Where to stay in Yogyakarta on Indonesia’s island of Java depends on what your priorities are. But whatever you plan to do, one thing you can be sure of is that you’ll sleep well. Yogyakarta has some fabulous accommodation and it’s fantastic value, too.
Where to stay in Yogyakarta on Indonesia’s island of Java depends on whether you’re in the city to eat, shop and sightsee, explore Borobudur and Prambanan, or you’re fleeing neighbouring Bali and the imminent eruption of Mount Agung volcano and are content with a relaxed Bali-style holiday.
Bali’s Mount Agung volcano has been experiencing an unprecedented level of seismic activity in recent weeks, with hundreds of internal earthquakes occurring inside Agung each day. At the time of publishing this post it’s been reported that Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika has declared a state of emergency and 140,000 people had been evacuated from the danger zone around the Bali volcano, the highest mountain on the Indonesian island. When Mount Agung last erupted in the 1960s it destroyed entire villages, while some 1,700 people were killed in mudflows.
If you’re on Bali and considering an escape or were planning to head there soon and want an alternative, consider Yogyakarta on the neighbouring island of Java. Home to fantastic food, fab shopping, fascinating sights, and the majestic Buddhist and Hindu monuments of Borobudur and Prambanan, ‘Jogya’, as the locals call it, has great value accommodation, including very affordable boutique hotels with heritage and style and luxury hotels with swimming pools.
Where to stay in Yogyakarta isn’t an easy decision to make so we’ve whittled down the choices into a very selective guide that covers everything from atmospheric heritage hotels in the leafy suburbs and villages to five-star hotels with enormous swimming pools and stylish mid-range boutique hotels slap-bang in the city centre.
Here are our picks of where to stay in Yogyakarta…
WHERE TO STAY IN YOGYAKARTA
WHERE TO STAY IN YOGYAKARTA – ATMOSPHERIC BOUTIQUE HOTELS OUT OF THE CENTRE
D’omah Yogya Hotel
If I was only able to recommend one Yogyakarta stay for you, it would be Warwick Purser’s D’Omah Yogya Hotel. Purser, an Australian-born entrepreneur and Indonesian resident of 45 years who made his fortune exporting Indonesian handicrafts and furniture, was given Indonesian citizenship for his humanitarian work, and D’Omah Yogya is so much more than a boutique hotel, it’s a community tourism project. Located in the village of Tembi, 25 minutes out of Yogyakarta, the hotel was formerly Purser’s family compound, where he lived for twenty years. Purser rebuilt Tembi village after it was destroyed by the 2006 earthquake and damaged following the 2010 eruption of the Mount Merapi volcano, and also led the restoration of Borobudur, raising funds to clean the monument of corrosive volcanic ash. The breezy Javanese style accommodation with buildings with shutters and outdoor living spaces, includes deluxe rooms, a private villa and Purser’s own beautiful residence, each of which have their own gorgeous green swimming pools, lush gardens, and terrace lounges. Distinctive touches include traditional batik ‘wallpaper’, traditional and contemporary art from Purser’s personal collection, four-poster beds, and Javanese antiques. Guests can enjoy Javanese massages, bicycle rides, afternoon tea, and can do batik and craft workshops in the village. The property is a 5-minute amble from Tembi Gallery and Gabusan Market, a 15-minute drive to Yogyakarta’s city centre, and a 30-minute drive to Adisucipto International Airport. Complimentary transfers are available. At the time of writing this post Deluxe Doubles started at US$85 while the two-bedroom villa started at US$196 and the three-bedroom residence at US$239.
Jalan Parangtritis Km 8.5, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Rumah Mertua Boutique Hotel
A 25-minute drive north of the main shopping street of Malioboro, this is where to stay in Yogyakarta if you’re a fan of Balinese style boutique hotels with heritage and heavenly tropical gardens. ‘Rumah Mertua’ means ‘the house of the parents-in-law’ and this intimate boutique hotel with just eleven rooms is cosy and homey. While the swimming pool is compact, it’s a pleasant spot for a snooze on a sun-lounger after a sweaty day exploring Prambanan Temple, a 30-minute drive from the hotel, or Borobudur, an hour’s drive away. The traditional Javanese oil massage is also recommended after a couple of days scrambling archaeological sites. The big appeal of this small hotel, however, is the Javanese architecture and furnishings of the lovely public spaces and restaurant with their exquisite wood carvings, rattan backed chairs and batik textiles. The restaurant, which serves authentic Indonesian cuisine, including some Javanese specialties, is outstanding. Guests love the Rijsttafel, which includes a spread of ten different traditional dishes. The individually decorated rooms vary in style, however, all feature original art on the walls. The Deluxe Doubles, with glass doors that open onto a terrace and garden is our pick and prices currently start at US$52 per room per night.
Jalan Palagan Tentara Pelajar Gg Padma 5, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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WHERE TO STAY IN YOGYAKARTA – LUXURY HOTELS IN YOGYAKARTA
The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta MGallery by Sofitel
The grand five-star Phoenix is where to stay in Yogyakarta if you like your luxury hotels to ooze history. Built in 1918, this Dutch-era landmark has a sense of colonial grandeur and old-world elegance thanks to its stained glass windows, lofty ceilings, imposing pillars, Rosewood furniture, and antique Javanese ceramics, textiles and art. All of the 144 rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable, with big marble bathrooms, and decorated with Oriental carpets, antique telephones, and Indonesian wall hangings. The pick of the bunch is the Deluxe Legacy Pool View room with pretty balcony overlooking the hotel’s star attraction, a courtyard swimming pool surrounded by frangipani trees, and enchantingly illuminated at night. Cocktails at the 1918 poolside terrace lounge are a must. Order the signature Gin Sling and one of the waiters, who wear safari suits, will mix the drink at your table. The hotel is handy for shopping on Malioboro Street and Bering Harjo market and visiting key sights such as the Sultan’s Palace. Insider tours in the hotel’s chauffeur-driven vintage Mercedes take guests behind-the-scenes at a shadow puppet theatre and batik workshop. At the time of publishing this post, rooms started at US$90 a night.
