Business travellers to the Indonesian capital can benefit from both a stellar location and cutting-edge design at Alila SCBD Jakarta, discovers Nick Walton.
In a city like Jakarta, world-famous for its traffic, location is everything, especially if you’re working to a tight schedule of meetings. If you don’t plan ahead when it comes to booking a hotel, you’ll end up spending your life in the back of a Grab or hotel car slowly going mad. Fortunately, the Alila SCBD not only has you in the heart of the action but also offers a design-driven house of slumber for modern business travellers. We take a closer look.
Located in the contemporary Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), a sprawling, stylish precinct in South Jakarta that’s home to luxury malls like the coveted Pacific Place, leading restaurants, and major corporate offices (the Indonesia Stock Exchange is right next door), the Alila SCBD Jakarta boasts all the intimacy of a boutique hotel but with the amenities, pedigree and location of a Grand Dame.
The hotel’s intimate, stylish persona is initially defined by its living room-styled lobby, complete with its dynamic Birds, Bats & Butterflies (below) wall installation by Australian architect and artist Richard Hassell and floor-to-ceiling glass. In fact, it’s here that you’ll get a sense of the hotel’s art credentials, with minimalist interiors juxtaposed with works by local artists, including Yogyakarta-based art duo Indieguerilla’s Orbital of Joy, which greets guests at the main entrance.
From the lobby, guests are whisked up to one of 227 studios and suites, which range from 38sqm King Bed Studios and Twin Studios to 45sqm Deluxe Rooms and sprawling Premier Rooms. Travellers who have stayed at Alila hotels before will recognise their room by the brand’s signature minimalist style, which ensures a space that’s thoroughly contemporary without being cold and impersonal and one that’s as easy to work in as it is to relax in.
Decked out in muted tones that give a sense of order and peace, my 55sqm Premier Room boasts expansive views of the surrounding office towers (handy for the exhibitionists among you), a king-sized bed and adjoining day bed, an expansive workspace, a 49-inch IPTV, and a glorious glass-encased bathroom with freestanding tub. There are power points galore, polished timber floors; discrete wardrobes, and luxurious linens for those all-important lie-ins.
Despite the minimalist design persona, the room is filled with impressive little details, from the stylish Bluetooth-enabled Marshal speaker, modelled on the brand’s iconic amps, to the extensive range of Alila toiletries, which run the gamut from body lotion through to tanning lotion and hydrating facial masks.
If you can drag yourself away from the views of your room, there’s plenty more to explore. Given its location, the Alila SCBD has a pair of dining venues that are major drawcards in their own right. Slip past the elegant, cocktail bar off the lobby and you’ll find Vong Kitchen, an intriguing venue by father-and-son team Jean-Georges and Cedric Vongerichten, who inject a little of the Big Apple into central Jakarta with a sophisticated New York-esque grill restaurant that opens onto an expansive terrace. Highlights of the menu include delicate salmon ceviche with coconut lime chilli tapioca; Balinese crispy calamari with tangy galangal sauce; and a pizza with dry-aged beef sausage and pickled chillis.
Continuing the Manhattan vibe is Le Burger, another contemporary concept from the father and son team that serves gourmet burgers – the Southern Hot Fried Chicken sandwich is a winner – and stellar cocktails to the black-suited nine-to-fivers of the SCBD. The hotel is also home to Chao Chao, an independent, award-winning Chinese restaurant and rooftop lounge.
Once you’re done sating that appetite you can work it off with a few laps of the ‘catwalk’ styled outdoor swimming pool (there are actually two pools with the catwalk between them, making for a spectacular backdrop for corporate events) or by working up a sweat in the 24-hour fitness centre, which has its own dedicated health bar. In addition, the hotel boasts a series of unique event spaces, including the Event Gallery on the third floor, a stunning contemporary art gallery-style space that extends out to the Pool Terrace and the swimming pool.
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