AYANA Zeitgeist

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.

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This family does not go to the hill when their hearts feel like singing. They simply head to a quiet corner of AYANA to play instruments that have been in the family for generations, hit a chord and sing along. Every afternoon, they play at the Main Lobby or Villa Lobby, with the Indian Ocean and our guests as their audience. Here, we speak with Wayan Januraga (WJ) and daughter Dyah Purwantini (DP).

How long have you been a rindik player at AYANA and has this always been your dream job?
I started to play music when I was a boy. At AYANA, I started in 1997 and yes this is my dream job. I cannot think of doing anything else. But my ultimate dream is to see my family’s Balinese music known worldwide.

Since what age did your daughter join you?
WJ: Hmmm I cannot really recall.
DP: Well I remember, I was 9 years old when I first joined you. I am 13 now!

It seems that you enjoy this very much, Dyah! Do you join your Dad everyday after school?
DP: Yes I really enjoy this. This is my hobby and at the same time spending time with my Dad. But I am not allowed to do this everyday as I have to put school as the priority. Only when I have done my homework and have no tests the next day I may join my Dad to entertain the guests at AYANA.

Pak Januraga, have you always educated your family with music? Especially Balinese music?
WJ: Always have and always will. It is in my ancestors’ blood and one of my missions in life is to pass this talent and knowledge down to my descendants. I taught my two children how to play traditional musical instruments like rindik, gamelan since they were 3 years old. As they grew older, they started to take on more challenging instruments like Gender Wayang. The one we perform at AYANA is the classic Balinese music with a little bit modern twist in the chords.

What about your wife? Is she also musically inclined?
WJ: My wife comes to play with us at AYANA’s Villa Lobby every now and then, mys on takes turns too, but he has less time now that he is about to enter college.

Dyah, what do you want to be when you grow up?
DP: A professional musician and dancer and to be able to perform Balinese dance and music all over the world with my Dad, Mom and my big brother. I love to participate in music and singing and dancing competitions in Bali. That is my starting step and let’s see what comes next.

Any advice you would like to share about music, Pak Januraga?
WJ: We have to pass on our Balinese music to the next generation and hope they will do the same to their children. Be proud of it, learn it, spread it, and keep it alive.

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!


How long have you been a dog-handler at AYANA and has this always been your dream job?
Ten years in total. Dream job? Not at first as I used to be afraid of dogs. I started at AYANA as a helper at the kennel, just to do cleaning. Then a K9 squad chief started to train me in a few basic skills about handling dogs. And I fell in love. First with the dogs, then with the job. So I went from being the trained one to being the trainer!

How many dogs in total do AYANA and RIMBA have now at the kennel? Are they all trained in security?
We have a total of 19 active Retrievers (16 Labrador Retrievers and 3 Golden Retrievers). Most hotels will use security dogs that belong to the K9 squad of the local Police Department. We breed our own and let the K9 squad come here to train them.

What’s their training schedule like?
The K9 squad from the Police Department comes here to train the dogs every day. As we have so many dogs, they have to take turns. The training is done on a lawn behind the kennels. Our dogs specialize in detecting explosive substances, so they are likely to be calmer, focused and less agressivve.

What role do you take part in training the dogs?
The chief of the Police Department’s K9 unit personally trained me for years to have the same level of handler skills as he had, because I am here every day along with my six colleagues. We know each dog’s personality, their ups and downs, the vitamins they need, their grooming schedule and of course, the mating season. I also know the best vet on the island as we only trust our dogs to be handled by the best vets.

In your opinion, what is the benefit for hotels having their own kennel?
A lot. We know our dogs really well and they know the area very well too. Their health is easier to monitor and control, too. We had a new litter this year, they are now six months old and will join basic training in a few more months. In the last 10 years, AYANA has bred six litters.

What do you love about dogs? Do you have a favorite from the entire pack?
You know that unconditional love? Dogs are an expert in that. I work with Retrievers, they are working dogs with the warmest character ever so it is impossible not to fall for them. But other breeds are just as loving. It is us humans who define what kind of a dog they will be.
I love them all but Adam (yellow lab) has been here longer than the rest so I have a strong connection with that smart boy. I helped Yessy and Olin (black lab) give birth, I took care of Nacha since he was the weakest puppy who has now become the strongest, so that also creates a special bond.

