Testimonials (2011-2016)

Jim and Lyn Anderson

Jim Anderson , who was principal of the International School of Bogor during 2012-16, wrote with his wife Lyn as follows in March 2017.

For the four years we lived in Bogor we never tired of visiting Vila Botani either with guests or our students from the school where I taught. It was always a peaceful haven away from the frenetic rush of the city and we always came back with our batteries charged. Staff at VB have always been helpful and ready to please when needed.

We hold many fond memories from our visits. Sitting on the wooden verandah eating a freshly picked organic salad and listening to the call to prayer drifting up on the cooling breezes from the valley below is very special. Just as enjoyable were the many self guided walks we took into the cultivated terraces above the trail to the waterfall. We loved venturing off the more well trodden paths up to the the slopes of the mountain and the edge of the cultivated terraces. We never knew what we might find. I highly recommend you try this as you are likely to meet many of the friendly families tending their fields, perhaps stumble upon a verdant bonsai plantation or maybe find yourself in a cool river valley marvelling at the hidden plantings of local coffee bushes and the many brightly coloured flowers, insects and birds.

Like many such places in Indonesia you must experience it yourself to fully appreciate it. Do this in the knowledge that Vila Botani is extremely welcoming, highly sustainable, locally run and thoroughly enjoyable.

Jeanne McKay, a conservation biologist, wrote in Sept 2016:

As conservation biologists, we appreciate nature's balance. During our recent stay at Vila Botani, we saw examples of this balance all around us- including a colony of bats that swooped in by night to make quick work of a swarm of winged termites on our terrace before leaving as stealthily as they came.

Events like this show us that nature's balance is intact and places like Vila Botani are truly special because we can witness it for ourselves.

For Bogor residents, Vila Botani is almost on your doorstep. In about an hour you can be surrounded by beautiful vistas, fresh mountain air and a lush pine forest in a national park. Our little ones couldn't wait to take any one of the well-defined trails leading to numerous waterfalls. Darting ahead they would enthusiastically report back to us their findings (e.g. beautiful views, enormous spiders, tiny flowers, all kinds of different fungi, a stream with tadpoles and a stray coconut bowl used to collect pine sap).

From our spacious, rustic cabin we enjoyed the sunsets and sunrises, sleeping peacefully out on the deck and sharing meals and stories with our friends and family - reconnecting not only with the natural surroundings but also with each other.

Matthew Leggitt, Environmental consultant, May 2016

"Vila Botani is a rare gem of a place - a short and pretty drive from Bogor takes you back to a little slice of rural Java, high above the traffic and pollution where you can breathe deeply, enjoy the fresh air, eat amazing organic home-cooked food and stretch your legs exploring the paths in the mountains. My children loved exploring the streams and waterfalls above the farm and playing in the forest. Evenings are deliciously cool and quiet, and early mornings are a perfect time to explore the forest and organic gardens Pak Alex and Pak Jai look after so brilliantly. One of our favourite times at Vila Botani was when we set up ‘camp’ on the wide wooden verandahs of one of the villas to make the most of the cool mountain air, and woke up to birdsong and a beautiful sunrise over the valley, and clouds rolling in and out of the forest. Our kids still remind us of their ‘best night’s sleep in Java’ at Vila Botani! Every visitor we had in Bogor came here with us and loved it! Highly recommended!”

Mundofar, May 2016

Ass saya Pak Mumuk, dari BSD Serpong. Terima kasih untuk Vila Botani yg telah melestarikan berbagai pohon dari pasundan yg hampir hilang. Selama saya menginap di Vila ini, sungguh keharmonian Alam yg saya temukan atau Back to Nature yg sangat serius dan tdk main-main. Terima kasih unt suasana alam yg saya dapatkan.

Ahmad Mukhlis, May 2016

Perkenalkan saya Mukhlis saya sudah menginap di Vila Botani sekitar lima kali. Pertama kali saya menginap di Vila Botani, saya merasakan suasana yg sangat nyaman dan sangat berbeda dari vila yg lain yg pernah saya datangi bahkan sangat jauh melebihi dari apa yg saya harapkan dari pemandangannya, alamnya, dan saya bisa memetik sayuran organik langsung dari kebunnya. Terima kasih Vila Botani disinilah saya merasakan hidup yg sesungguhnya.

Bu Lessy Bimoadji, General Manager of Rumah Yoga – Chatting on What’sApp with Alex Korns about the school’s visit to Vila Botani in January 2016

LB: Everybody was happy with Vila Botani. The food was yum-yum.
AK: That's good to know. Tnx. I saw an upsurge in the number of "likes" on our FB fan page, which I figured might be from your members.
LB: Yes pak, your place is fantastic.
AK: Tnx 4 your kind praise. Were there any issues about cleanliness? I know that this was a concern beforehand.
LB: Its ok pak we don't expect standard of fancy resort.
AK: Tnx bu
LB: Pemandangan indah serbah ijau sudah membuat mereka happy. [The beautiful views, everything so green, already made them happy]
AK: Hahaha. Me too.
LB: They found something different than usual, they used to join a yoga retreat in a fancy place but this time Sachin asked them to be down to earth, feel the beauty of what the universe has given us by dong a silent meditation, without talking, no eye contacts, no cellular phone, just enjoy the retreat and surroundings, this make your place so beautiful pak.
Thank you for making the retreat so beautiful and memorable.

Rudy Kelana, 2012. Jenuh dengan keramaian? Datang la ke Vila Botani.

Doreen Biehl is a longstanding customer of Vila Botani and the owner of Bogor Mountain Biking (dbiehl@cbn.net.id). About our guest facilities, she wrote in Oct 2011: "Our family has loved the camping feel of being in Vila Botani but without the hassle. Our last visit was on a full moon night where we had the adventure of a midnight hike. The food is outstanding!" About our organic vegetables, Doreen wrote: "Our household has become a regular customer of Vila Botani vegetables. You have the freshest and most diverse salad greens in town and the pineapples are to die for!"