The Phoenix MGallery by Sofitel Yogyakarta Hotel Review: Blend of Culture

by The Wandering Baldy | 8 February 2018

When I visited Yogyakarta, I was determined to find a hotel that had a Javanese feel to it because the city of Yogyakarta has deep Javanese roots that made me curious. Sure, this wasn’t truly Javanese but the design reflected our colonization by the Dutch and the building itself was actually a colonial Landmark since 1918. So yes, I did get a cultural experience of Yogyakarta but in a different non traditional sense.

 

Booking

I was traveling with 2 other people so we needed a room with an extra bed. booking.com is actually cheaper for the rooms but needed an extra charge for the extra bed. For some reason, booking directly with AccorHotels gave me a maximum of 3 adults in the room and had a fine print of “up to 1 extra bed”. Though I love Sofitel in general, I do not stay with AccorHotels group as much so the points I receive for this stay did not create much impact for my value. I booked the Deluxe Legacy, king size bed, pool view with breakfast for USD 114.43 ~ IDR 1.551.670. If you are booking a room for just 2 people and do not collect Accor Points, I suggest getting it from booking.com as it is cheaper.

 

Location

 

 

This is right in the heart of the city. It is a few meters away from the “Tugu Monas” which is considered the monument that marks the center of the city.

It is walking distance to the most popular “angringkan”, which is Yogyakarta’s answer to streetside cafe’s where people can eat packaged rice and side dishes on a stick while eating it sitting on the streets.

If you are interested in a more touristic area and all the bars, you should look at hotels near Malioboro. I personally liked staying in this area because since I was renting a car with a driver, it was very convenient to go to all the popular sights.

 

Check-In

The amazement that I got from just entering the premises, from the obviously Javanese influence vibe and the European glass-stained windows, everything was just breathtaking.

When we entered the reception area, we were immediately escorted to a sitting area and they asked us to wait.

We were given drinks, a sort of a ginger concoction and also a stack of snacks on the table. I immediately fell in love with the “Bapia” which I mentioned in the [Jogja Food Guide]. I was pleased with this set-up for their guests. I must say first impressions really do make a big difference. Later on, we loved the bapia that we bought 10 cases of it to bring back home as gifts.

The lady came back and gladly told us that we were upgraded to the Legendary Suite! It was probably because we were three people in a room and they still have a lot of availability left. This got me so excited. We were then escorted again (which was a very nice touch!) to our room at the back section of the compound. I was explained that there is two different building in the hotel compound, the front section being the main building from 1918 with the reception area, concierge and restaurant but with smaller rooms (superior) while the back building has the bigger rooms (suite and deluxe) and also the pool.

They had a courtyard which had their restaurant and probably the view of the rooms in the older building.

 

Room

When we went inside, the air-conditioning was already on and chilled to a nice temperature and the sofa bed was already made. I assumed that they probably knew we were being upgraded a while back or they just did it in lightning speed. I liked the fact that even though there was a sofa bed in the living room, there was still space for my parents to lounge around and watch TV despite of the bed.

It was not a excessively gigantic suite by any means but it was a very comfortable size. I checked at Accorhotels’ website and found out that I can get this room with an extra USD 44.35 ~ IDR 601,297 with the same T&C.

More complimentary food for us. This was nice even though I still prefered their BakPia served in the lobby.

I personally can’t comment on the bed but judging that my insomniac mom slept a good 8 hours must be a very good sign since she usually sleeps for only 5 hours.

Before the bathroom, there is a spacious closet for you to put ample amounts of luggage.

Provided 2 water bottles in the bathroom

Quite a decent bathroom. Design is on par with the Javanese European look that the hotel has. Nothing that stood out except these cute amenities holder that we marked as male and female. Each of them had different amenities suited towards the gender. Extremely nice touches.

I must say that the suite is very impressive. Do not expect an overly giant presidential suite but it is a very comfortable size. They paid attention to the details and might be worth the upgrade if you need an extra bed, have a kid or just want to splurge on the luxury.

 

Breakfast

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Made-to-order Station

Bubur ayam (chicken porridge)

Jamu Section

There breakfast was mostly Indonesian food with usual international breakfast menu here and there such as pastries, cold cuts, cheese and an egg, pancake and waffle station to order. I loved the fact that they had a mix culture buffet as people usually come to Jogja for a cultural experience but also giving choices to people who might not be used to Indonesian food. The food was either a hit or miss. There was some food that was average but some of the Indonesian dishes was delicious such as their Gudeg and Krecek (love that they even serve this as part of breakfast). They even had a section dedicated to Indonesian sweets/desserts and Jamu section (Jamu: Javanese herbal drinks).

I personally felt the breakfast was absolutely worth the extra money for the quality of breakfast they serve.

 

Facilities

They had a pool that was either empty or just a few people in it. It was a nice size for a few laps and very clean. (I have a pet peeve for stray leaves or flowers in the pool, they honestly scared me as a child haha)

Other than the pool, they did not have a gym but they did have a spa which I did not take pictures of.

 

Service

Very pleasant people. From the staff that opens the front door to the reception and the lady who escorted us to our room. Everything felt like a proper 5 star hotel service. It was part of the Javanese culture to be so kind and hospitable. I felt this in the entire city and fell in love with the kindness of the Yogyakarta people.

 

Holiday Mulu Opinion

I would definitely stay here again considering the price and the quality that they provide. It was a unique experience especially with their gorgeous architecture with European grandness yet humble and traditional Javanese touches. Perfect place for couples and families who would want to actually take it slow and enjoy the city and hotel. I could never forget the kindness of the staff and how they made me smile. It was a peaceful sanctuary in the middle of the bustling city.

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