Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta (JOG)

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by Jaimito Cartero, Sep 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    If you're into spelling, you'll find 3 or 4 different spellings of the city. Jogjakarta. Jogyakarta, Yogja, Jogja, etc. I just pronounce it Joke-jaa-cart-a.

    I arrived just a couple of days into the Idul Fitri muslim holiday period. This is the time when many people go on vacation, visit relatives in the kampung, or go to the hotel since their maids all have the time off. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting it to be a serene oasis while I was there. Boy, was I right.

    I arrived on a domestic flight from Jakarta. Most flights here are domestic, with maybe a few from Singapore or KUL, but I'm not sure on that count. The terminal was chaotic, with lots of holiday travelers. I had bought the ticket a couple of months before on Air Asia for about $75 RT.

    Similar to Bali, the only official airport transportation is taxis set up on a voucher system. To the Hyatt it costs 55,000 IDR, which is about $6.25. If you want to take a metered taxi, you could go outside the airport (maybe 200 meters), and try to flag one down. I think a normal metered taxi would run about 40,000 IDR. There is also a train station at the airport, and if you're a glutton for punishment, can go to Jakarta or lots of other places on it.

    The trip took about 20 minutes in moderate traffic. Yogyakarta looks like a industrial city, with no discernible tourist attractions on the way to the hotel. Like much of Indonesia, lots of small shops, mobile food stands, and vendors on the sidewalk.

    The hotel is a tourist attraction. Nicely situated, it's an oasis in the city. Upon arrival, we were given flower lei's, and taken to the check-in desk. I gave them my name, and we were taken to the Club Lounge to be checked in.

    I had originally wanted to book all 6 nights as paid stays, but the first 3 nights were priced 50% more, so I opted to use my Hyatt points to book at 5k per night. My last 3 nights I booked using the Costco discount code for $85.50++ per night. I used one of my yearly suite upgrades for the paid nights, and had hoped that they would extend that to the free nights, but no such luck.

    The check-in was fairly good. We were offered drinks while we waited. It was just before the 5pm happy hour started, and the food was already out.

    I had requested a quiet room, and we were given room 108, a ground floor room in the Club wing. A normal room, with a patio outside with views of the garden/golf course. I'm sure during normal times it would have been great, but with the hordes of kids around, it sounded like a war zone at times, with screaming, running, and all sorts of other nonsense, and really hard to relax in the room from 8am-9pm. Lots of noise from adjacent rooms and above us. I heard chairs and such moving around most of the day and night.

    No welcome letter, no Diamond Amenity. I've always gotten free internet, even on awards at Hyatt, but was specifically told we'd have to pay for it here. I doubted this, but posted on FT to ask, for sure. The fruit bowl finally showed up on the third day. Not good.

    Went up to the lounge at 6:30pm, a half hour before the happy hour session ended. The buffet was decimated, with only scraps here and there. No menus or mention of any hot items on the tables. Lots of kids yelling and screaming here too.

    They finally refill some of the items, so we can get enough food to keep us happy for a bit. I finally snag a lounge attendant, and get some beverages. I ask if there are any hot items, and they do have two different ones (similar to the Bali Hyatt), which we order. Decent, but nothing special.

    I also asked about eating the normal restaurant for breakfast. They had to check, but did call back and say we could. We ate there the next morning, and again, it was a madhouse. Food quality was okay, with 80% of hot items of an Asian nature. I didn't not see any pork items here, but did not ask.

    The next day I start to feel a little sick. Sore throat, coughing a bit. I end up having a rough night, and first thing in the morning, call the club desk to ask about a doctor. They do have some sort of doctor onsite, but have usually been underwhelmed by them, so opt to head to a local hospital. Most Indonesian medical care is decent, and not overpriced. We went to RS Panti Rapih which was a 20,000 IDR ride from the hotel.

    I waited about 10 minutes to see the doctor, and after a very cursory exam (an almost dead flashlight was used to look at my throat), was given 4 prescriptions. Cost of the doctors exam, 50,000 IDR, and prescriptions 300,000 IDR. So about $40 total.

    So for the next couple of days I stayed mostly in the room. Went to breakfast in the lounge, which was okay, with an egg station outside. Decent selection. Skipped the lounge that night.

    Finally started to feel better on the 4th day there. We were going to move to our suite in the late afternoon, but I stayed in bed most of the time, so didn't get to check out some of the neat free activities I saw on the list. Pillowfights, village tour in a cart and some other interesting sounding things.

    The new room was on the 3rd floor, right above the lounge. A suite, but somewhat odd, as it didn't have a half bath, like all the other suites in Indonesia that I've been in, at Hyatts. I think the TV's were 32", the same as in the normal room. There was a stereo/DVD player in the bedroom.

    One main balcony, plus a tiny one off the living room, overlooking the pool area. Decent furnishing, nothing worn out. The bathroom had the tub and sink near the side, and the toilet and shower down a hallway.

