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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Well-Placed Insider chats with 5 people to find out more what they really think and feel about this magical 24 hour in total silence known as Nyepi.

An expatriate:Giordano Faggioli

How many years have you lived in Bali?2 and and a half years.

What does Nyepi mean to you?Nyepi is definitely a unique festival. I am usually at work during Nyepi and I partake in the ogoh-ogoh parade around the hotel on Nyepi Eve with the team members and guests. Then for Nyepi Day, all guests of the resort are in-house, as no one can leave the property for 24 hours. The noise is kept to a minimum, all lights are dimmed and guests enjoy a peaceful view of the ocean. Quite amazing!

What amazes you the most about Nyepi?The absolute silence as a result of ‘non activity’ throughout the island.

Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?Embrace it and experience it to the fullest. If you choose to stay in a resort or hotel, enjoy what is organized there be it the ogoh-ogoh parade, special dinner or activity, and learn to understand the roots of this festival.

A Balinese woman:Tri Widyastuti

Which part of Bali are you from?I am from West Bali, a small village called Menega.

What amazes you the most about Nyepi?The total silence it brings, since no vehicle or machinery is allowed to operate (which also means Bali airport closes down), no fire or electricity may be used, and no chores or work may be done. On Nyepi Day, Balinese people stay inside their house and gather with their family.

As a Balinese woman and mother, is there a particular ritual that you are obliged to do??Yes, Balinese women usually prepare offerings for Pengrupukan day. This is one day before Nyepi. We do a blessing ritual in and around the house and pray to the gods that the demons shall never come into our lives.

Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?I recommend they stay at a hotel. The rules are more relaxed, as long as you do not leave the hotel grounds. Each hotel minimizes use of lighting and power, halts its shuttle/car service, and asks guests not to wander around outside or leave the property. But otherwise guests are welcome to use the resort grounds, restaurants, spa and other facilities as normal, while keeping noise to a minimum.

A city girl: Melinda Martini

Where are you from and how many years have you lived in Bali?I come from a busy city,Jakarta,and have been living in this paradise for 3 wonderful years.

Can you tell me about your first Nyepi experience?My first Nyepi,I stayed home and honestly I did not prepare anything. That was my mistake. I did not have any food and did not rent any movies. It almost felt like I was celebrating being in a ‘pause’ of life. So the next Nyepi, I was more experienced and prepared. I stayed at a hotel and ate, met people and took part in the cultural activities in the hotel.

What amazes you the most about Nyepi?I love watching the ogoh-ogoh procession, one day before Nyepi.? Also, the blue sky and fresh air that greets you early in the morning after Nyepi.

Can you share tips for tourists who will be in Bali for Nyepi?Stay in a hotel. ?That way you do not have to worry about grocery shopping before Nyepi which can be a pain because usually the queues at the supermarket are very long. Go to the spa, relax in the pool, order food and enjoy the complete tranquility!

A Balinese Priest:Made Suwitri

Which part of Bali are you from?I am from Kedonganan.

What amazes you the most about Nyepi?As a Balinese Priest, this is like the ‘ground zero’. Where we can do a meditation, and do a self-reflection.

As a Balinese priest a particular ritual that you are obliged to do?I do not lead the ceremony because my husband is also a priest. But, I help by preparing all the offerings needed.

What is the most challenging thing about celebrating Nyepi?I am doing it with all my heart and soul. So, there is nothing about Nyepi that I do not do wholeheartedly. However, when I was a younger parents, it was pretty hardtop tell my kids about the meaning of Nyepi. They did not find being in silence as something exciting. It is our responsibility as parents to cascade this religious tradition to the next generation.

A Balinese Kid: A.A Ayu Antika

How old are you?I am 8 and a half

What amazes you the most about Nyepi?It is just so quiet I cannot hear a sound. And no vehicles on the street!

Is there anything that you do not like about it?At night, it can be very dark and we are not allowed to play out in the street… and… oh, No TV! That is the worst. But I can spend time by just playing at home with my little brother.

Can you give advice to your friends on how to spend Nyepi at home?Maybe try a new thing at home like helping your parents in preparing the meals like what I am learning to do. I do that if my brother gets annoyed by me.

There are spa junkies and then there are Aqua-Spa Junkies, who once they experience thalassotherapy, quickly become addicted to the ancient healing benefits especially muscle toning, tension relief, anti-ageing, improved sleep quality and detoxification.
Well-Placed Insider is stands among this latter group, and so is very happy to share the news of the resort’s new Freeflow Bubbles Package, offering unlimited access to the world’s largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool.

Freeflow Bubbles may typically be a reference to unlimited Champagne, but AYANA’s version comes without the hangover. Rest assured that an aspirin would not be needed afterwards. In fact, your Freeflow Bubbles Passport is valid for up to seven days and will have you feeling more energized, relaxed and- yes- younger than ever! Now, who would say no to that?

