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Located in the heart of rural Java, the mood at Amanjiwo certainly takes after its name – meaning ‘peaceful soul’.
The 36 suites all have views of either the farmland and the Menoreh Hills or Borobudur and the surrounding valley. Housed in limestone buildings, the interiors are typically Indonesian and unassumingly chic. They all have terrazzo flooring, high ceilings, large four poster beds, coconut wood and rattan furniture and traditional glass paintings. Sliding glass doors lead out to the garden terrace, complete with a thatched roof bale and large day bed, as well as an outdoor dining area and a sunken outdoor bath. 14 of the suites have private pools, and for the best of the best opt for the two bedroom Dalem Jiwo suite, which has a 15 metre pool, private entrance and the added bonus of a private butler.
Amanjiwo's restaurant is surrounded by stone pillars and decorated with gold painted murals. However, all attention is focused on the spectacular views of Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist sanctuary, and its rice fields and surrounding volcanoes. Food is an Indonesian-Western mix, however we recommend Makan Malam, a series of classic Javanese dishes served in traditional brass bowls.
Borobudur is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 life-size Buddha statues, each sculpted from a single stone, and is well worth a visit. The best time to go is at dawn, when the sun reveals the many faces of the sanctuary and the stunning scenery around it. The best way to travel is by andong, a horse cart and every day mode of transport for the villagers. Elephant safaris around Dagi Hill are also fantastic, and activities such as trekking in the Menoreh Hills and visits to the local villages can be arranged.
At the hotel itself, there is a swimming pool, spa, gym and tennis court.