Going out of Jakarta with small children requires a tremendous effort and any trip that involves taking the plane automatically translates into a 6-hour journey (minimum!). More than once, I have felt the effort travelling with our kids wasn’t worth it but our stay at Mesa Stila was different. We went there for a long weekend in November with some friends and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Beautiful grounds, impeccable service and great activities
The hotel is set 700m above sea level where temperatures are slightly cooler, in the middle of lush gardens and coffee plantations. The mountain view from the room is magical and the hotel itself is made of 23 beautifully restored antique joglo-villas.
The hotel is located 1h30 from Semarang airport, or 2h from Jogjakarta or Solo airport.
Daytrips can be arranged to visit Semarang, Jogja or Borobudur but we chose to stay in the hotel the whole time to take advantage of the activities on site (most of which were already included in the room rate).
We tried yoga, jungle gym, coffee plantation tour, spa and were really impressed with each of them. Unfortunately we did not have the time to try horseriding but the animals looked well cared for and the man in charge told us he used to be a jockey in Jakarta.
The hotel is also very kid friendly
- our room was gigantic and had an extra double bed for our son (!)
- the restaurant was very accommodating and had a good kids menu
- indoor kids playroom and shallow kids pool
- kids activities upon request (gardening, horse riding…)
The restaurant was really good and served a variety of Indonesian and western dishes. Considering the remote location, I had not expected such quality and was also surprised with the prices, which overall were quite reasonable (lower than what one would expect from a high end hotel).
Part of the reason we were able to enjoy our stay and many of the activities was because, for the first time, we decided to travel with our nanny (more on that later). We stayed in the Ambar Villa, which was perfect for us (a master bedroom + a small bedroom with a single bed + two separate bathrooms).
We visited Mesa Stila during rainy season and had clear blue skies in the mornings and rain in the afternoons. That did not stop us from enjoying our stay: we started our days outdoors and would spend afternoons napping, hanging out together while enjoying the complimentary afternoon tea and taking turns to go to the spa.
Overall, it’s a great escape from Jakarta (3-4 days is optimal considering the travel time) that is great for couples looking for a romantic getaway, or families who want to escape the city.
I also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my future visitors as an alternative to Bali.
For sports addicts, the hotel organizes a yearly race through the mountains and neighboring villages (different levels from 11km to 100km, more details here).
The packing list
- Clothes for cooler weather (a sweater and some long sleeve tshirts)
- A pair of plastic flip flops (or something to walk in the hotel grounds under heavy rain)
- Sport gear so you can take full advantage of the activities (jungle gym, yoga, pencak silat, stretching, biking, horseriding).
- Some board games in case of rain
- A good bottle of wine