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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The winning cake, Tiramisu and Chef Sutisna
AYANA Resort and Spa's pastry chef I Made Sutisna was recently awarded best pastry chef in Indonesia, after being judged the best overall performance in the international Fonterra Pastry Chef Challenge 2011. The chairman of the judging panel said the most important criteria for winning this competition was having a WOW factor, and Chef Sutisna's creations astonished the jury and most definitely satisfied this requirement.

First of all, congratulations on winning this contest. With which creation did you become Indonesia's best pastry chef?
Chef: I won the contest with my chocolate mousse cake with kaffir lime passion cream and macadamia croquant, a multi-layered cake which I call Literati. I had to make two of these, one only to display and one for tasting. The jury gave us 8 hours to prepare our cakes.

Is the dish available to AYANA guests, if so where can they get it?
Chef: This cake was specially created just for the contest, but it might be available in the future. It would best suit Sami Sami, as it fits the Italian menu because it's a very European type of cake.

How many chefs competed in the contest?
Chef: Ten Chefs in total were allowed to enter the competition, there were two from Bali, one from Bandung, one from Medan and six from Jakarta.

Have you won any other competitions in the past?
Chef: Yes, a lot (embarrassed laughter). I took the first place in the Asian Pastry Cup 2010I also joined the Fonterra competition two years ago in 2009 and came 2nd. This year I finally won the contest, very happy!

Do you have anybody you look up to or are inspired by in the cooking-world?
Chef: Yes, my mentor was a French pastry chef who taught me how to make beautiful and artistic creations with food. He taught me how to make up the plates but he also taught me many things about the tastes of food and how to use certain products.

What would you make at home but never serve to AYANA guests?
Chef: The birthday cakes I make for my children. They are very colorful and a bit childish, it would look a bit funny to serve them to our guests. They are also a little simpler to make than the complicated creations I make at AYANA.

What is your favorite thing about Bali?
Chef: Wooden sculptures, they are distinctively Balinese and very different from sculptures at all the other Indonesian islands. The sculptors have an amazing eye for detail. It is a typical Bali thing that I am very proud of, we (Balinese) have been making such sculptures for a long time and the workmanship is often passed from father to son, very traditional.

What three ingredients would you recommend everybody to have at home?
Chef: Sugar, flour and eggs! That was not too hard, since these are the three ingredients to make a cake with. It will be a simple cake, but the ingredients are essential for each cake no matter how complicated.

Any future competitions you will be joining?
Chef: Yes, the next competition I will be joining is regional final of the Fonterra competition, it will be held in Singapore in April 2012. I will be defending my title, we will be using the exact same ingredients only the rules of the competition will be different. I do not know yet what I will make for this contest.

How did you end up as a professional pastry chef?
Chef: When I was young I saw my uncle making cakes. I was interested and loved to help him. When I grew a little older I joined the school of Tourism, I chose to specialize in F&B, Pastry in particular and now here I am as Pastry Chef at AYANA. There is one very important thing to be successful at what you do: you have to be motivated and enthusiastic. Being passionate gets you so much further.

ROLE Foundation TraineesHi everyone, my name is Mike O’Leary and I head up R.O.L.E Foundation. We were recently invited to partner with AYANA to hold the first ever ROLE Models Charity Dinner last month, and it was a success beyond the wildest dreams of the seven Balinese who joined this program.

These seven students, who have never had formal schooling and were illiterate before they joined R.O.L.E’s vocational training program, are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to getting jobs in Bali’s lucrative tourism industry. This program changed that, by giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and open new doors.

The dinner was held at Padi restaurant and marked the end of 10-weeks of hospitality training for our trainees, who were taught basic Food & Beverage skills by AYANA’s F&B team. The dinner was the culmination of their training sessions and was the first time they served guests. They were nervous, but as it turned out, they had no reason to be as they excelled on the night and impressed the 100+ guests who attended.

The dinner and silent auction raised Rp54,200,000 in cash support for R.O.L.E Foundation, but it was the skills development and job opportunities that have really changed lives.

Serving at this event, they were pure professionals and you could see them brimming with confidence and inspiration to change their lives for good. Two of them have been offered permanent positions with AYANA, and there were at least another four or five job other offers on the night from wine companies, hotels and restaurants. We’ve also got mad interest from other hotels to conduct their own training program with our students as a result of the successful AYANA ROLE Models dinner. Talk about a good result!

Congratulations to the trainees and the trainers alike, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to fight poverty.

