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.
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.