    I had requested a volcano view, but nothing of that nature was visible from our room. The bed was supposed to be a king bed, but seemed like a normal queen. Comfortable enough, although light came in from both windows in the morning, no matter how tightly you tried to have the drapes closed.

    I had to give my credit card again, and was asked for my Costco card that I used for my rate. I don't carry it outside the US, and have never been asked for it before at any location. I told them I'd email it to them. I was told that if I didn't come up with it, I'd be charged $115 per night. This is ridiculous, as I went online, and saw that the Hyatt rack rate for that night was $95. I emailed a copy of the card off, and never heard anything more about it when I checked out.

    The room had a fruit bowl, and three glass decanters with snacks in them. The fruit was refilled, but the snack decanters were taken away when empty. No welcome letter.

    Now that the majority of the families had left, the noise level had gone down a lot. Since we were at the end of the hall, some sounds seemed to be magnified. We had some Japanese folk across the hall, and next door, and I guess they were out in the hall talking to each other. In the living room, it was like they were in the room with me, it was so loud.

    Finally made it into the pool which was nice. The upper pool was the kid zone, but the lower one was much more sedate. The waterfall was nice, and we mostly had it to our self.

    The grounds are very nice. It's amazing to watch the ladies sweep the leaves from the golf course with small brooms. They have a massage pavilion, but I never saw it in use. Pretty reasonable prices too. Under $30, if I recall right.

    I had about 4 room service meals while I was here, and found the quality and prices to be very good. They have some great asian dishes, most for 48,000 IDR++, so most dishes were $10 or less, including service and tax. Nice portions, and all served on a nice table, in 25 minutes or less.

    When checking out, I used the Costco Hyatt certs to pay the room charges. As the rate was in USD, I had them separate it out, and paid that with the certs, paying the $8 overage in USD currency. The room service bill I paid in IDR. While not a huge bill, if I had just let them convert the 3 nights booking into IDR, it would have cost me 7%, which I find unacceptable. If you know how to approach the bill in the correct manner, then you don't pay any extra.

    I enjoyed my stay here, but would not stay here during a holiday period. No real Diamond recognition, and misinforming guests about the Diamond benefits is a minus. They did take a picture of us, and provide us with a framed picture (exactly the same as the Bali Hyatt) upon arrival, which was a nice touch.

    I wouldn't pay more than a $100 a night here. I know in the recent past, it has often been $60-$70, but I guess prices are up everywhere. I found the lounge service to be less than stellar. We often had to order things again, after the original waiter/waitress didn't bring the items we requested.

    The restaurant service was a bit better, but a little more western foods would have been nice. Room Service was almost perfect, but did take 1 hour to return to pick up the dining table, after I called.

    And finally, the stay did not credit correctly. No nights were given, and only points for the room service consumption. A call to Hyatt did correct that though.

    I know there are a number of tourist attractions in the area. I had hoped to go to the temple, and only managed to go to the tourist trinket mecca of Malioboro for an hour or so. Hopefully my next trip to the area I'll get to explore more. The weather did seem to be cooler than Jakarta, so that's a nice change.

    I've been to 4/5 of the Hyatts in Indonesia now, and hope to hit the last one in Bandung next year for my birthday.
     

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  2. theskyflyer
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    theskyflyer Silver Member

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    You did not get charged for internet at checkout, right?
     
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  3. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Nice review!

    I've been here a few times and true, the hotel should be avoided during holiday periods when it is seemingly overrun with screaming kids. The last time I was here was in May, a mix of paid/award stay. I used the Suite Upgrade and was allowed to keep the Suite for the duration of my stay, probably because the hotel was very quiet. My Suite was on the 5th floor and the volcano was visible in the mornings and late afternoons (actually it does depend a lot on the weather condition). The Diamond amenity was a fruit bowl and three jars of cookies and chocolate-type snack. I also received a nice Welcome Letter detailing all the Diamond benefits.

    I found the lounge staff to be genuinely friendly and very attentive and I was always addressed by name. The offerings during evening happy hours were also good and in fact there was a serving island built perpendicular to the main serving area that wasn't there during my visit before last, so they must've had increased the number of items on offer. Breakfast was served in the main restaurant during my last visit and the lounge only opened at 10 am, again probably because the hotel was quite empty during that period. I don't like that they allowed smoking in the lounge though.

    The grounds were indeed very very nice and I loved the addictive water slide in the pool area. The hotel was starting to feel a bit tired, though. Although, they have maintained it well and updated the TV with flat screens, I don't think they've done anything else with the room.

    Overall, I thought the hotel was really good, although probably not as good a value as it once was, what with the rising prices and all.

    IMG_1032.JPG IMG_1020.JPG IMG_1011.JPG IMG_1007.JPG
     
  4. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Correct, not charged for the internet.
     
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  5. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Great review... stayed at this hotel a few times when I was based in SE Asia during my finance days... brought back quite a few memories...
     
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