Built in the shadow of Borobudur, this hotel is truly a stunning property and ranks up there with the best hotels I've stayed in around the world. Not only is the property/rooms beautiful, the customer service is off the charts. Upon stepping off the plane in Yogyakarta, we were immediately met by an Amanjiwo representative before we'd even left the tarmac. We were ushered in a side door at the airport and put in a comfortable room with some beverages and local treats while a few other Amanjiwo staff retrieved our bags. So the tone was set immediately. After that, we were driven to the hotel, which was a little over an hour away. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Mark, the GM, as well as Kiki, another high-level staffer there. They spoke with us for about an hour about the property and all the activities that were planning to do. As we were staying three nights, we received the Cultural Trails package, which afforded us three free activities as well as daily breakfast. I highly recommend this to anyone staying there. It's a value and the activities are great. And Mark is a really nice guy that seems to take the time with all the guests, whether you're a "high roller" or a couple on honeymoon like myself and my wife. After that, we were taken to our room and shown around. I would say that I would have liked the opportunity to use the bathroom as we'd had a long trip, but I was able to wait.
The meals were great and the servers really go the extra mile to make you comfortable and satisfied. At the start of each meal, they'd come over and tuck a pillow behind your back. And breakfast, which was included, wasn't just Continental -- it was anything off the menu that you wanted. Really nice. My one knock was that they'd ask you if you wanted sparkling or still water at the beginning of each meal. My wife and I opted for sparkling. We had no idea we'd be charged for it, although I must admit that the thought crossed my mind. But they don't show you a bill there until you checkout. I have to take some blame for not asking if there was a charge for the sparkling water, but I got a rude awakening on our last night when I saw that I was being charged nearly $30 a meal for it! When I brought it to Kiki's attention, she kind of laughed uncomfortably. I found that's a common response in Indonesia. They really want to please you and when you complain about something, it's awkward and they have a difficult time dealing with it. But they did remove a portion of the sparkling water charge, which I thought was nice. Moving forward, I think they should alert people that there is a charge for the sparkling water when they offer it. They also gave us two free sixty-minute massages (not because of the water, because it was our honeymoon), which I thought was really generous considering the prices at their spa.
The room was beautiful and, unlike our previous hotels, mercifully had a bathroom and shower that were both indoors! My wife, unfortunately, had a black ant problem on her side of the closet (there are separate vanities and closets in the rooms). The staff did everything they could to combat it, but it seems to be a problem that you'd have in any room. There are too many nooks and crannies for the ants to get in -- the doors don't seal when you shut them, there's a tiny gap. Not a huge deal and the ants are harmless, just know you'll probably be dealing with it. My other issue with the room was that it was a little hot at night, even with the AC turned all the way up. I'd wake up each morning with a slight sweat. It wasn't too uncomfortable, but I thought it didn't do justice to the hotel, which was really fantastic in almost every other way. One other thing that surprised me -- their gym, or lack thereof. It's actually in a converted suite. It appears that the hotel was built without a gym, then people must have complained and they fashioned one out of a room. It's kind of ill-equipped and the visible bones of the old room make it a little awkward to work out in. I understand that they probably don't want to compromise the hotel by building another structure that doesn't really fit with the glory of the main building, but what they have now doesn't really work. I'd at the very least gut the room so it doesn't feel so haphazardly thrown together. The communal pool is gorgeous, with a view of the rice fields, and you can have a meal there as well. And the pool boys, upon your arrival, immediately go to work on readying your space - laying down towels, even hanging your shirt up on a hanger under your umbrella! Like I said, they really want you to be comfortable and happy there. Overall, the type of place that you remember for a long, long time. If you can stay there, do it. Oh, and one other thing -- have the hotel set up dinner for you in town at Pak Bilal's house if you can. We did on our last night, and it was a highlight of our trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amanjiwo (peaceful soul) overlooks Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist sanctuary, in the rural heartland of Central Java. Located in one of the most scenic parts of the country, the Menoreh Hills rise up behind and no less than four volcanoes grace the horizon. Amanjiwo provides the opportunity for immersion in Javanese culture, offering trips to ceremonies, temples and antique shops. Private dawn and sunset visits to Borobudur and other archeological monuments in the vicinity are the highlight of a stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amanjiwo Hotel Yogyakarta
- Amanjiwo Resort Yogyakarta