Hello, everyone. Let’s start the year with the best possible energy. Let’s fly to Java – one of the 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. It holds one of the greatest treasures in the history of Mahayana Buddhism. The temple of Borobudur shines between volcanoes and rice terraces, spreading spirituality since the Sailendra Dynasty. Its trajectory is covered in enigmas, but what is known is that it was built in the form of a gigantic mandala with nine superimposed platforms, the lower six of which are square and the upper three circular. The pilgrimage route works like an oracle where you have to walk clockwise in a spiral until you reach the top. The most impressive thing is that the entire route is accompanied by panels carved from volcanic stone with scenes from the life of Buddha. You feel like you’re entering a rock “Buddhist Bible”.

To tune in to the magic of Borobudur, the Amanjiwo hotel is the perfect match, starting with its name, which means “Peaceful Soul”. When I was arriving at the hotel, after a 60-kilometer drive from Yogyakarta airport, the driver stopped the car on the access ramp as I let out a sigh when I saw the silhouette of Borobudur through the portico strategically designed to make a big initial impact. And it did. I took a deep breath, letting the spirituality of the temple invade my senses. After all, less than five kilometers connect Borobudur to the spectacular Amanjiwo.

The number of rooms, 36, already indicates that there is a total connection between them. This number is equivalent to half the number of stupas in the temple. Another striking aspect is the design made up of circles and squares in homage to the shape of the temple.

Amanjiwo is a peaceful sanctuary in the hills of Menoreh, surrounded by rice terraces and rainforest. The accommodations are spread out in the shape of a half-moon with interior design in light colors, limestone, elegant furniture and plenty of natural light. In the bathrooms, a stone bathtub set in an open courtyard is an invitation to relax. In addition, the gastronomy is a highlight at the hotel, including afternoon tea served daily with local delicacies. Guests can also take part in pottery and batik workshops, yoga and meditation classes.

To enjoy all that Java has to offer, climb Mount Punthuk Setumbu at dawn to see the sun rise and illuminate the Kedu Valley with its volcanoes. You can also visit the temples of Mendut and Pawon. However, always come back with enough time to enjoy this spectacular hotel!

I wish you a year filled with good energy.