Volcanoes and temples: Review of Villa Borobudur Resort

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Luxury & privacy – Authentic Java – Magnificent Location. With these words Villa Borobudur Resort advertises on their website, so me and my family were really excited when we arrived at the small village in Borobudur, on the edge of the jungle.

At the guard house we transferred from our Grab car to the 4×4 vehicle of the resort and immediately realised why: the road to the villa is a steep and bumpy, although just short ride. When we arrived at our villa two members of the staff were waiting for us with fresh watermelon juice.

Our villa, Villa Merbabu. Photo: Villa Borobudur Resort

Villa Borobudur Resort has seven private villas and various suites. All the villas and suites are designed in authentic Javanese style and decorated with works of Javanese artists. The villas and suites offer direct impressive views of the Borobudur temple, different volcanoes and the valley with villages and rice fields. Villas are always ‘Java inclusive’ (breakfast, lunch and dinner included), suites can be booked with ‘breakfast only’ or ‘Java inclusive’.

Our villa: Villa Merbabu

It was our lucky day: we got upgraded to Villa Merbabu, the largest private villa of the resort. This villa has three big bedrooms, a private swimming pool, personal staff and an open dining and lounging area on the second floor. The swimming pool was huge for just our family: the kids loved playing in the pool while mom and dad enjoyed the view with a cocktail and a beer.

Every bedroom has a bathroom with shower (unfortunately no bath tub in our villa) and a view over the temples and the valley. The beds have mosquito nets, useful given that the villa is in the middle of the jungle and mosquitoes and other insects will definitely pay you a visit.

The open dining room made us happy as we love to be outdoors.

During your stay you can make use of the wireless phone to request the friendly private staff for a fresh juice, a coffee, some snacks, advice or to book trips or any of the activities available (see below).

The manager showed us around the resort one morning to see the other villas and suites. They are all unique, luxurious and every time we stepped into a villa there was a ‘wow’ effect. There is also a little shop located at the resort with Javanese antiques. During our stay, there was an exhibition with arts from around Asia.

Fun fact: the queen of Denmark stayed in one of the villas!

Food at Villa Borobudur

Villa Borobodur has its own restaurant, Taste Java. The menu consists of Javanese dishes, made with local ingredients and homegrown rice and fruit. The menu choice changed every day. We felt every meal was made with love and was always very tasty and super fresh.

There was a special kids menu, with Javanese dishes and some Western classics like spaghetti Bolognese and beef burgers. My kids can be very picky, bu they really enjoyed the food and even tried some of the Javanese specials.

Breakfast can be selected from a long list of options. There was coffee, tea, fresh juices, fruit, yoghurt, Javanese pancakes, toast, noodle soup, fried rice and much more. Breakfast needs to be chosen the evening before, lunch and dinner on the same day. The staff always asked us at what time we wanted our food to be served – we found that very handy when traveling with kids.

The suites start at 220$ per night (breakfast included) and the villa’s at 617$ (Java inclusive).

Things to do in and around Borobudur

The reason why we traveled to Java was to see the famous Borobudur temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The hotel can arrange a trip to the temple. Prepare yourself and the family for a hot day and a long walk before you get to the temple after paying the entrance fee. We recommend to walk up to the top of the temple, you will be rewarded with an magnificent view.

Another great activity to do is a hike to the Selogriyo temple on the slopes of the Sumbing volcano. At the time of our visit, the temple was under renovation, but the walk up is amazing, with breathtaking views over huge rice terraces. The hike is easy, only 30 minutes one way. There is a (squat) toilet up at the temple, but bring toilet paper.

Other things to do around Borobudur:

There are quite a few activities available around the area, like make your own pottery, rafting on the Elo river and Jeep safari tours. All tours can be organised by Villa Borobudur Resort.

Villa Borobudur also offers activities in the resort, such as a private yoga classes, a painting workshop, a hike, cooking classes, massages etc.

Menorah foundation

Villa Borobudur has set up a foundation to stimulate social development, health care, education and protection of the environment in the Menorah area. They support projects such as communal washing spaces, have set up a garbage removal system and projects that support the local schools, local economics and cultural activities.

How to get there?

From Kuala Lumpur, there is a direct Air Asia flight to Yogyakarta that only takes 2,5 hours. From Yogyakarta it’s only about 1 hour’s drive to Borobudur. Ask the resort for a pick up from the airport.

We loved the authentic design and Javanese luxury of Villa Borodobur Resort, as well as the proximity to the temples and the local activities. The location is just stunning and the friendly staff made our family feel very welcome. You can read other glowing reviews of the hotel in Tripadvisor!

We stayed as guests of the hotel. All opinions are honest and our own, as always!

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