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.

Rooms & Villas



Fourteen underprivileged Indonesian women have begun three months of on-the-job training at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali as part of the second annual ‘ROLE Models’ program in partnership with R.O.L.E Foundation.The women are training as either Food &Beverage servers, Cooks or Spa Therapists.

Here’s another up close interview with one of them, Nunu Windarwati.

“Age should never stop you. That’s laziness, not age.”- Nunu Windarwati, R.O.L.E trainee with Padi restaurant’s culinary team.

Where are you from?
Malang, East Java, but I have lived in Bali with my husband and children for more than 15 years.

What do you think about this R.O.L.E program and how did you get the opportunity?
R.O.L.E is like a bridge to my dream. And I am in my 40s! I got the information from the social division at my home church. Basically, we were informed that R.O.L.E can provide education, training programs and job opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged. I immediately signed up to study English, cooking, gardening, basic F&B service, and other skills at R.O.L.E’s Nusa Dua training facility, and earn a small allowance working at the Foundation’s non-profit cafe.

What gets you excited about being a R.O.L.E student? And what makes you nervous?
The training program is not as easy as people would think. We work really hard. To have this opportunity of a training program at AYANA is ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’. It is like a reward for my hard work in learning new things, the fruit from pushing myself to the limit considering my background and my age. That excites me. But I am at the same time nervous about working with people who are so talented in this big resort.

Has a career in the hotel industry always been your passion? If so, in which area specifically?
To me, yes. Truth be told, I was about to give up considering my age and knowing the competition out there. Now I feel fortunate that I am doing my training at AYANA… and especially in the kitchen! I love to cook. And I now can dream about doing it not only for family but as a profession. Career begins at 40? Why not?

What is your message to friends?
Do not let your age or your past stop you from becoming the person that you want to become.

What do you want to achieve?
To work as a professional cook in a hotel. Many hotels are opening in Bali and I am confident to give it a serious shot once both R.O.L.E and AYANA certificates are earned.

Fourteen underprivileged Indonesian women have begun three months of on-the-job training at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali as part of the second annual ‘ROLE MODELS’ program, in partnership with R.O.L.E Foundation. The women are training as either Food & Beverage servers, Cooks or Spa Therapists.

Well-Placed Insider had an up close interview with one of them, Maria Ekawati.

” Many dare to dream… But not all of them are bold enough to wake up and try to make it come true. I woke up from my dream, found ROLE and I am now getting closer every day to grasp a realization”- Maria Ekawati, R.O.L.E Foundation student and trainee at Thermes Marins Bali at AYANA.

Where are you from?
Riau, Sumatra. I have lived in Bali for more than 10 years.

What do you think about this R.O.L.E program and how did you get the opportunity?
A social division clerk at church shared the information about it. I remember, around 18 women registered. Knowing that R.O.L.E can provide education and training programs, and not to mention the job offers R.O.L.E can link us to. I signed up as well. At R.O.L.E, I study English, gardening, basic F&B service, and the most important for me is Spa training at R.O.L.E ‘s Nusa Dua training facility.

What gets you excited about being a R.O.L.E student? And what makes you nervous?
The training is hard. From the total 18 friends I know registered, 15 have already left. But… to carry the AYANA name on your shoulder, even only as a trainee… to me, this is big. Real big. On the other side, that name is what is getting me nervous too. I always question myself, what did I do to deserve this wonderful opportunity? How can I deliver as expected by the guests who are assuredly a high profile? Will I disappoint my seniors at AYANA? How to make them proud?

Has a career in the hotel industry always been your passion? If so, in which area specifically?
I dream about it, I wish for it, I visualize it in my everyday life. I am a big believer of reaching for a big dream and this is one such dream. My passion is in the Spa industry. So, you can imagine how thankful I am to get my first chance at this worldly known Spa.

What is your message to your other friends?
Dream big. But do not forget to wake up!

What do you want to achieve?
Be a professional spa therapist. And with this training program at AYANA, I think I am armed enough to someday apply for a job. Maybe… at AYANA.

Top five tips and tricks from your Well-Placed Insider to make the most of your holiday in Bali:

Know your destination. Better yet, your hotel.
Read online reviews, browse through the hotel website so you can get to know the facilities and places of interests around the area. What is the best way to get there, which local attractions to visit, the must-see experiences… The smartest move is to reserve a holiday packagewhich includes transfer services, dining, tours and spa experiences. Hassle free!

