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.
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.
Well-Placed-Insider reveals the story behind the birth of AYANA’s new sister hotel:
It all started at Bon Village, a 32 hectare farm located in central Bali that produces pineapples, oranges and other tropical fruits and plants. Bon is also home to hundreds of wild civets that produce Kopi Luwak, a coffee made from the droppings of the civet cat, and which is sold as a delicacy in AYANA restaurants.
5 years ago, 40,000 Albezia trees were planted here to minimize the carbon footprint of the new hotel. Another 10,000 trees were planted on the 77 hectare land of RIMBA and AYANA in Jimbaran.
Indonesia’s folk song ‘Nenek Moyangku Seorang Pelaut’ (My ancestors were amazing Sailors) inspired RIMBA’s architects and engineers. They used materials from 3 fishing boats sourced in Sulawesi to create RIMBA’s ark-shaped lobby. You literally feel like you are in Noah’s ark when you are standing in the lobby! This is what is captured by my camera:
The eco-inspired design does not stop there. RIMBA has its own rainwater harvesting system, greenhouse and organic garden that supplies various kinds of fruits and vegetables. To’ge restaurant has natural lighting, the walls of UNIQUE Roof-top bar are made out of hand-made bricks and recycled bottles and sustainable materials are also evident in all rooms of RIMBA; like the wall artwork made from driftwood found on a West Bali beach and eco amenities made from recycled materials.
If you want to step inside its stylish rooms, click here www.rimbajimbaran.com . Well-Placed-Insider’s favorite is the Pool Access Room that connects you to a tranquil semi-private swimming pool. Do not get Well-Placed-Insider started on the swimming pools; if you are a swimsuit or beachwear designer, you may want your models to pose at this places!
Dining options are endless with To’ge Restaurant, swim-up Pool Bar, Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant, and AYANA’s 12 dining outlets, check?here.
RIMBA is connected by a scenic jogging track and complimentary resort shuttle, to AYANA’s ?facilities including restaurants, Spa, Kubu Beach and the exquisite gem Spa on the Rocks. And do not forget, RIMBA guests enjoy priority access to the famous Rock Bar. The icing on the cake!
“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).
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!
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance,you must keep moving.”Albert Einstein.
AYANA’ cultural ambassador Linud not only christened the resort (read the full story here:What is in a Name?), but is also one tough cyclist who has toured on two wheels around Bali, Java, Sumbawa and is now taking his wheels to Switzerland.
Well-Placed Insider caught up with him for an up-close interview:
Could it get any more romantic?
Be prepared to get swept away by the panorama as you and your loved one walk down a candle-lit path covered in frangipani flowers to a table for two under a 350-year-old Javanese joglo (ceremonial pavilion). Dozens of candles and tiki torches provide an impossibly romantic ambient glow while you are serenaded by Batak Duo musicians.
Under the canopy of the ancient pavilion, you will enjoy elevated views across vibrant tropical foliage out to the ocean, where the only interruption to your horizon are the planes journeying in and out of view in the distant star-lit sky.
The venue is not the only thing that appeals. Jusman So, Dava’s Chef de Cuisine, whose personal awards include Singapore’s Best Rising Chef (World Gourmet Summit 2008), has introduced a new menu for those wanting to relight the spark or simply ?keep the flame burning. The Asmara Romantic Dinner highlights Jusman So’s , Dava’s Chef de Cuisine, whose personal awards include Singapore’s Best Rising Chef (World Gourmet Summit 2008), has introduced a new menu for those wanting to relight the spark or simply to keep the flame burning. The Asmara Romantic Dinner highlights Jusman’s signature style, refreshing and light cuisine that blends classic European technique, the highest quality imported and local ingredients, and modern presentation. Couples can choose from the set menu options, or can request a completely personalized menu created especially for their romantic evening.
Your dinner for two starts with Citrus Maine lobster ceviche with tomato coulis and lobster gelee, egg parfait with salmon roe or Atlantic scallop carpaccio with almond cream and grapes, or Gruyere crisps with Aquitaine caviar and shaved bottarga. Your main course can either be Pan-roasted black cod with prawn butter gratin, ratatouille stuffed conchiglie pasta and lemon basil emulsion, or Lobster tail au
gratin on pineapple carpaccio with red beets, pumpkin and pistachio agnolotti.
With two options to choose from each course, it is perfect for couples who love to share, or to find out on a first date if the one you are wooing is a sharer! Even if you think you have no room for dessert, it will be impossible to say no to Strawberry and Champagne frappe with mascarpone sorbet, jellied rhubarb compote and pecan crumble or Frozen passionfruit mousse with mascarpone Bavarian, pistachio genoise and candied pistachio.
Asmara Romantic Dinner:
Citrus Maine lobster ceviche with tomato coulis and lobster
egg parfait with salmon roe
Atlantic scallop carpaccio with almond cream and grapes,
Gruyere crisps with Aquitaine caviar and shaved bottarga?
