. If you wish to have a photo you are in removed, just drop me a mail thibaud@jakarta100bars.com.

Please comment and help me keep this page up-to-date!

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Favicon Is Bali Becoming a Sex Tourism Destination?
1 Sep 2014, 1:34 am
One of the biggest changes to Bali nightlife since the past 5 years is the seemingly growing number of prostitution or semi-prostitution venues in Bali.

Those places were once discreetly located in Sanur or in some seedy streets in Denpasar, but they are now everywhere and they are certainly not trying to hide.

In Kartika Plaza, you have the new District Club which features sexy dancers and karaoke rooms with Lady Companions. It is owned by Tommy Winata, famous for being behind naughty clubs like Golden Crown in Jakarta.

In Denpasar, Akasaka was extended with a new room called A-Club, also with sexy dancers and prostitutes. The old room in Akasaka is packed on weekend and during my visit there, I saw fully naked women trying to sell tequila shots to customers in exchange for private lap dances. Considering the head-banging music that was played there, we can imagine most people inside were taking drugs (I was offered ecstasy pills upon entering too, which I declined).

Boshe is another example: Opened on Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai about 3 years ago, it is one of the most popular clubs in Bali for Asian people at the moment. Most customers are men who book a karaoke room or a table, and lady companions.

Adora (ex-Blue Eyes) is, according to my sources, in the process of being bought by the Alexis group from Jakarta (owned by Alex Tirta, behind Colosseum, Zen Club, 1001, Tease Club, Alexis, Club 36). If you live in Jakarta, you will know what it means: Adora should be turned into a complete luxury sex place with strippers and karaoke rooms.

Delta has finally opened in Bali a spa, a karaoke and a club. They are not afraid to advertise about their Russian sexy dancers on a huge billboard in Sunset Road and with a full booth inside the Domestic Airport.

Speaking of spas, the number of plus plus massage parlours has also tripled! It used to be only a few spas such as Star Bugar. You now have Delta Spa, Riverview Spa, Royal Palace, etc...

It is still nothing compared to what is available in Jakarta, but you have to consider all these places did not exist just 5 years ago... What surprises me is how easy they advertise about their facilities and services, most of which are illegal in Indonesia.

Since the closure of Dolly, the largest red light district in Southeast Asia, it also seems many prostitutes have relocated to Bali, particularly in Sanur (see that article for more information Anticipating Dolly's Relocation To Bali). There may be also more freelance prostitution in several bars in Bali such as Crusoe's, La Vida Loca, Mint, DeeJay Café, Skygarden, Paddy's Pub but I do not have any reliable data to support my claim.

In the end, there is an increase in the number of venues offering sex services but I believe it would not be appropriate to say that Bali is becoming a sex tourism destination. Organized prostitution caters mostly to a local market: Indonesian and expats residents in Bali, and also some Asian tourists from Jakarta, Malaysia and Singapore. It is very limited compared to Thailand where even the smallest island has dozens of massage parlours and gogo bars. I hope it will stay that way!

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