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 week’s blog is by Alma Desnuda frontman Tony Glaser, who tells us about the San Francisco band’s origins, spiritual practices, and community outreach work. You can catch them live at the Rock Bar every sunset from December 28 to January 3, excluding New Year’s Eve. Don’t miss them!

AYANA: What is your role in the band?

Tony: I’m the funky dude on the upright bass, singing with the other guys, and getting down with the California positivity!

AYANA: How did your Rock Bar performance come about and what appealed to you about performing in Bali??

Tony: To put it simply, us performing in Bali came from the hustle we put into our music everyday. We play everywhere, and I mean everywhere, so people see us and want to help. We met some great people one day, played for them, which lead to another thing, and another, and all of a sudden we have a tour booked in Bali and Australia! As for the appeal…umm, it’s Bali. Nuff said, ha! It’s also very spirtual and the culture is in line with our meditation and yoga practices.

AYANA: Can you tell us a little about Alma Desnuda (ie your style of music, how you got started, and where you’re going)?

Tony: Our music is a blend of sorts, acoustic soul to put it simply, but spans a wide range of styles, with vocal harmonies of conscious lyrics, funky grooves, and an appeal that makes all ages feel good. We met studying abroad in Spain, hence the Spanish name (Naked Soul), we’re headed to the top, and playing all over the world is the plan.

AYANA: What’s been the highlight of your music career so far?

Tony: I’m proud of our sincere commitment to using music as a vehicle for positive change in this world. We love to give back and it brings us a true joy, and so many highlights, Bali being a big one, as well as playing for the homeless, the neglected children, and for major venues. I had the priveledge to play for the troops in Iraq a few years back, and that was a major highlight.

AYANA: What other plans do you have while you’re in Bali (here’s an op for you to mention some of the community outreach work)?

Tony: We’re very excited to play for an orphanage in northern Bali. We asked AYANA to help us with our community outreach, especially since we raised money at our last SF show to bring out here to help give back to such a beautiful people as the Balinese, and they connected us with some children that we are stoked to play for. I hear there is some great river rafting, we’re going to surf for sure, and who doesn’t want to hang out with some monkeys?

AYANA: What’s next after Bali?

Tony: We’re off to Western Australia for a couple weeks. After that, back to the states, recording the next album, then a national college tour, then the world… with the help of our growing global community that we meet of course;)

Greetings! Allow me to introduce myself, I am Gede (Big) Bear, and I have checked-in to AYANA for the festive season. My first port of call was of course Thermes Marins Spa, where I enjoyed a reflexology treatment and nourishing cream bath (Indonesia’s version of a conditioning head massage which was absolute bliss for my frazzled fur!) I’d heard this spa was voted the #1 in the World by Conde Nast readers this year, and I can only agree with the voters. It is definitely the best pampering experience I’ve ever had, and I’ve had quite a few in my neck of the woods!

I also joined the hotel’s little guests for the Teddy Bear Tea with Santa last Saturday, and have been moving around between the pools, restaurants, lobby, Club Lounge and Rock Bar. Obviously I’m not shy of having my photo taken!

I have to say I’ve been most impressed with the Christmas decorations. There are no boring old Christmas trees here, instead there are custom-made trees using local, sustainable materials, designed by French floral artist Sebastien Lathuile and hand-crafted by Balinese artisans.? I had the privilege to meet Sodikin, the Florist Manager who worked on the concept with Sebastien.

“In the 14 years since I first joined this resort as florist supervisor, this is the biggest budget I’ve had for Christmas decorations. It’s about three times last year’s budget, when we just had standard Christmas decorations,” said Sodikin. “This year, we wanted to do something really unique and so we went back-to-nature with materials such as rattan, recycled wood, seashells, cinnamon sticks and other spices such as star anise and vanilla. It was a celebration of Bali’s rich natural resources and artistic heritage, which can be seen in the intricate carvings and fine handiwork. The result is striking and I am glad that you like it.”

Like it? We love it! There are beautiful seashell stars hanging from frangipani and banyan trees throughout the gardens, a 4-meter-high tree in the lobby made of recycled wood, a pure white seashell tree at Dava, and other unique creations dotted around the property. Great job Sodikin and Sebastien, I can’t wait to see what Santa puts under these beautiful trees!

Merry Christmas to everyone, and Happy New Year!

Love Gede Bear

Being chosen to be the first staff blogger for AYANA is a bit overwhelming! I was not sure what I should write but then someone asked me, how about sharing some examples of how your staff have gone beyond expectations to serve their customers? Since I am in charge of our team of butlers, who are Graduates of the Guild of Professional

Butlers’ Certification Program in the UK and are on 24-hour call for our Villa guests, I knew I could get some interesting stories from them. Here’s a sample; if anyone has any other examples of how they’ve received service beyond expectations whilst traveling, please do share them with us! We love to be inspired.

  • Fast-food Bali-style: You may have heard of Warung Ibu Oka’s in Ubud? This famous warung serves ‘babi guling’ or Balinese suckling pig, which is a delicacy normally served at large ceremonies. One couple at AYANA had heard about how Ibu Oka’s babi guling could not be beaten, and so they asked their butler to go to Ubud, a 1.5 hour drive north, to collect 2 takeaway orders and bring them back to the hotel. They were not disappointed!
  • Off-duty delivery: A couple who got married at AYANA wanted to share the spices and flavors of Padang food (from Sumatra) with their close family. Their butler went to a warung (restaurant) some distance away and ordered 15 ‘nasi Padang’ for the group. They liked it so much they ordered another 15 the same day, and although the same butler was off duty by this time, he left his house to collect and deliver this to them.
  • Meeting the family: Some guests become so close with one particular butler, that they will often be invited to the butler;s home to share a meal, attend a ceremony at their family temple, or go on a tour of the island on the butler’s day off. Similarly, some guests have asked their butler to be their guest at a restaurant, outside of working hours.

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture! These examples go far beyond the formal training of any butler, and showcase the genuine warmth and hospitality of the Balinese. They really will go out of their way to help make a guest