Superman is Dead will perform at Rock Bar this August
‘Sweet’ is not a word normally used to describe Indonesia’s biggest punk rock stars, but it will be a Sweet Sixteen birthday performance like you’ve never seen before when Superman Is Dead show their softer side at Rock Bar on 18 August. Only 400 tickets will be sold for this exclusive unplugged gig to celebrate the 16th anniversary since the band was formed by three attitude-heavy Kuta boys: Bobby Kool (lead vocal, guitar, dog lover), Eka Rock (bass, backing vocal, family man) and JRX (pronounced Jerinx, a prince-charming drummer and hairwax junkie). Recording most of their songs in English, SID are undoubtedly Indonesia’s most successful punk rock band. They have been signed with Sony-BMG since 2003, have toured the USA, Australia and Indonesia, and at the time of writing were ranked 21 on American Billboard ? making them the first band in Indonesia to be charted. Here is their view on how the band has evolved over the last 16 years.

What is the main message you like to communicate through your music?

To celebrate unity in diversity in a rock n roll way.

How has your music changed over the years?

We were a straight up 3 chords punk rock beer band. In 1999 we got so much into rockabilly, country and ballad. So we started to put in some organs, timeless lyrics and decent melodies here and there. But still, our roots is always been punk rock. And beer.

16 years is a long time together; do you ever fight or get tired of hanging out, or is the brotherly love still as strong as ever?

Of course we had our ups and downs at this context. That’s just life. But been together for so long made us understand each other really well. True we didn’t ‘hang out’ together as much as we did before. We had our crazy days and we can’t stuck at one point. But the chemistry we have when we’re playing/jamming is like wine, it gets better with times. Basically we were just 3 excited Bali kids trying to have fun with our music. And we like to keep the feeling stays like that. No matter how old we get.

What is your most memorable experience as a band? (ie best tour/charity event/album/achievement)

We’ll say the USA Vans Warped Tour we did in summer 2009. We were the first Indonesian (and second Asian) band that ever made it to this legendary festival. We did 16 cities in one month. Touring and playing in one venue with our heroes (Bad Religion, NOFX etc). We were driving a small van all over USA. From NY to LA. To promote our band, we walked around venues dressed up as traditional Balinese men with sign says ‘SID from BALI Indonesia’. And people were like “Where the hell is Bali? Are you guys Mexican?” It was fun, crazy, emotional, tiring as hell but we came as war heroes. Indonesian media, music industry and especially our fan base paid us so much respect for what we did.

What does the future hold for you?

Busy! After this August we’ll do more touring overseas and all over Indonesia. Start recording for our new album (release in early 2012)

And all the DJ have to hear this: this year we’ll release our ‘The Best Of’ album in vinyls! Scratch it baby!

Looking around Bali, the island has changed so much in 16 years as well. What do you see as the main challenges facing the Balinese today?

Our main challenge is ourselves. We made our choice. Are we willing to sacrifice for the greater cause or are we just gonna say yes to this fast-growing industry without thinking the long-term impact for this island? Education is very important. With enough education, people will make the right decision.

Spa for Men




Why men could – and should – embrace their inner Spa Diva.

Let me start by saying I am not your typical spa junkie. In my time off, I’d rather do something more active like play tennis or other sports. But since so many men seem to be showing more interest in spas than ever before, I decide to see what all the fuss is about. After all, I am in Bali which is one of the spa capitals of the world.

The spa at AYANA is considered to be one of the best on earth. In 2010, it was voted by Conde Nast Traveller readers as the #1 Spa in the World. Seems to me, there is no better place to embark on my first ever spa adventure.

I am feeling a little uncomfortable thinking I will be the only man there. But the opposite seems to be true: men almost outnumber women in the reception area when I arrive and I start to feel more comfortable. But have I missed something, I always thought the spa was a ladies thing? (Later, I jump on the internet to do some research and learn that men actually account for 35% of the entire spa-going population, making them the fastest growing segment according to Conde Nast Traveler, and that number is expected to increase further in coming years.)

As soon as I arrive, the very-friendly staff offer me their signature welcome drink of ginger and lemongrass tea. This drink is a perfect reflection of what a spa experience is all about: it’s healthy, refreshing, unique, and makes you feel like you’re treating your body well, summarizing the reasons why you are probably there in the first place.

My first treatment is the Detox Body Treatment, which comprises a seaweed body mask to release toxins. My therapist wraps a warm blanket around me for 25-minutes while the mask does its work, during which time she gives me a facial massage. Afterwards, I shower and then enjoy a full body massage that leaves me feeling completely cleansed and re-energized.

