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“Nice little oasis near Borobudur” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saraswati Borobudur

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Saraswati Borobudur
3.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   Jl. Balaputradewa No.10, Borobudur, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 6 hotels in Borobudur
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nice little oasis near Borobudur”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2009

If you want to be close to Borobudur to watch the sun rise, then this is a great option. It's located in a small village, but it feels like a resort as soon as you walk on to the grounds. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, the pool and spa area are beautiful and secluded, and the restaurant's food is good. If you are nickel and diming your way through Indonesia, then you might opt to go out, eat street food and stay at the Manohara or a cheaper place in Yogya city. But if you are looking to have a comfortable and relaxing time when you're not hiking up Borobudur, then this is worth the extra rupiahs.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

Have stayed in "Saraswati Borobudur" twice - in August 2008 (3 nights) and in May 2009 (5 nights).

Good:
(1) Excellent location - literally a 5-10 min. walk from Candi Borobudur ticket office.
(2) Clean, elegant, nicely decorated rooms with high ceilings.
(3) If you can afford, book a Junior room - very spacious with two bathrooms, with a balcony with a view of Sumbing volcano at a distance and a main stupa of Candi Borobudur visible from behind the trees.
(4) Excellent, friendly, personalized service. They have given us a free upgrade to a Junior room on our last 2 nights there, when we were supposed to move from Junior to a Standard Twin.
Coming back to "Saraswati Borobudur" was like returning to a family. A very friendly service with a personal touch.
(5) On almost all days we've ended up ordering room service. Food is good (note that as always in Asia local food is better than "Western"), though selection is limited considering this is a relatively small hotel. And after full day of walking around temples or climbing volcanoes this was the best choice for us. Do note that Borobudur is a small village and though there are many street vendors you will not find many restaurants around.

Few notes and tips:
(1) Buy your favorite drinks/snacks from a convenience store 5 min. to the right of the hotel.
(2) Do not forget to book a Borobudur Sunrise Tour through the front desk, though depending on the weather you may or may not see Merbabu and Merapi volcanoes from the top of the temple. But I'd say the tour is a must nevertheless.
(3) Other tours you may book through the hotel front desk:
= Candi Prambanan and other temples nearby (Candi Sewu, Candi Plaosan),
= Ramayana ballet on an open stage in front of Candi Prambanan,
= Dieng Plateau,
= Ketep Pass to see Merbabu and Merapi volcanoes,
= Mount Lawu (to see two small unusual temples Candi Ceto and Candi Sukuh),
= Kaliadem to see Merapi volcano and other tours.
Just tell them where you want to go and they will arrange for you a car and/or tour guide. All tours can be customized to your liking.
(4) For tour and car rental rates you may want to check the hotel front desk and one of many travel agencies in Yogyakarta.
(5) If you do not plan spending in Candi Borobudur more than few hours, you will be better off staying in Yogyakarta and going to Borobudur on a day trip.
(6) Do note that many attractions mentioned above are closer to Yogyakarta than to Borobudur and for many of them having Yogyakarta as a starting point will save you time and money. We were just too lazy moving from one hotel to another.
But definitely closer from Borobudur: Ketep Pass, Selo (used a starting point if you plan to climb Merapi volcano), Dieng Plateau.
(7) Note that when the hotel is full you will have buffet breakfast, when it is not - only set breakfast.

The staff does go out of their way to make your stay pleasant and memorable.

Will not hesitate to come back and stay there the third time.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2009

We stayed here for one night as part of a 22 day trip around Indonesia - though the town itself is very quiet with not much to do, the hotel is the best in town and a great spot to see the temple from! The rooms are huge with very spacious sitting room and bathroom. The pool is amazing and really made our stay in the area very pleasant. The restaurant was lovely! I would highly recommend!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Singapore
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
307 helpful votes 307 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2009

Not a big name in the hotel industry but easily one of the best stays I ever had. Quiet, personal and serene. A stone's throw to Borobudur. The hotel staff were warm and friendly and we had the pleasure of meeting the very welcoming hotel owner. The stay though just a very short one, will be kept as one of my best stays ever. Excellent establishment.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kuala Lumpur
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2009

For what are rates that cost 30% more than the Mercure/Phoenix Hotel in Yogyakarta, Saraswati will unreasonably charge you extra (or try to charge you) for everything else on their premise.

Just an example of how disconnected they are from the village around this place- a bottle of 'Pocari Sweat' (think 100 Plus- electrolyte replacement drink) costs about 2,000 rupiah in the village supermarket and 23,000 rupiah in the hotel. The distance between the supermarket and the hotel is a half minute walk.

Avoid taking tours from this place. Further down the road in other hotels (there are many from classy ones to really budget ones) will gladly arrange them for 500,000 rupiah for a guide and car. In Saraswati, it costs 750,0000 for the package.

When we checked out, we were forced by them to pay 1,500,000 rupiah for the tour, twice the agreed sum. Apparently the price they quoted was for per person. How very nasty. We went up to Dieng, by the way. The guide and driver they provided wasted a lot of our time because they were not familiar with the area.

