AYANA Zeitgeist

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.

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The sky was the limit when Bali’s first Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant tossed a plate of food into the air, as part of the ancient ritual of Yee Sang plate tossing to welcome the Chinese New Year. The celebration was a particularly auspicious occasion for Ah Yat, following its launch in Bali last November at RIMBA Jimbaran Bali, the new sister hotel of the award-winning AYANA Resort and Spa.

Enjoy the pictures of the feast below, and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Barongsai, dancing its lucky moves to the delight of guests at RIMBA Jimbaran Bali hotel lobby

AYANA and RIMBA's management tossing the Yee Sang to wish for longevity, prosperity and happiness!

Giant dragon floats on air for prosperity

RIMBA's Food and Beverage Director Giordano Faggioli shows the lucky lion the way into Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant.

Martial arts to spice up the day

Do not forget to feed the Barongsai with 'Angpao' (cash in a red envelope) to ask for your own good fortune for 2014

Why the ‘how to’? Because in past years, Well-Placed-Insider, along with many other OCD carriers out there, has learned a lot about how we make and break habits, and how we go topsy-turvy realizing that we are failing. This ends now.

Here are a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions-and ways to actually ditch them from your next year’s resolution list.

1. Go on a diet

Do I hear a “Guilty as charged!” echoing? Well-Placed-Insider is not one to talk after making this resolution three years in a row. Truth is, it is easy to get tired of following such a strict regimen and go back to eating pretty much what we loved to eat before, because dieting is simply hard,especially if we try the cold turkey way. But there is a solution.

Delete the intimidating word DIET and rephrase with:Make small changes to my eating habits. AYANA’ s Spa Cafe chefs are gems of solid advices on healthy yet yummy dietary tips. If you are having a sugar crash, grab a glass of fresh juice instead of that canned soda with is 200 everlasting calories. Switch from your daily bakery muffin to a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and raisins as natural sweeteners, or swap your latte for a cup of house java instead. Travel a lot? Make sure you only stay in places like?this?that give you space and fun reasons to exercise.

2. Save more, spend less

You go online and all these online shopping banners popping up hurt your eyes, so you just have to click it. And that only means it will follow you wherever you go… even when you are trying to obtain information for your report from the internet. And after all the hard work, you just have to reward yourself with a designer labeled bag, or a cashmere scarf or those shoes…oh those shoes!With this pressure to spend less, your consciousness will actually lead you to spend more because you will find justifications in your daily routine. It is just how the dynamic works and brings this resolution back to your list. It is a vicious cycle. But there is a way to stop it.

Make it a GOAL?to go on a shopping spree in Singapore, Bangkok, or Milan, or have?the most luxurious holiday in Bali with your family?or?make that dream wedding come true(yes even a beach wedding, with doves and three tiered cake). With these in mind, you will click the ‘close’ sign of an online shopping banner as soon as it pops up on your screen, and instead find yourself ?thinking of trying a?best kept secret spa treatment?at your holiday destination instead of swiping your credit cards on boots and perfume! (Psst… if this is your holiday destination,you can even make your own perfume)

3. Give up on smoking

Thankfully this is not one of Well-Placed-Insider’s resolutions, but it seems to be a common one! Well, it is not that you cannot stop being puff the magic dragon, you can, and you should. But if you are waiting for that perfect day when you will ?be able to stop because you made a New Year resolution, it is just not going to happen.

What is going to work??Well-Placed-Insider is going to share one success story here. A friend who successfully kicked the habit ?credited it to Stanford University internist Kelly Traver, MD, author of?The Program: The Brain-Smart Approach to the Healthiest You.?Check her website?and download the iPhone app.Yes, app! Add these10 extra tricks?and you are even more likely to succeed.

And when you have that stinging urge (only if its stings!) to get the sensation of holding a cigarette in between your fingers, this sweet dish from Rock Bar’s menu is the exception to the rule, Port and Cigar. But you should not try it if you made a resolution to diet.

