After our visit to Borobudur Temple, we headed back to Yogyakarta where we had booked to stay at 5* heritage-listed The Phoenix Hotel, one of the oldest (and fanciest) hotels in the city. The hotel is part of Accor's M Gallery Collection, a grouping of stylish and exclusive hotels around the world.
The hotel was built in 1918, and has had a varied history to date. During the Great Depression until Japan's occupation of the city in 1942 it became a 'resident hotel', or a hotel where 'guests' essentially rented the rooms and lived there as they would in an apartment. Following the war, it became the official residence of the Chinese Consulate and since the mid 1950s has operated as a hotel.
Unbeknownst to Mum and I, my Dad had booked us all into one of the hotel's suites. It was like an apartment - and there were free cakes on arrival! I jumped straight into the fluffy white bathrobe and found myself a spot on the balcony, to read my book and devour some of the cakes. We also had free mini-bar and snacks. AND a bowl of fruit! Hospitality at the hotel was off to a great start.
The presentation of the hotel was second-to-none, with fountains, stunning architecture and small details at every turn, including some stunning traditional batik and ikat fabric made into modern clothing - a nod to Yogyakarta's heritage as the art capital of Indonesia.
In all honesty, we were pretty lazy during our time in Yogyakarta, only venturing out one one of our mornings in the city, instead preferring to relax by the pool and make room for our next meal.
Usually I'm one to shy away from hotel restaurants - so often the food is bland, basic and thrown down in front of you without much thought. The Phoenix, however, is home to Paprika, a world-class restaurant serving traditional Indonesian and Javanese meals with a modern twist.
The food was amazing value, with most meals half the price of a similar meal in Australia. I think we sampled the entire menu by the end of our visit, with my standout favourite being the Corn Chowder.
How's this for a ride?!
The staff at The Phoenix were absolutely delightful and a pleasure to deal with, always greeting us with a smile and going along with my attempts to practice my Indonesian. Often in Bali where I live, hospitality staff are asked to speak only in English with tourists so it was a nice change to have them acknowledge my attempts!
5 thumbs up for this 5 star hotel - I would definitely go back!