Translated from German, Zeitgeist means "the spirit of the moment", and is the key principle underpinning AYANA's service philosophy. Here, we share our inside tips and favorite haunts to help you experience the AYANA Zeitgeist.
“When you say the word ‘Butler’, most people think of an old English man from a movie. And that’s the way it used to be. Now it’s more modern – they don’t carry around a silver tray, they help you book flights instead.” This was the opening to the Well-Placed Insider’s interview with Mr. Robert Watson from The Guild of Professional English Butlers.
It all started back in the 1960′s; hospitality was a growing and highly-demanding market. Manual keys were still in use, and the guests had to give it to the receptionist to prevent losing the key when they were out of the hotel. Back then, the role of a receptionist was very important in the hotel business. They’re the ones making that special connection with the guests… not just to hold on the guest’s keys, but they were also responsible for arranging dining reservations, reporting problems, and even for basic housekeeping matters.
Then came the mid 80′s, technology was booming and the electronic key was invented. As a result, the guests no longer had a reason to go to reception to communicate as much anymore. Inevitably, the relationship between the guests and the receptionists decreased. Then the era of pagers came, and the system where the guests could directly page the manager was implemented, and that is when the birth of the Butler service took place.
“We started to train small group of people to take care of guests at the biggest suite. They don’t pay a fortune just to get the suite just to get the same services as other guests in smaller room categories,” said Mr. Watson. This concept is applied to AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, where the guests at The Villas at AYANA Resort can enjoy they very own personalized Butler service 24-hour on-call, as “Personalized service is what makes people feel like they’re home,” he reminded.
Mr. Watson has been in the hotel industry for 52 years, has been setting the benchmark for the Butler service. “I started in London in 1990, we were the first hotel who had Butler service. I was a Butler Manager for seven years. There, I looked after three American presidents, Michael Jackson, Madonna Mariah Carey, Bruce Willis… oh, Lady Diana and Price Charles as well.”
While I was still in a state of awe, he continued his story, “If I don’t come to Bali once a year, I feel like there’s something missing in my heart. This island has something that other’s don’t, it is the Balinese people who are naturally caring, warm and smiling all the time – that, you don’t find anywhere. It’s not just about serving and saying thank you, your heart has to be in it. In Bali, you can feel that their service is from the heart. And I believe, the Butlers at The Villas at AYANA Resort don’t just care for you, they care about you.” From then I knew that Bali lingers in his heart.
He then sips his coffee and tried to find something in his phone. He showed me some pictures of smiling faces from our Butler at The Villas at AYANA Resort. I was so surprised knowing that the training could be that fun! As Mr. Watson said, “I think when people are laughing, then they are learning.”
And that is when I knew that I learned some valuable lessons today.
Bali is famous for its surf and culture, but this island is blessed with landscapes that also include towering volcanoes and endless rice fields. The green center of Bali is the spiritual heart of the island; traditional architecture denotes that all buildings and even bedheads should face the mountains. So what is so special about these mountains?
1. Mount Agung
As the highest volcano on the island, Agung stands at over 3100 meters tall and the last major eruption was 1963. This mountain is believed to be the center of the world for Balinese, as all temples are pointed towards Mount Agung, which is home to the ‘Mother Temple’, Pura besakih, nestled at its base. this mountain is in Kecamatan Karangasem, a 1,5-2 hour drive from Jimbaran. Jiking up Agung can take between 3-6 hours depending on the route you take. The temple is easily accessible at the base of the mountain and is well worth a visit on its own. Please take a sarong and long sleeved clothing with you if you intend to visit Pura Besakih, adhering to the cultural etiquette.
2. Mount Catur
If Mount Agung is a bit high for you to attempt to climb, try Mount Catur that sits at 2096 meters tall and is covered in trees. Once you reach the top you can see Bratan Lake and the breathtaking view around the volcanic crater. rent a hotel car, pack a day bag, and enjoy the ride; it takes around 2 hours to reach the base.
3. Mount Lempuyang
Home of Pura Lempuyang, this mountain stands at 1058 meters above sea level and is located on the eastern side of the island in Kabupaten Karangasem. Many climbers take on the mountain to merely visit the holy temple and enjoy the views of Mount Agung across the valley. Lempuyang is around a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Jimbaran.