Get to the airport on time.
Even though it seems reasonable to run or even sprint through the airport in your newly purchased espadrilles to get to the check in counter just before check-in closes, a better option is to keep in shape around your beach resort, not the airport. Time and place, people. So, leave the house early and do not risk an airport meltdown.

Mums and Dads: Reserve a hotel with a Kids Club is on site.
Yes, if you are with family, you are there to make your children happy. But never forget that you too deserve some time off. So, spare a day where you can pamper yourself and your spouse at the Spa while your little ones are occupied and stimulated with fun activities at the Kids Club. Both the children and you will be in a better holiday mood when reunited, and you may be surprised to hear them begging to go back to the Kids Club for more.

Never miss an opportunity to do physical activity.
Find a hotel or resort with a wide selection of guest activities, be it trekking, cycling tour along the beach , yoga session or even perfume-making. Not only will this help you stay fit but also save you from that ‘seems to stick forever’ holiday weight.

Be Adventurous!
Challenge your appetite, try the authentic cuisine, join a cooking class, get your picture taken in a traditional costume, and watch a cultural performance you will never find in your hometown. AYANA even provides a perfume making class for guests wanting to bring a bottle of a ‘Bali Essence’ to their home.

“What is in a name? That which we call a rose… By any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare

Do you believe that a name can tell a lot about a person, a character? Here, Well-Placed Insider shares a story of how this resort got its name.

Wayan Suarnaya, aka Linud is a Balinese man whose official duty is to share the culture of Bali with visitors at the resort. He is also the person who christened AYANA. How did he come up with the resort’s iconic name?

One day, he was reading ‘Purana’, an epic Sanskrit story about the Goddess Ambika or Durga leading the eight Matrikas in battle against the demon Raktabija. The story referred to ‘ayana’, a place where the gods took a rest. Linud was struck by the concept and he kept thinking back to it, as he visualized AYANA as such a utopia that is so hushed, tranquil and holy that even gods would lay there for quiescence.

When a competition to name the resort’s 3-bedroom Presidential Villa was held in 2008, Linud submitted the name AYANA to the management, as it so perfectly suited the sanctuary offered by the luxurious 3-bedroom villa located on the cliff-edge. With lush gardens, pool and gazebo facing the ocean, he thought it is not difficult to imagine that gods would seek respite in such a beautiful place.

Needless to say, Linud won the competition. The name struck such a chord with guests and team members alike that a year later, when the property rebranded, management decided to use AYANA as the name for the Resort, as it reflected the ambience and tranquility of the whole property. A place where the gods would seek refuge from everyday pressures, to rebalance and refresh their senses.

Now you may also be interseted to know how Linud got his name; it is an acronym of Lintas Udara, which means The Air Force. Seems he was always destined to reach great heights!

AYANA’s management team spent a day ‘on the floor’ yesterday doing jobs such as dishwashing, housekeeping, pool duty, cooking and guest check-in, in a bid to analyse service processes and further improve guest experience.

A divine way to practice ” A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John Maxwell, writer.

In action here is Clive Edwards, Rooms Executive, washing dishes in Padi's kitchen and seeming to quite enjoy the change from his office scenery!

This is what you get when you are being checked-in by our Human Resources Director; Cynthia de Mesa Jendra... an obvious gesture of a sincere heart! A key requirement for all staff at AYANA.

Here, Michi Sonoda, AYANA's Japanese Business Development Director is trying to make the perfect sunny side up for our guests at breakfast time. Or... make that a scrambled egg instead...

Esti Haryono our Director of Engineering is having a full day at the pool area taking care of towels and not cables

Athor Budiono, AYANA's Financial Director is used to dealing with numbers... Here, he is trying hard to make the cushions sit perfectly -- perhaps like a 'balance sheet'-- as he spends a day working as a Housekeeper.

" Well this one can go directly into my kitchen" says Giordano Faggioli, AYANA's Executive Chef who is acting as a Receiving Officer.


Meet Made Suriadi, this month’s AYANA Superstar who is a living proof that “Life is better at the beach” …

“I am grateful for being part of the AYANA family. It is more than just a place to work, I feel very appreciated as a person, ‘more than my job’, and I carry out my duties from the heart rather than just what is expected of my position.”

