Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Scent of a Golden Tulip

My first visit to Golden Tulip Pontianak was for a dinner with my family. At the time it was in a soft opening phase, which was visually quite obvious. But don’t be surprised if even today it felt or looked like the same old story. Ask away when you’re there, and chances are the hospitable staffs will tell you that it is in fact still in that phase. Can’t really say that I blame them. Why wait till everything is smooth and perfect if you can rake in some cash NOW? It’s simply Business 101.

The second visit was more “intimate”. This time I went as far as the bedroom, free of charge. And before you start being judgemental, let me assure you it was for a photo shoot. Me Vs The Bedroom, with no other living object, that is. Now if anyone should bother to ask since when have I become a professional photographer, I haven’t quite just yet. Unless selling those photos that decorate my travel writings is considered to be a pro act. My being there was to participate in a photography competition.

My first stop for the session was the Diamond Function Hall. Eventhough the round table with circling chairs looked ready, nice and all, the room as a whole was not quite as enchanting. I was surprised to find some parts of the function hall still required finishing. Or a touch-up at least. But I’ll be even more surprised if I was mistaken, and the hall was already as good as it gets. The last time I checked, I was no design critic, so I took a few shots and split.

The next object was just across the hall, the meeting room. First impression wise, it was a better view. It would make an appropriate business venue, if you or your company can afford it. So if next time you’re in town to make a good impression, this place is worth considering.

Speaking of good first impression, Branche, the resto and bar lounge, didn’t make the cut for me. “Soft opening” was no excuse for the nicely hanged TV being unwatchable (that they left it on with a seemingly scrambled channel was beyond me). Nor was it for the more than half hour wait they made us do for dinner, when there was barely anyone in the lounge. The only consolation was the pineapple fried rice.  

Fortunately, everything was better the second time. The TV miraculously worked! And the whole lounge area looked more operational than it did the first time. But it was still quiet as before, with only a few patrons at the outdoor smoking section. Which made it easier for me to explore possible angles without snapping anyone’s head in the process, you dig?

The bedroom was next on the list. Each participant was only given a few minutes for the bedroom shot. The room was relatively small and hardly inspiring. But I guess it’s good enough to meet the international three star hotel standard. There are 186 rooms in total, in case you’re wondering.

The Copacabana Pool & Lounge, as you probably would have guessed, is where the swimming pools are located. You would perhaps also think that it’s the most interesting area in the hotel. It was in fact so fascinating that I couldn’t seem to produce quality shots :) (How’s that for an irony?)

Last but not least, outside view of the hotel. As far as architectural design is concerned, for me Golden Tulip is definitely one of the finest in Pontianak. It definitely plays a role in beautifying the city’s sky. Especially when there are not many good-looking high rise in town. So eventhough I’ve never been an official guest yet, I surely appreciate its presence. Hopefully it can make a significant contribution in growing the local tourism industry, and eventually, the economy.

Bienvenidos, Golden Tulip Essential Pontianak. Welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sky Cafes - Borneo Sky Cafe

I’ve read about this place before, or heard of it at least, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I decided to actually check it out. Truth be told, cafes with live music is my thing. By that I mean I enjoy the experience, despite not being a cafe regular. Unfortunately, it has become so yesterday that I don’t even remember when’s the last time I went to one. But yesterday, after glancing at the hotel ads section on the newspaper, I suddenly had the urge to go. Not for the live music, nor the “see and be seen” drama. I was there for the sunset and photography thirst.

It was around 17:45 on a Wednesday afternoon when I arrived at the premises. Only a few tables were occupied, which was super fine for me and my camera. The waiters were busy tending the other customers that I had no choice but to approach the staffs at the bar area just to make them notice. No biggie, I wasn’t in a rush. All I need was an excuse to sit there, enjoy the ambience, and hopefully take some quality snaps. And a few minutes later, a cappucino blend was my imperfect excuse. It tasted ok, not bad, but to label it good would be stretching. Needless to say, I’ve had better ones. It didn’t really matter anyway, except for the fact that I had to pay for it.

To sum it up: The view from this top is far from exceptional. Nothing quite caught my eyes about the surrounding area. The sunset from here, at least on that day, was just ok, but it got better when it’s darker. A bit of a plus about this place is the interior design. It would be a fine choice to hang out. Just not too frequently for most people, considering the quite pricey menu.

Writer’s Verdict:
Place : 7
View  : 6
Drink : 5

Borneo Sky Cafe
Jl. Merdeka Barat No. 428 Pontianak
Phone: 62-561–768111 / 62-561–766787 / 62-561-7908558
West Kalimantan

- SW -