Anyone up for a cup of tea? I messaged my friends on WhatsApp while I lounged on our spacious balcony overlooking Royal Ambarrukmo’s lighted pool area. The night was young, and yet here I was, without a beer bottle in hand, sipping on tea instead. As before on a previous trip to the city, finding alcohol in Yogyakarta was harder than finding a spot without tourists on Borobudur.
|EVEN THE ELEVATOR LOBBY LOOKS CLASSY|
For two nights, the historic Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel became our home in Yogyakarta. We arrived on a warm September evening after an hour-long flight from Bandung and an excellent dish of fried chicken on a local restaurant. While everyone was craving for sleep. I was craving for beer.
|DELUXE ROOM, OUR HOME FOR TWO NIGHTS IN YOGYAKARTA|
|TOILET & BATH WITH RAIN-TYPE SHOWER|
|SPACIOUS BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE POOL|
We were booked on their Deluxe Room [CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY], and it was very spacious. In hues of earth tones, the queen-sized bed sits on a wooden platform in the middle of the room, with a soft swirl-patterned carpet underneath. It has all the usual stuff you’d find on a luxury hotel; work table, closet space, mini-bar, big-ass flatscreen television, fast Internet and a mini lounge area. And yes, as I mentioned, a balcony overlooking the pool. Sweet.
|THE POOL, SURROUNDED BY COPPER SCULPTURES AND FLOWERING PLUMERIA TREES|
|SWANKY LOUNGE AREA|
One thing that makes Royal Ambarrukmo stand out from the many hotels around Yogyakarta is its history. Parts of the hotel once functioned as rest house for Indonesia’s Royal Family. Built in 1859, it is recognized as a National Heritage Site.
|THE BALE KAMBANG OR ROYAL BATHING POOL|
|WALL MOSAIC DEPICTING LIFE IN YOGYAKARTA|
And for history buffs, guided tours of the royal premises are available for guests. Dubbed as the 7 Wonders of Royal Ambarrukmo tour, it allows guest to explore a museum, the gadri or dining hall for the royal family, the bale kambang or bathing pool, the Mozaik—an extensive series of mosaic mural done during 1965 along parts of the hotel, the bas relief on the lobby and the life-sized copper sculptures commissioned by none other than the late Indonesian president Sukarno himself.
|BAS RELIEF ON THE LOBBY|
Last, but definitely not the least, is the Pendopo Ambarrukmo, a hall that was once a meeting place for the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and a resort for the royal family. This is actually where the tour ends, with the hotel staff, dressed in local garb, serving us the Royal High Tea Ceremony or patehan.
|SERVING THE ROYAL HIGH TEA CEREMONY|
Along with excellent tea, we were served with plates of local sweets and delicacies. While I really ain’t much into sweets, I did enjoy the tea. What I’m really into though is buffets. And Royal Ambarrukmo’s complementary breakfast feast did not disappoint.
|BREAKFAST BUFFET AT THE ROYAL RESTAURANT|
|MY BREAKFAST MESS|
Set on their Royal Restaurant, we experienced its spread, unfortunately, just once since we had to go really early on our second day to catch the sunrise at Borobudur. We did raid the restaurant the next day with a vengeance; beef bacons, tempeh, fried chicken, mie goreng, pizza, tahu goreng, plus fruits and pastries and more; it was a delicious mash-up of Western and Indonesian cuisine making me wish we would extend our stay even for just one more night. Sigh.
~ THE INDONESIA MINISTRY OF TOURISM INVITED ME AS A PART OF THE TRIP OF WONDERS TOUR. VIEWS, OPINIONS & BIASES, ALL MINE.
Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel
Address: Jalan Laksda Adisucipto No.81,
Contact Number: +62 274-488-488
GPS Map: -7.781994, 110.403001