1. What is your role at AYANA?
Captain at Kubu Beach, the best Bali Beach.

2. How long have you been with the hotel?
Almost 16 years, since it first opened. I started as a steward, then as a pool attendant before joining the Kubu Beach team in 2002.

3. How would you define great service?
Everything you do for another person must come from the heart. Nothing else can describe it any better.

4. You are called an AYANA Superstar because you always go the extra mile to ensure a memorable stay for guests. Can you share an example of a time when you were able to help a guest or wow them with a surprise?
I had a guest who stayed with us and was very happy with AYANA, and had a special experience at Kubu Beach. The guest was visually impaired but wanted to go down to the beach although it meant he had to go down almost 200 steps. Not to mention going back up! I took the liberty to ask his wife if I could be of assistance by supporting him all the way down to the beach, giving him guidance ” One step down… one more…” , escorting him into the water and giving the same escort all the way up the stairs. The couple were amazed and his wife was in tears. I did not think of my gesture as something big, it was a spontaneous act of kindness but apparently it meant a lot to the guests and they promised to return to AYANA on their next Bali visit.

5. What would you recommend every AYANA guest experience?
Kisik, Ocean Beach Pool, Rock Bar. And of course, a picnic at Kubu Beach

6. Do you have anybody you look up to or are inspired by?
I admire my colleagues who are in the sales department. They look so confident, genuine and seem to be able to deliver anything that a guest expects. Even though I am not in Sales, I try to bring that same energy to my day to day interaction with guests. I also am inspired by AYANA’s F&B Director; Jerome Colson, for his drive to succeed.

7. What do you like to do in your time off?
Take care of our little? “Warung” (traditional shop) at home and just be with my wife and two sons.


Well-Placed Insider congratulates AYANA’s Food & Beverage Director Jerome Colson, who finished 11th overall of males in the BII Maybank Bali Marathon on 22 April. With a time of 3 hours 17 minutes, Jerome was the first expat in Bali across the line. Well done, Jerome, now back to your ‘work marathon’ of managing 12 F&B outlets!

As a Russian Guest Relations Officer, Dhika always surprises Russian guests with his fluency in speaking their language. Dark skinned with a lean figure and friendly face who seems very approachable, Dhika has never left Bali and inevitably makes quite an impression when he breaks out in Russian. Well-Placed Insider stuck to English to snatch a moment to find out more about this young man and his passion for learning foreign languages.

Where did you learn to speak Russian?

I took a 2 year course here in Bali instead of a formal education in a university. Let alone that I have never lived in Moscow, I have never lived anywhere else but here, but that does not stop me.

What other languages do you speak?

I also speak Japanese. Not as fluent as Russian but I can hold a conversation to the end. I am starting to learn Mandarin now.

What motivates you to learn these languages, despite never having traveled outside of Bali?

I love that my skill enables me to connect more closely with guests at AYANA, I love that it makes them comfortable with me and it is easier for me to know what they like or what they do not. But I am not doing this only for the guests, to be honest. I am doing this for my life in general. The best way to approach and to understand other people is to learn their language. That way, you are building a bridge with them, you will understand them better and they will open up to you. So I will continue to learn as many languages as possible.

Can you share with us the connection you make with language?

Russian guests may seem a bit distant at first. But once you are let into their comfort area, where they feel that they can talk to you in their language, you can easily gain their confidence. The same theory applies to Japanese guests. When they trust you, they trust you wholeheartedly. I have guests who are now part of my life, they have become friends with me now and wherever I work, they are always keen to experience staying at that place.

Who inspires you to have such interest in language?

My father and my family surroundings. I cannot get rid of a memory of when I was a kid and I saw this Balinese man speaking in Japanese. I was like oh that is pretty cool, speaking in other languages than Bahasa and English.

Can you imagine yourself doing anything else than working in the hospitality industry?

Yes. Working as an interpreter.

You seem like a man with a high level of perseverance, what made you so?

I understand that competition in the workforce can be very hard these days. I may not have a degree from a reputable university nor the chance to study abroad, like many other friends of mine. But that is the thing about language. Language is one thing that can take you to reach your goal. So, ambition is the reason why.