Imagine this scenario.
You are flying to Jakarta with a transit at Dubai. Your first flight to Dubai departs 3 hours behind schedule due to technical issues. You barely have an hour at Dubai International (which by the way is a huuuge airport) to make it to your connecting flight to Jakarta. Worrying about the fact that even if you do make it, whether your luggage will.
You made it to your connecting flight to Jakarta. You fly around 8 hours until you land in Indonesia. Upon heading towards luggage belts you find out that your worry has come true – your luggage didn’t make it with dozens of others who had delays too. A little comfort – you aren’t alone. Then after filing for luggage tracking, you take a taxi to the city. It’s rush hour and the nightmarish Jakarta traffic delays you another two hours until you reach the doorstep of your hostel around 7 PM – what a relief!
For me, the building at Jalan Cikini Raya 60 next to a Texas Chicken Restaurant was my home in this noisy and bustling city – Six Degrees Backpackers Hostel was the name of the place. When I was booking, this place seemed like the best place to stay due to its central location and amazing facilities. After the taxi dropped me off, I was just hoping that I came to the right place at least. I was hoping to feel better after this disastrous journey.
The lady at the check-in desk was very nice and very sympathetic towards my situation and offered to update me by calling the airport authorities when my luggage would arrive. I always need a shower after a long flight but I regret that I didn’t have any spare clothes or towels in my bag which I was carrying. So after receiving my key, instead of going up to my room, I stayed downstairs and explored the hostel facilities around.
Soon I found out how (almost) perfect this place was! And I say almost because the Wi-Fi-connection was really bad in my room – just my luck. But otherwise the place was quite flawless! The hostel has 4 floors in all and a rooftop patio/garden. But the downstairs (ground floor) or lobby was my favorite part of the hostel. It has everything you need to chill and socialize – a café/lounge area, a mini dark-ish cinema with thousands of movies to watch, a pool table (my favorite!) as well as dart games, mini library, and a Nintendo 64 where you can play Mario Kart! If you need good Wi-Fi signal, the lobby is your place to be.
Did I mention that the hostel also has its own kitchen from where you get served free breakfast? Yep that’s right! For breakfast you have one of three choices – Porridge/Nasi Goreng/Fruit Platter and a drink every morning from 7-11 AM. But if you fancy lunch or dinner, you can check out their menu and order anything you like for a very cheap price! Oh btw, the reception operates 24×7 so there is no need to worry if you arrive really late or leave before sunrise – and no need to pay deposits! 😉 Check-in is from 2 PM and check-out by 12:00 noon. If you arrive in Jakarta earlier or leave later, you can of course keep your stuff at the luggage storage.
Floors 2 and 3 are just rooms. Depending on your taste and budget, you have different dorm and private room options. The most basic dorm has 10 bunk beds, which are apparently rickety. I wouldn’t recommend that although the price is €7,50 per night. The good dorms are the 8-bed, 6-bed, and 4-bed dorms because the beds are arranged in a pod and you can actually have a lot of privacy! It’s cozy and comfy at the same time and the prices are all same for each of these dorms at just €11. I chose a 4-bed dorm and it was pretty cool inside, but some of the dorms don’t have a window! Of course, Indonesia being a hot country, you can expect air conditioning in all the rooms.
Btw, the beds are really comfy! They all have individual curtains so you can shut them for privacy or to feel cozy even – I really loved this! I haven’t noticed such dorm beds anywhere before. Of course you also have your own reading lamps and charging sockets beside the bed. Also, plenty of room next to the bed to keep your stuff safe. But if you are more concerned, there are individual lockers inside the dorms too.
Everyone staying at a dorm shares the showers and bathroom, which are cleaned every day and are in really good condition! For couples, they can choose to stay in a ‘Double room’ or ‘Double ensuite’. Both have large queen-size bed. The only difference is, ensuite is for people who don’t like to share bathrooms with others 😉 The 4th floor has a large guest kitchen, where you can cook your own meals and dine with others or by yourself! Let’s move on to the rooftop then.
They call it the ‘hidden gem’ of Six Degrees. It is also a place to chill, drink, and socialize under the open sky. There is a bar and every night, music is played by a ‘DJ’ (not professional one though :P). There is also a mini gym if you fancy keeping yourself fit during travels as well as a barbeque area. This is also the only place in the building where you can smoke. And the best part of the rooftop is, there is a small wooden ‘viewing platform’ to enjoy the view of Jakarta’s skyline 😀 Last but not least, there is also a ‘hostel cat’ who you can sometime meet. His meow surely wakes up sleepy travelers sometime early in the morning…
Thanks to Lord Almighty, I got my luggage the next morning and was finally able to freshen up and make myself at home. It wasn’t until I once looked up at the award certificates on the wall behind the reception desk that I realized that I have been staying at the best hostel in the whole country – and I could really experience why they deserved this title! The hostel is run by an Anglo-Irish-Sumatran team and their aim is to make you feel at home. And honestly, I did really feel like it was my home in Jakarta, even though I slept just 5 nights here.