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.
An unexpected guest is the last thing you want on your wedding day. Let alone, a gorgeous female who makes your groom’s heart tremor with excitement.
But that’s the exact scenario that Minni You faced on her wedding day in Bali, June 22th 2012, when an ‘uninvited’ female made an entrance just as the couple prepared to exchange vows. Minni watched as her groom, Tuan Pham, stared as the female sauntered down the aisle. She saw her husband-to-be’s pupils dilate as his attention was drawn to The Other Woman. But Minni wasn’t worried, because she’s the one who arranged this surprise for her groom! Here, they tell us the real story:
1. Tell us about The Other Woman.
We are big dog-lovers and we wanted our Golden Retriever, Pepsi, to be with us on our wedding day. I was not very optimistic about our chances, but Tuan was more hopeful. He tried everything but in the end, with all the logistics, paperwork and quarantine requirements, we had to let go of the idea. We were upset as Pepsi is like family to us. But then I found out that AYANA has its own kennels with many gorgeous dogs, and I??thought it would be nice to have one of these dogs represent Pepsi instead.
2. How did you end up having Laura at your wedding instead?
We arrived a few days before our wedding day, and I was missing Pepsi and went to AYANA’s kennels to see all these gorgeous Golden Retrievers and Labradors. They were really happy and healthy and I was drawn to one who looked a lot like Pepsi…her name was Laura. When my wedding consultant told me that I could actually have her at the wedding, my heart was filled with joy to the rim!
3. How did your husband react to that idea?
I managed to keep it as a secret from him until D-day. I remember sneaking out of my room the night before to see Laura, to tell her that we will have a big day tomorrow and she will be part of it. You can imagine how surprised Tuan was to see Laura, big-dreamy-eyes, all fluffy just gracefully walking down the wedding aisle towards us, as though it was a normal everyday thing!
4. What did your guests say about this beautiful, furry, “unexpected” guest?
We had 30 guests on our wedding and they were all so surprised! Our families even thought it was Pepsi for a second. Too funny!
5. We heard about the treats you sent to AYANA for Laura after you got back home from your wedding; that’s very sweet.
It’s the least we can do for Laura. I wish we could adopt her. Pepsi would be happy to have a friend but Laura belongs to the great AYANA family.
6. How would you sum up your wedding day at AYANA?
Beyond perfection. The exceptional memories that we experienced at AYANA have made us loyal guests for life!
1. What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I got a really bad headache when I was working on a cruise ship as Waiter in 1998. The doctor could not find any medical illness and I also tried alternative healing treatment but did not recover so well. Then one day, a Balinese Priest came into my dream and gave me healing water. The priest also advised me to meditate and pray to the Gods for good health. I eventually recovered after meditating for more than two years. Through meditation and spiritual guidance, I also learned how to stop the rain and people started asking for my help to do this.
2. Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes?
The most interesting thing was when I was commissioned as a rainstopper for a summit event in 2003, during the peak of the rainy season. I worked with four of my friends and we were proud that we managed to stop the rain for this big event.
3. What is the worst part of your job?
I had heavy rain three days in a row few years ago and I could not manage to fulfill my mission because of opposing wind forces, and the clients who hired me did not fully believe that a rainstopper can stop the rain. If the client doesn’t really believe in what I do, it affects my ability to do it.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite thing is seeing my client happy and satisfied with my job, and seeing the event runs smooth and successfully.
5. What is one of the scariest thing behind the scenes?
There are many that I ever experiences. The most scary that I remember was in 2004. Me and my friend were on standby at a Hotel Temple and we fell asleep around 11pm. When we awoke around midnight we saw a very large, tall man in front of us and we were really shocked and scared. But he disappeared after a few seconds.
6. How many companies or hotels use your service?
Apart from AYANA Resort and Spa, there are several hotels who hire me for a special event and also clients hire me for Balinese weddings.
7. What do you do for fun during your time off?
I spend my days off having quality time with family and shopping with them. I also enjoy taking overseas clients coming from Japan and other countries, on tours around my favorite places in Bali.
8. What is something you’d like guests to know about a rainstopper?
Rain is natural and sometimes we cannot predict when it will fall. My suggestion for guests who would like to hold an event, is that they should find a location that has a back up venue especially during rainy season, just in case the rainstopper ?cannot prevent the rain during the event.
9. What happens if rain falls during an event that you’ve been hired for?
I give the client back their money if it rains.
10. What do you do for a living in the dry season?
I run a property business because being a rainstopper is not my livelihood, it is my natural calling but it cannot be the main source of income for my family.
Well-Placed-Insider has met a lot of interesting people in Bali. They come from all over the world each with a different purpose of travel. Those on family holiday often leave with the funniest, most irritating or the most exciting story about travelling with their offspring.
Travel with children does not need to be a hassle. And it can be one of the best experience you have as a family. The key ingredients to a smooth trip with kids is finding the right balance between keeping your kids entertained, giving them rest times between, and ensuring you and your spouse also enjoy some much needed time off.
Parents share their tips here…
#1 Budget talks
First and foremost, sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Discuss budgets, expectations, weather conditions, and how you can work with the budget available to plan an exciting family trip and avoid someone’s interest being neglected and ignored to make way for another’s.
#2 Where to stay
Pick the perfect hotel that caters for both parents and children’s needs. They do exist… And ask about Family Deals — Enquire about special rates or even complimentary meals for children, and an upgrade at check in. AYANA Resort and RIMBA Jimbaran checked YES on most of the things above. The 5-star resort offers an excellent family deal… the perfect family holiday with recreation for the kids, relaxation for you. The deal includes two rooms with a 50% saving on the second room, and daily breakfast for four people.
