Belle Magazine Australia|April 2020
Indonesia is one of Australia’s nearest offshore tropical holiday destinations, enticing tourists each year to its islands. Although this country is known for its heightened sensory experiences, whether on the back of a scooter or at a buzzing beach club, the Aman hotel group’s presence in the Southeast-Asian region – both in Bali and Central Java – proposes three incredibly peaceful, luxury resort options that feel equal parts immersive, respectful of local culture and utterly private. Let us introduce Amanjiwo, Amankila and Amandari.
Cycling through the peaceful fields and small villages that envelop Amanjiwo in Central Java, the intoxicating scent of sun-drying cloves fills the air. It’s intense and memorable. But cloves are not the only crop that you’ll spot along the narrow roads that meander through this region – there’s everything from tobacco to corn and bananas. Honey is harvested from bustling beehives, cowhides cure in the sun and inside small thatched huts the local makers produce prawn crackers, cassava chips and tofu. It’s a theatrical preview to the cuisine of Amanjiwo and no doubt you’ll have the opportunity to sample and savour it all. Well, most of it.
Framed by glowing emerald-green pools of rice and the peaks of the Menorah Hills, Amanjiwo is about a two-hour drive from Yogyakarta airport and is exaltedly within sight of the mystical Borobudur temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This Buddhist monument, which my guide says is now busier than ever thanks to the rise of selfies, social media and “ego tourism”, directly informed Ed Tuttle’s design of Amanjiwo with its towering domed-roof structure, colonnades and walls built of locally sourced blush-beige paras stone. The suites are decorated with sungkai wood screens, coconut wood and rattan furniture, antique batik soft furnishings and Javanese glass art. Opt for a pool suite if you fancy a private dip, though the hotel’s main pool is truly magnificent, surrounded by manicured trees, rice paddies and the rugged mountainscape beyond. Plus, The Pool Club is at your service.
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