The second treatment is the Men’s Facial. Now, I know the word facial sounds very feminine but this is actually a facial developed especially for men, and incorporates a full body massage to make it as attractive as possible to men. I am not used to the sensation of someone cleaning, scrubbing, moisturizing and applying a mask that makes my face feel frozen, but I am convinced of the benefits of this, as I did feel a big improvement in my skin and very refreshed afterwards.

My last treatment is the Exotic Bamboo Massage, which is a very firm (ie. manly!) massage based on a technique that uses different types of heated bamboo tools. The therapist shows great skill in using her hands, elbows and the bamboo tools in long strokes to release knots and tension. I fall into a deep state of relaxation (and may have drooled into the flower bowl just a little).

After experiencing all three treatments, I can now say I am a spa-convert and believe it is far more effective in reducing stress levels than having a drink after work. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you exchange your nightly aperitif for a spa treatment, but why not benefit from both? The spa is more than just women’s beauty treatments, the focus is not really on how you look at all, but on how you feel. And men like to feel good too, simple as that. Another round of pampering please!

When he is not managing the 12 dining and bar outlets spread out across AYANA, Food & Beverage Executive Jerome Colson has a very peculiar idea of fun: running ultra-marathons in balmy tropical heat. The Belgian native and father-of-two just joined the Sundown Marathon held on 28 May in Singapore, where he finished in the top 3% with a time just over 4 hours, coming 249th? overall (and 34th in his division) out of 7388 runners in total. An impressive result for a ‘hobby’ runner. The race was part of his training for the ‘real’ event: the 2011 Ultra Trail Marathon in Sabah, Malaysia, covering 100km. We asked Jerome about his motivation and preparations for the race, and the charity he is raising money for, R.O.L.E Foundation, which is supported by AYANA. (The resort is hosting a charity dinner for R.O.L.E this August, where guests will be served by disadvantaged Balinese who have completed 10-weeks of hospitality training with AYANA’s F&B team, as part of a vocational skills program aimed at securing long-term employment. For more information on this event, visit AYANA’s website

Why are you taking part in this race?

There is no such race in Indonesia. Malaysia is close by. I have done many marathons, trails, ultra trails and stage races but never did a 100km trail race. It’s just a new challenge that I can tick off my list.

What training are you doing?

I never really stop running. Training for a 100km race is not much different than for a full marathon. I average 50-70kms per week and for this occasion I have added a couple of hours of cycling. The danger is fatigue and injury caused by ‘over-training’. In the past two months I have also completed a 55km trail(2500m positive ascent) and a full marathon.

Are you on any special diet?

Not really, just reducing alcohol consumption, a lot of carbs, fresh fruits and trying to stay away from fried food. In the days before the race I eat a lot of pasta!

When you do these races, is there any point when you feel that you can not go on, and if so, how do you challenge your body’s limits to finish?

I think it happens to everyone running anything over a full marathon distance. I do not think it is your body that has limits, it is usually mentally that it is most challenging. The minute your mind starts doubting that you can complete the race, you start feeling pain. It is usually very difficult on these long distances as you very often find yourself running alone. An ultra marathon can only be completed if you are mentally prepared.

Why did you choose R.O.L.E Foundation as your charity?

I happen to know about R.O.L.E as they are established in the Bukit area, where I live and train five days a week. For me, associating the completion of this challenging race with fundraising brings another meaning to the personal achievement. I am very fortunate to work in a luxury environment and every run I do around the Bukit, it brings me back to the reality: the daily life of the majority of the Balinese who have very little and who need support to have the opportunity to be educated and eventually qualify for a career in a 5* luxury hotel.

How can guests donate?

At the Front Desk or at the website www.accrorun.be.


Hello everyone, I am the Spa Director at AYANA, and for this blog, I’ve chosen some of my favorite dishes from our new Spa Cafe menu. These dishes use organic ingredients wherever possible with a focus on fresh garden vegetables and seafood, and local herbs and flavors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some healthy indulgence: the desserts are to-die-for, minus the guilt!

Here are my favorites, selamat makan (enjoy your meal)!

