Over the Easter long weekend, we headed to Yogyakarta with our friends for a short holiday. It was a much needed period of quality family time, and I think all of us left with many fond memories of our stay at Plataran Borobudur.
We booked the airport transfer from Plataran directly, as we had four adults and five kids, and needed a minivan to transport all of us there. The driver was waiting for us at the arrivals exit, and helped us with our bags immediately. There were complimentary cold drinks and snacks provided in the minivan, and our 1.5 hour ride was very smooth.
On our way to Plataran Borobudur
Welcome drinks and snacks in the minivan
When we arrived at the lobby, we were greeted by soothing gamelan music, and cold welcome drinks. The children were quite fascinated by the gamelan, and the older boys got to try playing it for a while too. The receptionist pointed out the view of Borobudur from the lobby, and told us that we could get a better view of it from the restaurant, where we could enjoy our daily complimentary afternoon tea.
Gamelan at the lobby
Helping themselves to the welcome drinks
View of Borobudur from the lobby
A truck came to send us to our connecting villas, and we were all immediately awed by how lovely the villas were. We loved that each villa was really private, and surrounded by nature. Sure there were bugs, but there were many essential oil burners set up in the villa, so we weren’t really bothered by the insects. The children loved looking at the fish in the small pond outside, and the private pool was a perfect respite from the heat. Some people (not me) even went skinny dipping in it!
Welcome to our villa
Outside the villa
At the pool
We requested for an extra bed for N to be set up in our villa, and took the two sofa seats from outside our villa to be used as mattresses for the twins. There was still plenty of room for everyone to walk around, which is something we really appreciate, with three young and active kids.
Inside the villa
Looking longingly at Daddy and KorKor in the pool
N couldn’t stop gushing over how big the bathroom was, and it was a bit of a pity that we didn’t have time to use the bathtub at all. But then again, why soak in a bathtub when you can swim in the private pool outside, right? The shower area was large enough for all five of us, which was great when we had to shower all the kids after swimming. I also liked that the basic toiletries were provided, and that the shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body lotion, and even mosquito repellent, came in elegant porcelain containers, since that means less wastage. There were even ear plugs provided, though I’m not sure when we would have needed them.
The spacious bathroom
We headed to the restaurant for our complimentary afternoon tea shortly after we checked into our villa, and I think the highlight was the telescope set up there. We took turns to look at Borobudur, and were amazed that we could even see the people climbing up and walking around on it. The restaurant staff helped to adjust the telescope so that the older boys could view Borobodur, and took the initiative to ask us if we would like to make dinner reservations there.
Condiments for the tea
Can you see Borobodur in the background?
Looking at Borobudur through the telescope
View of Borobudur from the restaurant
After our afternoon tea, we went to look for the mini zoo, which was a short walk away from the restaurant. There were peacocks, turkeys, chickens, birds, deer, and some giant turtles (which were hiding in the shade when we visited). The kids were really excited, and it was such a joy to watch them interacting with the animals. It wasn’t a very large area, and we missed the feeding time of the deer, but the kids were happy enough to just see the deer up close.
Spot the Peacock
Chickens and birds
We went back to our villa to chill for a while, before returning to the restaurant for cocktails and dinner. The two men enjoyed their alcoholic drinks, while the rest of us had juice and erm, water. They also prepared porridge for the babies, as we placed our order for that during our tea, and the twins finished theirs up really quickly. I did ask for no salt and oil to be added, but they added some chicken seasoning to the broccoli and pumpkin porridge. We enjoyed the food served, though it was a tad slow, so C and I had to take turns to eat really fast, because the babies were really restless. We rushed them back to the villa after that, and they fell asleep really quickly.
The villa probably has some magical sleeping dust, because Didi usually wakes up at 6am every morning, but somehow, he was on holiday mode there, and had to be woken up at 7+am. In fact, I had to wake everyone up on both days, because we were running late. If only they would sleep in like that at home.
Backup alarm clock woke up late as well
The spread at the breakfast buffet was pretty good, and I really liked that they had different menus on both the days that we were there. Of course, some of the staples such as juices, fruits, cereal, bread, and the egg station, were available on both days, but we were pleasantly surprised to see two pushcarts there on our second morning. One had lontong sayur, and the other served really delicious porridge with a variety of condiments. Didi ate two bowls of the plain (but probably MSG-laden) porridge with chicken floss!
