Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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My wife and I recently spent a night at the Alila SCBD Jakarta in Indonesia, and that was simply not enough. We only needed a hotel for a night before flying home from Jakarta, and we had no idea this hotel would be so nice. It deserves a longer stay.
This was the first Alila property I’d seen within a bustling city, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. From impressive modern touches to incredible service, this hotel wowed us in many ways within a short span of time. This was one of few stays where I checked out of a hotel saying, “We’ll be back; count on it.”
The Alila SCBD Jakarta opened in February 2019 and still looked new in many ways. Here’s what it was like staying at this incredible property for a night in mid-October 2023.
Neither of us had been to Jakarta before, so we decided it was worth the trek into the city for a bit of sightseeing, even though we were only there for a night. However, the Alila SCBD Jakarta isn’t close to the Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK). A taxi ride could take 35 minutes or up to an hour, depending on traffic. If you are arriving late at night and departing early, it probably isn’t worth the trek. For us, arriving during the early afternoon, we thought it was worth the trip.
The hotel is within the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD). It’s close to numerous options for shopping, restaurants, museums, and even the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, which hosts numerous sports and entertainment events.
As a participating World of Hyatt hotel, you can book the Alila SCBD Jakarta with points, cash, a combination of the 2, or free night awards.
Cash rates looked decent at $253 per night for a standard room (a studio at this property).
However, the total came to $305.35 after heavy taxes and charges.
Paying 12,000 points for 1 night was a much better value. This gave us a redemption value of 2.54 cents per World of Hyatt point, which is well above average. Booking this property with a Category 1 to 4 free night award is also possible. You can earn these by staying at 5 different Hyatt brands (thanks to the Brand Explorer perk) or holding The World of Hyatt Credit Card.
On arrival, we instantly noticed the property’s unique exterior. This was the first hint that design choices inside and outside the hotel’s singular tower would be different than any hotel we’d visited previously.
Once the taxi dropped us off at the front door, this colorful metal sculpture on the wall greeted us outside the entrance.
These glowing green lanterns holding up the check-in stations were unlikely any hotel reception desk I’d ever seen. Rather than a single long station, employees worked behind individual desks.
While the friendly employee scanned our passports and prepared paperwork, I glanced around the lobby, which extended to the right. Artwork was a big theme at this property, such as these metal sculptures of birds leaving the wall and occupying the overhead space above a public seating area with numerous chairs. I loved this property instantly for its novelty.
The entire check-in process was very efficient and friendly. The employee spoke excellent English and confirmed our stay of just 1 night. He outlined the location and hours for the hotel’s restaurants, pool, spa, and gym, ensuring we understood rather than just rattling off information that he was obligated to tell us.
Check-in concluded with us receiving our key, which came in this fantastic paper holder with a unique design.
As a World of Hyatt Globalist, I received several additional benefits at the Alila SCBD Jakarta. On arrival, the hotel had a printed letter outlining these perks.
Benefits included an upgrade to a premium room (there are no suites at this property), complimentary breakfast at Vong Kitchen, 4 p.m. late checkout, and a cocktail hour with complimentary drinks and snacks at the Vong bar.
Moreover, Hyatt elites visiting this property are entitled to a spa discount of 15% off a single treatment at the spa, so long as it was charged to the room.
This was the first hotel we’d stayed in with smart elevators. There were 6 elevators, with 3 on each side of the waiting area in the middle.
In the lobby, we tapped our room key and were assigned an elevator. During busy periods, guests heading to the same floor were assigned to the same elevator. Instead of stopping at numerous floors, we skipped the floors of guests who were assigned to a different elevator. While the hotel wasn’t very busy during our visit, I loved this use of modern technology to improve the guest experience.
When leaving our floor (the ninth), we used the panel to tap a number, indicating which floor we wanted to go to.
With smart elevators, there were no buttons inside the elevator. The elevator already knew which floor(s) to stop at, and we got off at the right floor.
The spa was on the fifth floor, and I loved the ocean blue theme that greeted us after exiting the elevator. A friendly employee at the desk greeted us and offered assistance. She was ready to tell us about the services, hours for the facilities, or make an appointment for us.
The blue theme and mirrors along the hallway made this area feel like it had many more rooms and hallways than it actually did.
The spa offered a full range of services, including massages, hot baths, facials, and manicures.
Further down the hallway, a Spinal Health & Wellness office was closed for the evening. The door listed the services the center could offer.
The spa also had large locker rooms with wood fixtures and earth tones.
A large steam room was inside each locker room, free for guests to use.
