Discover the amazing Amans, Indonesia’s luxury island resorts
In this exquisite, tropical archipelago, let Aman spoil you at these five-star hideaways.
A holiday to Indonesia promises azure seas, sun-bleached sands, tropical jungles and a rich cultural heritage. The country is synonymous with its tourism hot spot, Bali, but there’s so much more to discover in this huge archipelago, from the art scene of Yogyakarta to the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat. Likewise diverse, Indonesia’s accommodation ranges from quaint, beachside boutiques to grand, sprawling resorts. For a dead cert, Aman’s five hotels dotting Bali, Java and beyond will sweep you off your feet. These five-star, far-flung hideaways win plaudits for their luxury, space and privacy. The following comes with a wanderlust warning…
At the heart of central Java, you’ll find Amanjiwo (meaning peaceful soul). Surrounded by lush forests, volcanoes, rice paddies and lakes, this 36-suite boutique resort is very nearly as impressive as its neighbour, the temple of Borobudur. Lounge on a daybed beneath your thatched-roofed pavilion, curl up in comfort on your four-poster bed or plunge into the 40-metre infinity pool fringed by banyan trees. You’ll be loathed to leave this luxury behind, even if it is to explore the surrounding World Heritage sites.
Room for perfection: Dalem Jiwo
Set amidst a charming rural scene, this property provides two-bedroom pavilions, a central living rotunda, 15-metre pool and lovely views of Borobudur temple.
Winning dish: Dinner at Pak Bilal’s House
For an enchanting taste of rural Javanese life, dine next door to Pawon temple at the house of local resident and host, Pak Bilal. The atmosphere, aromas and traditional menu provide a simple yet authentic experience.
Treat yourself: Javanese Royal Signature Ritual
Experience this centuries-old beautifying ritual, once the preserve of Javanese princesses ahead of their wedding day. The custom begins with a traditional massage and exfoliation with lulur – a hand-made blend of white turmeric, milk powder, finely ground rice, jasmine and rose. A restorative clay mask is then applied to your skin, ahead of a warm, soothing bath in milk sprinkled with fresh jasmine and rose. Expect soft, supple skin, fit for a royal wedding.
Balanced on a steep hillside in East Bali, Amankila is one of Indonesia’s finest resorts, with architecture inspired by the Karangasem palaces nearby. It overlooks a pristine private beach and the morpho-blue waters of the Lombok Strait – a gorgeous view to wake up to. Stay in one of the 34 suites, fashioned in a beach house style and within easy reach of the pool, restaurant and reception. When you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach, take to the waters in a traditional jukung canoe or nibble on Balinese cuisine cooked up at the ocean-view restaurant.
Room for perfection: Indrakila Suite
Boasting sea and temple views, this two-bedroom suite includes a swimming pool, terrace and private butler service.
Winning dish: Private dinner on the beach
Amankila’s secluded beach, club and pool is reserved just for you ahead of a romantic dinner for two. Dine barefoot by candlelight, with a private chef and waiter tending to your every need. Afterwards, you’re provided complete privacy to enjoy this idyllic spot. Prompt assistance is only a bell-call away.
Treat yourself: Asuci Angga
Drawing inspiration from Balinese rituals, this massage and beauty treatment will leave you sublimely refreshed. It begins with a foot scrub of crystal salt and fresh lime, followed by a massage to ease away day-to-day stresses. After a traditional exfoliant is applied to your skin, you’re enveloped in a red ginger and cajeput body wrap. Whilst wrapped up, enjoy a soothing coconut-cream scalp massage.
Just 10 minutes from the creative hub of Ubud, Amandari was the original world-class resort on Bali. Stay at one of the thatched-roofed suites, boasting elegantly understated décor and clad in local teak and coconut wood. Designed in the style of a traditional Balinese village, the property is the perfect base for exploring Bali’s culture, and guests are encouraged to venture beyond their loungers. Temple ceremonies, gamelan performances, village festivals and the resort’s full moon celebrations are all there to immerse yourself in. Return from your jaunts to relax at the spa, dine overlooking the gorge or take a dip in the sparkling pool.
Room for perfection: Amandari Villa
A minute’s drive from Amandari resort, this property includes terrace-style bedrooms, a private infinity pool and an outdoor dining pavilion.
Winning dish: Candle-lit dinner by the pool
Beside the resort’s renowned infinity pool, dine and sip cocktails overlooking the lush green surrounds.
Treat yourself: Village Spa Journey
Indulge in a refreshing treatment which draws inspiration from the Balinese Melukat purification ceremony – traditionally signifying the beginning of a journey. After a welcome blessing, your body is exfoliated using black rice infused with cinnamon. You’re then wrapped up in mineral-rich volcanic clay and banana leaf, before a therapeutic head massage leaves you supremely relaxed. Your journey ends with a Melukat ritual using holy water.
The wild hideaway of Amanwana is located on Moyo Island, a nature reserve off the coast of Sumbawa. Take to the water to observe a coral-reef ecosystem teeming with colourful marine life, then head inland to search out a unique mix of jungle wildlife from deer to wild boar to the macaque monkey, and a variety of spectacular bird life. Afterwards, put your feet up in one of the 20 luxury tents nestled beneath the rainforest canopy. Each tent is underset by coral-coloured stone, features hardwood flooring and air conditioning. You’re also a pebble’s skim from the spa, restaurant and pristine sandy coast.
Room for perfection: Ocean Tent
Stay amidst luxurious furnishings and Indonesian artwork in one of the spacious air-conditioned Ocean Tents, set back from the beach and boasting sea views.
Winning dish: Barefoot on the beach
With the sizzle of the grill and the waves of the Flores Sea as your soundtrack, enjoy a barbecue on the sands of Amanwana Bay, complete with personal chef and butler service.
Treat yourself: Amanwana Signature Massage
Lay back and relax as Amanwana’s massage therapists do the hard work. Combining elements of Swedish massage and reflexology, this signature treatment uses a blend of essential oils to induce a deep sense of relaxation.
Aman cruises, Raja Ampat & Komodo Islands
One corner of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat is a scatter of 1,500 little islands in West Papua. To explore the reefs and shoals of this archipelago, you need to set out on the high seas. Thankfully, Aman has you covered, with two impressive vessels regularly scheduled to ply these blue waters. Board the elegant, black-hulled Amanikan, a 32-metre coastal cruiser, or Amandira, the 52-metre, handcrafted phinisi whose billowing sails catch every zephyr. Both boats can be privately chartered throughout the year.
Located in rural central Java, Amanjiwo (meaning peaceful soul) is surrounded by lush forests, volcanoes, rice paddies, lakes and temples, and the spectacular 8th century Borobodur temples are nearby
Amankila, or peaceful hill, perches on a cliff above a stretch of unspoilt private beach on the Lombok Strait
Amandari is located in central Bali and heavily influenced by local culture
The wilderness hideaway of Amanwana is located on Moyo Island, a nature reserve off the coast of Sumbawa