Amanjiwo is a luxury hotel in the Menoreh Hills near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It lies opposite the 9th century Buddhist sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Borobudur. It is operated by Aman Resorts and the name "Amanjiwo" means "peaceful soul".
The hotel is built in the form of a pillared temple from local coral-beige limestone (paras yogya) and 15 of the rooms have private pools. The hotel has its own library (which often hosts lectures on the history of Borobudur), art gallery, Javanese spa and a swimming pool with Javanese green tiles, known as hijau danau, set into the rice fields. The main pool measures 40 metres (130 foot) in length.
The hotel has 36 lavish suites, laid out in two crescents around the central rotunda. The suites have limestone walls, domed roofs (some are thatched), high ceilings, terrazzo flooring, sliding glass doors, a central four-pillar bed, sungkai wood screens, coconut wood and rattan furniture, old batik pillows, and traditional glass paintings.
Many of the rooms have portraits of notable Indonesian people on them or traditional carvings. The rooms range from $850–$3,000 a night, excluding 21% tax.
The main restaurant to the hotel serves Indonesian and Western cuisines. A circular black marble bar is located in the lobby and featured Gamelan players and local girls performing traditional Javanese dance every day.
Borobudur makes the rest of Southeast Asia’s spectacular sites seem almost incidental. Looming out of a patchwork of bottle-green paddies and swaying palms, this colossal Buddhist monument has survived Gunung Merapi’s eruptions, terrorist bombs and the 2006 earthquake to remain as enigmatic and as beautiful as it must have been 1200 years ago.
It’s well worth planning to spend a few days in the Borobudur region, which is a supremely beautiful landscape of impossibly green rice fields and traditional rice-growing kampung (villages), all overlooked by soaring volcanic peaks. Locals call it the garden of Java.
This region is establishing itself as Indonesia’s most important centre for Buddhism, and there are now three monasteries in the surrounding district. Visitors are welcome and you can even join the monks at prayer time for chanting.
So inspiring are the views, in fact, that Amanjiwo’s rooms all come with a watercolour set in case you’re overcome with artistic inspiration and need to get your Constable on. Your fellow guests’ masterpieces are displayed in the library.
Erin and Thomas Ribeiro