Rest&Relaxation


    A Royal Tale

      30-9-2017
     

    A Royal Tale

    A Royal Tale

    The Royal garden with a bale, a koi fish pond and a jogging track.

    A Royal Tale

    The Premiere Room with a view of Mount Merapi.

    A Royal Tale

    “Kehidupan Masyarakat Yogyakarta”, one of the artworks from the ‘60s.

    A Royal Tale

    Surrounded by a pond, the Bale Kambang now serves as a yoga venue and a private dinner with mandatory Javanese customs and rules.

    A Royal Tale

    Get pampered at Nurkadhatyan The Ritual Spa

    A Royal Tale

    Selections of breakfast buffet at the Royal Restaurant.

    A Royal Tale

    Dawn at the Borobudur Temple.

    A Royal Tale

    Learn about Jemparingan, an ancient Javanese archery, from the professionals.
    A Royal Tale

    A Royal Tale
    The Royal garden with a bale, a koi fish pond and a jogging track.

    A Royal Tale
    The Premiere Room with a view of Mount Merapi.

    A Royal Tale
    “Kehidupan Masyarakat Yogyakarta”, one of the artworks from the ‘60s.

    A Royal Tale
    Surrounded by a pond, the Bale Kambang now serves as a yoga venue and a private dinner with mandatory Javanese customs and rules.

    A Royal Tale
    Get pampered at Nurkadhatyan The Ritual Spa

    A Royal Tale
    Selections of breakfast buffet at the Royal Restaurant.

    A Royal Tale
    Dawn at the Borobudur Temple.

    A Royal Tale
    Learn about Jemparingan, an ancient Javanese archery, from the professionals.

    Experience Yogyakarta at its best by staying at the city's urban icon, Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta, an integrated complex where age-old rituals and heritage site meet modern life...

    When I arrived at Adisucipto International Airport after a one-and-a-half hour flight from Bali, a man holding a tablet with my name written on the display was already waiting at the exit. Greeting me warmly and assisting me with my baggage, he then took me to a car that said, “Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta”. Within minutes after I set foot in the city, Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta, the hotel where I was going to stay for four days, already presented its top-notch hospitality.

    It took only 10 minutes from the airport to the hotel by car. Standing in the heart of the city, the awardwinning Royal Ambarrukmo – the hotel has received world-class awards like the International Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2017/2018, among others – looks so magnificent from the outside with its all-white exterior and manicured front yard. The interior is just as lavish with marbled floor and warm hues. Yet, the hotel still sends a homey vibe as the staff welcomed me with a big smile and presented a cup of hot secang, a Javanese traditional beverage, while helping me with my check in.

    Royal Ambarrukmo provides 247 rooms and suites in five different types – Deluxe Room, Premiere Room, Junior Suite, Executive Suite and Ambarrukmo Suite. Each room has a stylish design with touches of local inspirations, and a private balcony overlooking the city’s skyline, the resort’s Royal garden or the marvelous Mount Merapi. In a second, I fell in love with my Premiere Room which is set with lavish bedding and a balcony facing the hotel’s swimming pool and Mount Merapi. However, I couldn’t wait to explore the rest of the hotel through the Heritage Tour & Koi Fish Feeding program, conducted by Khairul Anwar, the hotel’s Marketing & Communications Manager. Thus, a tale from the ‘60s revealed...

    Everlasting Artwork
    “The history of Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta goes back to 1964 when the hotel was first established under the name ‘Ambarrukmo Palace Hotel’,” stated Khairul as we began our tour at the lobby. The building itself is also historical as it used to serve as a Japanese governmental office during their colonization. When Japan was defeated, President Soekarno turned the building into one of the first exclusive hotels in Indonesia. After more than 50 years, the hotel now becomes an urban icon of Yogyakarta where traditions blend perfectly with modernity.

    “Royal Ambarrukmo is a heritage building. That’s why, the exterior of the hotel remains the same since 1964. We can only redesign the interior which was just done in 2011,” Khairul continued. “This hotel is like a museum with several artworks displayed from the ‘60s, like this one,” Khairul pointed to a relief made of andesite rocks next to the main entrance. Titled “Untung Rugi di Lereng Merapi” (the Good and Bad Times at Merapi Volcano), the relief exposes the lives of the people at Mount Merapi.