Jalan Jend. Sudirman 9, Jetis, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort and Spa
One for the water-babies, this is where to stay in Yogyakarta if you’re planning to do very little at all or spoil yourself with some pampering. The palatial five-star Sheraton Mustika has several indoor and outdoor swimming pools and water features inspired by the historic Taman Sari Water Castle, with some rooms offering direct pool access from their patios. We highlight recommend these – or the rooms boasting Mount Merapi views. For many it’s those volcano vistas that make the 246-room resort special. One of Yogyakarta’s most sumptuous hotels, expect an abundance of marble, ornate ceilings dripping with chandeliers, and vases filled with fresh flowers. The Royal Heritage Spa also offers hydrotherapy, as well as a sauna and numerous treatment rooms. The resort is only a 5-minute drive from the airport, a 20-minute drive to Prambanan Temple and a 30-minute drive to Malioboro Street. The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to the airport and Malioboro. At the time of publishing, rooms started at US$110 a night.
Jalan Laksda, Adisucipto, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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WHERE TO STAY IN YOGYAKARTA – CENTRAL YOGYAKARTA BOUTIQUE HOTELS
The 1O1 Yogyakarta Tugu
Centrally located near the Tugu Pal Putih – a white monument built in 1756 to represent the unity of the king and people against the Dutch colonial powers that’s a popular photo spot – and just a short stroll to Malioboro, this 4-star boutique hotel is where to stay in Yogyakarta if shopping and sightseeing top your to-do list. While THE 101 is boutique in style, it’s a 150-room hotel, so if you like the idea of punctuating activities with swims in the gorgeous green pool, book one of the poolside rooms so you can step straight from your deck into the water. Having said that, some rooms can get noisy, so if you’re a light sleeper you’ll probably prefer a high floor (this is an eight-storey building) – or pack earplugs. Rooms have brown and white checked floors, blonde wood, white cane chairs, and orange accents. There’s a gym, free WiFi and 24-hour airport shuttles. Rooms currently start at US$45.
Jalan Margoutomo 103 Mangkubumi, Jetis, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Hotel Neo Malioboro
Even closer to the batik stores and crafts shops of Malioboro – they’re just a few minutes’ walk away – this is most definitely where to stay in Yogyakarta if shopping is a priority. And while there’s probably a slimmer chance of snagging a sun-bed by the blue-tiled swimming pool than at THE 101, the Hotel Neo has spacious rooms with comfy beds and soundproofing, so you should sleep better here. Striking black and white murals of aspects of culture and everyday life in Jogya decorate the walls of the light-filled rooms while bold coloured sofas and chairs add splashes of colour. The rooftop bar offers stunning panoramic views of the city, mountains and Mount Merapi, making it a lovely spot for a sunset drink. The breakfast buffet is expansive, offering both Indonesian and Western food, and there are themed dinners if you can’t drag yourself out again, however, there are numerous dining options close by, from street food to casual restaurants. There’s free WiFi here also, and an airport shuttle service, although taxis are more convenient and very reasonably priced. Rooms currently start at US$38.
Jalan Pasar Kembang 21, Gedongtengen, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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WHERE TO STAY IN YOGYAKARTA – BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN PRAWIROTAMAN
Adhisthana Hotel Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta’s most idiosyncratic and atmospheric boutique hotel in the centre is the Adhisthana. Set within a white-washed building there are as many colonial touches as modernist details – from the French doors that open onto the central courtyard to the shutters to the breeze blocks of the first floor wrap-around balcony. The central courtyard almost feels like a Moroccan riad interior with its striking jade-coloured swimming pool fringed by palm trees. This is unquestionably where to stay in Yogyakarta if you really want to be in the Prawirotaman area, but want more style and character than the Greenhost, below. Distinctive design touches include the beautiful blue batik bedheads, cushions and curtains in the bedrooms and the colourful recycled shutters on the building exterior and in the café cum breakfast room, which also features a charming colonial-inspired tiled floor. The light filled public spaces are also alluring and there’s good free WiFi and on-site parking if you’re planning to hire a car. The only odd thing is that in addition to the 52 beautiful boutique rooms there is a dorm room with bunk beds. Pool view rooms currently start at US$28 and the first floor suite was US$60 at the time of posting this guide.
Jalan Prawirotaman 2 No. 613, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman
This is where to stay in Yogyakarta if documenting your trip on social media is as important as the trip itself. The Greenhost is a favourite of Instagrammers for its jungalow style and hanging vertical gardens around the central courtyard swimming pool (pictured above). The lobby is also photogenic, furnished with vintage chairs. Incredibly popular for its eco-friendly mission, there’s a rooftop hydroponic farm and vegan, vegetarian and halal food on the restaurant’s menu, yet bewilderingly smoking is allowed in the restaurant. Treading a fine line between flashpackers and mid-range boutique hotel, rooms are minimalist in style, with few amenities. Those on the lower levels can get noisy, so book a room on a high floor or pack ear-plugs. While the WiFi was free, the signal in our room was dreadful. Located in the travellers’ quarter, surrounding streets are peppered with Western-style eateries, cafés and bars, although the local Prawirotaman morning market is on the corner, and is a must for market lovers. It’s a 15-minute drive to the Kraton Sultan Palace and Malioboro Street and its markets and batik shops, and a 40-minute drive to Prambanan Temple. Rooms currently start at US$48.
Jalan Prawirotaman 2 No 629, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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