Food Testing at Swiss Belinn Saripetojo Hotel Solo

Hi Donny, make our Marketing Conference event very great and meaningful. I have booked a very good and strategic hotel for our event. You have to survey it and design our event according to hotel facilities which I ordered ”.

That was a brief greeting from my CEO a week before I conducted a survey to Solo. A sentence that holded hope and certainly becomes a burden for me as Chairman of Marketing Conference.

What I knew, this hotel was located in Laweyan area and right across from Purwosari Station which was the second oldest train station in Solo. And my first day survey, i putagenda of visiting this hotel in the itinerary.

It was still morning….The time was 8:38 hours and I already had some sufficient information about Jaladara Tourist Train rental for Marketing Conference purposes later. Now I was in front of Solo City Transportation Board courtyard and waiting for an online taxi picked up me.

Soon the taxi arrived and I hurried up. Rahadian sat on back seat on right side and I chatted with the driver in front seat. Rahadian continued to try to contact marketing division of hotel which we were aiming for, Mr. Bekti was his name. It seemed like Rahadian was a little annoyed because he couldn’t reach him.

Never mind, we’ll just ask on the spot“, I lightly muttered.

Yes, Sir Donny” he briefly replied, then his gaze flew out the taxi window to enjoy the atmosphere of Solo City.

Lobby and reception desk.
Escalalator to Robinson Department Store.
Toilet near reception desk.

The online taxis were moving towards southwest, about three kilometers. And in 15 minutes arrived in front of hotel lobby. Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo Solo, the name of the hotel. Located on south side of protocol road, namely Slamet Riyadi Street, directly opposite the Purwosari Tabanas Monument.

Our CEO was kind. He ordered a three-star hotel which was integrated with city’s shopping center, namely Robinson Department Store. But who would have thought that this hotel was a former ice factory building from Dutch colonial era in 1919.

As soon as we got off from online taxi, we went straight to reception desk and asked where was Mr. Bekti who was in charge in marketing division. It turned out that he was in a meeting and we had to wait up to fifteen minutes.

For some time waiting, Mr. Bekti came and a moment later we were invited to tour to all rooms which would be related to our Marketing Conference event. Starting from the meeting room then continuing to the barelo (bar, restaurant, lounge), swimming pool, fitness center and spa and massage room, all shown one by one.

Corridor towards ballroom.
Lounge in front of Keraton Balroom.
Keraton Ballroom.
Keraton Ballroom.

The main survey, we allocated it to see the Keraton Ballroom, because this location would be the main venue for our event. We have to pay attention to ballroom layout in detail to design the best form of event which could be done.

Meanwhile, the second facility which was be our goal is barelo. We would make a plan that this place would be the location for a gala dinner with local band, namely Artcoustic Band. We were also allowed to do food testing to determine the best menu which we will chose to serve at the event.

Lounge in front of barelo.
Barelo.
Outdoor Barelo.
Outdoor Barelo.

It was just a shame, I couldn’t see guest room because in that morning, rooms were still full of guests. Finally, our last survey was conducted to see swimming pool, fitness center and spa and massage room.

Swimming pool..
Fitness Centre.
Spa and massage.

We thought the survey this time was enough and it was time to go to next place.

Solo Paragon’s Latte: Adi Soemarmo International Airport’s DAMRI Bus

Mr. Donny, it’s been a long time since we met. Before you go to hotel, please, stop by for a moment at Solo Paragon. We can talk and drink coffee together!”, Mr. Arman short message while I was still in waiting room at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Mr. Arman….He is the husband of my client, a Bangladeshi who became an Indonesian citizen several years ago.

Who are you with in Solo, Sir?“, I replied to his short message.

I am with my second son, sir. I am waiting for your arrival, ok? ”He asked with a little forcefully.

Okay, Sir Arman”.

On 17:30 hours, finally, Citilink QG 126 perfectly landed at Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. In the end, I really canceled on going straight to Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area. I decided to fulfill Mr. Arman’s coffee drinking invitation.

DAMRI taxi and bus ticket sales counter.
A corridor leads to parking area and DAMRI bus shelter.
DAMRI bus was waiting for me.

Oh yes….

Several years ago, before actively writing on this blog, I had landed at the same airport. It’s just that, at that time I was picked up by a friend with his car to city center. But this time, I would try a public transportation mode to downtown.

I slowly noticed that in the east of airport terminal building, there was a construction project for airport train station which was still half finished. “Finally Solo will have an airport train too“, I muttered. Salute with the development of Batik City*1.

Dark quickly acquired time, I canceled airport exploration. I prefered to immediately look for a counter which sell DAMRI bus tickets. I found that counter in hallway of eastern arrival hall, next to taxi ticket counter.

Get ready for downtown.
Ticket.
See you later Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

That afternoon the counter was quiet, even I only had one queue with a old woman. Behind me, there weren’t passengers waiting in line anymore. Based on information from counter staff, DAMRI bus would stop at its final destination in Tirtonadi Terminal. Towards Solo Paragon in Mangkubumen area, I was advised to stop at Solo Square, a shopping center in Laweyan area. Paid Rp. 25,000, I got a ticket to downtown. “The bus is waiting at its shelter, Sir” she told me.

I quickly walked down a corridor to airport parking area. Seen at the end of corridor, waiting for me a medium sized blue bus. I saw that old woman who was queuing in front of me had entered through the middle door. While the driver seemed to be waving at me to hurry up because bus was about to leave. Even though its seats weren’t full, the bus prioritized punctuality to immediately head to city which is about 15 km away.

The driver checked my ticket before I entered. I sat in the middle seat and soon bus slowly left airport. Riding along Adi Sumarmo Street, continued on Adi Sucipto Street and entered Slamet Riyadi Street. Passing several famous buildings such as De Tjolomadoe, Javenir and Purwosari Station.

Within 20 minutes, the bus started to stop at Solo Square shopping mall and I got off at the edge of Slamet Riyadi Street which is the city’s protocol road. I thought it would be better to have dinner before drinking coffee with Mr. Arman. Finally I stopped at street food stall, I sat down in an “angkringan*2” and ate some “cat rice*3” and some egg satay, shells satay and crackers. Enjoying ginger drink in angkringan was something I haven’t done for a long time. This habit wasn’t a matter of cheap price, but rather about taste and how to spend the night in Batik City.

Angkringan and cat rice.
Arrived at di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Mr. Donny, have you landed?“, Mr. Arman sent another short message.

Yes sir, I am only 4 km from your place. I’ll be there soon, sir. Wait yes!”, I briefly replied.

I immediately paid for my menu and ordered an online motorcycle taxi to Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Within 10 minutes, I arrived and headed straight to lobby.

Entering the lobby, I could see Mr. Arman and Rishan (her 9 years old son) waiting at the door. I shook his hand and lightly hugged then we spent until midnight just talking, sharing and enjoying a cup of latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Note:

*1. Batik City is the other name for Solo City or Surakarta City.

*2. Angkringan is a street food stall typical of solo city.

*3. Cat rice in Indonesia is known as Nasi Kucing. Namely, rice packets which is its size is a fist.