As 2020 draws to a close, there is no better time to come together and to make lasting memories. For Aman, the festive season heralds a time to celebrate culture, support local communities and give back to the natural environments that sustain us.
Welcoming this year’s festive season, Aman’s resorts in Indonesia invite guests to reconnect and create meaningful memories with the introduction of new retreats. The Time Together Exclusive Retreat and the Space to Reconnect Exclusive Retreat are available until March 2021 and have been carefully crafted for Indonesian residents, providing serene sanctuaries closer to home.
Hidden on a hillside overlooking rice terraces and the wilderness of Ayung Valley, Amandari is a spiritual haven set on sacred ground in Bali’s cultural heartland. Designed after a traditional Balinese village, the resort invites guest to personally engage with village life through a number of experiences and encounters, including complimentary cooking classes to prepare traditional Balinese dishes for the villagers; as well as joining the local farmers in the surrounding rice paddies for a hands-on insight into cultivation and harvesting during this festive season.
Each day, guests can join villager and Amandari team member, lbu Lipet as she sets off on the half-hour circuit of the stupas around the resort, making floral offerings (canang sari) to give thanks to the gods and part for good fortune.
Guests are invited on her daily journey of gratitude, to learn to make their own canang sari. Find further floral inspiration with a guided garden tour, picking flowers and foliage to create your own exotic arrangement in an expert-led workshop, or coconut-harvesting from the palms around the resort before enjoying the fresh taste of coconut water straight from the tree. Guests can also participate in helping local villagers prepare rice, ready for planting in the rice paddies.
The new Time Together Exclusive Retreat is available for two-night bookings for five suites or more together with a room upgrade and an experience built around memories taking centre stage. Begin the merriment with arrival cocktails at dusk, before spending the evening hosting a private party or barbecue by the pool – one’s own exclusive location for the night.
Celebrate to the sounds of a live DJ before arising the next day for a refreshing Ayung Valley Trek, followed by lunch and a restorative 60-minute Amandari massage for each guest featuring local Balinese ingredients to harmonize body and mind. A set dinner in the restaurant will be prepared serving cuisine with locally grown ingredients with a distinctive Indonesian flair.
In the morning, guests will experience a 60-minute morning yoga session – an opportunity to come together through movement. Complimentary children’s activities throughout the stay include Balinese Children’s Dance classes, while families can bond over additional experiences such as Canangsari workshops, Floral workshops and S’mores making around the resort’s bonfire, exchanging stories of the day gone by.
Amandari’s three-bedroom villas offer a resounding solace; a family hideaway sensitively integrated into its hillside setting, allowing guests’ focus to shift to the important practice of family wellbeing. For Villa stays of two nights or more, the Space to Reconnect Retreat offers a range of fulfilling ways to reconnect, from sundowners on arrival to an Indonesian set dinner and Balinese feast.
While morning yoga awaits, enrich the mind with a healthy cooking class in the villa and relax during a 60-minute Amandari massage. Guests will be able to enjoy a set lunch in the villa or in the restaurant. Children can also become familiar with Amandari’s surrounding local culture through activities such as a Balinese Dance Class for an all-round enriching experience.
Capturing breath-taking views of Lombok Strait, Amankila opens the door to untapped East Bali and its royal heritage. The temple inspired resort with its iconic design has a three-tiered main swimming pool that tumbles down the hillside like a cascading rice field. This season, guests are invited to join the Amankila team to support the neighbouring village of Manggis by donating unwanted books or stationery to the local school.
There will also be family-friendly craft sessions making Christmas decorations in the resort lobby, with opportunities to donate to Soul Bali, a charity that supports and empowers communities in East Bali and an initiative that Amankila has collaborated with since its establishment in 2015.
With a programme focusing on cultivating gratitude through various activities and initiatives around the resort, this year, children’s cookery classes, will encourage young guests to prepare culinary gifts for their parents as expressions of thanks. All guests are also invited to receive complimentary blessings at the hotel’s Hindu temple throughout the festive period and, for guests spending Christmas at the resort, a special mass will be held on site on 24 December.
The ultimate small group hideaway Time Together Retreat for guests occupying five Garden Suites or more will gather for a private beach Megibung dinner on arrival, where live entertainment plays as dusk turns to dawn.
Connect through local experiences on day two, with an ATV adventure through the Manggis hills before a set lunch in the restaurant, followed by a 60-minute massage provides a treat to soothe the soul. Mealtimes allow guests to share stories over farm-fresh Indonesian cuisine and a picnic breakfast at Taman Sari Bale is also included on the final morning – a further insight into this magical region. A laughing yoga session offers one last opportunity to unite, before leaving Amankila with an abundance of memories made together.
Framed by emerald-green rice plains and the peaks of the Menoreh Hills in rural Central Java, Amanjiwo lies within view of the mystical stupas of Borobudur, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Unesco monument creates a meditative backdrop to introspective suites enclosed by garden courtyards, thatched bales and sunken outdoor baths.
