Much as we love bunking down in a stylish Bali resort, there are other parts of Indonesia to explore, and a scattering of inimitable retreats at which to do so. Here, from west to east, are six standout properties that will have you island hopping in no time
Monumental Appeal: Amanjiwo, Central Java
For the better part of two decades, this limestone-clad retreat—the youngest of five Aman properties in Indonesia—has reigned as Java’s most sublime hideaway. Much of the credit for this goes to its untrammeled setting. Overlooking the mist-wreathed Kedu Plain about an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta, Amanjiwo (the name means “peaceful soul”) is nestled picturesquely below the shaggy Menoreh Hills and fronted by a swath of working rice fields that draw the eye toward what is surely the island’s most enduring spiritual landmark: Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world. The resort’s design is an homage to the ninth-century temple, with 36 domed suites tiered in concentric crescents around a stupa-shaped rotunda lobby. It’s a conceit that must have seemed audacious at the time the blueprints were drawn up, but there’s no denying the brilliance of architect Ed Tuttle’s vision—or the comforts. Dominating each of the freestanding suites is an altar-like bed set on a pillared terrazzo platform, behind which sungkai-wood screens open onto a big bathroom equipped with a sunken outdoor tub. Subtle accents include batik pillows and traditional glass paintings, with thatched-roof daybeds (and, in many cases, pools) rounding out the amenities. Families looking to splurge can book the Dalem Jiwo suite, which occupies its own compound and comes equipped with a private drive, two separate bedroom pavilions, butler’s quarters, an open-air entertainment rotunda, and a 15-meter infinity pool that juts into the rice fields. Relaxation is the name of the game here—a traditional pijat massage at the spa is sure to work out any kinks—but there are plenty of off-site activities on offer as well: a steep hike into the hills behind the resort; a rustic (and unforgettable) dinner in the home of a village resident, the venerable Pak Bilal; and, de rigueur for first-time visitors, a guided sunrise tour of Borobudur, followed by a hillside picnic overlooking the ancient monument (Majaksingi, Magelang; 62-293/788-333; amanresorts.com; doubles from US$950).
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