I used David O. to book this hotel. I paid the standard rate, but because he is a Virtuoso agent, he was able to throw in a free lunch. The room included transfers and breakfast.
The Amanjiwo, while not inexpensive, was truly outstanding. It is quite possibly one of the most memorable places that I have stayed. It is definitely vying for one of my top resort stays.
The Aman experience started out with the airport transfer. We didn’t touch our bags from the second that we exited airport customs. We were offered lemongrass scented cold towels and choice of drinks. There were pillows and a preloaded iPod waiting for us in the car. The drive to Aman took around an hour and a half.
The attention to detail was shown in every way including the architecture. When you go down the Amanjiwo driveway, you see a cutout in the building that forms a perfect picture frame of the Borobudur temple in the distance. We were greeted in a shower of flower petals and handed a welcome drink.
Our room was one of the Borobudur Suites. It consisted of a very comfortable king sized bed and two twin children’s beds in the corner. The bathroom included an outdoor marble soaking tub. There was a very large outdoor patio with a direct view of Borobudur over rice terraces. There was large covered Bale (outdoor hut with raised mattress) with pillows, candles and sun lotion. There were so many thoughtful touches inside the room, such as a full set of water color paints, bug spray, snacks, a giant arrangement of orchids etc.
The door to our suite.
Our king sized bed.
The bed that they set up for our kids.
The outdoor soaking tub.
Beautiful freshly cut orchid arrangement in the room.
Our outdoor patio.
Our private Bale.
Our boys relaxing in our bale. The Amanjiwo staff left us candles and sunscreen out here.
The view from our bale. We were in the "Borobudur Suite" which boasts an uninterrupted view of the Borobudur temple in the distance.
The staff at Amanjiwo were incredibly family friendly. In fact, the resort surprised me with how family friendly they were! I had incorrectly assumed that it was strictly a honeymooners spot. The General Manager greeted my kids with special welcome gifts (handmade grass boxes with a full set of local puppet pencils and stand - one of the nicer things the kids brought back from Asia). There was a whole children’s club room that I was not aware of when I booked the Amanjiwo. They also had many included activities such as mask painting (and not just cheap paper masks, but handmade paper mache javanese masks), pottery throwing in the village etc. There was also an extensive (and very reasonably priced!) children’s menu at both restaurants. My kids also really enjoyed the beautiful infinity edge pool overlooking the village vegetable fields.
We relied on Amanjiwo to book our excursions in the Borobudur area. It wasn’t cheap, but it was impeccably organized. They arranged for a guide to the temple for a sunset tour. Our guide was excellent with children and we had the amazing experience of being the only people at the top during sunset. I am not a religious person, but I found this to be very spiritual. When you are in the area, the expected tour is the Sunrise tour. We did both, but I have to say that sunrise was highly overrated. I vastly preferred Sunset…much less people there.
We also did the Andong (horse drawn carriage) tour through the local villages. This was such an amazing experience! This area (particularly when you compare it to Bali) is completely untouristy feeling. The countryside is beautiful and very lush. We saw every conceivable type of vegetable and fruit growing. We stopped at a pottery studio where my kids were given a wheel throwing lesson. They both made miniature Borobudur stupas and the staff at Amanjiwo later lovingly packed them up as if they were priceless artifacts. We also visited a tofu factory that was fascinating. On the way back, we passed by a school where the small children ran after us eager to meet us. This tour was a highlight for me during our 27 days in SouthEast Asia.
The grounds of the Amanjiwo were also stunning. It is surrounded by rice paddies and lush vegetable fields. You can walk through them and end up inside one of the villages where the locals were drying and preparing the rice to be bagged. I feel like my kids got a lot out of seeing a completely different way of life.
In addition...the food in the dining room was wonderful. It was well presented and not as expensive as I was expecting from a resort at this level. There was a good mix of Indonesian and Western options. Their Mie Goreng (Indonesian fried noodles) and coconut salad was particularly good. There was also a comprehensive kids menu with favorites such as pizza, noodles, nuggets etc. The kids were so happy to have familiar food!
Overall, the Amanjiwo was one of the best places that we have stayed. I could not even begin to recommend it enough!