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
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.