    The hotel also showcases two mosaics made of ceramic tiles from the ‘60s created by artist J. Soedhiono and team. The first one is titled “Kehidupan Masyarakat Yogyakarta” (the Lives of Yogyakarta Society). Located on the eighth floor next to the Karaton ballroom, this artwork is displayed on 10 meter-high walls and looks sharp with vibrant colors. The other one, titled “Kehidupan Masyarakat Jawa Tengah” (the Lives of Central Java Society), is displayed on the first floor, right next to Royal Restaurant, with warmer hues.

    The hotel’s lush Royal garden also has its own story. The swimming pool for adults used to function as a mini Olympic pool for athletes, but now it has been redesigned into a beautiful resort-style pool with daybeds, surrounded by bronze sculptures also from the ‘60s. Next to the main pool is the kid’s pool and the fitness center. Walking further into the garden is a playground where a Kid’s Club is underway and a jogging track.

    The Royal garden is home to many trees and plants, from longan trees to orchids, all are grown with the hotel’s own recycled water. Three gazebos stand in the garden, one of them is surrounded by a Koi fish pond, making it a perfect sanctuary to relax while listening to the sounds of nature.

    Royal Legacy
    Standing on a site owned by the Keraton Yogyakarta (the city’s Sultanate), the Royal Ambarrukmo has a close relationship with the city’s royal family. Within the hotel area stands Kedaton Ambarrukmo (a mini palace complex) from the 18th century that is still preserved until today.

    The complex consists of Pendopo Agung (the Royal living room) to host many events and celebrations, including Patehan (the hotel’s daily royal high tea ceremony); Ndalem Agung where the Sultan Hamengku Buwono VII lived until his last breath (now it serves as a museum); and Gadri which is and has always been used as the Royal Dining Room – I can only imagine how special an intimate dinner in Gadri must be as guests get to indulge in delicious meals in the Sultan’s dining area!

    Still in the Kedaton complex is Gandhok Tengen (where the princesses and female Royal servants and guests used to live) which is now transformed into Nurkadhatyan The Ritual Spa. Managed by the Sultan’s five daughters and a spa master, the spa offers selections of age-old Keraton’s beauty rituals with the use of homemade products. One of the rooms even has a bathtub made of Merapi’s andesite rock to absorb negative energies and help balance one’s mind, body and soul, making this spa one of the best in Yogyakarta.

    The Bale Kambang (the Floating Hut) stands behind the Gadri. This octagon-shaped alfresco hall is surrounded by a pond where the princesses used to swim. And in this hall, the Sultan used to do meditation. Now, it functions as a yoga place for hotel guests every Saturday morning.

    Get Cultured
    Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta also embraces Javanese culture in its guest activities, one of them being the Jemparingan session, an ancient Javanese archery. Every Friday afternoon, a Jemparingan community comes to compete at the Pendopo Agung, and guests can join them before the course ends.

    Wearing a Javanese kebaya and batik sarong, I signed up for this class which was quite challenging as we had to do it by sitting down with our legs crossed! In between the Jemparingan session, when the archers took a break, the Patehan – a royal high tea ritual – was served in the Pendopo Agung, presenting Javanese traditional light bites, coffee and tea. Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta has other classes throughout the week, such as flutes on Mondays, Javanese dance on Tuesdays and batik classes on the third Wednesday of the month.

    Situated in a strategic location, Royal Ambarrukmo is also close to Yogyakarta’s tourist destinations, from historical sites like Prambanan Temple to shopping and culinary scene like Malioboro. Other cultural tours that the hotel offers include a visit to Mendut Temple, Keraton Yogyakarta and Borobudur Temple, as well as sunrise in Borobudur! Simply book a hotel car (with additional charge) or take public transportation like the TransJogja bus to tour the town.

    Experiencing street food in Yogyakarta is a must, but the hotel also serves authentic dishes in its all-day Royal Restaurant that are worth trying. During breakfast, Royal Restaurant presents Gudeg and jamu (traditional food and drink respectively) made by surrounding local sellers, while other flavorsome local food like Soto Tangkar is perfect for lunch or dinner, paired with a glass of cold secang. Other dining places are Punika Deli that offers sandwiches, gelato and other light bites until midnight, and Lobby Lounge & Bar that presents live music performances. And for a quick taste of the city’s vibe, the Plaza Ambarrukmo, one of the grandest malls in town, is right next door.

    Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta
    Jalan Laksda Adisucipto No. 81, Yogyakarta
    (0274) 488-488

    By Risty Nurraisa


       Author:  Team
      Magazine issue > Rest&Relaxation
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