Next time you visit Yogyakarta, stop at the Phoenix Hotel for a quick history lesson. Originally built as a private residence by a rich Chinese spice merchant in 1918, the colonial-style property oozes personality and style with its multicultural overtones. More than just a place to stay or dine, every nook and cranny of the beautifully restored hotel — from its high ceilings and marble floors to its antique furniture — reflects the soul of the century-old building and brings to life the colonial history of the city.
“The original part of the hotel was declared a national heritage building in 1996,” said Rachma Fadilla, the public relations manager at the Phoenix Hotel. “The building is an example of early 20th century Indonesian-Dutch architecture, a mixture of European Art Deco with Javanese and Chinese cultural elements.”
Indonesian-Dutch architecture, also known as Indische, combined Dutch and local architectural features to suit the tropical climate of the archipelago. The Phoenix is essentially an Art Deco building — characterized by geometric shapes and exuberant ornamentation — with Javanese trimmings, such as a high-pitched roof, long eaves and large windows.
Given the building’s significance, it’s not a surprise that over the years the cultural landmark has seen its fair share of famous guests.
‘“Until 1987, the Phoenix was the official residence of Suharto whenever he travelled to Yogyakarta,” Rachma said. “The hotel is still a favorite among ambassadors, as well as some Indonesian film stars.”
While the north and east wings of the 144-room hotel were only added in 1988, the classic structure of the original building remains in tact.
“The decor is exactly the same — cream walls and carpets contrasted by light brown linen, red elements and Javanese art. The only difference is that rooms in the newer wing are slightly bigger and some overlook the swimming pool,” Rachma explained.
The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman 9
Tel. 0274 566 617