Let me start by saying I've (unusually) had difficulty rating this 3 or 4 star. In the end I have plumped for 4 star on the basis that the hotel is good value, reasonably well placed for the various attractions in the region, staff were generally good and it has, at least from my perspective, a sufficiently interesting layout to the hotel to warrant the uptick. There are, however, some shortcoming (or benefits, depending which way you look at it) due the layout and age of the hotel.
It's a curious property spread on either side of a road and comprising what was previously, I think, 2 or 3 properties now combined. The swimming pool, reception and some rooms/villas are on one side of the road and further rooms/villas as well as the restaurant on the other side. There was usually a guard to help guests safely cross the road and the road itself was at various times of the day quiet to busy. Don't let this put you off - road noise might be an issue for some but the rooms are set away from the road and I suspect any noise only affects those near the pool. If you are visiting the attractions and spending active days, you should sleep OK.
The non pool-side of the hotel is set around a deep gully with a stream at the bottom and the various rooms are set in the landscape along both sides of the gully with steps and paths between. There is a wooden bridge crossing the stream. This side of the hotel is quite atmospheric particularly at night when you will be serenaded to sleep by the sound of frogs and toads.
Aside from the restaurant, the staff set up tables in a dining pavilion half way down the gully and this makes for a good place for an evening meal. The moisture and humidity around the gully have taken their toll on some of the wooden rails and posts along the pathways but this lends a certain charm to the place. There are various other buildings set about the gully, apparently part of the hotel but not all in use at the time of our visit.
The pool-side of the hotel is set on more level ground. There is an alleyway between the reception/a few rooms and the pool and pool-side rooms. This side of the hotel has a more standard hotel feel to it and the grounds were generally well-kept.
The rooms are of various sizes. We had a junior villa, V5 at the top of the steps leading down from the restaurant (though separated by doors and a small running stream) to the gully and dining pavilion. The exterior and interior of the villa were timber built, around the traditional 4 post plan. Internally, the room was simply furnished with king 4-post bed, wardrobe, sofa, chaise, table, chairs, dresser and TV. A fridge was present but not operating. A door to the side opened to the shower and toilet. Overall, the furnishings had clearly seen some years use but were pleasant enough. This particular villa also had a door opening onto a small private terrace surrounded by vegetation but overlooking the gully.
Our children (aged 13 and 15) stayed in a separate room, S1, which was set quite some way away on the other side of the gully, which meant negotiating the step, paths and bridge of the gully each time we wanted to cross. This room was more modern in appearance on the exterior but was finished in a similar style internally as our villa, this time with one queen double and a single bed. It too had a shower/toilet room and to the front there was a wide private terrace with an old wooden carved bale in the corner. While the bedlinen was clean, one of the sheets had 3 or 4 holes. The bed mattresses were firm but not overly hard if you prefer a medium or soft mattress you may have problems with these.
Breakfast was taken in the main restaurant, having selected what items we wanted on a form handed in the previous evening. The food was so so.
Dinner can be taken in the restaurant or the pavilion in the gully, the latter definitely being more atmospheric, though the restaurant had live and recorded gamelan music, the live music played on what looked like a permanent instrument set.
The pool was adequate for a dip after a day's sightseeing. It is formed as a long thin pool in front of a strip of villas with a small crossing feature bridge. A small children's pool is set higher with water tumbling down over some rocks to the lower pool. Pool towels were provided but the pool showers were apparently not working.
Elsewhere, the hotel featured small areas of garden and was generally well-kept, including a daily sweeping of the paths in the gully to remove leaf debris. Lighting of the paths and steps in the gully at night was a bit patchy with some steps (and wildlife) hard to see - I trod on one large toad.
As said, I had some difficulty in rating this hotel and expect guests' experiences will vary depending on which room they stay in and its location in the overall hotel. The hotel is relatively inexpensive and this should be borne in mind. Road noise might be an issue for some (not us, too tired at night) but for me the layout and fading charm of the buildings just tipped it into the 'Very Good' (considering what you are paying for) category
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover Yogyakarta, Indonesia in rooms that are well-priced and strategically located just 20 km from Adisucipto International Airport and 40 km from Solo International Airport. Enjoy reasonably priced comfort from our accommodation in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Each Room or Villa is framed in traditional Javanese architecture and feature beautiful dark wood furniture that creates a homey vibe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Joglo Plawang Boutique Villa Hotel Yogyakarta