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.
AYANA recently hosted one of Japan’s most celebrated stage and movie actresses Amami Yuki to film a new TV commercial for Japanese networks. Her visit was also a chance for her to soak up the Balinese hospitality and tranquil environment, as she recovers from a heart attack suffered in May which caused her to drop out of her latest theatrical show.
Amami-san, who had been starring in “L’honneur de Napoleon” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, was rushed to hospital where doctors said she had suffered a mild heart attack. She was ordered to take 7-10 days of bed rest.
Her trip to Bali was her first overseas ‘holiday’ since the incident. The actress last week told a press conference in Tokyo that her visit to AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was a major factor in the recovery of her health, and the highlight of her time in Bali.
If there is one thing all guests must do while in Bali, it is to stay at AYANA and enjoy the resort’s world-class service, she said.
Amami-san visited AYANA to film a TV commercial for H.I.S, the biggest Japan travel agent for Bali.
The TV commercial, featuring Rock Bar and Spa on the Rocks, has been airing on all major Japanese TV stations since last week.
Amami-san’s career took off in 1987, when she joined the Takarazuka Revue, a Japanese all-female musical theatre troupe, and retired in 1995. She was the youngest actress in the company’s history to be cast in a top male role.
She was involved in various famous musicals when she was in the company, including Gone With the Wind, where she starred as Rhett Butler, and Me and My Girl.
After resigning from the company, she continued to work as a TV and movie actress. Her most notable role is that of Maya Akutsu, the main character in The Queen’s Classroom.
“Don’t stop, keep it moving
Put your drinks up
Pick your body up and
Drop it on the floor!”
Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor
It is the time of the year when AYANA’s management team spend a day on the floor doing jobs such as dishwashing, housekeeping, waitressing and guest check-in, in a bid to analyze service processes and further improve guest experiences. As John F. Kennedy once said; “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
There were bratwurst, sauerkraut and sour-cherry pies served at AYANA’s staff canteen last week – a departure from the usual Indonesian fare which is served to the hotel’s 950+ staff each day.
The special meal service continued the tradition of the monthly ‘GT Lunch’, whereby members of the Executive Guidance Team (GT) take turns in creating a menu from their home countries to be served at the staff canteen. Past menus have included Italian, French, Filipino, Japanese, Australian and even Jamaican fare. This month, the ‘GT Lunch’ was presented by two new native German team members: Rooms Executive Assistant Manager, Martin Ehlers, and Executive Chef Bernhard Butz.
Along with the rest of the Guidance Team, Martin and Chef Bern joyfully decorated the canteen in German colors and served various delicious German delicacies to highly enthusiastic employees. They rounded off the event with an informative slideshow and prize-laden trivia games. No yodelling was provided but there were German folk-songs and live music performances by members of the hotel staff.
The special ‘GT Lunch’ menus are served for both Lunch and Dinner on the scheduled day, and include a ‘Fun Facts’ presentation and Quiz by the relevant Executive about his homeland. The purpose of such themed lunches is to add more variety to the canteen selection and to encourage an atmosphere of fun and learning, with unique experiences not only for guests but also for AYANA’s team members. A bonus side effect of these themed lunches is that they also help employees to understand better the preferences of guests from these countries, so that they can then serve them better.
We may not realize it at the time when we accept a plastic bag at the supermarket or shop, but the plastic bags we bring home probably end up as landfill. Every year, more than 2.8 billion plastic bags are distributed in Bali, resulting in 1.5 million tonnes of rubbish which we often see end up in our oceans. They are typically made of polyethylene and can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases. In an effort to reduce our contribution to plastic-bag pollution, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali’s 950 plus employees have been encouraged to ban plastic bags in their households, as part of an environmental partnership with anti-plastic campaigner Tas Pasar (www.taspasar.org).
As part of its education outreach to hotels in Bali, Tas Pasar founders David and Ellie Eagles made a presentation to AYANA’s employees about the impact plastic bags have on waste levels and the eco-system at a General Session in AYANA Ballroom. They also distributed 1000 free reusable shopping bags to encourage use of these bags rather than plastic, and AYANA has placed posters and reusable bags in its employee canteen and lockers to reiterate the message.
