While Bali has established itself as one of the world’s major tourist destinations, other parts of Indonesia are still opening up to foreign tourists — and about time, too. Marriott International’s entry into the Indonesian market comes at an ideal time with the opening of Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel.
The 347-room hotel, with its various business facilities and proximity to some of Yogyakarta’s (Jogja’s) attractions, cleverly blends business and leisure in the cultural capital of Indonesia.
“Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel is not only the newest hotel in the historic city, but is also leading the pack in terms of innovative meeting facilities for business travelers as well as easy access to all of the city’s tourist attractions,” said General Manager Alain Rigodin.
Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel, located twenty minutes away from Adi Sutjipto International Airport, is the gateway to the city’s most exciting attractions. The city centre, where the lively Jalan Malioboro is located, is just 5 kilometres away from the city centre.
Additionally, the hotel also boasts a prime location for those hoping to immerse in Jogja’s tradition and culture, as the 18th-century historical Keraton Royal Palace and the UNESCO-listed Borobudur Temple, one of the world’s largest Buddhist temples, are only an hour’s drive away.
If you’re looking to indulge in retail therapy, the hotel is also connected to the new Hartono Mall, which has everything from homeware stores, to a large supermarket, as well as various international and regional clothing brands.
On our trip to Jogja this month, we stayed in a Deluxe room, which boasts ultra-chic decor that incorporates Javanese-inspired accents — typical of the Marriott style, which blends contemporary interiors with local touches (wherever in the world you may be).
The room is designed with the modern and savvy jet-setter in mind, evident by its beautiful open-concept marble bathroom that is separated by sliding doors to give the room an airy feel without compromising on privacy. Additionally, the vanity is fronted by a large Hollywood-style mirror, which added a sophisticated flair to its interiors.
Each Deluxe room also comes with a mini-bar, sofa beds right by the glass window (which makes for the perfect reading nook), a work table, and 24-hour room service — which we found to be a saviour, especially when working late nights.
The service at Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel reflects true Indonesian hospitality, with the highly-attentive staff going out of their way to make sure guests are comfortable and at home. We experienced this ourselves during our stay. Each evening, we will return to our room that has been perfectly turned down and find folded towel animals and handwritten notes thoughtfully left by housekeeping — a simple but heart-warming gesture.
Culinary-wise, the hotel is home to a selection of different food and drinks at three dining venues, namely the Yogyakarta Kitchen, Taman Sari Bar & Grill, and The Lounge.
The all-day dining Yogyakarta Kitchen, where daily breakfast is served, boasts an interactive open-kitchen buffet concept. We were impressed by the extensive breakfast spread, which offers both local and international fare such as the delicious (and highly praised) steak and eggs, bubur ayam keraton (chicken porridge with turmeric chicken broth, shredded chicken, cakwe, tongcay, soy bean, fried shallot and poached egg), and pandan milk pancake topped with coconut milk, whipped butter, mango chutney, and maple syrup.
For lunch, we loved the Marriot-style Gudeg, a traditional dish originating from Jogja and Central Java. Made from young jackfruit cooked with coconut milk and buah keluak for two hours in a big pot, the dish is spicy yet sweet — served with white steamed rice and chicken. The unique flavours of the dish made sense after we were told that the locals are known to favour sweeter dishes.
The Lounge, on the other hand, is located right by the lobby and boasts a convenient atmosphere for business meetings. In the evenings, the atmosphere becomes more casual, deeming it a great place to unwind with a cocktail.
Besides the three dining establishments, Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel also boasts a modern gym, a serene day spa, an outdoor pool, a boardroom, seven meeting rooms, and several pre-function areas to host various business meetings and intimate events. Its 1,870-square-metre pillar-less ballroom is also the largest in Yogyakarta, making it the grandest venue in town for special celebrations.
We spent an afternoon at the decadent Quan Spa, where we indulged in a one-hour Javanese massage. While it has similarities to the popular Balinese Spa, the techniques used are quite different. Our therapist used ancient massage techniques and firm strokes to target deeper into all muscles, bones and nerves. Jasmine oil is massaged onto the skin, bringing about a sense of complete relaxation and well-being. She then completed the massage with a 30-minute scrub, a mild body exfoliation that leaves the skin soft and radiant.
Granted, Yogyakarta makes a surprising choice to mark the entry of the Marriott brand into the Indonesian market — but it has proven to be a smart move, as it has opened the city up to international and regional business travellers. Hence, the hotel provides the perfect balance for business and leisure.