An ancient healing ritual from France dating back 5,000 years, thalassotherapy’s main objective is to increase blood circulation and restore vital minerals lost as a result of stress, pollution and poor diet/lifestyle (guilty!). Well-Placed Insider has learned that the secret lies in the fact that the chemical composition of seawater is so similar to that of human blood, so the skin is able to absorb trace minerals and ions such as magnesium, potassium and calcium sulphates when immersed in water heated to body temperature. The Aquatonic Pool at AYANA’s Thermes Marins Spa contains 700 million liters of water directly supplied from the underlying Indian Ocean and warmed to optimum temperatures to rebalance such mineral deficiencies. Thanks to its floating effects, you are able to effortlessly exercise through 12 hydromassage stations containing over 60 individual therapeutic jet streams, micro-bubbles and geysers to rehabilitate injured muscles, to relieve stress and for relaxation.

If only exercising could always be this fun… who needs a sweaty cardio work-out?
These are just some of the benefits of AYANA’s Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool:

  • relief of the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, back and muscular pain, tension and stress
  • muscle toning, reduction in cellulite, improved metabolism and cardiovascular functioning
  • strengthening of immune system and lymphatic drainage for muscle repair, improved sleep quality and relaxation
  • skin detoxification and nourishment to support anti-ageing therapies

The Freeflow Bubbles Package is valid until 30 June 2013 and priced as below:
3 day Freeflow Bubbles Passport
Rp.1.350.000++

5 day Freeflow Bubbles Passport
Rp.2.125.000++

7 day Freeflow Bubbles Passport
Rp.2.800.000++

Each session is for up to 2 hours and guests may gain access as often as they like during the Aquatonic Pool

On Monday 28th January, 20 bartenders form all around Bali including two from AYANA competed in the 2013 DIAGEO Reserve
World Class Challenge. Here are some highlights from the event:

As part of the event, Rock Bar hosted Singaporean-based Japanese bartender Akihiro Eguchi. After judging 20 contestants from Bali' s most high-profile bars in the first round of the Bali competition held at AYANA, Akihiro Eguchi, who is a previous winner of the DIAGEO Reserve World Class Challenge, got behind the bar at Rock Bar to serve up his signature 'Sun Flower' consisting of Ketel One Vodka, passionfruit, fresh grapefruit juice, Absinth and sugar syrup. It sure made the sun come out here!

It was a pretty tense moment for the bartenders. In this photo, one contestant gives a classic cocktail a retro-chic, vodka-based twist.

 

Congratulations to our Beverage Manager D'Agisna Ramdhani (above left) who won 3rd place with his 'Burnt Orange Chocopolitan' consisting of KetelOne Vodka 40 ml, Creme de Cacao White 20 ml, Burnt Orange infused Tripple Sec 20 ml, Egg white 10 ml, Kintamani Orange Jelly 20 ml. Well done, D'Agisna! Watch out for his creation to hit the Rock Bar and Martini Bar menus soon.

Love Affair

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:

 

Maine Lobster

Citrus Maine lobster ceviche with tomato coulis and lobster
gelee,

egg parfait with salmon roe

Or

Scallop Carpaccio

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

Or

Seafood Bisque

Seafood bisque with salad of Dungeness crab,

brioche crumbs and rouille

Black Cod

Pan-roasted black cod with prawn butter gratin, ratatouille stuffed

conchiglie pasta and lemon basil emulsion

Or

Jimbaran Bay Lobster

Lobster tail au gratin on pineapple carpaccio with
red beets,

pumpkin and pistachio agnolotti

Lamb Loin

Roasted lamb loin with pistachio puree, preserved lemon

sauce vierge with
goat’s milk feta and mint

Or

Beef Tenderloin

Grain fed beef tenderloin with pine nuts and bacon
fricassee,

chestnut ragout with beetroot relish and brie mousse

Strawberry Frappe

Strawberry and Champagne frappe with mascarpone sorbet,

jellied rhubarb compote and pecan crumble

Or

Passion Fruit Mousse

Frozen passion fruit mousse with mascarpone Bavarian,

pistachio genoise and candied pistachio

Thank you to all guests for your support over 2012. We celebrated with a countdown party and took some happy snaps below. What a way to bid farewell to 2012 and welcome 2013…

Mike's Band take to the stage: Rock Bar's most popular performance of 2012 came back from their hometown Jakarta to usher in 2013.

 

DJ Mandra, spinning his mantra!

 

Happy peole, happy faces joining the countdown.

 

Putting on a game face to welcome a new exciting year.

 

Lead singer Mike had the crowd spellbound with his beautiful voice.

 

Elva, the liquid chef, shakes it up.

 

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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.

