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.
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.
Edward and Rachel Scheibler were the first couple to ever marry at this resort back in 1996 (when it was The Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa). They recently returned with their two sons to show them the place where their lifelong commitment was made. In this blog post, they share some of their memories and wedding photos from both the original ceremony and their latest visit with us – a beautiful reminder of the legacy of Bali’s eternally romantic spirit!
I guess our wedding made history. We were the first ever couple to get married at AYANA when we eloped in December 1996, soon after the hotel opened. It’s been almost 15 years and we’re still going strong! This is our first trip back to Bali since. We now have two children: William, 11, and George, 9. We have told the kids so many times how special Bali is to us and how special the hotel is, and how much we’ve anticipated coming back here. We really wanted to show them the place where we got married, and we ended up having an informal ceremony to relive the moment, this time with our children in attendance. The pier was decorated in similar style to our original ceremony, with white flowers, a Balinese ringgit musician, Balinese traditional decorations, and glasses of champagne for our toast. It was magical!
Our original Balinese wedding wasn’t really planned; we were supposed to get married in New York with all of our family and friends but it was turning into a circus! We were travelling around Tokyo, Koh Samui and Bangkok, and when we came to Bali, the resort was so beautiful and relaxed, we just said, ‘This is the perfect place, let’s get married here’. We chose to get married on the jetty, surrounded by the ocean and dramatic cliff scenery.
We were meant to check out on Christmas Eve, but extended another three days. The resort handled all of the wedding arrangements at very short notice. Rachel is Catholic and I am Prodestant, but we had an Episcopalian minister and a Balinese civil servant who administered the civil ceremony. The staff from the hotel were our substitute family, so coming back here this time, we really feel like we came home to family. We have met staff who were here at that time and are still working for the hotel.
We were staying in a normal room but the hotel upgraded us to a villa for the wedding night. After the ceremony on the jetty, we had a traditional Balinese wedding dinner on our bale beside the villa pool, under the stars. We still remember that meal so fondly, the food was delicious and it was a very memorable experience. Back in New York, our families were very happy for us and we had a big party.
We have had a fantastic time coming back and the boys have both said they want to get married here when their time comes. They are thinking maybe on the waterslides. Who knows, stranger things could happen!
Hi everyone, I’m pleased to join the AYANA team as Chef de Cuisine at Dava restaurant. I visited Bali once before and it is a dream come true to have the opportunity to work on this island, with so much fresh produce and so many creative and skilled people. Dava has always had a stellar reputation since it opened in 2005, but I will be “reinventing” the concept as an “innovative steak and seafood restaurant”. I haven’t stopped for breath since arriving but I’m loving it!
My first major responsibility – apart from launching the new a la carte and tasting menus – will be overseeing our Valentine’s Day dinner at Dava. This is such an important evening for couples, and we’ve prepared a special menu that evokes sensuality and romance. Hope you can join us!
Cinnamon Smoked Pumpkin
Cured Duck, Spicy Maple Dressing, Apples and Arugula
Braised Oxtail Omelet
Blue Crab Bisque, Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
Lobster and Crispy Pork Belly
Kimchi Sauce, Fiddlehead Ferns, Lemon Basil
Pan Roasted Red Mullet
Garlic Emulsion, Coco Beans, Red Peppers and Cilantro
Australian Wagyu Filet
Toasted Candlenuts, Pickled Radish, Watercress Sauce
Red Velvet Fondant
Milk Ice Cream and Strawberry Pudding
Speaking of love, people always ask me how I got into cooking. It was while I was working at a ski resort back home in the USA. I was 17 and I was assigned to banquet set-up, but I decided I wanted to wear a tall, white hat. Now I never wear a hat, it falls off going in and out of coolers and is very inconvenient. But I’ve never lost my passion for cooking!
There are so many fantastic restaurants here and I want to do something completely different with Dava. My menu draws on the concept of a classic steakhouse offering the best cuts of meats paired with your choice of gourmet sauces and sides. But we’re taking it upscale with a modern twist, offering seafood dishes, small touches of molecular gastronomy in the mushroom gelee and horseradish espuma for example, use of local flavors and ingredients, and a larger selection of meats than a traditional steakhouse.
All meats and seafood are prepared using the sous-vide (French for ‘under vacuum’) technique preferred by the world’s best chefs – perhaps most famously, Paul Bocuse, Michael Mina and Joel Robuchon. Sous-vide maintains the integrity of the ingredients and ensures even, slow cooking for full flavor, by sealing the meat or seafood in an airtight plastic bag in a water bath and cooking it at low temperatures for many hours. At Dava, the Braised Short Ribs are cooked for more than 24 hours, while the Angus Beef Fillet is cooked for two hours. The results are amazing. I have also created a new Tasting Menu for more adventurous guests, with a choice of 3, 4 or 5 courses. This is my play area, where I get to do the really fun things.
Before Bali I was based in Doha, Qatar, where I was Chef de Cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton’s La Mer French restaurant. Qatar was an extremely interesting and inspiring experience. It is a lot more conservative than Bali – the only places people can drink alcohol are in hotel bars and private clubs and the local people are not allowed in them, which makes the social scene quite different. Bali is much more relaxed and the climate and atmosphere of a tropical island wash over you like a cool breeze.
Hope to see you here soon :)