Without a doubt, this was the nicest hotel gym I’ve ever seen. Located on the fifth floor, past the spa, the gym was large and had numerous types of equipment — something for everyone.
Along a wall were numerous weight machines, benches, and free weights.
Along the other wall, multiple types of cardio equipment were available. And the views of the city below while using the bikes and treadmills were fantastic.
Further into the gym were different heights for box jumps, kettlebells, ropes, and a punching bag.
The far corner also had medicine balls and exercise balls.
All of the exercise equipment was to the right after entering the gym. To the left was a small café area with seating, and we could order protein shakes, juices, bottled drinks, and healthy snacks.
An outdoor pool was also located on the fifth floor with the spa and fitness center. Doors to the pool were just past this desk with fresh towels plus a laundry bin for dirty towels.
Outside, a small patio with a handful of chairs overlooked a long, skinny pool that was ideal for swimming laps. On the left side of the photo was the longest, most interesting hot tub I’ve ever seen — hotel or otherwise. There were several lounge chairs for guests to use past the pool and hot tub.
Down a corridor after the elevator waiting area on the ground floor was an entrance to the Artisian Lounge. The name was deceptive, as it didn’t indicate that this was actually a 5,550-square-foot event space with vaulted ceilings. The space was full of curated artworks from Indonesia.
There also was a larger event space on the third floor. It provided nearly 7,700 square feet of space, could be divided into 2 smaller rooms, and provided access to an outdoor terrace.
Free parking was available to guests. Parking was located in 2 garage floors under the hotel.
While it wasn’t the fastest, Wi-Fi worked throughout the property. We never lost our connection or had trouble using the internet.
We received an upgrade to a premium room at the end of the hallway on the ninth floor (out of 26 total in the tower). And while the room felt small in some ways, we loved the features.
Guest floor hallways were very simple, with tan and beige colors and wood floors.
The only thing disrupting the simplicity of the hallway was the occasional piece of local artwork.
We stayed in room 920.
Each room had a digital light to indicate “do not disturb” or “please clean up my room,” as well as a doorbell.
Immediately inside the door, buttons controlled this panel, located between a light switch and a small digital thermostat.
A hand sanitizer dispenser was next to this panel, which was a surprise.
The premium room is the largest room type at the Alila SCBD Jakarta, offering nearly 600 square feet of space. However, the room didn’t feel very open, and maneuvering around the room didn’t feel intuitive at first.
A super-comfortable king-size bed sat in the middle, facing a TV on the wall that had a message of “Welcome Mr. Ryan” on it when we arrived. A headboard behind the bed provided support, and wooden nightstands flanked the bed.
One nightstand had a phone, notepad, drinking glass, and bottle of water. A panel behind the nightstand had switches for various lights (which took a bit of guesswork to sort out), plus a universal outlet.
The nightstand also held a bottle of scented pillow mist. It had an incredible lemongrass scent that we loved.
I’m trying not to overuse the “unique” description, but the other nightstand had a Marshall Bluetooth speaker that was a surprise detour from the subtlety of the hotel’s other features.
A note by the bed also outlined the hotel’s conservation efforts.
Track lighting near the curtains complemented the overhead lights and lamps around the room. After playing with the switches a bit, customizing the amount of lighting we wanted was a nice feature.
Near the entrance to the room, we had a spacious walk-in closet with a sliding door. A full-length mirror covered the rear wall.
One side of the closet had a safe and flashlight, plus 2 ultra-comfortable black robes.
The pairs of black slippers on the ground complemented the robes.
The other side of the closet had a bench that was ideal for holding our suitcase, plus shelves at floor level.
There were also hangers and a laundry bag on this side of the closet.
The bed’s headboard also served as a divider and the backrest for a desk on the other side of the room. The desk had a singular chair.
The divider between the desk and bed had USB-A and universal outlets at both ends.
The desk also had a sign with a QR code we could scan to make requests via chat rather than a phone call to the front desk.
A small table and seating area was in a nook behind the desk, wrapping around the room’s entrance. This oddly-shaped quadrilateral bench was only knee-high and not very practical, but it did a good job filling what would’ve been dead space otherwise. In contrast to the design choices throughout the rest of the hotel, the orange lamp had a very different vibe.
A sliding wooden door led to the bathroom. A peculiar feature of the bathroom was that it not only had blinds for privacy from the outside world along its large window facing outside. It also had blinds to cover the large window looking into the tub area from the bedroom.
The sink area was enormous. There were 2 sinks and a great amount of counter space. Each sink had a pump bottle of soap, a drinking glass, and a bottle of water.
