Amanjiwo (peaceful soul) rests in the rural heartland of Central Java. The resort is located within a natural amphitheater, with the limestone Menoreh Hills rising directly behind, the Kedu Plain to the front and four volcanoes – Sumbing and Sundoro to the west, Merbabu and Merapi in the east – on the horizon. Amanjiwo looks out onto Borobudur, the largest Buddhist sanctuary in the world. The heart of Amanjiwo is a sweeping circular monolith crafted of paras yogya (a limestone found in the Yogyakarta area), and all but entirely open to the Javanese country air. Amanjiwo's major architectural motif, of circles and squares and crescents, pays homage to Borobudur and to the centuries of grand temple architecture that fill Central Java.
Located 6° to 9° below the equator, Java enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round. The weather is particularly pleasant from June through September. It is always cooler in higher altitudes, and Central Java is blessed with volcanic mountains. The wet season runs from November to April. Even during the heaviest rains, however, the sun is rarely out of sight for long.
Amanjiwo is about an hour's drive from Yogyakarta airport. The primary international gateways to Yogyakarta are Bali and Jakarta. Both offer several, one-hour flights a day to Yogyakarta. From Solo, it is a scenic, two-hour drive to Amanjiwo. 80-minute flights service Solo from Singapore 3 times a week. Complimentary airport transfer is provided. While visitors from most countries do not require special visas, passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry.
ACCOMMODATION and RATES
Amanjiwo's main building is framed by 36 suites arrayed in two deep crescents. The walled suites feature terrazzo flooring, high ceilings, domed roofs and sliding glass doors to a garden terrace with a view to Borobudur. Fifteen suites come with private swimming pools. All suites include a thatched-roof kubuk (pavilion) with a daybed for outdoor lounging and dining. Interiors include a central, four-pillar bed on a raised terrazzo platform, sungkai wood screens, coconut wood and rattan furniture, old batik pillows in classic Yogyakarta style, traditional glass paintings and a sunken outdoor bathtub centered by a brass gamelan gong.
The Dalem Jiwo Suite is a discrete compound, complete with a private entrance, a grand rotunda and surrounding terrace and two detached and walled bedrooms. The suite's 15-meter pool, finished in a green Javanese stone known as hijau danau, is set into the rice fields. Dalem Jiwo's personal assistant, always on call, has separate quarters in the compound.
FACILITIES AND SERVICE
From Amanjiwo's entrance, five steps climb to the rotunda Bar, a circular salon of columns and drop fans and a coconut-wood bar. The Bar gives way to the arcing Dining Room , with its amber-washed, silver-leaf ceiling. Indonesian and Western cuisine are available in an open-air setting. The specialty of the house is makan malam, a series of classic Javanese offerings served in brass dishes. A Javanese gamelan orchestra performs at lunch and dinner.
The Dining Room looks out onto the crescent-shaped Terrace, with its banquette seating, brass tables, teak chairs and Yogya batik cushions. The view from the Terrace shoots past the rice fields of the Kedu Plain to Borobudur, directly ahead. Just beyond the great Buddhist temple is the rounded hill of Tidar. Considered the geographical center of the island, Tidar is known in legend as the very head of the nail that holds Java to the earth. Mt. Sumbing, in the northwest, towers over everything. From the colonnaded Pool Club , with its 40-meter, green-stone pool, enjoy stunning views to Mt. Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes.
A wide variety of Javanese clothing and textiles are available at the Boutique, which also features gamelan instruments, shadow puppets, old ceremonial baskets, jewelry and other Javanese craft and antiques. Exquisite hand-woven, hand-dyed and painted silk scarves, shawls and other pieces are featured in the Gallery . Each piece is signed and numbered. Two spacious daybeds distinguish the library. Take Javanese tea or homemade ginger beer and leaf through a fine selection of books on Indonesia available in several languages, including Japanese and German. A variety of CDs, tapes and games can be borrowed. Regular exhibitions are held in the Art Gallery. Amanjiwo's informal artist-in-residence keeps a studio there, and guests are welcome to make use of the easel and paints on hand. Amanjiwo has two stone-walled tennis courts , each with a thatched-roof kubuk for shady breaks, refreshments and towels.
Massage, Facials, Javanese Cream Baths and Beauty Treatments are available in the privacy of the guest's suite. The masseurs and masseuses live in the villages surrounding Borobudur. Amanjiwo also keeps a Meditation Garden in a corner of the resort grounds close to the Menoreh Hills.
Amanjiwo's personalized cultural excursions bring Central Java to life. From Borobudur and Gedung Songo to Prambanan and the Dieng Plateau, many of the most ancient, and important, of Asia's religious monuments and temples are rooted to the plains and volcanic slopes of Central Java, Indonesia's heartland. All are accessible from Amanjiwo. The 8th-century Buddhist sanctuary known as Borobudur -- among the best-preserved ancient monuments in the world -- can be visited, privately, at sunrise. From Borobudur, return to Amanjiwo aboard one of the Sumatran elephants available for Amanjiwo guests. Borobudur does not stand alone in the fertile Kedu valley. Legend has it that 2,000 temples once graced the plains beyond Amanjiwo. Among those that still stand, a few are particularly notable, including Candi (temple) Pawon and the 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple of Mendut, which rises in a park-like setting. Inside Mendut sits a three-meter-high Buddha statue carved from a single stone. Further afield are other grand ruins, some of which require a full day to visit.
The region's two royal cities, Yogyakarta and Solo (Surakarta), have much to offer visitors. Yogya, as it is often called, is a major university town and a royal capital complete with a functioning kraton or palace. The city's main thoroughfare, Jalan Malioboro, takes on the tenor of an exotic street fair at night. In Solo, classical Javanese dance and art schools flourish. Both cities reward antique hunters and art and craft collectors. Two major art galleries are just a 10-minute drive from Amanjiwo. At other Borobudur-area studios and shops, browse for antique glass paintings, contemporary silver jewelry, handmade batik and stone sculpture. The morning markets surrounding Borobudur are a fascinating insight into everyday life in Central Java.
Central Java is a haven for trekkers and casual hikers alike. Mount Merapi is one of Java's most popular climbs. Only the fittest hikers, however, will want to make the demanding ascent of this active stratovolcano. The rugged Menoreh Hills rise immediately back of Amanjiwo. The vigorous, 90-minute hike up Menoreh offers unimpeded views of the Kedu Plain, with Amanjiwo in the foreground and Borobudur in the middle distance.
Located on the slopes of Indonesia's most active volcano, close to the resort town of Kaliurang, the 18-hole Mount Merapi Golf Club is a scenic haven for golfers and sightseers alike. At an altitude of about 1,000 meters, it's also a cool escape. Less than an hour's drive from Amanjiwo, the Mount Merapi Golf Club was designed by Peter Thompson.
The rural villages of Central Java celebrate everything from a harvest to a wedding or circumcision with gamelan music and spirited dancing. Amanjiwo guests are welcome to watch the festivities, which can include more than a hundred guests from nearby villages, dozens of performers, games of chance and, occasionally, late-night trance dancing .
Explore the art and culture and enduring mysticism that colors Central Java with The Amanjiwo Cultural Experience , a new, four-night offer from Amanjiwo.
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