Staying in some of Indonesia’s, and indeed the world’s, finest accommodation, this is as sophisticated as island hopping gets. You’ll enjoy private infinity-pool views of Ubud’s rice terraces, unwind on an exclusive island wilderness and get away from it all in a Balinese beach house. You’ll even stay in a temple-pavilion next door to world-wonder Borobudur. It’s all brought to life by a spectacular array of included excursions, ranging from hill treks, market tours and tropical dives to Javanese massages, sunset martinis and afternoon tea. Knit it together with private transfers and flight hops included throughout.
Begin as you will continue, in style with a chauffeur drive to the airport and a premium lounge to relax in before your flight to Yogjakarta in Java.
A private transfer is the perfect introduction to the luxury that awaits as your air-conditioned private car whisks you from the airport to your first, luxury hotel. Amanjiwo is as close as you can get to the ancient temples of Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist monument. And, if it’s not too sacrilegious to say, it’s almost as atmospheric. As with all Aman hotels, it reflects its surroundings, so here suites take inspiration from the nearby temple architecture. They also take in views from vast terraces with sunken outdoor baths, or if you choose to upgrade, private pools.
With the temple Borobudur within close sight, it’s impossible to resist the enchantment this temple complex casts, and effortless to explore it with Amanjiwo’s expert guided tour. If combined with an exclusive evening visit to the monastery of Mendut – only Amanjiwo guests are allowed access at this time of day – the whole experience becomes more mystical still, as evening prayers sound out. Meandering through the amphitheatre of the Menorah Hills and stopping for a sunset martini in one of the stunning rice fields that cascade down them is almost as special. As is taking a village tour or enjoying an indulgent, Javanese massage.
After a last delicious breakfast overlooking the temples and hills, private transfers will take you first to Yogjakarta Airport for your flight to Bali, then, on arrival at Denpasar, will deliver you to the Amandari. Close to Ubud’s vibrant artisan culture, Amandari is a peaceful world, not least under the palm trees by the infinity pool, with views of the dramatic gorges of the Ayung River Valley. Hindu shrines dot the resort, which is laid out like a village, and a sense of serenity prevails, not least in the stylish suites and villas laid out around gorgeous garden courtyards.
Amandari stretches out on sacred land above the revered Ayung River, and local shrines abound. The hotel can organise visits to these and almost any attraction that appeals. Their treks along the river itself and along the Campuhan ridge are a highlight, as are the rice terrace excursions, which immerse guests in the lush and striking surroundings. Bicycle trips into lively Ubud are popular, while guided tours of local markets and private Balinese dance classes provide almost as much buzz. At Amandari itself, it’s all about personal and peaceful treats – a signature massage perhaps, or afternoon tea at Sunset Point.
A private transfer takes you to the airport after breakfast. From here, a scenic flight to Sumbawa, and from there an even more scenic private boat transfer will take you to Moyo, an island wilderness in the Flores Sea. Amanwana provides the only accommodation here, 20 luxury tents dotted along the shoreline or under the canopy of a rainforest. Set on raised platforms, with gleaming hardwood floors and walls, wide windows and high canvas ceilings, this is high safari style. Spacious bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and large and comfortable living areas are made better still by spacious wooden decks surrounded by stone coral from which to enjoy the view.
Excitement starts at Amanwana as early as you like; simply sitting out on deck brings sunrises, delicately trotting deer and sea eagles soaring over the ocean. Sprint into the sea for a pre-breakfast dip, or spend a whole day snorkelling – which can go on into the night here, on guided trips. The diving in the area is remarkable, with notable sites nearby, and the hotel’s bespoke cruiser will happily set off for even more isolated locations. Sun loungers line the broadwalk, close to a small freshwater pool, a pontoon provides a perfect place from which to spot turtles. Jungle treks provide as much fun – wild boar, monkeys and deer to spot, waterfalls to stop at. Return to base for a massage in the stunning outdoor spa and a meal based on the freshest catches of them all at the all-day restaurant.
After breakfast under the bamboo roof of the atmospheric open-air restaurant, a private transfer will take you to Sumbawa Airport to catch your flight to Bali. On arrival, settle in for an air-conditioned ride to the east of the island and sacred and stunning Mount Agung. Amankila sits between this mighty sight and the Lombok Strait, at the edge of a cliff. Three stunning infinity pools cascade seamlessly into each other and seemingly the sea, another 41-metre long pool can be found amidst a coconut grove on the beach. Many of the suites here have private pools, but each has been positioned to make the most of the views from immense private terraces.
Amankila is a resort of such style and sybaritic pleasures it can be hard to tear yourself away to explore the atmospheric villages and temples nearby, but its well worth taking one of the hotels local treks, tours or cycle tours to explore a bit of East Bali, before coming back for a soothing Amankila massage. Or perhaps just cruise along the Lombok Strait on the Aman XII one morning before returning to one of the many pools. It’s worth being on site at any time of the day to dine here – the food is exceptional, based on extremely local ingredients – the hotel has its own free-range duck farm and a fruit farm. Breakfasts here is an astonishing a la carte affair of world specials from Moroccan doughnuts, Nasi Goreng or just an omelette, with herbs from the garden.
Make sure not to miss what might be the best breakfast in this part of Bali before your private transfer to the airport for your return flight. Arrive in the UK on day 15 where you'll be met by your private chauffeur for the last leg home.
"Island hopping offers up the perfect opportunity for exploration but it doesn’t always have the most glamorous connotations which is why I have customised this trip so that you only ever travel in style. Think flights rather than ferries, exclusive cultural day-trips and a stay in the wilderness of a private island – the epitome of luxury travel. "
Low Season from: £5,380 pp
High Season from: £5,815 pp