Anyone who has to endure working and commuting around a densely populated urban complex like Jakarta everyday can appreciate the preciousness of enjoying a bit of fresh air every once in a while. Just 1-2 hours drive south of the Indonesian capital, the hilly Puncak area has long been a top pick for Jakartans seeking a quick getaway from the ills of urban life. It can be pretty tough to arrange for a decent accommodation as the best private villas in the area are already booked in advance most of the time, but if you’re looking for a more flexible arrangement, the Novus Puncak Resort and Spa at Cipanas can be your answer.
The spacious resort sits on top of the Cipanas valley overlooking the scenic Mount Gede. It is about 10 km down from the peak of the Puncak on the left side of the road.
The first thing you’ll see once you get off your car to get to the reception, after passing by a wooden horse right next to the entrance, is a classic-looking lounge that also serves as the hotel’s dining area, the Puncak Cafe. If you arrive hungry, I recommend getting one of the outdoor tables to enjoy the fresh cool air. The food might not be a top culinary treat, but its pretty decent and reasonably priced. But if you really insist on treating your taste buds better, a 5-minute drive will take you to Pondok Daun restaurant at Cibodas.
My wife and I settled on a grand superior room without the private plunge pool, thinking that it might be too dangerous for our 1-year-old who’s just started to walk on her own. But in hindsight, there wasn’t actually much reason to be worried as the pool is placed outside the room on the terrace and we were keeping an eye on her all the time. So if you want to enjoy dipping in a private pool on your own private yard but don’t want to spend too much for a suite, go ahead and book the grand superior with pool. Oh, and do ask for room 821; this is the only one that has a heated pool, aside from the suites that is.
Overall, the room is quite nice, that is if you don’t have a particular sensitivity with bathrooms. The bathroom is very plain and I think is actually a little shoddy for a four-star facility like this. The room comes with either a king-size or a twin bed, CD player and all the usual standard amenities.
One thing you’ll quickly appreciate about the resort if you have a busy bee for a toddler like us is the generous open space that’s available all around the facility. This resort obviously aims at the MICE market, and that means all the motivated seminar attendants need a lot of space to play their so-called team building exercises. They have a pretty tall aerial ropeslide or the ‘flying fox’ facility, which you can book through the reception if you’re interested. And one of the things they offer that my little one was particularly fond of was a nice little garden infested with furry rabbits.
I heard the Novus spa comes recommended and I think I know why. The treatment was great, the place had a tasteful atmosphere and the price was right. I only wish spas like this were closer to home. I recommend the Mountain Natural Essence package if you’re looking for a really nice, relaxing experience.
The really special thing about the Novus resort is its natural ambience. The grand superior rooms are floored with tasteful wooden parquet and slate stones, giving you a nice sense of the surrounding environment. Just beside the swimming pool is a heated whirlpool where you can enjoy a nice hot bath after a swim while looking at the lush green landscape around the hotel. And don’t forget the wonderful spa. It’s priceless.