 

Bernhard Butz-Executive Chef: “Gluehwine and Spekulaas”
You can never go wrong celebrating Christmas with Gluehwine (traditional German mulled wine usually enjoyed after a cold day of skiing) and Speculaas (gingerbread cookies). Speculaas always brings back memories of where I used to live in Germany… and the Gluehwine is just a must have during the holiday season.

Patricia Undjuk – Guest Recognition Supervisor, RIMBA Jimbaran: “Grandma’s Apple Pie”
I love (and really miss) my grandma’s home-made apple pie. We used to make tons of them and eat them over Christmas holidays. Since grandma passed away, almost all the women in the family keep trying to keep her recipe’s legacy but nothing really tastes the same so we never have that apple pie anymore. Maybe someday I can make it just like Grandma used to!


Giordano Fagiolli – Director of Food and Beverage, RIMBA Jimbaran: “Cappelletti”
My favorite festive dish is this homemade stuffed pasta with meat filling served in capon broth. This is a must have on the table during Christmas holidays in any household in Italy. Unfortunately it does not go really well with a hot climate and so is less enjoyable on a tropical island like Bali. Nonetheless, Cappelletti is something I always look forward to prepare for my family at Christmas; this way, my children can learn about their roots a little bit.

Arnold Sebastian – Dava Chef de Cuisine: “Christstollen”
I always have a soft spot for Christmas Stollen or Christstollen. It is the traditional and most famous bread from my hometown, Dresden, Germany. The whole family eat this delicious bread during the holiday season and I even make them now, of course! In fact, we just made Bali’s longest stollen at over 10 meters, and shared with guests after our Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

Are you one of those people who plays Christmas carols as soon as December arrives? Guilty as charged. Here is Well-Placed-Insider’s top 3:

O Tannenbaum

Having to always take charge in deciding the family Christmas tree theme each year, this song makes the job easier.?And would you look at this beautiful tree at AYANA made from recycled wood and other natural materials, and how magical the angelic voices of the children’s choir sounded during the tree lighting ceremony on 7 December. Maybe Well-Placed- Insider will copy this theme next year!

“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You are the tree most loved! How often you give us delight in brightly shining Christmas light! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You are the tree most loved!”

Santa Claus is coming to town

It is true! And you can see him at AYANA for the Breakfast with Santa event on 21 December. Another of Well-Placed-Insider’ s long awaited festive agendas is this decadent Christmas dinner at RIMBA. With these kinds of events,you better not pout!

 

Little drummer boy

Christmas is not merely about gifts, lavish food and merriment. It is about giving, and especially giving love. So this beautiful song should always remind us about the core of Christmas spirit. Just like what guests experienced at this year’ s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, when children from a Denpasar orphanage came to sing carols and received gifts from guests and staff “Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum”

“Mama, I just ate our Christmas Tree” – Patricia Undjuk- Guest Recognition Supervisor

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year and I enjoy decorating the Christmas tree the most. When I was 10 years old, my mom decided to go a little creative and decorate the tree not with ornaments but with candies and chocolates.. It was the best tree ever but I could not help myself; I ate every single chocolate and candy the next day, leaving us with a naked-tall-upset-green-pine-tree with not a shred of color on it!

“White tapestry covered the city after I prayed for it at Church” Arnold Sebastian-Dava Chef de Cuisine

I was 8 years old. All the family members went to Church for Christmas Eve mass. I was a bit upset because there was no snow at that time even though it was freezing. But I joined the family for the mass anyway to pray for a White Christmas. As we walked out of the church after mass, the streets were covered in a white blanket! In my 8-year-old eyes, it seemed like magic; in only a few hours, all I could see was this white-almost silver- tapestry that seemed endless as it covered the whole town. Then my family went back home and we all celebrated Christmas Eve with a delicious dinner and I remember hearing the sound of wrapping paper being torn up all night as everyone opened their presents.