What advice would you give to a dog owner?
1. Commitment and patience to train them and to let them know you are boss. 2. Take them for walks, this allows you to create a close connection with them. 3. Never bail on them; they will never do that to you. 4. Longer walks :)

PUTU DARMA

1. What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I got a really bad headache when I was working on a cruise ship as Waiter in 1998. The doctor could not find any medical illness and I also tried alternative healing treatment but did not recover so well. Then one day, a Balinese Priest came into my dream and gave me healing water. The priest also advised me to meditate and pray to the Gods for good health. I eventually recovered after meditating for more than two years. Through meditation and spiritual guidance, I also learned how to stop the rain and people started asking for my help to do this.

2. Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes?
The most interesting thing was when I was commissioned as a rainstopper for a summit event in 2003, during the peak of the rainy season. I worked with four of my friends and we were proud that we managed to stop the rain for this big event.

3. What is the worst part of your job?
I had heavy rain three days in a row few years ago and I could not manage to fulfill my mission because of opposing wind forces, and the clients who hired me did not fully believe that a rainstopper can stop the rain. If the client doesn’t really believe in what I do, it affects my ability to do it.

4. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite thing is seeing my client happy and satisfied with my job, and seeing the event runs smooth and successfully.

5. What is one of the scariest thing behind the scenes?
There are many that I ever experiences. The most scary that I remember was in 2004. Me and my friend were on standby at a Hotel Temple and we fell asleep around 11pm. When we awoke around midnight we saw a very large, tall man in front of us and we were really shocked and scared. But he disappeared after a few seconds.

6. How many companies or hotels use your service?
Apart from AYANA Resort and Spa, there are several hotels who hire me for a special event and also clients hire me for Balinese weddings.

7. What do you do for fun during your time off?
I spend my days off having quality time with family and shopping with them. I also enjoy taking overseas clients coming from Japan and other countries, on tours around my favorite places in Bali.

8. What is something you’d like guests to know about a rainstopper?
Rain is natural and sometimes we cannot predict when it will fall. My suggestion for guests who would like to hold an event, is that they should find a location that has a back up venue especially during rainy season, just in case the rainstopper ?cannot prevent the rain during the event.

9. What happens if rain falls during an event that you’ve been hired for?
I give the client back their money if it rains.

10. What do you do for a living in the dry season?
I run a property business because being a rainstopper is not my livelihood, it is my natural calling but it cannot be the main source of income for my family.

As a Pinterest addict, Well-Placed-Insider has pinned at least a gazillion pictures on “All things weddings”, from the decor, wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, cake, favors (do you know that people give sunglasses and flip-flops away now?), to the table set up and how to style and ultra-cute ring-bearer. Weddings inspire a pond of creativity.

But above all that, perhaps the most important decision a couple must make is the venue. A venue that is not only a beautiful backdrop for all the above but is also easy to reach, nearby accommodation and transport services, and with service that is second to none.

So imagine the dilating pupils when Well-Placed-Insider saw that the premier resort for a destination wedding in Bali, AYANA Resort and Spa, has launched SKY, a unique and exciting location for couples to say ‘I do’.

Enjoying maximum privacy and 180-degree cliff-top ocean and sunset views, SKY is located in a tranquil stretch of AYANA’s 1.3 kilometer coastline above Jimbaran Bay. Part of a spectacular new 7,500 square meter multi-purpose event venue, it is the newest of eight wedding venues at the 90-hectare property. The name SKY reflects the dramatic open-air design with ceremonial steps and multi-tiered fountains cascading down to the cantilevered deck extending 3.5 meters out from the cliff, where couples feel on top of the world as they exchange vows at eye level with the horizon. You will seemingly float 35 meters above the Indian Ocean with endless views melting into the horizon!

It might sound overwhelming, but the design encompasses many intimate spaces and complete privacy. So if you are only inviting your nearest and dearest, you can opt for a ceremony on the cliff-edge deck that accommodates up to 80 people. If you’re inviting every one of your Instagram or Facebook connections then your 1,000 guests can be entertained in the surrounding gardens with a standing cocktail party. SKY is also perfect for couples who are big on photography, with its breathtaking backdrop of the shimmering ocean and AYANA’s famous sunset views, so there’s no need to travel somewhere else to get those perfect wedding snaps. I hate to say I told you so… but the SKY is the limit.