4. Mount Batur
For sunrise chaser, this is the easiest and most accessible volcano to climb, taking around 2 hours to reach the top. The caldera-volcanic surface was formed by the collapse of land from a volcanic eruption many years ago. You can still feel the warm air from the cracks in the ground as you climb, because this volcanic mountain is still producing some lava! Batur stands at 1,717 meters above sea level in the area of Kintamani, Kabupaten Bangli and is around a 3 hour drive from Jimbaran. It is highly recommended to leave Jimbaran at midnight, and start climbing the mountain by 4am, so you are at the top for sunrise.
Being called the ‘Island of the Gods’ is not over-rated as Bali offers many beatiful natural attractions for you to explore. Ranging from beaches to forest and the magnificent mountains, get your trekking shoes ready and start the journey! A guide and private car are a must; please contact Guest Activities to assist with arrangements by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether if you are looking for some kind of healing, a cultural awakening, a repeat of movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or just soaking up the sun, sand and pampering on this tropical island, Bali offers it all. In this blog, we highlight Jimbaran, a very special place where visitors get to witness the extraordinary beauty of ordinary Balinese everyday life. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Jimbaran :
1. Jimbaran Fish Market
Get up early one morning and head to the village’s main beach to see the local fishermen tether their boats and bring their fresh catches from the sea. The people here still live the traditional life of this historic fishing village, and you can go by hotel car or metered taxi, or cycle if you are feeling active!
Every temple is different in Bali, with their own distinguished history from one to another. Jimbaran is easily accessible to Pura Luhur Uluwatu otherwise known as Uluwatu Temple, which is located on the southwestern tip of the island, perched on the cliff-top of a high cliff overlooking the famous Uluwatu surf break. To reachthis sacred temple, you can go by hotel car or metered taxi, it will take 25-35 minutes. Another nearby temple is Pura Ulun Siwi which is a 10 minute drive away, and is very close to the large fruit and vegetable markets in the center of Kedonganan village. Or, wander over to RIMBA’s temple located opposite the car park; ask one of our staff to accompany you, and we will be happy to explain about the various rituals of daily life, and assist you with a blessing ceremony at our temple.
Located just 5 minutes’ drive from the resort, this world-class gallery has been creating gorgeous handcrafted ceramics and glassware for over 35 years. Browse the large showroom at their Jimbaran headquarters, or take a class in their workshop and create your own designer piece of ceramics to take home. Jenggala’s Make-and-Paint-a-Pot is available daily from 9am to 5pm. Siutable for children and adults. There is also a cafe inside the gallery.
Bali is reowned for its surfing, and a lot of the best breaks are located along the southern peninsula nearby Jimbaran. Intermediate level surfers may want to try toro-toro reef near the right side of the Airport. Advanced surfers go to Balangan, Padang-Padang, Bingin or Uluwatu, which are between 20-30 minutes from the resort.
For more information on activities in and around Jimbaran, please contact us on email@example.com
While ‘love’ on the tennis court normally reflects no score, it was the opposite for one couple who proved that it can be the ultimate Grand Slam. Australian-based couple Clarrie and Dominic met during a tennis tournament in 2007, when Dominic says he fell in love at first sight of watching Clarrie in action on the court. Seven years later, and many tennis games later, they chose AYANA Resort and Spa Bali to tie the knot.
Now residing in Australia, Clarrie was originally from Singapore and Dominic from Malaysia. Bali was a convenient central meeting point for their families from their home countries, as well as friends from Sydney where most of their 62 guests would be traveling from. “We had never visited Bali and did our research online and AYANA stood out from the rest. With the amazing cliff side views, we easily made our decision,” said Clarrie. They wanted the best sunset views and chose the exclusive three-bedroom 3,000sqm AYANA Villa as their wedding venue on 9 September 2014.
The decorations followed a mint and coral theme as coral is Clarrie’s favorite color. The couple created an unusual hashtag #mroxandmrspigheah for guests uploading photos of their big day; the name came from the fact that Dominic was born in the year of Ox and Clarrie was born in the year of pig, and Heah is their surname. They even had AYANA’s team create special touches like a tennis ball wedding cake in honor of their first encounter.
Clarrie calls her thoughts and feelings of the big day: “It was a day filled with anxiety, tears and extreme happiness. Friends, family, great food and first-class service made for a truly unforgettable experience and a fantastic way to start our journey as husband and wife.”
So, the moral of the story is, if you are still searching for your other half, do not lose hope as love turns up in unlikely places, even on a tennis court! Clarrie and Dominic’s seven year journey also proves that the fabled ‘seven year itch’ is not set in stone. And so we pronounce, Game Set & Match to Clarrie and Dominic! Congratulations on a beautiful wedding and best wishes for your life together.
