Mention Central Java and the word “culture” comes to mind. Indeed, historical and cultural influences are strong motifs throughout our getaway retreat in Central Java.
From the moment we stepped into MesaStila to the day we left, the whole experience was incredibly rejuvenating and wholesome. We truly enjoyed the getaway, and here are 3 reasons why I think we should at least make a visit here.
Incredible resort and spa
When we arrived in Central Java, the scene was seemingly familiar – bustling streets, busy locals and traffic reminded me of Malaysia and Singapore. But as we get closer to the resort, the landscape transforms into an incredible environment of tranquility. Less hustle and bustle, more nature and greenery.
As soon as we step foot into the MesaStila grounds, it was a soothing experience from the get go. We immediately felt a load of our shoulders as the holiday mood kicked in. What many consider the Javanese culture (soft-spoken, polite, humble hospitality) is evident throughout the resort.
Compliment that with beautiful spaces, lush landscapes and indulgences, you get the perfect retreat. The resort focuses on the well-being of its guests and they understand their guest profile very well – the busy workers who are in need of a well-deserved break. That’s us!
You can be sure the spa treatments and massages will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated and thoroughly rested. I recommend this at the end of each day – restful sleep awaits you!
Now, we weren’t just planning to laze around at the resort (although the idyllic setting was very, very tempting!). We wanted to explore and soaked in what Central Java has to offer. When you’re on a weekend getaway, a great way to plan is to choose a selected few places to go. If you cram as much as you can, you’ll be spending most of your time traveling, getting tired and unsatisfied.
We chose to visit Borobudur temple and spent a full day there. It was perfect.
It was a one hour drive from the resort (you should always hire a local driver as driving can be daunting, the resort can help you with that). If you’re planning to catch the sunrise, you’ll have to leave the resort by 3am – book a tour and they’ll care of the details for you.
The grand Borobudur temple was built in the 9th century and there isn’t many documentations online to explain thorough how it was build and the circumstances that led to its creation. The best way to understand this ancient site’s history is to join a guided tour that will lead you on foot through the times.
Borobudur is the world’s biggest Buddhist site, a piece of Indonesia’s ancient history and strikes you as soon as you recover from its breathtaking view. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction and a famous icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.
There are other tours you can join after your Borobudur experience – a cycling tour into the local roads is a recommended option – you get first-hand view of how locals live as you cycle through villages, farms and paddy fields. You’ll never get such views cycling in Singapore, so this little leisurely expedition will be very memorable.
Food will be an interesting experience, since Javanese food isn’t the same as what you have in Singapore. While there are some similarities (rice, stewed vegetables, and coconut milk in dishes) the taste is distinct. Javanese cuisine is usually sweet and savoury. Dishes with jackfruits, coconut milk, coconut and palm sugar are common and chicken, beef and mutton / lamb are the main meat dishes. [pullquote-right]According to MesaStila, “Java has an extensive custom of traditional medicine, through established healers called tabib, who deal with a variety of illnesses of physical, emotional, and spiritual origin through combinations of herbal means.”[/pullquote-right] Different regions and provinces have their own influences and each definitely taste difference from the others. This means your taste buds are in for a treat, but if you’re not adventurous with your food, there are always intercontinental options that wouldn’t upset your stomach for the rest of the trip.
MesaStila was previously known as Losari Spa Retreat and Coffee Plantation, and you get to explore their organic farms, and of course the coffee plants. See how coffee is made and you can also try brewing one yourself too. If you’ve never seen coffee seeds on a tree, here’s where you’ll finally know the general process your daily morning drink goes through.
According to MesaStila, “Java has an extensive custom of traditional medicine, through established healers called tabib, who deal with a variety of illnesses of physical, emotional, and spiritual origin through combinations of herbal means.” If you wish to try then, these tonics are also available and guests are offered these at breakfast.
MesaStila is an incredible resort and the weekend getaway to Central Java was a memorable trip. We felt reluctant to leave but I know if we ever need another quick trip to recharge, we’re only several hours away from this blissful haven.
All photos credit to Rafael Dalmau. View more photos here.
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