The message is now clear for AYANA’s employees: on your next trip to the markets or shops, BYOTP (Bring Your Own Tas Pasar).
Flying high: There were singing, dancing and acrobatics last week when AYANA unveiled our expanded Ballroom and new meeting rooms, at a gala black-tie dinner for some 400 invited guests. The event coincided with AYANA’s appointment as a host hotel for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit this October. It was also an opportunity for guests to learn more about the upcoming opening of our sister hotel RIMBA Jimbaran Bali, scheduled for September. Another excuse for celebration this year!
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was proud to once again sponsor the seventh annual Biznet Bali International Triathlon which took place on 23 June 2013 with a new course and a record number of participants.
The more than 1200 participants included three-time Ironman champion and 2009 World Championship runner up, Chris Lieto, and Indonesian swimming legend Richard Sam Bera, a three time Olympian and four-time All-American Championship icon. This year, there was a new running course that led Olympic-distance runners up ‘Heartbreak Hill’ from Jimbaran Beach to AYANA Resort and Spa. The challenging run included a steep hill that leveled out and became an undulating path along the main road to the grand entrance of AYANA.
In keeping with the Bali Triathlon tradition, after the main race on June 23, the weekend concluded with post-race sunset soiree at AYANA’s cliff edge lawn and continued with cocktails at the famous Rock Bar, complete with live music, food and camaraderie for both volunteers and athletes.
So your holiday is coming up. No stressful back-to-back meetings, no panic mode when the alarm goes off. You have even packed a new wardrobe to flaunt your best assets. The challenge is ?to keep them after you return from tropical Bali; where cocktails and flavor rich cuisines will be your new besties.
Follow these tips at AYANA to ensure your waistline survives a spillover, without having to commit to a militant Atkins Diet after the holiday. Because that is no fun for anyone!
Not. This is another form of bubbles available at AYANA’s award-winning spa. Sign up for a session at the Aquatonic Pool and immerse yourself in 700 million liters of water directly supplied from the underlying Indian Ocean to rehabilitate injured muscles, improve circulation and metabolism, relieve stress and for relaxation and drop 500 calories. Yes, you read that right, 500 calories per session! Say no more, I’ll drink to that!
As one guilty Yoga ditcher, Well-Placed Insider learned the hard way that it was a bad decision; after seeing ladies rocking cute swimwear and toned limbs at the beach. And they said yoga was the one to thank! Outdoor yoga is more enticing than a cooped-up class, so I choose Sunrise Yoga at Chandra Surya to embrace the discipline. Performed on landscaped lawns against spectacular ocean views at AYANA Resort and Spa, a qualified yoga instructor will lead you through Surya Namaskara movements to stretch your body and energize your mind.
Bring your nutritionist along on your holiday.
Oops… You are not Oprah. But, you can bring your nutritionist’s philosophies with you.
Over-indulgence in culinary adventures is mandatory on any ‘holiday bucket list’. ?But do not get carried away if you want to avoid that post-holiday crash diet. Plan your meals with AYANA’s Spa Cafe chefs; Agung and Dedi. They can suggest you healthy and tasty meals where calories and nutrition have been carefully counted to make sure your jeans stay as loose as when you first arrived. Or even a bit looser!
Kubu Stairclimb Challenge.
There are 197 steps to Kubu Beach for your competitive soul to beat. And no inclinator to get you back up. But the crystal-clear turquoise water is reward enough for all the sweat (and calories) you will have released. A seaside jaunt will fill your lungs with fresh air and release those endorphins to keep you in a good mood all day long. Extra benefit? ?A dose of Vitamin D is recommended daily by your doctor!
Jogging or Cycling Tour
AYANA’s extensive 77 hectares of gardens are surrounded by lush, tall trees, so you will enjoy the scenery and shade. For a more challenging course, turn left after exiting the resort’s security gate and head downhill to the large temple, your journey back up will have you puffing! If you want to include some culture in your itinerary, rent the resort’s bicycle and ask their guest activities staff to escort you to the local fish market. Fish contains fewer calories than red-meat and has more protein, so select your favorite and sign up for a cooking class at AYANA afterwards.
