Review: Alila Solo, Java (Surakarta)

Jyaga unsure (3/5)

Alila Solo

Nearest Airport : SOC (10 km away)
Neighbourhood : Laweyan, Surakarta (Solo)
Website :
Address : Jl. Slamet Riyadi No. 562, Solo (Surakarta), Jawa Tengah 57144
Chain : Alila (World of Hyatt)

Opened in 2015, Alila Solo is the city’s newest upmarket hotel and consequentially, the priciest. The city’s only other hotel with a 5-star classification would be ‘The Royal Surakarta Heritage‘, which regularly charges a fraction of Alila’s nightly rate. As its name suggests, this hotel is part of the Indonesian upmarket Alila brand of hotels, that now belongs to Hyatt. Do note that Alila has a very variable standard of hotels, from the high-end Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali to the comparatively uninspiring Alila Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Booking Alila Solo

We booked a Standard Room on for a relatively good price of IDR1,100,000 (~£60) a night, including breakfast. As far as I could see, there isn’t any discernible difference in size or design between the Standard and Deluxe rooms, although the latter category includes nightly turn-down service.


The Alila is easily identifiable in Surakarta’s skyline, given its unusual architecture and being the tallest building in the city. That said, the hotel is actually located far from the city’s central district and as such, further away from many of Solo’s sites to see. As our taxi driver explained, the Alila is geared more as a convention hotel, boasting a large ballroom fitting for large events.

Alila Solo exterior
Alila Solo exterior

Either way, the city centre is located 15-20 minutes away by car. This renders the hotel unideal for those wishing to explore the city on foot. There is, however, a bus stop in front of the hotel that goes into the city, but do note that its timing is irregular and not too convenient. In addition, there is also a local shopping mall located across the hotel, featuring typical Indonesian highstreet eateries and shops.

Arrival and Check-in

Upon arrival at the hotel’s porte-cochère, there is a small security check similar to that you’d find at many Indonesian hotels. After the security check, the hotel’s many porters promptly took care of our luggage and whisked us inside, and brought us to the reception desk.

Alila Solo porte-cochère
Lobby at Alila Solo

Once inside, I found the hotel’s travertine-clad lobby to have a rather interesting design, featuring an enormous, rolling artwork that spanned the entire lobby. Whilst I wasn’t particularly fond of the design, I was quite impressed and appreciated the cultural elements embedded into the work. To note, this hotel was designed by Budiman Hendropurnomo, who also did Maya Ubud, and Maya Sanur, as well as the Apurva Kempinski and Anantara Uluwatu.

Lobby at Alila Solo

At the reception desk, our friendly check-in agent thanked us for being World of Hyatt members and we were promptly checked in. After signing a couple of forms, we were handed keys to our Standard Room on the 14th floor. A very straightforward and pleasant check-in experience!

Our Standard Room

We took the lifts up to the 14th floor, to find a beautiful yet dimly-lit corridor, again characteristic of Alila hotels. We found our room door placed in one corner of the square corridor. Around the same time we reached our room, our luggage was delivered, which really impressed me.

Alila Solo corridor


Our standard room is advertised to be 40 sqm or 215 sqft., although the space did not seem very proportionally spaced. The room’s design is bright, sleek, and modern, featuring many clean lines characteristic of Alila. Despite that, I found it to be rather uninspiring in terms of design.

Alila Solo Standard Room

For one, I thought that the use of wood veneer panels and furniture, and the wall print sadly cheapened the look of the room. Furthermore, at only 6 years old, the wear and tear were a bit more obvious; there were a few small stains in the cloth wall panels, and small chips in the veneer furniture. 

Alila Solo Standard Room

The room is otherwise, very clean and features modern touches like a sizeable smart television, as well as numerous well-placed universal power outlets. The window-side corner features a nice desk and a sofa, which made the room really quite comfortable. I also found the bed to be very comfortable, as expected from Alila.

Alila Solo Standard Room
Standard Room beds

Our room viewed the city centre of Solo (Surakarta) in the distance, which was a welcome sight. However, unlike the Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta, the room was devoid of any welcome amenities (not that we expected any).

