All posts filed under: Lifestyle

Escape Hunt Jakarta: Escape The Daily Grind!

No more excuses for the weekend. No more saying you’re out of ideas. No more unwilling tile-counting at the mall. Now, there’s something for everyone – Escape Hunt Jakarta is officially saving you from china-shopping with mom or turning into a full-time sofa spud. Let’s go back 100 years in time. You are a famed detective from London by the name of Shylock Holmes and you’ve been sent to old Batavia to solve a mystery – a murder perhaps, but that’s for you to figure out. Walking in to the waiting area, the place feels oddly serene and quiet, as if entering a spa, a contrast to the swarming outdoors. The decor is wood-consumed, with a mix of Batavian and European paraphernalia. After first filling out a sign-up sheet, we were briefed by one of the staff with full-on Sherlock costume about the mystery case assignment (kidnapping! I knew it!). There were 3 different scenes from which to choose – kidnapping in the study, murder in the kitchen, and something else in the bedroom. We were handed the …

Elo Progo Art House

During our travels, we try to make the most of the time we spend outdoors since we don’t get much of it in the city. We drove from Amanjiwo through a village town, and after making several stops along the way to ask for directions, finally found ourselves at El Progo Art House (Rumah Seni Elo Progo). Owned by painter Sony Santosa, a Sumatran native who grew up in Jakarta, this 2-hectare art house is a one-of-a-kind venue hosting an art gallery, hotel, creative spaces for theatre, painting, and art lovers, not excluding laymen who are looking for a back-to-nature holiday spot. Located about 5km from the Borobudur temple, the Art House is around 1 hour away from the city of Yogyakarta. Interestingly, it sits on the edge of a cliff where the rivers of Elo and Progo meet. Its idyllic setting surrounded by green valleys, mountains, and the sound of flowing river water pulls us close to mother nature, reminding us to appreciate the natural beauty visible all around us. One of the first sights that caught …

Amanjiwo Hotel

One obvious reason to visit the area is of course, Borobudur. But another compelling interest is to stay, or at least make a stop, at Amanjiwo Hotel. Amanjiwo (aman meaning peaceful; jiwo meaning soul) is one remarkable resort belonging to Aman Resorts, a luxury hotel group with a worldwide presence. But get this: all their resorts are located within a view’s away from major historical landmarks all over the world (for example, Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing, China with access to the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven). We first made our way to the grand library where a fresh pitcher of lime and lemon tea awaited us. While we took a sip of the refreshment, our eyes veered across the room at the prim display of books and gazettes. When we got to the restaurant area within the rotunda, we were greeted by warm sunshine and of course, a view of the stately Borobudur temple. A hot day called for some ice cold cream! We were still good from …

Hotel Tentrem Yogyakarta

During our last visit, we stayed at Grand Aston Jogjakarta (five-star accommodation at a surprisingly reasonable price – I would definitely recommend it). This time, we wanted to experience the new Hotel Tentrem Yogyakarta and we absolutely loved it! Between the luxury and comfort, the bed that was hard to leave behind, the pool bar, and get this: the bench in the elevator (yes, I made sure to sit on every elevator ride), it was all-around pleasant. We’re sure to revisit. There’s plenty of nice and affordable hotels in the city, but if you’re looking for one to treat yourself with, come to Tentrem. I recommend booking on Agoda. HOTEL TENTREM YOGYAKARTA Jl. AM Sangaji No. 72A Yogyakarta 55233 Phone: +62 274 641 5555 Fax: +62 274 641 5588 Email: info@hoteltentrem.com Website: www.hoteltentrem.com Photo Credit: Hotel Tentrem

Museum Ullen Sentalu (Museum Seni dan Budaya Jawa)

We arrived at Museum Ullen Sentalu after a short 40-minute drive from Yogyakarta, specifically from our traditional breakfast at Pecel Solo. The museum is located in Kaliurang, a small town about 30km North of Yogyakarta on the southern slopes of Mount Merapi volcano. The museum tells the history of the kingdom of Keraton, presents Javanese art and cultural vestiges including photographs, paintings, batik, poetry, and much more. The curator was a charming, erudite young lady who was eager to share and tell. Each remnant is gracefully displayed, paintings are protected by a layer of clear glass, and other objets d’art were even on display within an air-conditioned glass room in order to preserve the quality and integrity. We appreciated and were undoubtedly impressed by the care and devotion that went into the museum. Because the collection of relics and artifacts were original, thus protected under copyright, no picture-taking was allowed inside. So unfortunately, I can only show you the photos we took outside. 50 minutes went by in a flash. Soon we were at the end of our tour, but …