Stroke some laps at AYANA’s Infinity Pool.
The resort has five amazing pools. Do laps at the 25 meters Main Upper Pool; with Bali’s beautiful blue sky against the horizon as your backdrop, freestyling would never feel this rewarding!
TRX your biceps and legs
Have you been waiting to wear that muscle tee you just purchased online? (It is okay to admit you bought a muscle shirt :-)) Or those cute shorts? Tone your whole body with TRX suspension at AYANA’s fitness center. The resort’s professional trainers will guide your technique and target specific areas. Bottoms up!
Back-hand and swings
Fan of ball games? Practice your back-hand and maintain your firm and lean look at the resort’s tennis pavilion. Or, make sure your swing stays well oiled with a round at AYANA’s 18 hole golf-putting course.
Now, go pack your suitcase, include a pair of sneakers, and enjoy an energetic escape at AYANA Resort and Spa. Or, ignore all of the above and make the only exercise you do the bicep curl as you raise your cocktail glass to your lips once again.
The choice is all yours!
Miss Universe contestants from Western Australia yesterday took on a stair climb challenge at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, in preparation for the Miss Universe national finals in Melbourne on 12 July.
The six beauties conquered the 197 steps at AYANA’s private Kubu Beach with grace and poise, before being rewarded with a rejuvenating two-hour therapeutic session in the resort’s Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool, one of the world’s largest thalasso pools.
Finally, they wrapped up their day with sunset cocktails at Rock Bar-bypassing the queue to Bali’s most iconic sunset look-out spot.
The stairclimb challenge was part of a week-long fitness and pampering retreat in Bali for the six WA finalists: Tamlin Dobrich, Kirsten Clemens, Meaghan Slattery, Charlotte Goodlet, Caris Tiivel and Rachel Ayris (sister of current Miss Universe Australia, Renae Ayris).
They were selected from a field of 24 Miss Universe WA finalists last month, following judging rounds that included casual wear, swimwear and formal evening gowns. The woman deemed Australia’s finest will be heading to the Miss Universe 2013 finals at a venue yet to be disclosed. It will be the 62nd Miss Universe pageant.
Well-Placed Insider chats with 5 people to find out more what they really think and feel about this magical 24 hour in total silence known as Nyepi.
An expatriate:Giordano Faggioli
How many years have you lived in Bali?2 and and a half years.
What does Nyepi mean to you?Nyepi is definitely a unique festival. I am usually at work during Nyepi and I partake in the ogoh-ogoh parade around the hotel on Nyepi Eve with the team members and guests. Then for Nyepi Day, all guests of the resort are in-house, as no one can leave the property for 24 hours. The noise is kept to a minimum, all lights are dimmed and guests enjoy a peaceful view of the ocean. Quite amazing!
What amazes you the most about Nyepi?The absolute silence as a result of ‘non activity’ throughout the island.
Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?Embrace it and experience it to the fullest. If you choose to stay in a resort or hotel, enjoy what is organized there be it the ogoh-ogoh parade, special dinner or activity, and learn to understand the roots of this festival.
A Balinese woman:Tri Widyastuti
Which part of Bali are you from?I am from West Bali, a small village called Menega.
What amazes you the most about Nyepi?The total silence it brings, since no vehicle or machinery is allowed to operate (which also means Bali airport closes down), no fire or electricity may be used, and no chores or work may be done. On Nyepi Day, Balinese people stay inside their house and gather with their family.
As a Balinese woman and mother, is there a particular ritual that you are obliged to do??Yes, Balinese women usually prepare offerings for Pengrupukan day. This is one day before Nyepi. We do a blessing ritual in and around the house and pray to the gods that the demons shall never come into our lives.
Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?I recommend they stay at a hotel. The rules are more relaxed, as long as you do not leave the hotel grounds. Each hotel minimizes use of lighting and power, halts its shuttle/car service, and asks guests not to wander around outside or leave the property. But otherwise guests are welcome to use the resort grounds, restaurants, spa and other facilities as normal, while keeping noise to a minimum.
A city girl: Melinda Martini
Where are you from and how many years have you lived in Bali?I come from a busy city,Jakarta,and have been living in this paradise for 3 wonderful years.
