Once upon a time in our magnificent galaxy, an idea was born on the outskirts of Bogor that would create a new beacon of light for West Java. Founded upon a commitment to personal growth and spiritual journeys, in 2017 two friends decided to lay the groundwork for a special retreat in the hills above Pelabuhan Ratu, just a few hours drive from the megalopolis of Jakarta…
After settling on a location and signing an agreement with the land owner, they started transforming the original two storey house into a beautiful home, complete with three lovingly decorated bedrooms downstairs, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a living room. Then they continued transforming a large covered area next to the house into a luxurious and inspiring lounge, complete with couches, an additional dining area, and plenty of comfy reading chairs. They installed tasteful lighting, remote control fans overhead, and built a library of great books, magazines, and an old Encyclopedia. Here they also built a second open air kitchen to serve delicious buffet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Along their way sometime in 2018, they pulled in another friend who shared their same visions, and brought with him a background in the creation and management of boutique resorts with a purpose. Together and with the owner of the land, they committed to building a place that would inspire and nourish travellers from near and far, and signed a new agreement to handover management and accept new funds for expansion.
With fresh investment and under new management, we added a new set of rooms under the old viewing deck, and called them the Sun and Moon Deck Suites. We also took an old, run down building near the entrance and transformed it into a beautiful team house, which would be used by the partners and management company to house our team. We explored the wider private estate and started GPS tracking the various walking trails, and dreamt of attracting a Mountain Bike enthusiast to transform the estate into an exciting mountain biking park. Schitzo Hills Mountain Lodge & Tavern was slowly but steadily transforming into a resort, including a new focus on sustainability and responsible tourism.
In mid 2019 a serendipitous introduction to a couple looking to start a eco oriented mountain biking and outdoor living company led to an expanded team of partners, and in late 2019, we got to work on Phase III of Schitzo Hills. We re-purposed an old garage into a cozy new team house, bike workshop and minimart, and a new housekeeping storage room. We modified the old team house into a new travellers cabin for those traveling solo or on a budget. Adding the final touch to our accommodation options, we identified three ‘glamping’ sites in our teak forest by the lounge, and built beautiful wooden decks from locally harvested sustainable teak forests. In September 2019 with the expanded accommodation, we re-branded from ‘Schitzo Hills Mountain Lodge & Tavern‘ to ‘Schitzo Hills Forest Resort.‘
The new partnership had a focus on enhancing the outdoor experience for our guests, and so we also built trails across the 10 Hectares of land that could be explored on foot and traversed on by mountain bike. We discovered bamboo groves, explored two streams that run through the property, and camped amidst the small teak forest near the lodge to get quiet and listen to the surrounding nature. Together, we dreamt of building a wider village complete with an organic farm, residential areas, a school, a woodworking shop, a small jam and honey enterprise to make use of our agricultural produce, and an extensive network of walking trails and mountain bike paths.
Over time, we explored the regions great waterfalls, discovered Giant Trees in the national park bordering the land, hunted for the best restaurants, and studied and visited one of the world’s oldest eco-villages two hours away. They made friends with locals who wished for a more sustainable future, protectors of the ocean, revivers of ancient grains long forgotten, and those who see a bright future in responsible tourism that respects local culture and treads lightly on the environment.
Finally, towards the end of 2019, the basic groundwork has been laid to soft-launch our one of a kind forest resort. We are now open and set up to ensure an incredible vacation experience. We are here to serve as your guides, to be your friends, and to welcome you to this magical sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you are a solo traveler, a couple, a family, or a small group of friends, you are welcome. Whether you are a school, an NGO, a social enterprise, or a band, a creative collective, or a book club, you are welcome. We welcome all folks who are good people, doing their best to make the world a little better while enjoying life.
Our doors are open to those who wish to collaborate, who wish to team up to create an inspiring place where the world makes sense, where there is deep inner peace, and where we can deploy and experiment with all the solutions that exist to our common challenges. We see that the world has problems, but we know for every problem there are many solutions. We see that there is much pain in the world, and that many of us feel lost in the race to survive, buy a home, get a car, and take an Instagram photo that is so perfect, we forget to enjoy the moment.
We see that the condition of the world we grew up in has caused many of us to live an unhealthy lifestyle. But we also see the silver lining in the clouds, and understand that we are here to help wake each other up to the smell and taste of freshly roasted coffee, remember the simple joys in life, and get back to the basics.
We like the philosophy that in order to change the world, we must first learn to take proper care of ourselves. Along the way, we have learned that there is great joy in discovering the beauty of nature, in watching the growth of a papaya tree, and in slowly but steadily finding ways to enjoy life more fully and responsibly.
There is joy in discovering great books, and master story tellers. There is joy in using our body to explore the forests, beaches, and rivers. There is joy in sampling delicious foods that come from fairly paid cooks and farmers who treat the earth and her creatures with respect. There is joy in discovering and listening to great music, and watching creative films that touch the heart and ignite our souls.
Together, we can have fun while making the world a little better. Together, we can inspire and encourage each other that despite the challenges we have faced, we can dream and manifest a better life. Together, we can inspire others that dreams come true for those who are patient, persistent, and courageous.
To us, our story began with a dream, and the story continues with you. It’s our story. And we’re still at the beginning. We are still writing that story, and we’d like you to write it with us. To us, you are not a potential customer, but a potential friend. From our perspective, beyond building a resort we are creating an inspiring basecamp and village to call home. We look forward to welcoming you, and writing the rest of our story together.