“Chestnuts roasting from our Nanas open fire?and it burst out presents!” Giordano Faggioli-Director of Food and Beverage at RIMBA Jimbaran

The thing that I fondly remember about my childhood Christmases was the smell of roasted chestnuts coming out of our grandmother’s wood-fired oven in the old family house. Yes, just like the famous “Christmas Song”. For me, it was a sign that Christmas was just around the corner and that we would be busy hanging out wreaths and decorations and would be spoiled with festive delicacies and of course, presents almost one month long!

Christmas starts in November” Michel Ruata-Call Center

In my hometown, Manado-North Sulawesi, Christmas would start in November! From early November, each household kitchen would be busy baking cookies (in Manado, 90% of the people make their own Christmas cookies). The euphoria would start to elevate every December, when our parents would tell us to stuff grass into shoes so that Santa could take them for the reindeers and leave us presents in return. Then on Christmas Eve, after attending mass, our parents would give us a new pair of shoes and clothes.

“May there be no more walls” Martin Ehlers-Executive Assistant Manager (Rooms)

I grew up in West Germany, about 50 kilometers from the inner German border to the Socialist East Germany which was in existence until 1990. The border did not permit people to easily pass; one had to have a Visa months in advance. On 24th?December 1989- following a friendly revolution in the East German capital, Berlin, the inner German border opened. It was the best Christmas present ever. It was amazing to finally be able to drive across and to see our brothers and sisters. Everybody in Germany was so excited. When we drove across to East Germany along the just wrecked down border, people were waving at us with tears and laughter of excitement. Germany “united” in 1990 and it was a truly special Christmas for me.

 

 

Our Tree Lighting Ceremony was held on 7th December to launch our 2013 festive season, with carols sung by children from a local orphanage who received gifts donated by our guests. There was also an appearance from Santa and our festive mascots, Gede and Ayu Bear along with Junior Bear. The AYANA Christmas Tree, standing over 4 meters high, was designed by our Chief Florist Pak Sodikin, using natural materials such as drift wood, copper, seashells, embossed alumunium and Balinese fabric patterns, and cinnamon sticks. The full festive program for Christmas and New Year is available online at http://www.ayanaresort.com/en/festive/AYANA_Festive%20Season_FA_Sept13

Children choir

Hear the beautiful voice of our choir from the orphanage opening the ceremony.

Collection of gifts that we brought to Mercy Indonesia Orphanage to celebrate with the children for Christmas this year.

Santa heard all the children’s wish lists. If you are nice you will get the best present ever!

Who wants to join Roger Habermacher, our General Manager, to turn the Christmas tree lights on? Pick me pick me!

If you said it with a smile, you got a Teddy Bear to take home too!

The weather forecast on 1 November said thundershowers, but the hotel’ s events team arranged a traditional rainstopper to seek the gods’s blessings for a ‘dry’event to launch the 282- room hotel. It worked!

The 700 guests in attendance enjoyed clear blue skies and a stellar Bali sunset from UNIQUE Rooftop Bar before continuing the party poolside at RIMBA Lawn until the early hours.

The event was also an introduction of new General Manager Roger Habermacher, who is responsible for both RIMBA and AYANA.

There were stilt walkers, hula dancers, fairies in giant bubbles, mermaids, tribal beauties, Amazonian warriors and moving “human” tables of canapes.

The highly-anticipated Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant presented a delectable array of authentic Chinese cuisine, giving guests a taste of what will be on offer when it opens on 10 November.

The high priest arrived on a dancing horse for a Mepatigan Purification Ceremony, which portrayed the ongoing battle between good and evil as humans seek to find the balance between god, man and nature.

Mepatigan Ceremony

An exclusive collabarative performance by renowned local bands Balawan and Batuan Ethnic Fusion involved a didgeridoo, percussionists and Okokan traditional musicians, before a breathtaking aerial silk performance.

Balawan, Aerial Silk dancer, Okokan?