Babies having breakfast
Playing after breakfast
The pool next to the restaurant
Didi pondering the mysteries of the world while Meimei just wants to play
We visited Borobudur on Saturday morning after breakfast, via the free drop-off service provided by Plataran Borobodur. It was a short 15-minute drive away, and I’ll blog about our experience there in the next post. Anyway, it was SUPER HOT, so we all jumped into the pool when we got back to the villa. The twins haven’t gone swimming in a really long time, and Didi was really nervous about being in the water, while Meimei splashed around happily. We actually brought their floats along, but couldn’t be bothered to inflate them (poor second/third child), so we just carried them around in the pool. N didn’t need his puddle jumper anymore since he can swim a little, so we let Didi put it on, hoping it would make him less nervous, but the scaredy-cat didn’t understand the concept of a float, and clung to us tightly.
We had room service for lunch, and then went horse-riding. The last time N rode a horse was at Arthayasa Stables, so he was really looking forward to riding again. We opted for the half-hour session (there’s 15/30/60 minutes to choose from), and the stable boy brought him out for the walk. We didn’t follow him, but he said he saw many animals along the way, and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
After he returned, the stable boys kindly allowed the twins to have a go at riding the horse in the paddock. Didi was completely expressionless throughout his ride, and I’m not entirely sure he knew what was going on. He nods when we ask if he liked riding a horse though, so I guess he was aware, just… not super excited about it? Meimei on the other hand, freaked out the second the horse moved, cried, “NO NO NO NO!” and launched herself into the arms of the stable boy walking next to her. She still says no when we ask if she would like to ride a horse, so she was definitely aware that she was on a horse. Haha.
Coming back from his ride around the area
He had this expression throughout the ride
Minutes before she freaked out
While waiting for N to come back from his horse-riding, C and I brought the babies for a walk, and went to take a closer look at the racing pigeons at the entrance to Plataran. We learnt that the pigeons had mates, and would always return to their partners. They were amazingly tame, and once their mates are in the cages, they would stay on top of those particular cages, just to be close to their partners. The owners told us that they wouldn’t peck the kids, and encouraged the twins to touch the birds. It was a real treat for the babies, since they are always on the lookout for birds.
Hesitant but curious
Prodding the pigeons
When N returned, we brought all three kids to explore the area a little. The boys went to take a closer look at the train carriage, before deciding that it was more fun to chase the kampung chickens around. The twins also spent some time playing with mimosa, and just pulling out the grass, while N ran after the chickens.
Dinner on our second night was at Stupa, which served Indonesian cuisine. It’s located at Plataran Heritage Borobudur, which is actually a short walk away, but we opted for the free drop-off service provided by Plataran Resort &; Spa. It’s a good thing we did, because the slopes were pretty steep, and we couldn’t imagine climbing all the way back up after our meal. The food was good, and we especially enjoyed the duck and fish dishes. They also cooked porridge with broccoli and carrots for the twins, so I was really pleased that I didn’t have to worry about their meals throughout our trip.
BFFs waiting for our transport to Stupa
Part of our dinner at Stupa
Love how Meimei is looking at me in this shot!
We took the noon flight back to Jakarta on Sunday, so we didn’t have time to check out the many other activities offered by Plataran Borobudur. I was really keen on going for the village tour, and to perhaps try the batik or pottery making sessions, but they were fully booked. Even the spa was fully booked, so I didn’t get to try the creme bath (yes I know I can try it in Jakarta, but I wanted to pamper myself a little while I’m on holiday).
Family photo before checking out
We all agreed that the service provided by the Plataran staff was impeccable, from the drivers to the restaurant staff, and even the stable boys. Everyone was really obliging and our stay was made more pleasant by all the warm smiles and kind offers of help. We are definitely keen to return for another stay, to check out the other activities, and of course, to enjoy the luxurious villa again.
******* Plataran Borobudur Dusun Tanjungan, Borobudur, Magelang Central Java 56553, Indonesia Tel: +62 293 788 888 Website HERE