Many of our guests return to their homes with fond memories of Bali, of the people they met here and the friends they made for life. Amongst those friends, our cuddly Golden Retriever, Laura is perhaps the most popular! Born at the resort on 25 August 2007, Laura joined the extended family and from the age of 8 months old started training for our K9 security squad. The training involved a lot of discipline and techniques to sharpen her senses to detect explosive materials. An energetic and enthusiastic student, she passed the course and went on to a successful career, welcoming our guests and employees at the main entrance and screening visitors’ cars and bags to ensure the security and safety of all.
But her work went beyond security; in 2012, she created a lifelong memory for a couple who got married at Tresna Chapel. Upon arriving at the resort for their wedding, the couple met Laura and she looked so much like their own Golden Retriever named Pepsi (who could not travel to Bali for the wedding) that the bride arranged for Laura to attend their wedding. It was a complete surprise to the groom, to see Laura walking down the aisle!
However, after 8 years of diligent work, Laura reached the age of retirement and it was time to find her a new home. Our Chief Leader of Security, Pak Andreas – who was Laura’s guarding partner since she was a puppy – adopter her last month in February 2015, and loves her like his own child.
“Laura is like family to us, I never put her in a cage,” said Pak Andreas. “I let her interact with my family even with my little jealous Chihuahua, Fixie, and I take her for a walk every morning or afternoon, whenever I have time.”
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali has 25 dogs in our K9 squad, including Dobermans, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. We started to breed them in 2005. Each of our pawed friends is precious to us, and part of our family. We are grateful to all for their dedicated years safeguarding us and our guests. Enjoy your well-earned retirement, Laura!
Have you ever heard of an island that completely shuts down, where there are no activities, no people and transportation on the streets, television and radios are off, no stores are open and even the airport is closed?
That’s Bali during Nyepi, which falls on 21 March this year.
Nyepi is New Year’s Day for Balinese Hindus. And while most other cultures mark their New Year with a vivacious evening that ends with fireworks, the Balinese celebrate in silence. Because we believe that Nyepi is the day to purify ourselves with Catur Brata rituals consisting of: Amati Geni (no fire or electricity), Amati Karya (no activity), Amati Lelunganan (no noise or travelling), and Amati Lelanguan (no pleasure or self-entertainment). We observe these rituals to prepare our spiritual readiness for all the challenges that the new year will bring.
In this way, we can say that Nyepi is the most important day of purification in Bali. We believe the island must be weary from working hard to please its visitors, and the New Year is the time for the island to enjoy a ‘day-off’ to rest.
But while Nyepi itself is a ‘Day of Silence’, the day before Nyepi, 20 March, will be a day of noise and rowdiness. Across the island, villagers will join an ‘ogoh-ogoh’ parade, where enormous papier-mache statues of demons will be paraded around the streets with loud music and dancing, to wake up the evil spirits. The idea is to rouse the evil spirits and trick them into thinking there is a big party, and then be silent for the next 24 hours, so that they go looking for their party elsewhere, on another island!
At AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, we have our own ogoh-ogoh parade within the resort grounds, and then from that evening Nyepi’s silence rituals begin. Although guest must remain within the resort grounds for the 24-hour period, we still have plenty of recreation available. Ten of our 15 dining venues will still be open, lights will still be on (albeit dimly-lit), televisions in rooms can be used for movies, and our resort’s complimentary shuttle will still operate between pools at AYANA and RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA. Make sure you stay up to get your seat at RIMBA Lobby’s sunken lounge to gaze at the gazillion of stars above, to complete your Nyepi escape!
P.S.: Here are some reasons of why Nyepi is the best time to visit Bali:
When most people hear ‘Bali’, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘paradise’. There is an exotic aura around this island of ours, it is a very special place with a unique culture and the most beautiful, generous-hearted people on Earth. There are so many things you can and should do here; they say you haven’t been to Bali if you haven’t tried:
1. Cultural Experience
Everywhere you go in Bali you will be exposed to the Hindu culture. There is always a ceremony happening or family traveling in full costume to the temple. Children can learn about these rituals with special activities like Balinese dancing at AYANA or RIMBA Kids’ Clubs, while adults can learn how to make ketupat and canang offerings, or simply witness the amazing spectacle of traditional dancers in action at our themed dinners.
