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March 30, 2010

Off the Beaten Path

The next Java fix

Hiking through Central Java in the early nineties, Gabriella Teggia, cofounder of the Amandari resort on Bali, stumbled upon a forgotten Dutch coffee plantation—54 wild, overgrown acres surrounded by eight volcanoes. She proceeded to buy the place and spent the next dozen years turning it into the Losari ecoresort, a recently opened collection of 22 suites in an assortment of antique Javanese houses. "They used to call me the crazy lady who bought buildings," Teggia says, referring to her islandwide search for indigenous structures, which she has since filled with four-poster beds and native textiles. "They would have been torn up and sold in pieces otherwise." She has also turned her ecological ingenuity to the land itself, maintaining some 2,500 fruit trees, a series of organic gardens, and coffee fields that produce 25 tons of beans a year. The property's bounty feeds guests in the resort's two restaurants—and supplies ingredients for the spicy body scrubs at the spa (which has the first authentic hammam in Indonesia). Losari also employs a local expert on jamu, traditional Indonesian herbal medicine. The brews she concocts—using ginger, cardamom, chiles, and cloves grown on the premises—are said to cure everything from lethargy to a sagging libido. Rates, $250-$1,600; 62-298/596-333; www.losaricoffeeplantation.com.