South-East Asian delights; St. Regis Singapore & Amanjiwo
This report follows a trip we enjoyed last April. We flew Switzerland to Singapore via Doha with Qatar airways, after 3 nights of Singapore sightseeing and getting rid of our jetlag we flew into Java, we stayed a few nights in Amanjiwo. We then headed to Amankila and ended our Indonesian adventure in Amanusa. Needless to say, we had a great trip!
Our Qatar flight arrived in Singapore around 20h local time so we immediately took a cab direction Tanglin road at the bottom end of Orchard road. High end luxury hotel competition in Singapore is fierce and we doubted between the Mandarin Oriental and St. Regis hotel. As the Mandarin looks quite old on pictures and so it does in reality after having a drink at their bar. we decided to try the St. Regis, and it didnt disappoint, at all. Our check was efficient and civilized at one of the seating desks. We were accompanied to one of the lifts and when we arrived on our floor, the butler welcomed us and escorted us to our room. We were quite impressed by the room, which enjoys a very cosy feel, amazing bathroom too. While the butler unpacked our luggage we quickly left the room in our bathrobes to enjoy a late evening dip in the pool and pay a visit to the spa. The - all marble - spa looks absolutely stunning. By far the nicest urban spa we have seen. That evening we ordered room service which was delivered promptly by our butler, can`t remember what we ordered but for sure it was yummy. Before going to bed, we called for a (complimentary) good-night tea and a DVD from the library and oh boy, the kick off of our trip couldn't be any better. Over the next days, St. Regis continued to impress us. We were invited to a free wine tastings in Decanter and we spend a lovely pre-evening Champaign & canaps in the Drawing room where a much talented pianost was playing. The diner we had on one evening in the hotel was ok but not a memorable meal. Staff was always on hand, we were more than one occasion addressed by name while checking on us. After an amazing three days in Singapore, it was time to leave for Java.
St. Regis lobby
Our AirAsia flight to Yogyakarta left around 10am and before we knew we stood ground in Indonesia. Unfortunately there is no Aman concierge when arriving through Yogyakarta (airport restrictions I believe) which meant we had to queue a little to get our passports stamped. We were immediately greeted by 2 friendly Aman Staff in white linen. They had the car parked literally 3 meter from the arrivals exit. Very efficient I must say. After about a scenic drive of one hour in the car, we drove down to the stunning Amanjiwo portecochere. The premises are truly impressive and a feast for the eyes, combined with the clear blue skies we couldnt wait to try the pool.
As the GM was not in-house during our stay, we were welcomed by junior management, the GM was aparently on holiday. To be quite frank, we were not impressed at all by his obligatory welcome talk. It felt a bit forced and stiff in a way. You did not get the enetering-a-friends-hous-feeling that Aman normally gives you. Can`t explain differently. The suites are absolutely stunning, in every way. Ed Tuttle at its best. Photos do not justify how beautiful and well maintained they are. You can get easily relaxed by just spending some time wandering around in your suite, enjoying the simple but deadly gorgeous flower arangement of orchids, putting on some soft music, ... We quickly installed ourselves at the tranquil pool -with beautiful views on to the mountain scenery- and for the whole afternoon, we were the only ones there. Pool boys were eager to prepare our seats in any way we wanted it. We savoured a late (Indonesian) lunch. MMmm we really learned to appreciate the local cuisine during our stay and thoroughly enjoyed every meal we had.
Awesome weather (during `rainy season`)
Before diner we had the idea to play tennis and it seemed we caught them somewhat in surprise here as the courts were not playable. So after 30min or so we received rackets and tennis shoes and headed off to one of the two courts. Cold towels, normal towels, ice water, iced tea.. we were more than well catered. They also offered to stay and act as ball-boys which we kindly refused (we are not that good players unfortunately J). After tennis we dressed up for diner and headed to the main dining room. A very quiet atmosphere, only a few tables occupied, gamelan players and delicious food made for a memorable first evening. Right around bedtime it started to rain, and I mean really pouring rain, a perfect closure and we absolutely loved it to fall asleep with the rain.
The next day we had Borobudur on the agenda. As we are no morning persons (at all) we decided to skip the much hyped dawn tour and decided to go after breakfast. We were offered a free ride by the hotel but opted to use the hotel bicycles, the way to go is downhill and we loved it.. what goes down must go up, the way back means climbing up, definitely a bit more challenging ;-). Borobudur was great, we had a lovely and knowledgeable guide who seemed very and I mean very eager to point us out every detail and show us every little corner and tell us everything she knew.
In the early eveningl Aman set up a seating area amidst the rice fields for us to enjoy cocktails around sunset, we had a very romantic experience which I would highly recommend to future travelers. We also took the chance to participate in a mediation session in a local temple.
For dinner we ordered room service which we enjoyed in our private bale on our suite terrace.
The next day was our transfer day to Amankila. Upon check out we were waived out by different local staff but no management to be seen. Special mention to housekeeping which was absolutely i m p e c c a b l e, pure Aman service without compromises. We think they must at least come in the suites to check 3 to 4 times a day. We never entered our room without housekeeping had passed by. Bed site notes, book markers, fresh flowers, late night pralines... all perfectly executed and giving you that little extra which can easily turns you into an Amanjunkie.
As we were leaving around mid-day there was quite some traffic on the way and we were slightly worried we would arrive rather late to catch the flight to Bali. However Aman had everything sorted out in a perfect way. By the time we arrived at Yogyakarta airport an aman representative had already checked us in and handed over our boarding passes for our Garuda flight. Now, this is what I call top notch service. While they checked in our bags we were escorted to a small VIP lounge for another 10 min before we were called for boarding. After security check we were driven by car to the aircraft before other passengers arrived so we could settle calmly for another short flight.
we received rackets and tennis shoes and headed off to one of the two courts. Cold towels, normal towels, ice water, iced tea.. we were more than well catered. They also offered to stay and act as ball-boys
Originally Posted by SwissBelgiantravelers
Yogyakarta airport an aman representative had already checked us in and handed over our boarding passes for our Garuda flight. Now, this is what I call top notch service. While they checked in our bags we were escorted to a small VIP lounge for another 10 min before we were called for boarding. After security check we were driven by car to the aircraft before other passengers arrived
so VIP for domestic departure
great to know re checkin etc, wonder when/where this can be done, especially when you cant check in online (in this case you could have, but you still had to take luggage to check in)
Originally Posted by zigzag
it was nice to see the clear blue skies in your pictures. It is not often you see this
not often in rainy season or all the time?
so often what kind of sky, cloudy/overcast?
Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 20, 12 at 3:17 pm.