For inquiries, contact weddings@ayanaresort.com or phone +62 361 702222.

Well-Placed-Insider has met a lot of interesting people in Bali. They come from all over the world each with a different purpose of travel. Those on family holiday often leave with the funniest, most irritating or the most exciting story about travelling with their offspring.

Travel with children does not need to be a hassle. And it can be one of the best experience you have as a family. The key ingredients to a smooth trip with kids is finding the right balance between keeping your kids entertained, giving them rest times between, and ensuring you and your spouse also enjoy some much needed time off.

Parents share their tips here…

#1 Budget talks
First and foremost, sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Discuss budgets, expectations, weather conditions, and how you can work with the budget available to plan an exciting family trip and avoid someone’s interest being neglected and ignored to make way for another’s.

#2 Where to stay
Pick the perfect hotel that caters for both parents and children’s needs. They do exist… And ask about Family Deals — Enquire about special rates or even complimentary meals for children, and an upgrade at check in. AYANA Resort and RIMBA Jimbaran checked YES on most of the things above. The 5-star resort offers an excellent family deal… the perfect family holiday with recreation for the kids, relaxation for you. The deal includes two rooms with a 50% saving on the second room, and daily breakfast for four people.

#3 Unplug for children
Pick hotels that offer on-site babysitting. The hotels mentioned above have them. And the children pool with waterslide and Kids Club activities will be a good bribe if you want to sneak in extra time for a romantic dinner or spa treatment with your partner.

#4 Check the Dining Options — Does the hotel restaurant and room service have a kids’ menu? Is there enough variety on the menus to please everyone? Luckily AYANA and RIMBA offer 15 venues to discover. Even the most picky eater in your family will not complain!

#5 Last… Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Happy vacation!

P.S.: Previous post about Holiday Tips

AYANA and RIMBA’s management team last week spent a day ‘on the floor’ doing jobs such as dishwashing, guest service, watressing, and engineering, in a bid to analyze service processes and further improve guest experiences and employee satisfaction. As John F. Kennedy once said; “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Here are some snaps of the team ‘on the job’ during their cross-training experience.

RIMBA Food & Beverage Manager Harry Nugroho becomes chief talent scout for a day, as he reviews the training schedule at Human Resources office and CVs for job applicants.

Engineering Director Esti Hariyono washes dishes for a change, using the equipment that his team spend so much time maintaining!

Human Resources assistant director Putu Linawati (center) gets ready to welcome guests at Spa Reception. Apparently she gives a pretty good shoulder rub! Dare you to ask her in your job interview ;)

Public Relations & Marketing Communications Director Marian Carroll serves a guest at To'ge, as she returns back to her university days of waiting tables.

Director of Finance Jones Widjaja welcomes guests to Rock Bar Bali as he moves offices for a day - not a bad view from here!

To Dine For

 

 

More often than not, we travel with companions who have different preferences for cuisine. Some people are adventurous, other like to stick with what they know, while others may be on a strict bikini diet! The solution is to choose a holiday destination that pleases everyone.

Having enough variety at your hotel is one of the biggest challenges, sometimes affecting your hunger-induced cranky friend, gluten-free sister, or OCD self who requires flawless service at all times.

But it is not the case if you are staying at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali or RIMBA Jimbaran Bali. Comprising Bali’s only integrated resorts, these unique venues offer 15 different venues across the 90-hectare estate, to cater for any palate. Yes, 15! One-Five. Each venue offers a unique experience and ambiance while serving high quality food and imaginative beverages.

Choose from fresh seafood on the beach and trattoria-style Italian, to traditional Indonesian market fare, decadent modern European cuisine, Indonesia’s best Chinese restaurant, an ultra-chic rooftop bar and simple home-style comfort food (perfect for that friend who’s always saying “I miss my Mama’s cooking”.

If a romantic mood strikes during the holiday, escape to a table just for two on the private jetty with its ocean backdrop and private Balinese music performance.
There is also the iconic Rock Bar and its new off-shoot, UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant, for delicious cocktails, tapas and Asian menu, tempting you to continue your culinary indulgence well into the night and even the early morning.

