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.
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.
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.
(Photo courtessy : Femina Group and Biznet )
“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.
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.
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.
There’s just a few days to go before International Mother’s Day, this Sunday. Another excuse to give your mother the attention she deserves. Be it a simple card that says ‘I love you’, flowers, or a shawl you know she’s been eyeing. Well-Placed Insider shares a few experiences from AYANA staff on the Do’s and Don’ts of spoiling your mother.
Jusman So, Chef de Cuisine, Dava
DO: Make your Mother one of her favorite dishes. Anything she likes! Difficult? Learn from an expert. I asked my father to teach me how to make the best “popiah” (fresh spring roll famous in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia) for my Mother. She loved it and didn’t care a bit that it was a little salty!
DON’T: Reserve a table at a nice restaurant for her and ask your father to pay half of the bill. If it is a vacation to Bora Bora, it is another story.
Tressabel Hutasoit, PR & Marketing Communications Manager
DO: Have your own children make a Mother’s Day card for your mother ie their grandmother. When I was 5, I made one for my grandmother. Apparently, it was the first Mother’s Day card that Grandma Rose ever received and ever since, it has become a family tradition which she has cherished.
DON’T: Insist your children’s grandmother place the cards on the fridge. They do not need to be told so. They will do it. They will tell their bridge club about it.
Diah Wahyuni, Spa Manager
DO: Reserve your mother a full day treatment at her favorite Spa. Or treat her to one of the??Day Spa Treatments?at AYANA Spa. I once assisted a young lady who wanted to surprise her mother with a spa treat. Her mother was blown away with happiness and felt so touched.
DON’T: Enroll her at a hot yoga class nearby to your place (which is an hour drive from hers) because you can benefit from the health club’s “ask a friend to join” program.
LAST WORD: All in all, the only thing your mother needs to know is that you love and appreciate her. She needs to hear that. If not every day, then this Sunday will do.
Happy Mother’s day, Moms of every generation!
Well-Placed Insider has a tough job and it does not get much tougher than sampling the new cocktails at Rock Bar while enjoying one of Bali’s famous sunsets.
From one new elixir to another, accompanied by one of the brisk bartenders from Rock Bar Bali, the sunset on this day seems a lot prettier, or maybe, it is the drinks that make it so?
The first glass offered from the new menu is ” Rock My Love”, a mix of Vodka, Wild Tea, Lemon Juice, Blueberry, Strawberry and Fresh Rosemary which gives a sweet edge to a thick texture. A drink that gets Well-Placed Insider thinking of the perfect bachelorette party.
” Rockito” is next. It is a milder and fruity version of a Mojito with a blend of Grand Marnier, Mint Spring, Fresh Orange, Fresh Lemon, Passion Fruit Syrup and Soda.
On the third drink, ” Rock My World” , the bartender explains that it is taken from the original menu and given a new twist, now having a richer taste for those thirsty for a refreshing yet zesty drink containing Vodka, Grand Marnier, Pineapple Juice, Lemon Juice, Fresh Orange and Kaffir Leaves.
Maybe it is pre-arranged, maybe not. But the last drink is a fine closure for the tough task that day. It is trulya lady’s must try ” Lady Long Island” which is a novel version of a Long Island Iced Tea with Vodka, Dry Gin, Light Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, Lime Juice and Cranberry Juice. The drink gets Well-Placed Insider hooked at the first sip!
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.