Over the festive period, a variety of dance performances will take place at the resort, including the Jathilan dance performed by the children of the local villages, the legends of the Ramayana interpreted in movement by a troupe from the nearby Muntilan Regency, and the ornate and dramatic Javanese mask dance, Topeng.
This is a tradition which Amanjiwo works with local villages to keep alive from generation to generation. Just 10 minutes from Amanjiwo, the village of Klipoh is a repository of craft knowledge that dates back many centuries, with a rich tradition of ceramics in particular. The studios of local potters will be open to Aman guests, who are also invited to try their skills at the wheel. For those seeking to end the year cleansed and spiritually reinvigorated, the Tolak Balak ritual, performed by a Javanese priest supported by Amanjiwo, is one of a number of ancestral protection and purification customs practiced in Java, as the resort’s visiting anthropologist explains in a 90-minute session.
Taking place from 24-27 December guests can experience the new Journey though Java with Aman. Venturing across Java on the Kereta Api Wisata train, from the bustling capital of Jakarta to the peaceful setting of Amanjiwo.
Amanjiwo also offers the Time Together Retreat, for the booking of five Garden Suites or more in a two-night stay experience. Begin the stay by feasting on an uninterrupted private poolside dinner accompanied by an exclusive Ramayana dance performance. Cycle to a local village before indulging in a private Progo picnic and enjoy the 90-minute morning yoga and 60-minute Amanjiwo massage along with set dinner. Family groups can enjoy the bespoke itinerary that is tailored to suit guests of all ages with a range of complimentary children’s activities including kite making, horse riding and painting available at the resort.
AMAN VILLAS AT NUSA DUA
Peaceful retreats located on Bali’s southernmost peninsula, the Aman Villas at Nusa Dua are set within palm-fringed grounds and gardens, with swimming pools flanked by aromatic frangipani trees. With an idyllic white-sand beach close by, and endless bespoke dining options, it’s an ideal destination for families to rest, reconnect, and celebrate the season.
Ten minutes away in Nusa Dua’s Puja Mandala worship complex, the Catholic Church Community is working hard to help local families who have been affected by the pandemic. The Aman Villas team is supporting their efforts and invites guests to participate in the community initiative through donations.
Guests at Aman Villas at Nusa Dua also get the chance to experience the Spaces to Reconnect Retreat, in the five- and six-bedroom villas for a group escapism in an exclusive environment. The two-night stay includes a range of Aman experiences, from private in-villa barbeques at the pool with 3-hours of live entertainment, to private yoga sessions or golf and visits to nearby locations.
Experiencing each moment together as a group, Aman Villas at Nusa Dua provides a family-friendly base where the scent of frangipani fills the air. A 60-minute massage is also included for each guest, ensuring much needed relaxation in this adventure filled stay.
Overlooking the turquoise, coral-rich Flores Sea, the wilderness hideaway offers full-board accommodation in 12 luxury guest tents, set in consummate seclusion between jungle and shore. Amanwana’s naturally paradisal setting on Moyo Island is enchanting in all seasons, yet during the festive days and nights, it transforms into a magical hideaway, providing a base on which to make unforgettable memories with loved ones.
At Amanwana, children will relish the opportunity to join daily snorkelling trips while cultural performances showcase the region’s heritage, with the opportunity for guests to show appreciation to the local community. Discover the flavours of Moyo with exclusively arranged culinary experiences including a Sumbawa Feast and Kaki Lima Dinner made with homegrown produce, before ending the year on a high with sunset cocktails followed by a New Year’s Eve Dinner and dancing late into the night.
Guests can participate in supporting the Moyo Conservation Fund which was established as a way for visitors to contribute towards the local community and conservation efforts. The fund’s initiatives range from protecting the coral reefs to building a school in Labuan Aji Village.
For those seeking an extra-special escape, Amanwana’s A Camp of Your Own offer, allows guests to experience the camp on their very own. Through booking eight or more tents for four or six nights, the island’s abundant natural treasures become exclusive, with a range of inclusions to make for a private and memorable stay.
Inspired by the Phinisi sailing vessels of old, twin-masted Amandira was custom designed then handcrafted from local hardwoods by Konjo artisans. Travelling under sail as well as by motor, she combines the ancient romance of the spice trade with cutting-edge contemporary amenities.
Offering three spacious king-bed cabins and two bunk bed cabins, Amandira can accommodate up to 10 guests to some of the most beautiful, biodiverse and unspoilt marine environments in the world. Manned by a 14-strong crew, including a dive instructor and personal chef. The three king-bed cabins each have a living area, as well as a large bathroom with a shower and twin vanities.
Over the festive season, on its journey through the archipelago, Amandira can call by the West Papua village of Arborek – a renowned pioneer in community-driven marine preservation. There, guests can see some of the most extraordinary undersea landscapes simply by diving off the pier; to browse and buy the villager’s intricately crafted hats and string bags (noken); and to witness music and dance performances in exchange for donations of supplies or funding to help locals maintain their precious and pristine marine environment.