Majestic Borobudur and Magnificent Amanjiwo
THERE’S NO TELEVISION IN THE SUITES AND THE WI-FI IS NOT FAST EITHER, BUT WHY BOTHER TO CONNECT WHEN THE RESORT OFFER LOTS OF ADVENTURE, DINING, AND WELLNESS EXPERIENCES TO EXPLORE
Borobudur is a majestic structure. Located about an hour and a half drive from the airport in Yogyakarta, the world’s largest Buddhist temple was built in the ninth century during the Sailendra dynasty, and designed as a Javanese Buddhist temple that blends Indonesian ancestor worship with the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana. It consists of nine stacked platforms, six squares and three circles, topped by a central dome, and surrounded by 72 stupas, each with a Buddha statue seated inside.
Nearby lies the magnificent Amanjiwo resort, which takes its inspiration from Borobudur. The resort is set near the Menoreh Hills and is surrounded by rice fields, with a direct view of Borobudur. The neoclassical design by American architect Ed Tuttle takes its design cues from the Borobudur, both in terms of the sandstone material used and the symmetrical amphitheater design with 36 suites—half the number of the stupas in Borobudur—surrounding the main rotunda plus a separate Dalem Jiwo presidential suite. Thus the Amanjiwo part the Aman resorts chain—exudes both luxury and a spiritual ambience. The name Amanjiwo means peaceful soul, and the resort certainly lives up to its name.
“We don’t want our guests to have that hotel feel,” says Ian White, general manager of Amanjiwo. The traditional relaxing ambience is immediately felt when entering the suite with the stereo system playing Javanese gamelan. The 36 suites are divided into four types: the Borobudur Suite, the Borobudur Pool Suite, the Garden Suite, and the Garden Pool Suite. Each of the 243 sqm suites features a central four-pillar king sized bed on a raised terrazzo platform, wood and rattan furniture, high ceilings, domed roofs, an outdoor walled bathtub to ensure privacy and a thatched pavilion with a daybed for relaxing. Both the Borobudur Suite and Pool Suite offer a direct view of Borobudur from the patio. At dusk, one can see the mystical view of the temple covered in layers of fog with Mount Merapi in the far background.
For the ultimate luxury, set amidst the rice paddies with its own private entrance, the Dalem Jiwo Suite offers two bedroom pavilions and 1,200 sqm of living space. Between the rooms is a central rotunda with a day bed for lounging and dining over looking Borobudur and a staircase down to a private 15-meter swimming pool. The discrete compound also features a private butler with 24 hour service to cater to your needs. Besides the resort structure, the traditional Javanese hospitality is also present from the service.
Text by Ardian Wibisono & Photo by Ahmad Zamroni