Makanluar.com: Smart and Convenient Dining

Always on the lookout for new dining spots? Don’t want to wait in line for hours to be served? Head to makanluar.com to reserve your next meal! Makanluar allows you to explore favorite and new restaurants within Jakarta (and soon, Bali), browse their menus, get a feel for their atmosphere, before taking your pick. Conveniently, it also has a filter feature which you can use to further customize your needs based on type of cuisine, location, price range, etc. With just a few button clicks, your reservation is guaranteed and you’ll get an instant notification via email and SMS straight to your phone. What’s more, as a member, you’ll get rewarded each time you make a reservation. After accumulating a certain number of points, you’ll get a voucher you can redeem for your next meal. What’s not to like, right? Not by a computer? No problem! The Makanluar app is also available on your mobile device. Simply download it and make your bookings on the go! Curious? Register here. For updates, special deals, promotions, or for a little food …

10 Movies to Watch this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just 10 days away. If you haven’t got anything proposed—no fancy dinner, no impromptu getaway, no surprise puppy (or baby)—the next best thing might be to plan a quiet time at home. A simple home cooked dinner, some champagne, followed by a feature to really get you in the mood for the most romantic day of the year (supposedly). Here are our top 10 picks! 10. SERENDIPITY (2001) Director: Peter Chelsom Cast: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven Trailer 9. THE NOTEBOOK (2004) Director: Nick Cassavetes Cast: Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams Trailer 8. SHALLOW HAL (2001) Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly Cast: Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Alexander Trailer 7. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012) Director: David O. Russell Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro Trailer 6. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989) Director: Rob Reiner Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher Trailer 5. BEFORE SUNSET (2004) Director: Richard Linklater Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff Trailer 4. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Director: Billy Wilder Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon Trailer 3. THE KING AND I (1956) Director: Walter Lang Cast: Yul …

The To-Go Cup No-Spill Trick

I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I can be a big mess at times. So when I have my occasional coffee, tea or latte, knowing how to properly place the lids on them without making a mess is always useful. Here’s how: Before you take your first sip, the trick is to check to make sure the opening of the lid is NOT in line with the seam of the cup. The picture on the left is what you want to avoid. Instead, turn the lid so that it’s away from the seam (I usually turn it so that it’s on the opposite, furthest side away from the seam), as shown in the picture on the right. Since I’m almost always moving about and multitasking, I don’t always focus on how I’m sipping my drink (hence the mess), but this tip helps me go about my day spill-free! Did you learn this lesson the hard way? Photo Credit: Google Images

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

First of all, love the title of the book. You could just hear Mindy’s zippy voice, coupled with her signature somewhat sarcastic yet subtly confrontational facial expression, uttering those exact words. Mindy Kaling, who plays Mindy Lahari in The Mindy Project on FOX (now on season 2, yay!), is beyond hilarious, witty, snarky but in a kind way, and a girl you wish were your absolute BFFF. She is silly yet intelligent, quirky yet driven and focused. But what’s more, she is one hell of a writer. You know how they always say to find one’s unique voice and style in writing? Mindy’s the perfect outcome. This is a photo of Mindy (included in the book) as a little girl. Here’s what’s so lovely about Mindy. She is so far from what our culture (and Hollywood) would consider traditionally “pretty”, i.e. skinny, and you know the rest. She definitely doesn’t wear a size 0, nor does her hair always fall perfectly (although she would very likely debate about that). But why is she so funny and likeable? It becomes almost impossible and irrelevant to separate …

Hungry? Print Your Own Pizza

3D printers can be considered our modern day hero. Biomedical engineers at the University of Michigan used 3-D printing technology to create a custom-made implant that helped save the life of a newborn baby, Kaiba Gionfriddo, who was born with a condition that caused the airways in one of his lungs to collapse regularly, hence, the need for resuscitation on a daily basis. What they did was use a CT scan of the infant’s airways to design, print, and implant a tube sized to Kaiba’s tiny air passages. Sixteen months post-implantation, Kaiba, and not to mention his parents, are breathing easy, with no more need for emergency resuscitations or artificial assistance. Recently, NASA awarded an Austin, Texas-based engineering firm with a $125,000 grant develop a printer that can devise edible food to feed astronauts in space. Think of Star Trek’s food replicator. WHAT!!! When I first heard about the news, I was just like WHAT!!! WHAT!!! WHAAAAT!!! So, imagine your couch potato self on a lazy Sunday (hopefully just on Sundays). It’s 2pm and you’re still in your PJs. The bathroom …