Between the sinks, we had numerous individually wrapped toiletries. These included a loofah, dental kit, shower cap, and razor, plus a pump bottle of hand lotion with the same smell and texture as our bathroom amenities at the Alila Manggis in Bali. We also found facial mist, mouthwash, and a box of tissues.
Near the toilet was a makeup mirror on an adjustable arm.
A shelf under the vanity had towels and a bag with a hair dryer inside.
To the right of the sinks, sharing a wall with the walk-in closet, the toilet was inside a glass box with a door that swung in both directions.
We had a spare roll of toilet paper on a shelf above the push-button flush for the toilet.
To the left of the sink was a shower stall with options for a handheld or rainfall shower.
A shelf cut into the wall held pump bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. These also had a fresh lemongrass smell.
Behind the window between the bedroom and bathroom was a tub. While it wasn’t overly long, it was deep and could fit an adult comfortably.
A ledge near the tub held a pump bottle of bubble bath and a container of soaking salts.
Beyond the tub was an odd dead space.
Near the entrance to the closet, a door opened to reveal a minibar. There were snacks for sale, bottled water, mugs, and supplies for making coffee (via pods) or tea (with a kettle).
Below, there was a mini fridge with chocolates and drinks for sale. These included beer, Coke products, and juices.
We also found our welcome gift inside the fridge. The friendly check-in agent had told us that we would find a plate of fruits inside the fridge when we arrived in our room — a gift for my Globalist status.
At the rear of the lobby, we found the entrance to Vong Kitchen — 1 of the 2 restaurants at the hotel.
The bar at Vong was the site for Globalists to have their evening cocktails. Vong was also the location for complimentary breakfast as a benefit of my elite status.
Vong Kitchen offered a fusion lunch and dinner menu of French, American, and Indonesian food curated by chefs Jean-Georges and Cédric Vongerichten. It was open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Also located on the ground floor, Le Burger offered a menu of burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, beers, and cocktails. It served fare around a beer garden setting, though indoor seating was also available in case of inclement weather. Daily hours were from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We loved so many things at this property. The design choices and modern amenities were high on the list, but the service truly set this property apart. The service is why we are already dreaming of a return visit.
Staff smiled and were genuinely friendly in all of our interactions. But I’ve had that at other hotels, so allow me to provide 2 examples that started and ended our stay on the highest of high notes.
At check-in, the shift manager came to greet us personally. He indicated that the hotel staff had reviewed the notes in my Hyatt profile before our arrival and noted that my wife and I are both vegan. Thus, they replaced the typical Globalist welcome snack (which contains milk chocolate) with a fruit plate. This level of attention to detail elevated the stay by providing a welcome snack that we would actually consume. It also showed that the hotel cared about us as brand loyalists.
During check-in, we also discussed our flight the next morning with the staff, asking what time we should arrive at the airport and what time we should leave the hotel. The staff offered to schedule a taxi for us and indicated an estimated price to ensure we weren’t overcharged.
But the great example of “going above and beyond” came when we sleepily rolled our suitcase up to the desk the following morning. The smiling agent at the desk pulled out a large bag with a takeaway breakfast. “Because you are leaving before the free breakfast starts” was their reasoning for making the effort to prepare a breakfast for us, packed for the road.
The employee noted that everything in the breakfast was vegan, again noting they had paid attention to the notes in my Globalist profile, provided by My Hyatt Concierge. After arriving at the airport and finishing check-in, we sat down to have breakfast before passing security.
We had an abundant amount of fresh fruits. My wife and I each had one of these containers.
We also had 2 pieces of bread each, plus a minty-fruity spread. And we each had a latte with soy milk.
This was the most thoughtful, personalized service I’ve ever seen from a hotel. Staff easily could’ve said, “Oh, too bad that you’re leaving before the restaurant opens for breakfast.” If that had happened, we would’ve accepted it as a fact of life and not thought twice about it.
Instead, the staff went far beyond our expectations, preparing a breakfast without us thinking this possibility existed and customizing it to the guest. That was fantastic service.
We loved so many things at this property. From the location and design choices to the artwork and amenities, this was an excellent hotel to visit. But the service put it over the top, turning a visit to a unique hotel into a stay to remember. A single night just wasn’t enough. We can’t wait to return to this hotel for a longer stay.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The hotel has 227 rooms spread across 26 floors in the hotel’s tower.
Alila is part of World of Hyatt. You can earn and redeem World of Hyatt points on stays at Alila properties. Other hotels in the World of Hyatt brand include Alua, Destination by Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, Park Hyatt, and Unbound Collection.
SCBD stands for Sudirman Central Business District. This area is south of central Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
The hotel officially opened on February 9, 2019.
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Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.
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