We wanted to take a break from Yogyakarta. We were looking for something local, a place where we could escape to the countryside. MesaStila, in Magelang caught our eye. Nestled in the hills outside of the city, with views of some of Java’s volcanoes, it seemed like an enchanting place to spend a weekend.
Our trip to MesaStila would be our second “holiday” since the pandemic. We had visited Watu Karung, Pacitan, for a night the weekend before.
We decided to stay two nights at MesaStila, formerly known as Losari Coffee Plantation. I was excited. The trip to Pacitan had inspired me to take another break, a staycation. I wanted to relax and recharge my batteries. Well, more honestly, I just wanted to get out of the house. Haha.
First Impressions of MesaStila Resort
MesaStila is 850 meters from the main road, Jl. Raya Magelang-Semarang. When you see the sign, you take a sharp hairpin turn onto a small winding road. After a couple of winding corners, we saw the white stone wall that surrounds the resort.
We tried to turn in to the original entrance to the coffee plantation. It was padlocked.
We pulled back onto the road. Thirty meters further down the road was the new entrance to the resort. There was a car park on the left-hand side, we turned to the right and drove up the cobbled road to the reception area.
The reception area at MesaStila used to be a local train station (from Mayong). The building dates back to circa 1873. At the front desk, a member of staff took our details. A guide escorted us to the Club House.
The Club House was the original home of the plantation owner. Gustav Va Der Swan, the first plantation owner, built the mansion in 1882.
The mansion is a grand old building, situated at the highest point on the resort— the building has high ceilings for air circulation and a large terrace and veranda. The hotel has tried to keep the original features of the mansion. We flopped down onto some seats on the veranda and took in the view.
The veranda at the front of the building overlooks a landscaped garden. The gardens drop away before you. In the near distance is the restaurant and swimming pool.
The resort is beautifully manicured. Outside of the grounds is the jungle. In the distance, we could see Mount Andong, Mount Merbabu, and Mount Merapi. From the back of the Club House, you can see Mount Sumbing and Mount Sindoro.
Well, when the weather permits, there is the view. Unfortunately, it was hazy when we arrived. We caught glimpses of Mount Andong through the clouds.
After a complimentary drink, we checked in and dropped off our bags. The friendly receptionist guided us to our villa. After freshening up, we decided to explore the resort. Our first stop was the Plantation Lounge, located just behind the Club House.
The Lounge was a coffee warehouse. There’s a pool table, some interesting books to read, and a bar. We went back there in the evening to try their signature cocktails. The Singapore Sling was quite delicious.
We then circled the Club House. The Club House is pretty amazing. There’s a giant chess board at the back of the Club House, several rocking chairs (and regular chairs too, but the rocking chairs are more fun), and some teak gazebo loungers. The gazebo loungers are a great place to play cards, hang out with your companion, read a book, or just enjoy the view of Mount Sumbing and Sindoro. We discovered all of this later.
Finally, we wandered across to the restaurant area. The restaurant has a traditional Javanese design. The front of the restaurant looks out over the valley, with a view of Mount Andong. Below the restaurant is the infinity pool. Below that, you have the Turkish baths.
For me, the setting is the best thing about this resort. As I mentioned, MesaStila is flanked by five mountains and surrounded by jungle. The surroundings make the resort feel peaceful and magical. It was nice to hear the birds chirping and the rustling of leaves as the wind blew through the trees. Everything was relaxing.
The Private Villas
There are about 23 villas at MesaStila, split into three categories. You have the Plantation Villas. These villas have a view of the Coffee Plantation. Then you have the Arum Villas, with a view of the mountains. Finally, you have the Ambar Family Villa and the Bella Vista Villa. The Bella Vista Villa is the largest, with five bedrooms and a private pool.
We stayed at Arum Villa with a view of Mount Andong. The villa was very spacious. The ceiling above the bed has beautiful Javanese wood carvings. The bed was large, and the bathroom was huge, with an enormous tiled sunken bathtub.
We were lucky that the weather was clear on the last day of our stay. We woke up to a view of Andong Mountain. Outside of the room is a terrace with a table and chairs. The terrace offers a nice place to relax in privacy. We could relax, read books, and listen to the sounds of cicadas and birds.
The jungle surrounds the resort, and it’s nicely incorporated into the grounds. You’ll notice this as you walk to and from the villas. You’ll encounter lot of trendy plants, for example, Monstera scattered around the villas. We enjoyed our downtime.
Like other resorts, the staff will prepare your room for the night. They make the bed, close the curtains, and burn essential oils to create a sense of comfort. We loved the smell.
The Resort Facilities & Complimentary Programs
The Hammam Spa is one of the unique features of the MesaStila resort. The spa is the only authentic Hammam Spa in Southeast Asia.
I didn’t try the spa, maybe on my next visit to MesaStila.
Above the Hammam Spa, you have the swimming pool, Java Green resto, and the gym. They are on tiers, like rice paddy fields. There are two pools. One is a pool for swimming, while the other, which is the infinity pool that drops off the ledge, is more for the atmosphere. I spent hours chilling out at the pool area.
MesaStila offers plenty of complimentary activities for in-house guests. Yoga and various other sports, jamu/herbal drink serving, power walk around the villages nearby, and the coffee plantation tour.
The jamu/herbal drink is served with breakfast. I remember Mrs. Baniyah coming to our table and kindly asking us what jamu we would like to try. The Kunyit Asam (turmeric tamarind) was very fresh!
We also joined the coffee plantation tour. The plantation tour lasts one hour, from 10-11 am. We were accompanied by a guide to tour the area.
We walked through the coffee fields, and the guide shared information about the plants we encountered. They mostly grow Robusta on their plantation. We saw kecombrang/ torch flowers and went to the House of Coffee. At the House of Coffee, they show what happens after the coffee beans are picked.
All in all, it was a nice walk around the coffee plantation. On top of the coffee plantation complimentary tour, they also offer many interesting cycling or trekking trips in the region.
The staycation was a much-needed break for us. We felt refreshed and re-energized afterward. The grounds are beautiful, the food is nice, and the rooms are great. Moreover, because MesaStila Resort is mostly outdoor, staff wear masks, and there are handwashing facilities, making it safe for a COVID-19 staycation.
MesaStila felt like a nicely organized jungle. The grounds were green and pleasing to the eye. MesaStila reminds me that Indonesia is indeed a beautiful country. If you’re looking for a nice weekend break, I thoroughly recommend the resort.
Btw, MesaStila, means “the serene high hill”.