 

Many regular visitors to Bali will tell you, finding a good wine at an affordable price has never been easy. But that all changed when a ‘made in Bali’ Australian wine range entered the market.

Here, Well-Placed Insider pours a glass of history from AYANA’S official house wine, Artisan Estate. Have a sip!

Derived from an Italian word, artigiano, Artisan means craftsman. It is an apt name for an estate formed in October 2009 by two great craftsmen; an Australian master winemaker and an Indonesian timber merchant.

Their success story started in 2001 with a big challenge: To establish a system of growing wine grapes in Australia and ultimately produce the wine in Bali. The quality, color and integrity expected of an Australian wine was to be the final result.

Craig Newton, an award-winning Australian winemaker and now Wine Marketing Specialist at Artisan Estate, set about exploring ways to achieve this goal. After years of research, the culmination marked the release of their first Artisan Chardonnay in 2009. This was soon followed by the Classic Chardonnay blend in 2010. In 2011, the highly praised Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz entered the market, the latter of which by the way, is Well-Placed Insider’s favorite!

Artisan Estate’s point of difference is quality at a great price. In the highly taxed Indonesian wine market, Artisan offers a quality Australian
wine at a locally produced price point. They manage to do this by importing 100% fresh wine grape juice from Western Australia into Bali. The delivery process must be done under strict temperature control, before it is then crafted into wine with meticulous attention to detail. That is what makes Artisan the local wine of choice for many of the top 5-star hotels and restaurants both in Bali and other regions of Indonesia.

When is a Western Australian wine not an Australian wine? When it is produced in Bali!

Artisan Estate is available at all restaurants and bars at AYANA Resort and Spa.

Sami Sami launches three new set menus for a ‘three course’ lunch or dinner.

Executive Chef Giordano Faggioli and his team have launched new set menus at Sami Sami restaurant, offering three different set menus for a delectable three-course lunch or dinner to match the cliff-edge ocean views. The new set menus reflect Chef Giordano passion for cuisine from his native Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy, renowned for its homemade fresh pasta, cured meats, and seafood fresh from the Adriatic sea.

The menus rotate daily to offer diners more choice and new experiences when they return the next day – as they invariably do. The new dishes are flavorful yet light, blending perfectly with the warm weather and the open-air trattoria-style design of the restaurant, located on a bluff overlooking the Indian Ocean, offering brilliant views any time of day and at sunset.

Lunch Set Menus Rp 210,000++

“Parma”

Parma ham and mozzarella bocconcini,balsamic and arugula

Penne Amatriciana, smoked bacon and spicy tomato sauce

Pepper marinated strawberries with homemade strawberry ice cream

“Roma”

Minestrone, mixed vegetables soup with homemade pasta

Saltimbocca, veal escalope with Parma ham and white wine sauce

Star anise infused pineapple with pineapple sorbet

“Venice”

Fritto misto, crispy seafood and capers with battered zucchini and eggplant

Chicken medallions, mushrooms and rosemary sauce

Vanilla ice cream with dark cherries

Dinner Set Menus Rp 255,000++

“Milan”

Grilled Sumatran Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, rocket bouquet

Baked scallops with citrus salsa and potato risotto

Chocolate creme brulee with chocolate ice cream

“Genova”

Beetroot, oranges and sea bass salad with softened cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with lobster, red chili, leek white wine sauce

Lemon tart with lemon sorbet, mint sauce

“Verona”

Grilled eggplants and rosemary with tuna and capers sauce

Linguini with calms and tomato sauce

Warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream, berries sauce

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.

Way Finder

“No matter how hard the situation, when you really look for a way, you will find it. ” Pratiwi Setianingrum – ROLE Models trainee as waitress

Where are you from? Surabaya, East Java.

What do you think about this R.O.L.E program and how did you get the opportunity?
My grandma told me about R.O.L.E I lived with her since I was a kid when my parents got divorced. So I actually was not wishing for a chance to have a better education considering my situation. This is like a university for me. I am trained with F&B skills, English, gardening and cooking at their training center in Nusa Dua, and getting a training opportunity at AYANA, I am confident I will do better .

What gets you excited about being a R.O.L.E student? And what makes you nervous?
I love the trainers at R.O.L.E and how R.O.L.E connects me to AYANA. I am a little nervous about interacting directly with guests at AYANA but I guess I will get used to it and gain confidence every step of the way.

Has a career in the hotel industry always been your passion? If so, in which area specifically?
Yes. Always. I want to be a restaurant manager someday and to go there; I have to learn how to be a good waitress. Also, I love doing administration work! Maybe after this, I can apply as an admin assistant.

What is your message to friends?
Never give up. No matter how hard a situation might be, there has to be a way as long as we do not give up. R.O.L.E and AYANA is my way out of my difficult situation.