View from our room


Located next to the entrance is the decently sized bathroom, equipped with a disproportionally sized walk-in shower. The bathroom occupies a corner space, featuring a window next to the shower, as well as a single sink and toilet.

Standard Room Bathroom
Standard Room Bathroom

What really caught my eye, however, was how dark the travertine-clad bathroom is. Even with all its lights turned on, the bathroom could legitimately benefit from more lamps; should the window shade be pulled down, the bathroom becomes rather dark. 

Standard Room Bathroom

The bath amenities were Alila-branded, although they appeared distinct from the Alila Living amenities offered at the pricier Alilas. Its fragrance is likewise different from those that we had at Alila Villas Uluwatu, and seemed much less pleasant in terms of quality.

Standard Room Bathroom


There were multiple blackouts (we counted 11) on the first night of our stay. Between the frequent electricity grid shut-down noises, and the air conditioning turning on and off, it was difficult to sleep that night.


Disappointingly, there was a distinct lack of communication or proactive apology on the part of the hotel for this. Likewise, I found the hotel’s WiFi network to be frustrating, given the need to log-in again whenever one gets disconnected from the network.


We only dined at the hotel for breakfast, which is served between 06.00 to 10.00 at Epice Restaurant located at the lobby level. The selection consists of an extensive staffed buffet featuring Indonesian, Western, and Asian food.

Espice Restaurant Beverage station

I was very impressed with the multitude of food on offer. There was the usual egg station, as well as a wide selection of local and international food. There were buffet stations featuring various types of rice dishes, soups, porridges, congee, dim sum, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

Egg station
Breakfast congee and dim sum station
Rice dishes and fritters station
Fruits station
Breakfast sweet porridge station
Noodles station

Surprisingly, they had cakes and ice cream as well, if that’s something you’d fancy for breakfast. Best of all, the selection also rotates every day. 

Breakfast pastries
Cakes and puddings
Ice cream for breakfast?!

I sampled a few of the dishes, and they mostly tasted decent though not amazing. Everything I had mostly tasted mediocre in terms of quality, although their local fritters were very good. The service at the restaurant was also above average, as there were many staff members going around to offer drinks or to pick up empty plates. Curiously, they’d only pick up empty plates if we were seated at the table.

Breakfast noodles
Breakfast fritters

Finally, what most surprised me was how crowded the restaurant was on both days of our stay, no matter how early we went.

Hotel Grounds and Amenities


The hotel has a sizeable pool, as well as a large deck with many lounge chairs and sofas. Unfortunately, the pool area didn’t look very inviting, and many of the chairs didn’t seem very well maintained. The view from the pool area was otherwise very nice though.

Alila Solo Pool
Alila Solo Pool
Pool deck furniture


The hotel also features a large gymnasium which was in excellent condition. The space features many types of equipment to choose from, including a rowing machine (something that I don’t see often in Indonesia). All the equipment also looked new and well-kept, which made it even nicer.

Gym Alila

Overall, I think Alila’s strongest selling point is definitely its gymnasiums, which are consistently very good at all of the hotels that I’ve stayed at.

Gym Alila


I can’t comment much about service since our interactions with staff were limited, as is expected at a hotel of this size. However, the staff that we encountered were all very friendly, softly spoken, and courteous. For one, I appreciated how quickly they were able to deliver our luggage despite the lobby being rather busy that day.  However, I was disappointed by the lack of apology or even an acknowledgement about the frequent blackouts during our stay.


Overall, I thought that Alila Solo is objectively a nice hotel in Solo (Surakarta), although it isn’t really anything special. I felt that the rooms, food, and facilities (apart from the gym) were pretty much mediocre. For one, between the hotel’s price premium and uncompetitive location, I wouldn’t recommend staying here unless one is a Hyatt elite or is collecting nights to maintain/become an elite. But if convenience isn’t a bother, the Alila definitely features the best facilities and rooms in the city.

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