In addition to the endless selection of dining venues, guests of both AYANA and RIMBA are welcome to use any of the 11 pools at either resort. RIMBA offers six beautiful pool including cabanas, swim-up Pool Bar and children’s waterslides, or head to the private Kubu Beach and burn all those calories gained from your dining decadence, as you climb the 197 steps from the beach back to the cliff-top!

Worry not about having getting around between meals; a complimentary shuttle operates all day between RIMBA Lobby, AYANA Lobby, Spa, Villa Lobby and Kubu Beach. In fact, I can hear it rolling by now — gotta go, my next meal is waiting!

Winetiquette

In an attempt to minimize awkwardness during social events, Well-Placed-Insider has learned a thing or two about Wine Etiquette from AYANA and RIMBA’s experts. These came in handy during the recent Penfold’s wine dinner at Dava restaurant and Banfi wine dinner at UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant. For those who missed these Bali events, you can put the dos and don’ts of wining and dining into action at our next wine dinner!

1. Important: When clinking glasses, it is a must to make eye contact with the other person. Otherwise, according to French superstition, you’ll risk seven years of bad luck (read: bad sex). We do not want that.
2. On the table, your wine glass goes to the right of your water glass.
3. While taking a sip, you should look politely look into your glass and not at another person. Unless you are shamelessly flirting.
4. If someone is toasting you (promotion, engagement or for just being you), you are advised to not take a sip. A quiet smile and a nod should suffice before expressing your gratitude.
5.The most common mistake: Many people think you only need to hold white wine by the stem (so you don’t warm up the wine), but experts say you should hold red wine by the stem, too, so you can see its color and clarity (or at least pretend that you understand what color clarity in wine actually means). Failing to do so could result in some wine snob calling you a “bowl grabber”.

Notes if you are the host of the occasion:
1. The host’s duty is to make sure glasses stay filled. So keep an eye on your guests’ glasses.
2. They say white wine drinkers end up drinking more than red wine drinkers. Well, maybe this tip proves it. You should fill red wine glasses 1/3, white wine glasses 1/2. But the ones who drink the most are sparkling wine lovers as their glasses must be filled at least 3/4.
3. When pouring wine, do not forget to give the bottle a twist to prevent drips. It also makes you look a lot more stylish.
4. Last but not least! Apparently you should clink glasses with each person without crossing anyone’s arms. Now I am beginning to wonder… have I ever cross-clinked? Anyway… time to start practicing my new wine etiquette. Cheers!

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The Rock Bar bartenders were in very fine form last week, representing not only Rock Bar but Bali in the national “VIVE Mixo Concept” Mixologist Competition in Jakarta. They not only won, but took out all top 5 spots against 21 other bartenders from 10 different cities. A huge feat and we are very proud of the boys!!

We stole five minutes from team leader Elva to find out what it felt like to rock such a huge achievement.

How did it feel to be a part of such an amazing competition? Were you nervous?
It was so exciting! We have been preparing for the last month. We won the last competition in the series which took us through to the finals to not only represent AYANA in Bali also. Of course I was very nervous, especially when we found out how good the competition was.

So what was your secret weapon and winning concoction?
It was a Chamopolitan which is a combination of vodka, cranberry jelly, lime, homemade chamomile sugar powder and a ahomemade chamomile infused vodka spray.

It sounds like a dream, not a drink. Maybe it will be next on the menu at Rock Bar! What in your opinion is trending at the moment in the world of cocktails?
Simplicity is very big at the moment. It’s all in the small details and how the drink is made as well as where the ingredients are from. At Rock Bar we are really focusing on Balinese ingredients and getting all of our garnishes locally and making sure they’re all homemade or homegrown. It’s back to basics in the world of cocktails.

In saying that, what is your fave Rock Bar cocktail?
I like our Whiskey Rock and Sour and I like mixing it up and using dark rum sometimes instead of whiskey.

Thanks for stopping by Elva! I think you deserve a drink after all of this.
If you’d like to meet Elva and our rock star team, you will find them down at Rock Bar each night, breathing fire, juggling those homemade garnishes and of course smiling behind our infamous glass topped bar – they have always got a reason to smile and this win is just another one!