A coffee plantation ringed by eight volcanoes may not be the first place that springs to mind when planning a family getaway, but MesaStila offers the perfect blend of parental pampering and child-friendly distractions. The hotel’s rustic mountain setting near Yogyakarta, in the cultural heart of Java, is inspiring, with 22 antique-filled villas set among 25 hectares of lovingly tended gardens, a restored railway station doubling as the reception, and authentic Dutch colonial buildings. This wellness retreat is home to an award-winning spa, which boasts one of Indonesia’s only Turkish hammam baths, so you can steam and soak your city stresses away.
Style Red-hot coffee plot
Setting Volcano-ringed plantation fields
Need to know
Rooms The 22 villas blend original woodwork and Javanese antiques with modern touches and a host of ‘wellness’ extras (we love the yoga mats and the home-made snacks and fruit drinks provided in each room).
Facilities Spa with Turkish hammam, beauty salon, gym, yoga pavilion, entertainment stage, library, DVD/CD selection, WiFi throughout (US$5 an hour). In rooms: TV, DVD player, minibar. Plus, rates include return airport transfers; a wellness appraisal; breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; a daily massage and use of the hammam.
In the know
Larger families should head for the Bella Vista Villa (there’s a choice of either three or five bedrooms), which has oodles of living space, a private pool and a personal butler. If there’s four of you, go for a two-bedroom Ambar Villa. For a smaller brood, opt for a one-bedroom villa – up to one child under-12 can stay for free; extra beds for older kids are US$50 a night.
MesaStila’s Kids’ Club is packed with distractions, including dance, gamelan and Indonesian language lessons, kite flying, painting and coffee planting. There’s also a tennis court, croquet lawn and giant chess and backgammon tables for playing outdoors. No trip to Yogyakarta is complete without taking in a puppet show – small Smiths will love the wayang kulit (shadow theatre) performed at night on the second Saturday of every month at Sasana Hinggil in Alun-alun Selata. The colourful carved puppets make a gorgeous keepsake.
The emerald-sheened octagonal infinity pool beside the restaurant is fed with fresh spring water and overlooks the surrounding mountains and forests. The pool connects to a shallower area that’s suitable for petite paddlers.
Youngsters are welcome in the two restaurants, Java Red and the more casual Java Green, where you’ll find high chairs, a children’s menu and staff happy to heat milk and prepare packed lunches. Parents will love the healthy food focus here.
No need to pack
Highchairs and baby cots.
Smith members get a 20 per cent discount on a spa treatment, so ship the children off to the Kids’ Club – it costs US$6 an hour and requires a day’s notice – while you indulge in an energising Javanese massage. You’ll also score a bag of Losari coffee on departure.
To book a child-friendly Smith stay visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, if you sign up as a Smith member, you can enjoy exclusive offers at more than 850 hand-picked hotels around the world.