2.Turn up the Romance
There’s a reason why Jimbaran is called the ‘sunset coast’ and is the preferred destination for honeymooners. Reconnect with yout other half over aprivate candle-lit sunset dinner or an exclusive Spa on the Rocks pampering ritual.
3. Private Beach Picnic
Enjoy a swim in the waves, read a book, savor a picnic on the sand, or ?just take selfies against the bluest of blue backgrounds at our private beach, exclusively for guests of AYANA and RIMBA
4. Sunset Happy Snaps
Famous for its spectacular sunsets, AYANA is lucky to have so many viewing spots for guests to get that perfect photo. Sip a cocktail while enjoying a dramatic sunset from Rock Bar Bali down in the waves, or take the cable car up to Sami Sami Bar on the top of the cliff to avoid the crowds and soak up the cliff-edge views. Or simply recline in the sunken lounge at RIMBA’s Lobby for another ‘wow’ sunset experience, as the colors of the sky dance across the lobbys’s reflecting pool. Don’t miss the violin performance every Saturday at sunset from this viewing points.
5. Local Cuisine
Yes, this is a must-do for food lovers, but rather than just eating local foods, why don’t you try to learn how to cook them, so then you can eat them over and over again? Our professional chefs will explain all about Balinese cuisine including the locally-sourced ingredients, traditional cooking methods and the role food plays in daily rituals. Even if you don’t like to cook, it is worth joining this activity to really appreciate the amount of work and traditional methods that go into every dish of Balinese cuisine.
6. Great Outdoors
Keep fit on holiday (so you can keep indulging guilt-free!) by jogging around the resort and breathe in the exotic fragrances of Bali. For more adventurous activities, go cycling to Jimbaran Fish Market and meet the fisherman arriving with their catches fresh from the sea, and put your bargaining skills to the test!
7. Spa Time
No trip to the island is complete without spoiling yourself with a Balinese massage. Using long strokes and finger pressure, combined with warm aroma-oil, a Balinese massage is a sublime experience that takes you to another realm of relaxation! At Thermes Marins Spa, we also offer unique treatments such as a seashell massage, bamboo massage, and ayurvedic trance-including welllbeing ritual. Let yourself be massaged into a coma!
It might take some time to do everything on the list, but the important thing is not to leave Bali with any regrets! Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to prepare an inspiring itinerary for your upcoming stay.
The ‘dry’ season from April to September is usually the busiest time in Bali, thanks to the perfect blue-sky days, the excellent conditions on the west coast’s surf spots, and the lack of torrential downpours. For those visiting from the southern hemisphere, it means escaping the cold of their winter season, for sun-kissed skin that lingers with the scent of salt. The endless summer in Bali is indeed a wonderful time to visit the island.
But, what happens to Bali during the monsoon season? Here are some considerations, before you black-out the October to March ‘wet’ season. It actually has its own benefits!
Less crowded in the busy tourist areas, means no need to reserve that iconic restaurant or bar in advance, you can normally just walk-in without being put on a waiting list! And it is faster to get around the island too.
Less pricey for low season! Many airlines and accommodations offer lower rates and special promotions (excluding the busy Christmas and New Year period, and Chinese New Year)
Less guilt because the wet season is when some of the most delicious Bali fruits are at their best, so you will be sure to be eating healthy and enjoying every mouthful! Savor the ripe flavors of Mangosteen, Avocado, Kiwi and the snake-skin Salak - and you will have no excuse to be weighed down by the calories of the famous Babi Guling!
Less heat, which is nice for those who prefer to avoid too much UV exposure. The rain, which is often just a passing shower that clears to blue sky, freshens the air and nourishes the blossoming forest and flowers on our hill – and is perfect for sleep-ins!
Less rush to catch the mighty Bali sun, as it rises around 06:18 – 06:23 and sets around 18:40 – 18:47 at this time of the year, which is later than during the dry season. The sunset looks different to than usual due to the clouds; it appears as various shades of color palette.
Less queueing, for example to Rock Bar if you’re not staying at AYANA and RIMBA (in-house guests enjoy Priority Access to skip the queue anyway rain, hail or shine). But just make sure you check the weather before making the trip out to Rock Bar, as if it is raining, we have to take cover, while our sister UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant provides a sheltered venue with a rooftop pool and stunning views!
And what’s more, you get to hum that song with a glorious feeling, while strolling through Bali with a happy refrain, just singing in the rain!
We in Bali are very lucky that every day we are able to witness the rotation of the Earth in all its beauty – especially that golden time of twilight as the sun sets to dusk. From intense oranges and reds during the ‘dry’ season (April through October) to pastel pinks and violets during the monsoon season, all the colors of the rainbow cross the sky.