Celeriac & Truffle
Celeriac cream with shaved black truffles,
chicken jus and coddled egg
Seafood bisque with salad of Dungeness crab,
brioche crumbs and rouille
Pan-roasted black cod with prawn butter gratin, ratatouille stuffed
conchiglie pasta and lemon basil emulsion
Jimbaran Bay Lobster
Lobster tail au gratin on pineapple carpaccio with
pumpkin and pistachio agnolotti
Roasted lamb loin with pistachio puree, preserved lemon
sauce vierge with
goat’s milk feta and mint
Grain fed beef tenderloin with pine nuts and bacon
chestnut ragout with beetroot relish and brie mousse
Strawberry and Champagne frappe with mascarpone sorbet,
jellied rhubarb compote and pecan crumble
Passion Fruit Mousse
Frozen passion fruit mousse with mascarpone Bavarian,
pistachio genoise and candied pistachio
Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. Along the way, he has ducked gunfire in Libya, raced camels along the beach in Kenya, and entered the eternal home of the Dalai Lama. Of all the places he has visited, Bali is one of his favorites, and he has called AYANA the best resort he has ever stayed in. Originally from New York, Lee now calls himself a ‘citizen of the earth’. He spoke to AYANA about what drives him to explore far beyond guide book hit lists
So you are known as ‘The youngest American to visit every country in the world’, how does that feel?
I feel honored for sure. I am doing what I love and it just so happens that the world is taking note about it and recognizing it.
You must have a few passports?
Yes! I have changed my passport 10 times.
How many years did it take you to travel to every country in the world?
It took me about 13 years. The last country I visited was Libya, in August 2011 just months after war had broken out. It was an extraordinary one
as I got mixed up in a shoot-out between Libyan border control and cigarette smugglers from Egypt trying to cross the border at the same time as me. Ironically, it had nothing to do with the war! I ducked down inside the car and the driver put the car into reverse and got us out of the firing line, and we waited for it to ease for about three hours. I then spent three days in Libya and felt completely comfortable the whole time I was there, no issues at all.
How many places have you visited in Indonesia?
I have visited most of the cities from all of the 33 provinces in all five major islands: Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya.
The first place I visited in Indonesia was Batam, via boat from Singapore. Now, I have nearly 15,000 fans from Indonesia on my Facebook page, and most of them also follow my blog.
Is this your first time in Bali?
This is my second time on the island. I was here four years ago and I loved it so much. I adore the people, the beauty of its nature, the beaches, and the culture. That is why I have come back.
What do you think about Indonesian people? Or, to be specific, your fans or readers from Indonesia?
They are very warm and kind. They invite me to come to their hometowns, their villages, which I would love to do someday. It would be very interesting to stay with them, being so close with the local community.
Has it always been your dream, to visit every country in the world?
Not at all, it just happened this way. I did have a target to visit 100 countries, and I had achieved that by the age of 25. And I just kept on going. I love traveling and meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and I am going to keep doing it.
What about in your own country? Have you visited all the 50 states?
I crossed 49 out of 50. I am only missing Michigan! But I will go there soon to watch a hockey championship. Sports are also one of my interests when I visit new places, other than the culture, food and of course the nature of each place.
Do you always travel alone?
I have some regular travel companions who join me for some trips, but people need not only money, but also time to be able to travel, and they may not always have it. So most of the time, I travel alone. Company is good but can be tricky too. I mean, nothing is worse than being stuck with someone who you are not comfortable with on the road. I had a bad experience once, when a girl I barely knew joined me for a trip. It was not her thing, let’s just put it that way. She found it hard to adjust to new places, kept complaining and was easily annoyed by things that I was already used to or prepared for.
What inspires you to travel?
What gets me started is my passion. But what keeps me going is actually my ‘biggest fear’. Fear of not knowing. Fear of being limited to education,
fear of not knowing the world that you are living in. And though information can now be obtained from anywhere, I feel a different satisfaction if I can see, touch, and am in it. The way to combat my fear is by going places.
What is the biggest influence you get from travelling so much?
I feel that it affects not only my knowledge, but my perspective towards life. I can see and understand why people think the way they think, be it political, cultural or otherwise. I may have different opinions from them but I can always find room in me to understand, by learning about the place where they came from.
How many days in a year do you spend traveling?
It really depends on a lot of things but in general, I can spend from four to eight months away from my home in New York City. I keep writing and posting images to my blog in between places which keeps me busy.
And how do you stay fit on the road?
It is not easy as I do enjoy trying new foods. I try to be disciplined with exercise and I walk a lot too.
Are there any other projects you are working on?
I am doing a TV program; it is called “Top Spot”. It will launch on October 18th on Discovery Network’s Travel Channel. It is a
review of hotels and places I have visited, and the local activities I got to experience.