#3 Unplug for children
Pick hotels that offer on-site babysitting. The hotels mentioned above have them. And the children pool with waterslide and Kids Club activities will be a good bribe if you want to sneak in extra time for a romantic dinner or spa treatment with your partner.
#4 Check the Dining Options — Does the hotel restaurant and room service have a kids’ menu? Is there enough variety on the menus to please everyone? Luckily AYANA and RIMBA offer 15 venues to discover. Even the most picky eater in your family will not complain!
#5 Last… Sit back and enjoy the ride!
P.S.: Previous post about Holiday Tips
AYANA and RIMBA’s management team last week spent a day ‘on the floor’ doing jobs such as dishwashing, guest service, watressing, and engineering, in a bid to analyze service processes and further improve guest experiences and employee satisfaction. As John F. Kennedy once said; “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Here are some snaps of the team ‘on the job’ during their cross-training experience.
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.
Bali’s BMW Club launched a new touring program at RIMBA Jimbaran recently, arriving in style at RIMBA Lobby in sleek BMW 3 Series Convertibles and the latest 320 Diesel model.
The Bimmers (as they call themselves) did a full-day tour along north-east Bali’s coast, before arriving at RIMBA to end the day with sunset cocktails at UNIQUE Rooftop Bar, enjoying spectacular views across south Bali. They enjoyed UNIQUE’s selection of innovative cocktails in a stylish, edgy setting, with the bar designed around a central swimming pool over which hangs a chic mezzanine.
The tour was run by Bimmerfest Bali Club, a community for BMW owners on the island as part of the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners around the world.
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.
When you hear the word ‘lava’, your instinct would normally be to run in the opposite direction. But at AYANA, lava has become nature’s latest antidotes to tired, damaged skin, with the award-winning Spa On The Rocks launching an exclusive new treatment that maximizes the healing properties of natural volcanic lava.
The ‘Lava Me Tender’ treatment celebrates the many benefits of the rich mineral content of natural volcanic lava, such as talc, gypsum, calcite, apatite, feldspar, quartz, topaz and corundum. Because of these elements, volcanic lava therapies have long been used to treat skin disorders such as acne and psoriasis, as lava is known to detoxify and remove deep pore impurities while nourishing and healing the skin. Now, Thermes Marins Spa at AYANA has brought lava to the ocean at its Spa on the Rocks treatment villas, anchored on natural rocks amidst the Indian Ocean with uninterrupted views of the waves below and the horizon.
“As the only Thermes Marins spa in south-east Asia, we strive to bring the latest therapies from Europe to Bali, using the very best products available,” said AYANA’s Director of Spa, Michi Sonoda. “This treatment is an antioxidant infusion and the perfect preparation for a special event like your wedding day when you want to achieve flawless, even skin. It’s also an anti-ageing remedy as it restores skin radiance and elasticity. But this treatment is not just about the aesthetic benefits; the Spa on the Rocks location enables guests to soak up the sounds, smell and vibration of the ocean, as they combine their skin treatment with the unrivaled tranquility and luxury of this unique location. This truly delivers the dual benefits of both beauty, and pure pampering.”
All products used are from Thermes Marins’ lava range, with high mineral contents including laminaria seaweed-based products, yellow volcanic clay, thermal mud from Gorga and marine collagen. These anti-oxidant agents are known to restructure the mesh of skin by restoring its radiance and elasticity.
The Lava Me Tender experience begins with a relaxing Crystal de Mer foot soak, mineral lava body scrub to remove dead skin cells, and luxurious black rice bath to nourish and soften skin. A full body, deep tissue massage using lava stones and anti-oxidant essential flower oil will increase circulation, as the natural heat released from the lava stones eases muscle tension. A volcanic earth body wrap followed by a firming lotion concludes the treatment, and locks in the improved skin moisture and elasticity. Fresh Limeberry Squash (lime, strawberry, lemongrass and Sprite) is served during the Bath Bomb to complete the experience.
A Guest Relations Officer (GRO) acts as a host for a hotel by ensuring that all guests receive first class service and the highest degree of personal recognition throughout their stay. Such positions are common at five-star hotels, but sometimes language barriers pose a hurdle to how much a GRO can help a guest. However, language is no barrier at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, where this role is elevated with a team of multilingual GROs who take special care of guests in their own languages.
AYANA’s full-time GROs include eight native Japanese, five Mandarin speaking, Korean and Russian team members, to cater for the different needs of guests from various countries. Whether it is taking an order for In-room Dining, making Spa or Restaurant bookings, arranging transport, showing them around the resort, or revealing inside tips on local attractions, the resort’s team of multilingual GROs ensure all guests experience the standard of service that AYANA takes pride in delivering.
In addition, the resort has multilingual versions of spa and restaurant menus and the in-room compendium, and guests can book their stay in one of five languages at www.ayanaresort.com. But it’s the personal interaction in their own language that is the most memorable experience. Meet some members of our “UN of GROs”:
Indonesian Independence Day falls on the 17th of August every year and is a major event for Indonesian people.
In search of spices, the Dutch arrived in Indonesia and established a foothold over Indonesian territories in 1605 and since then, up until 1945 when the Declaration of Independence was signed with Sukarno as the first President, many skirmishes were fought over this country.
As major producers, it’s no surprise that Indonesian food is rich with spices and herbs. The different contrasting flavors and textures make this cuisine a popular choice for diners.? Among the many types of spices used, nutmeg features extensively in the Indonesian kitchen. The nutmeg tree is native to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) and has been known as a useful medicine in a number of Asian societies. Many types of stews, soups and main dishes have a pinch of nutmeg in them to enhance the flavor.
Join us to celebrate this joyous occasion of Indonesian Independence Day at Padi Restaurant, with our exclusive “Taste of Nusantara” buffet.