Granola and Yoghurt Rp45.000++
Fresh Granola and low fat yoghurt, topped with seasonal fruit?
Boosts immune system, rich in vitamins, and contains healing properties

Rice Paper Rolls Rp135.000++
Vegetables, prawns, glass noodles, mint, garlic, spicy dipping sauce
Refreshing and nutritional, rich in proteins and vitamins

Cumin beef wrap Rp140.000++
Lemongrass and cashew nut sauce, garden vegetables
Rich in protein while cumin is great source of iron and has anti-carcinogenic properties
Lemongrass energizes mind and spirit

Poached barracuda mille-feuille Rp130.000++
Citrus, microgreens, pickled salak and cinnamon sauce
Rich in protein and iron, strengthens immunity while the salak is high in fiber

Flowerless chocolate cake Rp65.000++
Lavender sorbet and lemon caviar
Soothes and moistens the throat, chocolate is therapeutic to the stomach
Lavender is renowned for its ability to induce sleep and relaxation

Visitors have long dreamed of being able to bottle the fragrance of Bali to take home with them. Now you can, by creating your own exclusive perfume at the L’Atelier Parfums & Creations studio at AYANA. This workshop, the only one of its kind in Indonesia, follows traditional French processes for creating perfumes unique to each guest, suited to individual personality types.

There are some 45 different essences, fragrances and raw materials with which to create your own blend. These include the most popular choice, frangipani, as well as lavender, jasmine, citronella, coffee, cempaka, vanilla, clove, wood and even civet, the cat-like creature whose droppings make the world’s most expensive coffee: Kopi Luwak. The children’s range includes fun scents such as bubblegum, strawberry, chocolate, and the added visual excitement of glitter.

The first step in making your own perfume is to answer a short questionnaire which will determine which personality traits you possess: Are you Different/Eccentric, Sensual, Romantic, Vivifying, Dynamic, Mysterious, Exotic, Masculine or Discreet? The results will point towards three of these adjectives (eg. Different/Eccentric, Dynamic and Discreet), which in turn correspond to specific essences.

The on-site perfumer will suggest fragrances matching your survey results and give you three small ‘test’ vials in which to make different blends. As you create the blends, you record the ingredients on ‘formula sheets’. You then select your favorite and the perfumer will present it in a 30mL bottle with a L’Atelier label inside a sleek leather travel case for you to take home with you. Those who complete the Theory and Perfume-Making Workshop will also receive a L’Atelier ‘Diploma’ Certificate.

Workshops are open to guests staying at AYANA as well as those visiting from outside the resort. There are four different workshops to choose from: Perfumery theory and perfume making workshop (2 hours); Perfume making workshop (45 minutes); Couple’s package (45 minutes); Children’s perfume-making Workshop (1 hour).

A nice memento of your time in Bali!

Wow, what an exciting week! We had American Idol winner Lee DeWyze with us this week, and he performed for 400 people at a private event last night – just another day in the office!

His performance was part of a Fox International Channels Gala Dinner, during the 2011 Asia-Pacific Pay-TV Operators Summit held at AYANA. Being one of the organizers of the summit (as part of our Conference & Catering Service Department), I was lucky enough to see Lee’s performance. It was magical! He stood on a small stage on the cliff-edge, against the ocean backdrop, with a guitar and supported by a pianist, and performed nine songs including two covers (‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon and ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John) and seven original tracks from his new album, Live It Up.

He said he hoped his next visit to Bali would be to perform at the Rock Bar. “I’m not just saying this, but this resort and Bali itself, is the coolest place I’ve ever been. AYANA is definitely the nicest place I’ve ever stayed,” he said. “Of all the places I’ve been on this tour, this is my favorite and I plan to come back very soon. I’d love to perform at the Rock Bar.”

Watch this space!

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!

We are all still drying off after annual training with a Thermes Marins Hydrotherapy trainer this month! Nine of our therapists took part in 6 days of intensive training to review techniques, skills, products and facilities for our hydrotherapy treatments, including Underwater Massage, Aqua Exercise, Sea Breeze Massage and Oceanic Ritual package (my personal favorite). The trainer, who is based at Thermes Marins headquarters in St Malo, France – nice spot to be living but then Bali’s not too bad either! – also checked and approved the temperature and water quality in the Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool, which contains 700 million liters of seawater pumped in from the Indian Ocean. Everybody raves about Rock Bar, but personally I think sunset in the Aquatonic Pool is not-to-be-missed ;-) It’s even better if you follow it up with a Rock Bar cocktail afterwards – when the crowds have died down a bit and you can enjoy your beverage under a star-lit sky listening to the waves of the spot-lit ocean. That’s why we call this package the Perfectonic! Sundowner anyone?

PS – Happy Second Anniversary for AYANA! It’s now been 2 years since we rebranded as an independent resort. Another reason to celebrate :-)