Set between the royal capitals of Solo and Yogyakarta, Amanjiwo celebrates the artistic traditions and spiritual legacy of Central Javanese culture.
With the Menoreh Hills rising up behind it and no less than four volcanoes punctuating the horizon, Amanjiwo is cradled in a natural amphitheatre. In the middle distance, rising above the rice fields of the Kedu Plain, lies the splendour of Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist sanctuary in the world.
The heart of Amanjiwo is a spherical limestone monolith topped by a soaring, bell-shaped rotunda. This main building is framed by 36 free-standing suites arrayed in two deep crescents. Domed roofs, lofty ceilings and terrazzo floors lend elegant shape to the suites. Interiors include a four-pillar bed on a terrazzo platform, sungkai wood screens, coconut wood and rattan furniture, batik pillows in classic Yogyakarta style, traditional glass paintings and beyond sliding glass doors, a sunken outdoor bathtub in a walled garden setting. All rooms include an outdoor kubuk or pavilion, with a daybed, and most suites offer views of Borobudur. Private swimming pools grace 15 of the suites.
Amanjiwo’s Dining Room, with its antique-finished, silver-leaf ceiling, serves Indonesian and Western cuisine in an open-air setting. With its own gamelan orchestra performing at dinner, the theatre-like Dining Room is defined by an arcing double row of columns, front and back. Dinner and drinks can also be taken out on the Terrace. The view from the Terrace, inspiring at any time, is particularly so at dawn and twilight, or after a cleansing rain, when the world of Java clears, revealing its horizons. The Bar, with its banquette seating and overhead fans, is built within a soaring rotunda — the peak point of the resort. Drinks and snacks are also available at the colonnaded Pool Club, with its 40-metre swimming pool. Bordered by rice fields and crafted of paras yogya stone, the Pool Club takes on the form of an ancient amphitheatre.
Java is renowned for its age-old massage or pijat, which is as healing as it is hedonistic. Beyond therapeutic massage, Amanjiwo pampers with facials, Javanese cream baths and beauty treatments. The resort maintains two tennis courts, and further afield, the 18-hole Mount Merapi Golf Club is located on the slopes of one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes.
Culture and cultural touring dominate resort activities. While interests may vary, no one will want to miss visiting Borobudur. The temple does not stand alone in the vast and fertile Kedu v Valley. Legend has it that 2,000 temples once graced the plains beyond Amanjiwo. On special evenings, Amanjiwo arranges guest visits to Candi Mendut for Semadi, an ancient Javanese form of silent meditation.
Amanjiwo, which means “peaceful soul,” is filled with an overwhelming aura of past majesty. In homage to Borobudur, Amanjiwo’s major architectural motif of circles, squares and crescents echoes its design, keeping alive the centuries old patterns of grand temple architecture.
Ds. Mojaksingi, Borobudur,
Central Java – Indonesia
Phone. +62 293 788 333
Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of Amanjiwo