This is the part one (Jakarta & Anyer) of our favorite staycation lists at toddler-friendly hotels, that approved by Najwa.
While looking a title for this post, I landed on a Disney page about Kindermoon : “The newest “moon” celebrates those precious first few years of your little one’s life: the Kindermoon. It’s right before they become a “big kid” and head off to kindergarten.“
Apparently, Kindermoon is relatively a new word (even Grammarly still put a red line under it), and Disney happens to promote it as their vacation package, for fantastic price. Of course, for most of us, every Disneyland’s trip needs months (or years) of saving because we need to add more budget for flight and so on. Don’t forget our current currency rate too, omg (>_<)
But reading about this kind of celebration adventure sparks me a solid idea. We don’t celebrate Birthday. For me, that decision is a personal journey; after despising that perspective for years and always end my B-Day with tears since I’m with him, I was eagerly looking for many history kinds pages of literature relate the tradition of celebrating Birthday since its beginning. Just to prove that the celebration is not a part of other religion/belief, so we’re not copying other tradition. But well yeah, the more I read, the more I hate the result, but I can’t look away now.
So, instead celebrate Birthday that only happen once in a year, how about celebrating the achievement?
Keeping our wedding stronger every year is an achievement for us, so we celebrate our anniversary in a modest way. While for Najwa, in her golden years, everything seems to be a new achievement (for her and us as parents), so there will be a lotsss of thing to celebrate.
This year, my husband seems taking more business trip around Indonesia, including to nearby cities from Jakarta. That, and combine with Najwa’s and my flexible agenda, we decided to tag along if it’s possible.
But it doesn’t mean we’re going out often, my priority is to avoid the lethal trio: cranky toddler, heat, and Jakarta’s traffic.
Super flexible agenda, one of the perks for being a stay-at-home mother with a toddler.
After a few staycations, I started getting worried that Najwa will have a different perspective about a family trip, staying at the hotel. She starts to nag going back to the hotel as if it’s something light to consider. I don’t want her to take those experience for granted. So, we took this as an opportunity to emphasize that every good thing comes from hard work and patience, she needs to make the effort first. Cieee superrr sekalii (feels like rising miss universe, hahahaha). Every time Najwa ask when we’ll stay at the hotel again, my template answer for every request will be: “Pray more to Allah, and Allah shall grant your wishes if it’s good for you”. Enak kan yah ga usah pake ngasih alesan macem-macem, titik sampai disitu.
But it works! she can bare longer hour to recite new surah, playing edu-games, patiently join me to pray, even sit properly (for more than three minutes is already an achievement for her) to learn Arabic letters. The only and the biggest problem is my consistency, and I’m still looking a way to handle that.
In every “staycation” trip, my husband and I always highlight a specific achievement or good thing that makes her rewarded.
That’s what we want her to feel about these journeys. As for us as parents, especially me, the trip more like a Kindermoon (^_^) we enjoy our quality time exploring new places, while she’s still unencumbered with her academic calendar, and I’m still the center of her life *love.
This “nebeng liburan’ style still continues even after Najwa enroll as a kindergarten student (I already talked to her principal and teacher since her day one and they totally fine with that).
A long list of celebration
Albeit it is unofficial but we have a special corner for our luggage. Sometimes before it completely unloaded, I start to pack again for our next trip. While he’s working, Najwa can enjoy some activities at the hotel or nearby area.
Over this time, we’ve stayed in numerous hotel between 3 stars to 4 stars, but rarely at 5 stars hotel. We book most of those hotels through Hotels.com, where we can get 1 free night for every 10 nights *that can be booked in separate transactions. Our second favorite app is Tiket.com that offer more valuable points (so much better than Traveloka, pffft that app now is my least favorite).
Hotels.com & Tiket.com gave best value of points among other applications, suitable for business trip.
Bring a toddler to go staycation, means our first preference will be a kid-friendly hotel. Where the pool is mandatory, along with playroom or outdoor playground, and another kids activities will be another BIG plus. So, among all hotels that we’ve been staying, here are our favorite list (sort by area) :
#1 Borobudur Hotel (5 stars) – Jakarta
From the moment we enter the main entrance, the smell of real fresh flowers immediately burst our sense, along with huge flower bouquets that greet us at the lobby. We stayed there on the weekend, the perfect time to stay at Jakarta’s hotel because we can enjoy cruising around the city center without the regular heavy traffic. Although later, we canceled our plan to go outside and just enjoy many activities inside the hotel.
The pool is great, they have separate kid’s pool. There are lifeguards on duty, not just one but two, and more staff to make our swim time worry-free. After swam, Najwa went to the pop-up kids club that placed on the corner of the basketball field. She played on the balloon castle first but then she’s more interested in making beads jewelry and decorates a mini paper bag. They have a dedicated staff for this activities, really nice. Those crafty time are part of their kid’s club program that held every weekend. Entertaining and great for exercising both kid’s hard and soft motoric.
For parents? even if you are not a runner, you will regret not taking your sports shoes here.
Their backyard is huge, parents and toddler can enjoy their jogging track, basketball field, big outdoor playground, butterfly garden. Basically, you will have abundant choices to entertain and drain your toddler’s energy so she can sleep on time at night. And let parents stay awake safely till late *wink.
Unfortunately, breakfast time is not as convenient as I expected from a five stars hotel. It is quite hard to find an available table, and the table is too close to the others, so walking thru between tables needs more maneuver especially when you bring plates.
Oh and, being a prude (and proud about it) we feel annoyed to see topless statues everywhere. At some point I need to explain to Najwa why are there so many topless female statues. They also have a miniature of Borobudur temple, which makes Najwa curious about the shape and its size in the original site.
For all those experience, you only need to pay less than one mio per night at the weekend. The hotel is not as sophisticated as other five stars hotel (still pleasant though), but they offer something that we value more than instagramable interior.
#2 Aston (4 stars) – Anyer
Great hotel + Great friends = Perfect Vacation
It’s 3 hours from Jakarta, more like a vacation than a staycation. But because I don’t have a plan to write a single review so I post our experience here.
This hotel has everything you need to entertain your whole family. Private sandy beach, kids pool, ice cream station, trampoline, instagramable swing at the shore, beach pier, and close to affordable seafood restaurant. PS: There’s no GoFood here.
Anything else? Yess.. We got a foam party when we’re there. What a blast! It took our vacation to another level. I’m not sure if it’s a regular program there but you better check it first to the staff, if you’re expecting it.
The room and the breakfast are as pleasant as other Aston hotels. We really spent most of our time outside, I think because I enjoy the moment so much that makes me missed the sunset view. But some of my friends took nice photos on the swing at that time, and I bet there will be a queue there, so you better be there earlier than others.
Initially, we plan to visit another beach and a lighthouse, but at the end of our day, my husband is the only one who visits those place on his morning run. I guess the only thing you need to look outside the hotel is the water sport. As for us, our toddler already occupied with sand and shells, so we’re good here.
Probably you won’t find this in any online review, but if Beard’s Papa is your thing, then you need to bring some of the puff cakes from Cilegon.
We found that new obsession when we’re visiting our friend that lives in Cilegon. We ate, and we love it! Our favorite is the green tea and the original flavors. It’s Beard’s Papa dupe with smaller (better) size and of course with a more affordable price. You should place your order one day before you’re going back from Anyer.
There are still lots of kid-friendly hotels that we like, so more recommendation on next post for Bogor and Bandung area.
But don’t forget, entertaining kids is so easy. At her age, I believe the most important thing is my presence, both physically and mentally, to enjoy our time together and play along with my chatty little cookie monster.