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!
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:
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.
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 time has come again to give your mom her well-deserved break.
Many believe the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. At AYANA, this rule does not just apply to men. Women, especially mothers, love to indulge themselves, whether it be in delectable food, luscious spa treatments or some quiet time away from her daily routines and chores.
There are many ways you can choose to spoil your mom on this day, here are just a couple of ways that you can do so at AYANA:
PS: Whichever way you choose to show your affection, do not forget to tell her that you love her. Those simple three words will give you a smile worth a thousand words!
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!
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
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.
There’s just a few days to go before International Mother’s Day, this Sunday. Another excuse to give your mother the attention she deserves. Be it a simple card that says ‘I love you’, flowers, or a shawl you know she’s been eyeing. Well-Placed Insider shares a few experiences from AYANA staff on the Do’s and Don’ts of spoiling your mother.
Jusman So, Chef de Cuisine, Dava
DO: Make your Mother one of her favorite dishes. Anything she likes! Difficult? Learn from an expert. I asked my father to teach me how to make the best “popiah” (fresh spring roll famous in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia) for my Mother. She loved it and didn’t care a bit that it was a little salty!
DON’T: Reserve a table at a nice restaurant for her and ask your father to pay half of the bill. If it is a vacation to Bora Bora, it is another story.
Tressabel Hutasoit, PR & Marketing Communications Manager
DO: Have your own children make a Mother’s Day card for your mother ie their grandmother. When I was 5, I made one for my grandmother. Apparently, it was the first Mother’s Day card that Grandma Rose ever received and ever since, it has become a family tradition which she has cherished.
DON’T: Insist your children’s grandmother place the cards on the fridge. They do not need to be told so. They will do it. They will tell their bridge club about it.
Diah Wahyuni, Spa Manager
DO: Reserve your mother a full day treatment at her favorite Spa. Or treat her to one of the??Day Spa Treatments?at AYANA Spa. I once assisted a young lady who wanted to surprise her mother with a spa treat. Her mother was blown away with happiness and felt so touched.
DON’T: Enroll her at a hot yoga class nearby to your place (which is an hour drive from hers) because you can benefit from the health club’s “ask a friend to join” program.
LAST WORD: All in all, the only thing your mother needs to know is that you love and appreciate her. She needs to hear that. If not every day, then this Sunday will do.
Happy Mother’s day, Moms of every generation!
AYANA‘s new Weddings specialist Ria Kentjono shares her Top 10 Tips to ensure your big day goes off without an…er…hitch!
1. For brides, wear a simple dress with a short train, no big fluffy gown, no gloves. It’s too hot!
2. For grooms, the suit is not a must; some grooms do not wear a jacket or you could use a light material if you would like to wear a full suit.
3. Use moisturizer or foundation with SPF and do not apply heavy make up.
4. Pick a simple hairstyle, an up-do sleek style is normally longer-lasting and most convenient.
5. Wear wedges shoes instead of stilettos which will sink into lawn/sand, and you might want to share this tip with your female guests.
6. Prepare mosquito repellent, a spray is handy and portable.
7. Dont over-decorate the venue; simple and natural color that blends with the ambiance creates a beautifully stylish backdrop for your special event and photos.
8. Entertainment recommendation is light acoustic or piano with singer.
9. Don’t overdo lighting as it will be too hot and too bright. Flickering candles are romantic and perfect for a wedding!
10. Check the weather forecast 1 week before the big day and book a marquee as a back-up option to be safe in case the forecast doesn’t look good for an open-air celebration.
Kyra and John, a couple from Western Australia, decided to escape their everyday hectic life and instead of getting married in Australia, get married in a more peaceful setting at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Kyra shares her wedding experience.
Why did you decide to have a destination wedding? How and why did you decide on the location of your wedding and what makes this location special to you as a couple?
Not long after our engagement we went on a preplanned holiday to Bali. Whilst we were there I saw the Rock Bar in a magazine and made it my mission to visit the very next night. As soon as we arrived at AYANA we were amazed by the beautiful resort and friendly staff. In the inclinator on the way down to the Rock Bar I was so taken by the sight of the stunning bar and the ocean just below, I started tearing up, it was just the most magnificent place I'd ever seen! It wasn't until we were down there, sipping on some cocktails that we entertained the thought of being married in such an individual and original location. The conclusion was, why not? We must investigate this further. After further discussion we decided that a destination wedding would allow us to have an intimate celebration with only our closest family and friends. It also appealed to us because it's different and original nobody else we know had done a destination wedding. We were able to have a relaxed wedding and break a few traditions, plus everyone was in "holiday mode", and thoroughly enjoyed a whole week of wedding activities instead of just the wedding day itself. This allowed us to spend more quality time with everyone, which was great.
Tell us about the wedding ceremony, including where it was held. (E.g. vows, religious ceremonies etc).
The ceremony was held at AYANA's Tresna Chapel. We wanted our marriage to be recognized in Australia so decided on a full legal ceremony. This includes a religious and civil ceremony where we chose our own vows and readings. Both my fiance and I were very nervous as the ceremony approached, mainly because we were going to be married in front of all our friends and family, we are not used to being the centre of so much attention. I couldn't believe that the moment had actually arrived, all the planning and hard work had come together and I was about to walk down the aisle.
Tell us about your flowers, cake, and bonboniere.
Our flowers & cake were arranged by AYANA, I held a round bouquet of ivory roses and the bridesmaids had a mix of pink, purple and ivory roses to match their dresses. The cake was not the traditional wedding cake, you see in Perth. It was a Torte Regina Chocolate Castle Cake, absolutely delicious!
Describe your thoughts and feelings from the day.
We were both extremely nervous, but not about marrying each other but doing it in front of so many people. We were excited and amazed that all our hard work had finally paid off. I was a little emotional in the morning, but thanks to my bridesmaids we got it all out of the way early, so there were no tears once my makeup was on! I think I was just overwhelmed with the realization that I was actually getting married today!
What was the most memorable and unique part of the day?
Our wine box ceremony was the most unique, it was similar to a time capsule. My Dad made a wooden box with a glass front containing a bottle of wine, two glasses, and two love letters. My fiancee and I described in the letters, the good qualities we found in one another, the reasons we fell in love, and our reasons for choosing to marry. The letters were sealed in individual envelopes and we had not seen what the other had written. The box is prominently displayed in our home as a constant reminder of our commitment to each other. If we ever find our marriage enduring insurmountable hardships, we are to as a couple, open the box, then separate and drink the wine and read the letters we wrote to one another. The hope is, however, that we will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, we will open the box to share and enjoy on our 5th wedding anniversary!
Would you recommend a destination wedding to other couples?
Yes, I would recommend destination weddings to other couples. It's a wonderful opportunity to break tradition and have a unique wedding in your favorite holiday destination. It's more than just a wedding day. It's a wedding week, which gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with every one of your guests, whilst in a beautiful tropical location. All the hard work definitely pays off and both the guests and the bride and groom will have memories to last a lifetime.
What is the best piece of advice you received for your wedding day?
Not to stress the little things and enjoy every moment as the day goes so quickly.