Rooted to its cultural heritage, the city of Yogyakarta sits almost in-between Jakarta and Bali. Yet, it’s a little more quiet and laid-back than the latter.But from what we personally observed on our road trip around Yogyakarta and Central Java, this eclectic cultural sphere is slowly catching up on the tourism scene and offers quality service we all look out for when travelling!
One thing’s for sure, don’t miss out on cultural experiences that straddle the balance between urban life and traditional Javanese culture. From art pieces and local performances to century-old massage techniques that were once used among royalty, you’ll never run out of choices!
We tried, tested and approved some Javanese massage treatments, and nope – we’re never ever ever getting back together with Balinese massage! Bonus point – the city also hides little gems of affordable spas that offer body treatments for as low as USD $10. We scouted for them and are glad to share the official list with you!
“Your body and wallet will thank us for that”
1. Indulge in an outdoor spa experience: SAARAH Day Spa/Tea Spa by SAARAH
This is exactly what affordable luxury looks and feels like! You’ll mistake the city for an oasis as you get pampered in a villa-like retreat, away from noise and bustle.
Depending on the treatments you go for, you could even enjoy the ultimate relaxation session right in the little garden, amidst natural fresh air and birdsong!
You can customise the highly-recommended Full Body Massage according to your pressure needs, and choose from aromatherapy oils with different purposes – whether you want to release tension, relax or simply re-energise your body and soul.
Can’t decide which treatment to try? You can also choose to experience several, and even enjoy complimentary pickup and drop-off service (only when you book a package or individual treatments lasting 2.5 hours or more per person).
Definitely don’t miss out on their Sunday yoga classes (yes, skip Sunday brunch for once!) if you’re staying in Yogyakarta for a longer period! It won’t be hard – although SAARAH Day Spa’s first store is in North Yogyakarta (Kaliurang), they’ve recently opened another outlet in the touristy area, at Greenhost Boutique Hotel.
This second outlet is easily accessible due to its convenient location. We experienced their facials and were happy with the results, though it felt more like a face massage session than an in-depth facial (don’t expect extractions!). We were put in a beautiful semi-outdoor room that featured a bathtub and looked perfect for couple treatments, so don’t miss this if you’re here with your partner!
Everything is kept professional here, as you will be provided with a health form to assess if the treatments are suitable for your health conditions and skin types! We thought this was very considerate, as lots of spas across the road miss out on this – so rest assured, you’ll be in good hands here!
2. Slide in a bathtub filled with rose petals: Qorinah Day Spa
As a woman, don’t you often wish you could get some space away from frustrating men (sorry guys) and just spend some time with other women? It looks like this is what Qorinah Day Spa believes in too – they offer body therapy services to women only, so you can enjoy your pampering sessions, men-free!
Shake off the weariness from long office hours, household chores and child-rearing with special packages, starting from as low as Rp. 130,000 (approximately USD $9) for a 100-minute pampering with therapies that include a soothing massage, scrub and steam. If you really can’t leave the little ones, kids are welcome too, and there are even services adapted for them!
Prepare to feel like a Javanese princess as you emerge from your spa time rejuvenated and restored – and ready to tackle your life duties again! You go, superwoman!
3. Value-for-money quality spa packages with 7 treatments!: Jogja Traditional Treatment Spa
Jogja Traditional Treatment Spa is a highly acclaimed Indonesian spa that focuses on traditional Javanese treatments, so if you’re after a local massage experience, this is the place to go!
Here’s an atmosphere like no other – you can’t help but feel at peace from the moment you lie down on the massage bed and close your eyes for their 1-hour-30-minute Full Body Massage (every guest’s favourite)!
To really spoil yourself, why not dedicate a full day at the spa to try out their various treatments? There are also different wellness procedures incorporating natural ingredients like coffee, lemon or even strawberry.
Most packages at Jogja Traditional Treatment Spa don’t exceed Rp. 150,000 (approximately USD $10) and cover a wide selection of treatments starting with a facial, full body massage, body scrub, steam, shower, bath and even a hair cream bath! What a treat!
This spa has been gaining lots of attention lately as a great alternative to high-end spas around the city, as quality is not compromised and you get way more than what you pay for.
4. It’s so exclusive, they only welcome 4 guests at a time!: Monggo Relax Spa
You’ll find Monggo Relax Spa in the city centre, tucked in the busy street of Malioboro. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle, just mere steps away from where locals and tourists shop at!
We recommend making an appointment before your visit, as they only have 4 private treatment rooms – clearly, the focus here is quality and not quantity!
Get ready to be pampered in this small but charming environment. Cold towels and welcome drinks are offered on arrival, and basic English-speaking staff are on hand to cater to your requests. At the end of the session, you’ll also be thanked with delicious hot ginger tea!
Does the extensive spa menu look too intimidating? We say try out the short one-hour Stretching Body Massage, and experience an increase in your energy levels, mental clarity, and a transformed body ready to conquer the streets of Yogyakarta!
5. Your one-stop massage pitstop: De Wave Spa
Need to soothe your sore feet, tired back and shoulders, or even your sun-battered face? Drop by De Wave Spa for affordable and quality treatments that satisfy your cravings for a quick shot of serenity in the city.
Nope, these aren’t your typical coconut oil-based treatments. De Wave Spa features a unique range of natural ingredients in their massages, scrubs, body wraps and more – we’re talking about chocolate, coffee, and even avocado, milk and matcha!
Found in many popular shopping malls all over the city, this place is a one-stop solution for all your needs. Other than wallet-friendly combined packages such as the reflexology and body massage, or spa and jacuzzi, there’re also hair treatments like the wash and blow, and even hair cream baths and manicure!
We tried it out ourselves at the Jalan Langensari outlet and were satisfied with the Reflexology and De Wave Full Body Massage. While we were sometimes disturbed by gossiping guests, we’d still highly recommend these treatments as they’re really value-for-money! If you’re into heavier stuff, don’t hesitate to request for increased pressure during the massage.
Psst – we also heard better reviews about the store in Jogja City Mall, so why don’t you try it out and hit us up?