The Indonesian embassy invited some Latin American travel agencies on a fam trip to Indonesia to get to know their country. We stayed in many hotels and inspected even more. Of all, my favorite was undoubtedly The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – MGallery by Sofitel.
I have always had a fascination with the luxury that was lived in other times. It is impressive to think that this hotel in Yogyakarta was initially built in 1918 as a private residence. Then in 1930 it became a hotel until 1946 when Indonesia achieved its independence. As a result it became the residence of the consul of China. Originally Yogyakarta was the capital of Indonesia but then changed to Jakarta, both on the island of Java.
In 1951 it returned to be a hotel which was called Hotel Merdeka, which means freedom in Indonesian. It was said to be the official home of the first President of Indonesia, Sukarno and his vice president, M. Hasta. Then in 1993 it became The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta.
The hotel has 143 rooms with elegant decoration. It has all the usual comforts expected from a luxury hotel, including robes, WiFi, cable TV, etc. What I liked most were the special touches. In the bathroom they put the amenities for men and women separately using Indonesian figurines with a sign that said “open me”. They also placed snake fruit (because of its texture) inside a cage.
At the end of the afternoon we passed by the Wine Bar which has a very good happy hour. You should take into account that since Indonesia is a Muslim country, alcohol is quite expensive because of the taxes. That is why we found the concept of happy hour discounts very attractive.
A wonderful breakfast at The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta
The buffet is so spacious that it is served in two areas, the covered dining room and another part inside. Inside you will find the egg station, make sure to ask for the eggs of the house. Apart there are some tables with breads.
On the outside you will find different tropical juices that vary by day, as well as a fruit season. The most interesting thing is to go to a lady who is sitting on the floor offering you potions to improve your health. You have four options, Jamu Kunir Asem for circulation; Jumu Veras Kencur for fever and cough; Jamu Brotowali for cholesterol and Jamu Daun Sirik for throat. The juice is served in some dark glasses while she tells you the ingredients, which includes honey, ginger, turmeric, among others.
You can try the typical Indonesian breakfast in a separate section and they even have to dim sum. Try “budur ayam or kacang ijo” which is a hot rice field that is covered with soy sauce dressings, fried shallots, shredded chicken, peanuts and cookies. The other soup they have is Mee Bakso, made from meatballs and noodles. Indonesian food is delicious.
Enjoy a coffee on the outdoor terrace at The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta
Indonesia has excellent coffee that they produce, in addition to a large number of species. At each table they have a little box where you can find different types of sugar and cinnamon. I know it sounds weird to put cinnamon in your coffee but you must try it because it is delicious.
While you enjoy your coffee on one of the tables on the terrace next to the fountain, you can also listen to typical music from the area. Two men with a face that looked like they were suffering (it is a country where they make many facial expressions in their arts) were playing the gamelan, a typical instrument of Bali. If you want to listen to more typical music you can visit the Kraton of Yogyakarta which is the house of the Sultan.
There is a small gazebo with cushions in the garden that is an ideal place to relax and read a book. Right in front of this is a tree that has a plaque that says it was planted by Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia.
A beautiful pool that takes you to a premium spa
The pool is probably the most photographed place in the hotel and it is truly a very beautiful place. A tropical colonial environment surrounds the pool which can be seen by the U-shaped rooms around the pool. These rooms have their own private balcony. You can always see a couple of guests sunbathing or relaxing on the chairs around the pool.
The hotel is decorated with traditional Indonesian figures that give it a local touch. The Spa is right in front of the pool and combines Javanese treatments with contemporary treatments. Indonesia is known for being one of the best places in the world to get a massage. Being so many hours in different planes makes you quite sore, so I took advantage of some free time to get a massage. It was really one of the best massages I’ve ever had, and the massage therapist had me in a trance.
I loved my experience at The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta. This hotel has a very affordable price to be a luxurious hotel. Rooms on Booking start from $88 for two adults.