Once Upon a Time in Yogyakarta

For some­one in my pro­fes­sion, it can be a breath of fresh air to take a break from the usual va­ca­tion spots. No mat­ter how much I like Bali, it’s al­ways nice to try some­thing dif­fer­ent. We all like a lit­tle change now and then, a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere, dif

Maxx-M - - WHERE TO STAY - Text by Me­lani Se­muel | Pho­tos cour­tesy of Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta

If I had to choose just one city in In­done­sia for a hol­i­day, my choice would be Yogyakarta. The “City of Art and Cul­ture”, Yogyakarta is home to a stunning wealth of cul­tural and artis­tic trea­sures. There are mag­nif­i­cent tem­ples, the ru­ins of palaces and monas­ter­ies, cul­tural events, art gal­leries, tra­di­tional per­form­ing arts and so much more. This is all part of the living cul­ture of Yogyakarta, and colours the daily lives of its res­i­dents. Be­cause of its cul­tural rich­ness and her­itage, Yogyakarta has long been known as the cra­dle of Ja­vanese cul­ture. I fell in love with the city the first time I set foot in it and just can’t get enough of Yogyakarta. Hav­ing time for my­self has re­ally be­come a rare luxury. It seems like I am spend­ing more and more hours in the of­fice, leav­ing me with lit­tle time for any­thing else. I long to es­cape the daily grind, to stop and smell the roses. My hec­tic sched­ule had drained me, so I de­cided to look for a place where I could un­wind, chill out and lav­ish some well-de­served pam­per­ing on my­self. I de­cided to have a lit­tle es­cape, so I packed my bag and flew to Yogyakarta. When I am away on a rare hol­i­day, I want the best for my­self, so I booked a cou­ple of nights at Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta. I had heard good things about the ho­tel, an in­ter­na­tional qual­ity 5-star ho­tel-re­sort sit­u­ated on 24 hectares of beau­ti­fully man­i­cured grounds and fringed with lush green jun­gle. It also boasts multi-level swim­ming pools, is close to ma­jor lo­cal at­trac­tions and has a beau­ti­ful nine-hole par-30 golf course, some­thing that I was keen to try my hand at. It is lo­cated in the lush out­skirts of Yogyakarta, to the north near Mount Mer­api (you can see the moun­tain from the ho­tel) and Borobudur Tem­ple, and de­cid­edly away from the city’s cen­tre, which is ex­actly what I was look­ing for a re­lax­ing retreat. The ho­tel is nes­tled amidst beau­ti­fully land­scaped trop­i­cal gar­dens. Built around the ex­otic theme “Misty Trop­i­cal Ru­ins”, which calls to mind images of some forgotten city shrouded in the mist of an im­pen­e­tra­ble trop­i­cal jun­gle, the ho­tel calls out to lovers with its air of mys­tery and grandeur. Adding to the ex­oti­cism, the ho­tel in­cor­po­rates the same axis as many of the ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails of the nearby an­cient BorobudurTem­ple. Af­ter check­ing in, I am es­corted to my suite at the Re­gency Club, Hy­att’s unique “ho­tel within a ho­tel”. The suite is spa­cious, de­signed in a con­tem­po­rary style and fur­nished with the lat­est con­ve­niences. It also gra­ciously over­looks the bril­liant emer­ald greens of the golf course. I de­cide to make use of my club priv­i­leges. The club is lo­cated on the sec­ond floor of the ho­tel, and as part of my priv­i­leges, I re­ceive a com­pli­men­tary daily Con­ti­nen­tal Break­fast Buf­fet, all-day tea and cof­fee, fruit, freshly baked cook­ies, roasted crispy nuts and evening cock­tails. Within the ho­tel, I am treated to a host of never-end­ing de­lights at the ho­tel’s restau­rants. Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta it­self is host to a never-end­ing range of culi­nary de­lights. Ev­ery­thing at the ho­tel is de­li­cious, but you must try the In­done­sian dishes, which have the au­then­tic flavours sure to tan­ta­lise your taste buds. The cli­max to my ex­pe­ri­ence is the short game at Hy­att Re­gency’s in-ho­tel golf course, fol­lowed by a re­lax­ing mas­sage at the Health Club Spa, lo­cated next to Bo­gey’s Ter­race, the ho­tel’s flag­ship nightspot with live en­ter­tain­ment. The golf course is pleas­ant to play on, beau­ti­fully land­scaped and poses just the right amount of chal­lenge for a novice like me. I love the per­sonal ser­vice at the ho­tel. Ev­ery evening when I re­treated to my room, I would find the nicest turn­down ser­vice of bakpia (Yogyakarta tra­di­tional cake) and, on top of the bed, a leaf with the words “sweet dreams” writ­ten on it. In­deed, a stay at Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta is like a dream, a very sweet dream. As I pre­pared to say good­bye to Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta, I re­al­ized that you have to step back from the daily rou­tine to un­der­stand what Ital­ians mean by la vita e bella, or “life is beau­ti­ful”. My time at the ho­tel gave me the chance to do noth­ing but en­joy my­self. I spent peace­ful hours just soak­ing it all in, and in those times, one is able to re­al­ize how beau­ti­ful and pre­cious life is. Too of­ten we take things for granted, and we spend too much time work­ing and for­get to stop and smell the roses. Thank­fully, I have found a lit­tle slice of heaven at Hy­att Re­gency Yogyakarta.

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