The grand finale deserves an encore! Hayley Gene Penner, a Canadian singer-songwriter who composed AYANA Resort and Spa’s theme-song, “Until I am back to you” performed the track with a choir comprising employees from AYANA and RIMBA.

AYANA-RIMBA Choir

This was followed by the official opening of RIMBA and a 5 minute long spectacular fireworks show with missiles that set alight a giant “RIMBA” sign above the main stage to call it a night! A spectacular way to make an entrance, RIMBA Jimbaran!

Look for AYANA to get some serious TV air time in the next few weeks. The contestants in the latest America’s Next Top Model cycle got a taste of the Balinese life at AYANA during filming earlier this year. AYANA also hosted the star and creator of the show, Tyra Banks, along with the models and the judges, who included fashion public relations maven Kelly Cutrone, former boxer and international male supermodel Rob Evans, stylist and photoshoot creative consultant Johnny Wujek and top fashion blogger Bryanboy.

Top of Tops. The top models were in awe by the views offered at AYANA's cliff top Chandra Surya lawn area.

Flower Power. Both Nina and her Teddy bear received a warm and yet refreshing welcome by AYANA's staff.

Judge Away. Rob Evans and Johnny Wujek from the panel of judges sashayed in to the sounds of a Balinese gamelan!

Yin & Yang. Platinum-blond Chris and jet black-haired Jeremy enjoy their first taste of paradise!

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Yasunari Ishikawa and Rie Arimoto were the first couple to arrive at Rock Bar on New Year’s Day in 2013. Yasunari-san had planned to propose to his girlfriend on that day at the ocean-front bar, but alas, the January monsoon showed up, prompting him to take shelter at Sami Sami restaurant and pop the question there instead. Luckily she said yes, and they just got married at our cliff top wedding chapel only months after the swift and sweet proposal!

The gorgeous couple left no conversation off-topic as they re-enacted their story to Kumi Furuya, our Japanese Wedding Manager, upon their return to Japan after honeymooning at AYANA.

When and where did you both meet?

We met April 2012 in Japan, through common friends, and the rest – as they say-is history!

How long have you been in a relationship?

It took us three months after we first met to decide that we simply couldn’t live without each other, so we’ve been officially together since June 2012.

When and where did you propose to your spouse?

1st of January 2013 here at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali

What was the reason you chose AYANA as your wedding venue?

It is a wonderful place to start with and we have so many memories here…

How long did you prepare for your wedding?

Only three months, we’re a very practical couple.

Who attended your wedding ceremony?

Rie’s parents and three of our closest friends.

Were you happy with the service from AYANA’s wedding planners?

We were very satisfied with the attention-to-detail. The day couldn’t have been better!

Any plans to come back to Bali in the future, for an anniversary or leisure visit perhaps?

Yes! Of course. Bali holds a very special place in our hearts, especially AYANA… We’ve heard that you’ve got great programs and facilities for children to enjoy, so when we have a child, we would love to visit again with our little family..

The Indonesian Chef Association (Bali Chapter) Dinner was held last month at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali’s newly renovated Jimbaran Lawn adjacent to our new meeting venues. Some of Indonesia’s most celebrated culinary practitioners including celebrity chef Juna Rorimpandey of MasterChef Indonesia gathered to savor the extensive buffet dinner presented by AYANA’s multinational culinary team, led by Executive Chef Bernhard Butz. The selection included a giant paella, lamb shawarma, chicken and seafood from the tandoor, beef short ribs, cheese fondue, salads, soup stations and decadent desserts.

AYANA Can Cook. Chef I.B. Widiantara gets ready to welcome the most difficult guests to please, gastronomically: other Chefs!

The Venue. The newly renovated Jimbaran Lawn located within AYANA's MICE Complex.

The Birthday Boys. July born members celebrate with a communal candle blowing.

The Cooking Beauties. Away from the stoves these lady chefs still keep temperatures high!

The Verdict. The satiated looks of the members who were quite reluctant to leave their tables even long after they'd finished their meals!!