The hotel's dining is hopeless. Menu is very limited and the food not very good. The breakfast (which they charge for about 126,000 rupiah) is small in quantity and quality.
Avoid this and take a walk to the temple ground and eat from the stalls. It will cost you about 10% of the hotel's breakfast- and this is tourist's price. (Avoid also the sate shop at the end of the road near the hotel - they also overcharge and sell horse meat as mutton).

We also took a massage from this hotel- it was amusing to us when we saw their front desk staff picking up the phone to call for the masseur next door. I wonder how much they made out of this arrangement.

If you want to use their wifi service, they will charge you 50,000 rupiah. Luckily for us, the password they gave us could not get us connected.

On the bright side, the staff (all men), are friendly, as all hotel staff are supposed to be. But they are either not experienced enough or not well trained enough. The rooms have very high ceilings, the shower is excellent. Just don't look underneath the bed or the other furniture (I dropped something and had to stick my hand down there- very dusty with crawlies and found what I suspect is a long lost towel belonging to the hotel).

Another plus is that it's a seven minute walk to the ticket counter of the Borobudur Temple. But a negative factor to this is that you don't get any view of the village beautiful padi fields from the hotel.

Could've been a nice stay. Too bad we left feeling cheated by their smiling faces.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2009

If you have US$700++ per night to spend, then no doubt you will be staying in the nearby Amanjiwo Resort, but, if like me, that is beyond your budget, the two best choices around Borobudur (or more specifically Magelang, because that's the name of the town) are the Saraswati Boutique Hotel or the Manohara Hotel.

The Manohara is around US$50-55 per night, whilst the Saraswati Boutique Hotel is twice the price at around US$100-110 per night (both including government taxes) but the Saraswati is quite new whilst the Manohara is very old.

The advantage of the Manohara is that it is right inside the Borobudur temple complex, whereas the Saraswati is an additional ten minutes walk away, and if you want to buy a pre-dawn entry ticket (called the 'sunrise tour' - see below) it will cost you only 150,000 rupiahs per person (about US$12.50) compared to 300,000 rupiahs if you are staying outside.

But the Saraswati has a real 'boutique' feel to it, a lovely reception with a comfortable lounge, attentive staff, nice rooms, a great massage facility next to the pool and wi-fi Internet access. The only area where I felt the Saraswati fell down a bit was that the food was fairly average – not bad food, but I had expected something a little better given the quality of the rest of the hotel. I can't make any comparison with the food at the Manohara because I didn't eat there.

But having stayed at the Saraswati and visited the Manohara, my assessment would be that they both offer reasonable value for money – as they say “you get what you pay for” so the choice between the two really depends on your budget.

In a another section of Trip Advisor there is a review for the Saraswati (misspelt as 'Sraswati and incorrectly posted under the B&B section for Magelang) where the reviewer recommends not staying there because there is nothing else to do in Magelang and suggesting that visitors should stay in Jogjakarta and do a day trip to Borobudur. I don't agree with that because there are several other interesting temple complexes close to Magelang (small ones though) and if you stay in Jogjakarta (alternative spelling: Yogyakarta) it will be difficult for you to do the sunrise tour.

Today Borobudur is Indonesia's most visited tourist attraction – with over two million people passing through the gates every year – and if you want to see it in all its splendour and capture the true spirit of Borobudur, then I would thoroughly recommend the sunrise tour. It is worth every cent because the experience of seeing the volcanoes around Borobudur appear out of the darkness as the first light appears is just magical.

By 8.00 am there will be hundreds of day-trippers swarming all over the stupas. The early morning ambiance quickly disappears and you will feel like you are in Disneyland.

  • Liked — Good location, excellent facilities, nice 'boutique' feel to the place
  • Disliked — Food was only average
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

We also stayed there over Christmas (and saw the other family) but as we were on a different agenda and stayed only 1 night our experience was different. We'd stayed at the Manohara the night before to have sunrise at the temple (HIGHLY recommended!), but found the basicness of accommodation and food a bit tiring after a failry rugged holiday up to then - so the luxe and attentive service of the Saraswati was much appreciated, as were the kind offers of a tour of the village and other local temples by horse and cart, with a guide, and the good transfer to Yogya the next day which included stop overs at many major sights. Very much appreciated, as were the (complimentary) Javanese massages. We enjoyed the food and accommodation (especially the lovely garden) and the kind attention of Budi, our host. We especially appreciated his enthusiasm to show off the other interesting features of the area and the local culture.

  • Liked — comfortable and stylish
  • Disliked — room was a bit small for the price
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Saraswati Borobudur

Address: Jl. Balaputradewa No.10, Borobudur, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > Central Java > Borobudur
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 hotels in Borobudur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Saraswati Borobudur 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In Saraswati Borobudur International Boutique Hotel, they make sure that guests feel that Saraswati Borobudur Hotel is just more than just a place to stay, but also has a unique culture, fascinating art, and a great wisdom that can guests bring home to. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saraswati Borobudur Hotel Borobudur
Saraswati Hotel Borobudur

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