Can you tell me about your first Nyepi experience?My first Nyepi,I stayed home and honestly I did not prepare anything. That was my mistake. I did not have any food and did not rent any movies. It almost felt like I was celebrating being in a ‘pause’ of life. So the next Nyepi, I was more experienced and prepared. I stayed at a hotel and ate, met people and took part in the cultural activities in the hotel.
What amazes you the most about Nyepi?I love watching the ogoh-ogoh procession, one day before Nyepi.? Also, the blue sky and fresh air that greets you early in the morning after Nyepi.
Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?Stay in a hotel. ?That way you do not have to worry about grocery shopping before Nyepi which can be a pain because usually the queues at the supermarket are very long. Go to the spa, relax in the pool, order food and enjoy the complete tranquility!
A Balinese Priest:Made Suwitri
Which part of Bali are you from?I am from Kedonganan.
What amazes you the most about Nyepi?As a Balinese Priest, this is like the ‘ground zero’. Where we can do a meditation, and do a self-reflection.
As a Balinese priest a particular ritual that you are obliged to do?I do not lead the ceremony because my husband is also a priest. But, I help by preparing all the offerings needed.
What is the most challenging thing about celebrating Nyepi?I am doing it with all my heart and soul. So, there is nothing about Nyepi that I do not do wholeheartedly. However, when I was a younger parents, it was pretty hardtop tell my kids about the meaning of Nyepi. They did not find being in silence as something exciting. It is our responsibility as parents to cascade this religious tradition to the next generation.
A Balinese Kid: A.A Ayu Antika
How old are you?I am 8 and a half
What amazes you the most about Nyepi?It is just so quiet I cannot hear a sound. And no vehicles on the street!
Is there anything that you do not like about it?At night, it can be very dark and we are not allowed to play out in the street… and… oh, No TV! That is the worst. But I can spend time by just playing at home with my little brother.
Can you give advice to your friends on how to spend Nyepi at home?Maybe try a new thing at home like helping your parents in preparing the meals like what I am learning to do. I do that if my brother gets annoyed by me.
Here’s an up close interview by Well-Placed Insider with AYANA’s Russian speaking Guest Relations Officer, Tania Sovinska.
What brings you to Bali?
This might sound cheesy, but honestly…It is love. I am married to an Indonesian man. We met a few years ago when he and I both were at this ‘Work and Training’ program in the US. It was a cross cultural program at the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. We became close, got married in Jakarta, and let our daring young love bring us to Bali where we both applied for jobs in the hotel industry.
What do you like most about living in Bali?
When I first landed here, it was just a day before Nyepi. It was so magical. I experienced living in a totally ‘shut down’ island, no TV, no lights, sound kept to a minimum, and no one allowed to leave the house for that day. I always wonder how the Balinese have lived according to that belief and religious tradition for centuries and are still proudly living it to this day.
How did you learn to speak Russian fluently?
I learned it from books, TV shows and daily conversations. I never took a formal course but Russian is a regional language in the Ukraine.
I am sure it helps you a lot in doing your job?
Yes, I feel comfortable speaking to Russian guests at AYANA and they feel comfortable in delivering their requests and feedback to me as well. This is an important element in guest service, since it will enhance their engagement with the hotel too. In my department, I have a Balinese friend who speaks Russian too!
How do you enjoy living and working in such a multi-cultural environment?
I love it a lot. I love getting to know the Balinese culture, how they do their prayers and offerings to their gods. I also have friends from China, Korea and we get to discuss about our country, its uniqueness and sometimes learn a word of two from each language. Fun!
And AYANA must strengthen your value of appreciating cultural differences?
Absolutely! AYANA’s philosophy creates an environment where you would feel that you are not only here to serve the guests, but also to work at your best and be a support to your friends, be it from the same or other departments. It reinforces you to set your bar higher in doing your job and appreciates you as an individual.
If you could share one of your traditions with your friends in Bali, what would it be?
I would love to teach my Indonesian friends how to make a Varenyky z vyshneu. It is a boiled dumpling with cherry, my favorite dessert from Ukraine.