Here in Jimbaran, nature cannot be more kind to us as it presents Bali’s best sunsets along with geological diversity from the tranquil bay to the dramatic cliffs, the rolling hills to lush gardens. Here are our recommended spots to treat your eyes:
A wise man said there are plenty of ways to go to Rome. Now here are few ways to go to Rock Bar: avoid the inclinator queue by stay in-house at AYANA Resort and Spa or RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA, or even better, take advantage of the exclusive Villa benefits to reserve your seat at the top bar.
You cannot get any closer to the sunset than on this 30-meter pier stretching out from the coast. While the jetty is only for private dining and is most popular for special occasions (the kind that get an ecstatic ‘Yes’ answer!), the Kisik Seafood Bar & Grill offers another beach-front venue with a view of the sunset over the jetty in action.
Sami Sami Bar
Cliff-top views right above Rock Bar. If you have come from outside the resort and face the queue to Rock Bar, this is an easy option to still catch the sunset!
UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
It is usually glamorous city lights that you see from rooftop venue, but at UNIQUE, we present sunset across the forest. Yes, a view like no other.
Let’s call this a special present from the mighty Indian Ocean, shall we? Offering a chilled-out tranquil ambiance, Warung Kubu is located on the cliff-top above our private Kubu Beach. It can be reached by the resort’s complimentary shuttle tram, exclusively for in-house guests, and serves some mean cocktails, fresh coconut as well as traditional dishes like satays.
The Villas at AYANA Resort
Here at your newly-renovated private pool villa, snuggle on the daybed or dip in the pool until the sun swaps places with the stars, For an extra special treat, enjoy a romantic dinner served by a butler in your villa garden.
Sunset as the backdrop to the perfect ‘I do’. Enough said.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but forget trying to imitate his mother’s home cooking. Research shows that the best ‘love drug’ is chocolate, with just a few pieces able to affect blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, arousing excitement and alertness.
The science behind it apparently goes like this: Chocolate contains the organic compound phenylethylamine, a so-called ‘chocolate amphetamine’ as it releases dopamine and increases seratonin levels, to elevate mood and feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Phenylethylamine is also called the ‘love drug’ as it causes pulse rate to quicken, resulting in a similar feeling to falling in love. And who doesn’t love that feeling!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to see how we can sneak chocolate into the daily diet of the target of our adoration, to ensure we set the right mood. Here are few ideas for those staying with us at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, and RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA:
1. Chocolate Cigar & Port (Rock Bar)
A ‘cigar’ of chocolate mousse with marinated berries as the port on the side
2. Bourbon Choco Freeze (UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant)
An icy refreshment that somehow warms your heart with Bourbon Whisky, chocolate and vanilla ice-cream
3. Kulfi Lub Shira (Padi Restaurant)
Homemade Indian ice-cream-to-die-for with chocolate brownies
4. Sweet Bunny (To’ge Restaurant)
Caffeine and chocolate team up with Java coffee-infused rum, Bailey’s, Creme de Cacao, Kahlua and cream.
5. Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (Butler Gift)
Check-in to The Villas at AYANA Resort and enjoy this complimentary treat delivered to your private pool villa.
6. Strawberry Cheesecake (In-Room Dining)
Baked New York-style cheese cake with macerated strawberries and topped with shaved white chocolate.
7. Flourless Chocolate Cake (Spa Cafe)
Wickedly good, served with a delightful lavender ice-cream.
8. ‘Extravaganza Romantic Dinner’ (In-Villa Dining)
Enjoy a delectable private dinner served by your butler in your villa, and ending on a high note of warm Valrhona chocolate cake with cremeanglaise and raspberry sauce.
9. Ice-cream coupe (UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant)
Macerated banana, vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, strawberry sauce.
10. POD Chocolate Bar (Mini Bar Menu)
Don’t try to resist the temptation! The perfect midnight snack from your Mini Bar with the benefit of being made from organic cocoa beans grown in Bali.
Now that’s what we call a recipe for love! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our guests. Whether you get into the spirit of this day wholeheartedly or show your love in other ways, we hope to see you all with a piece of chocolate in hand in the near future! If you are looking for other ideas of how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Bali, check out our Date Night?experiences, with Rock Bar ‘Romeo & Juliet’ cocktails, Degustation Dinner at Dava, Couple’s Spa Package, and Rooftop Movie Night!