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.
“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.
Indonesia celebrated Independence Day on 17 August, here are some photos of the activities at AYANA that day involving both staff and guests. Great fun!
Top five tips and tricks from your Well-Placed Insider to make the most of your holiday in Bali:
Know your destination. Better yet, your hotel.
Read online reviews, browse through the hotel website so you can get to know the facilities and places of interests around the area. What is the best way to get there, which local attractions to visit, the must-see experiences… The smartest move is to reserve a holiday packagewhich includes transfer services, dining, tours and spa experiences. Hassle free!
Get to the airport on time.
Even though it seems reasonable to run or even sprint through the airport in your newly purchased espadrilles to get to the check in counter just before check-in closes, a better option is to keep in shape around your beach resort, not the airport. Time and place, people. So, leave the house early and do not risk an airport meltdown.
Mums and Dads: Reserve a hotel with a Kids Club is on site.
Yes, if you are with family, you are there to make your children happy. But never forget that you too deserve some time off. So, spare a day where you can pamper yourself and your spouse at the Spa while your little ones are occupied and stimulated with fun activities at the Kids Club. Both the children and you will be in a better holiday mood when reunited, and you may be surprised to hear them begging to go back to the Kids Club for more.
Never miss an opportunity to do physical activity.
Find a hotel or resort with a wide selection of guest activities, be it trekking, cycling tour along the beach , yoga session or even perfume-making. Not only will this help you stay fit but also save you from that ‘seems to stick forever’ holiday weight.
Challenge your appetite, try the authentic cuisine, join a cooking class, get your picture taken in a traditional costume, and watch a cultural performance you will never find in your hometown. AYANA even provides a perfume making class for guests wanting to bring a bottle of a ‘Bali Essence’ to their home.
(Photo courtessy : Femina Group and Biznet )
Meet Made Suriadi, this month’s AYANA Superstar who is a living proof that “Life is better at the beach” …
“I am grateful for being part of the AYANA family. It is more than just a place to work, I feel very appreciated as a person, ‘more than my job’, and I carry out my duties from the heart rather than just what is expected of my position.”
1. What is your role at AYANA?
Captain at Kubu Beach, the best Bali Beach.
2. How long have you been with the hotel?
Almost 16 years, since it first opened. I started as a steward, then as a pool attendant before joining the Kubu Beach team in 2002.
3. How would you define great service?
Everything you do for another person must come from the heart. Nothing else can describe it any better.
4. You are called an AYANA Superstar because you always go the extra mile to ensure a memorable stay for guests. Can you share an example of a time when you were able to help a guest or wow them with a surprise?
I had a guest who stayed with us and was very happy with AYANA, and had a special experience at Kubu Beach. The guest was visually impaired but wanted to go down to the beach although it meant he had to go down almost 200 steps. Not to mention going back up! I took the liberty to ask his wife if I could be of assistance by supporting him all the way down to the beach, giving him guidance ” One step down… one more…” , escorting him into the water and giving the same escort all the way up the stairs. The couple were amazed and his wife was in tears. I did not think of my gesture as something big, it was a spontaneous act of kindness but apparently it meant a lot to the guests and they promised to return to AYANA on their next Bali visit.
6. Do you have anybody you look up to or are inspired by?
I admire my colleagues who are in the sales department. They look so confident, genuine and seem to be able to deliver anything that a guest expects. Even though I am not in Sales, I try to bring that same energy to my day to day interaction with guests. I also am inspired by AYANA’s F&B Director; Jerome Colson, for his drive to succeed.
7. What do you like to do in your time off?
Take care of our little? “Warung” (traditional shop) at home and just be with my wife and two sons.