Alila Solo stands tall – and not just literally. The highest building in the Central Javanese city, the hotel has taken the hospitality industry in Solo to the next level.

Alila Solo Dare To Be Different (1)

Though it is a stylish urban retreat with resort-inspired features, the hotel doesn’t forget the roots of Solo and its unique culture, entrenched in centuries-old traditions that date back to the time of the powerful Mataram Kingdom. Alila Solo, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, subtly incorporates Javanese elements into its facilities, giving them a contemporary twist. On the ceiling of the spacious lobby, for instance, an art installation featuring the traditional wayang overlooks the arrival of the hotel guests – the same motif is incorporated into the guest rooms – and batik patterns can be found on the floor of Agra, the hotel’s hip rooftop bar located on the 29th floor. From Agra, which is not only the highest rooftop bar in Solo, but in Central Java, one can enjoy an unspoiled panoramic view of the city from every angle – the sunsets here are spectacular. In the evenings, a DJ spins some tunes – a welcome addition and novelty to Solo’s nightlife that has quickly attracted a diverse and loyal crowd.

Alila Solo Dare To Be Different (2)

A fully equipped gym awaits hotel guests for a quick workout, but those who are not in the mood to break a sweat can easily head next door to the Spa for a rejuvenating massage. The hotel’s sleek pool invites guests to relax by either going for a refreshing dip in the water or simply unwind on one of the comfortable sofas and sun loungers by the poolside, snacking on light bites. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the hotel’s main restaurant Epice, which offers a wide selection of Western and Asian dishes. To mark the first anniversary of Alila Solo, the hotel invited Petty Elliott as guest chef to cook up a storm and introduce “A Taste of Sulawesi” to the city’s diners, for which she prepared a marvelous feast that consolidated her reputation as one of the most sought-after Indonesian chefs.

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The anniversary menu included, among others, the outstanding Ikan Gohu (tuna tartar with chilies, shallots, Kemangi salsa garnished with edible flowers); a Manado Risotto, inspired by Bubur Manado, but with a fresh and modern twist; as well as the mouthwatering Manado Klappertaart Garden as dessert – a satisfying end to a scrumptious dinner. Petty Elliott’s visit was only the first in a series of guest chef events as the hotel plans to continue shaking up the industry in Solo. Alila Solo may still be a new kid on the block, but true to its name – “Alila” means surprise in Sanskrit – it has already made a lasting impression.

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge is a previous editor of NOW! Jakarta. An experienced writer and avid bookworm.