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.
Whether if you are looking for some kind of healing, a cultural awakening, a repeat of movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or just soaking up the sun, sand and pampering on this tropical island, Bali offers it all. In this blog, we highlight Jimbaran, a very special place where visitors get to witness the extraordinary beauty of ordinary Balinese everyday life. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Jimbaran :
1. Jimbaran Fish Market
Get up early one morning and head to the village’s main beach to see the local fishermen tether their boats and bring their fresh catches from the sea. The people here still live the traditional life of this historic fishing village, and you can go by hotel car or metered taxi, or cycle if you are feeling active!
Every temple is different in Bali, with their own distinguished history from one to another. Jimbaran is easily accessible to Pura Luhur Uluwatu otherwise known as Uluwatu Temple, which is located on the southwestern tip of the island, perched on the cliff-top of a high cliff overlooking the famous Uluwatu surf break. To reachthis sacred temple, you can go by hotel car or metered taxi, it will take 25-35 minutes. Another nearby temple is Pura Ulun Siwi which is a 10 minute drive away, and is very close to the large fruit and vegetable markets in the center of Kedonganan village. Or, wander over to RIMBA’s temple located opposite the car park; ask one of our staff to accompany you, and we will be happy to explain about the various rituals of daily life, and assist you with a blessing ceremony at our temple.
Located just 5 minutes’ drive from the resort, this world-class gallery has been creating gorgeous handcrafted ceramics and glassware for over 35 years. Browse the large showroom at their Jimbaran headquarters, or take a class in their workshop and create your own designer piece of ceramics to take home. Jenggala’s Make-and-Paint-a-Pot is available daily from 9am to 5pm. Siutable for children and adults. There is also a cafe inside the gallery.
Bali is reowned for its surfing, and a lot of the best breaks are located along the southern peninsula nearby Jimbaran. Intermediate level surfers may want to try toro-toro reef near the right side of the Airport. Advanced surfers go to Balangan, Padang-Padang, Bingin or Uluwatu, which are between 20-30 minutes from the resort.
For more information on activities in and around Jimbaran, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of our guests return to their homes with fond memories of Bali, of the people they met here and the friends they made for life. Amongst those friends, our cuddly Golden Retriever, Laura is perhaps the most popular! Born at the resort on 25 August 2007, Laura joined the extended family and from the age of 8 months old started training for our K9 security squad. The training involved a lot of discipline and techniques to sharpen her senses to detect explosive materials. An energetic and enthusiastic student, she passed the course and went on to a successful career, welcoming our guests and employees at the main entrance and screening visitors’ cars and bags to ensure the security and safety of all.
But her work went beyond security; in 2012, she created a lifelong memory for a couple who got married at Tresna Chapel. Upon arriving at the resort for their wedding, the couple met Laura and she looked so much like their own Golden Retriever named Pepsi (who could not travel to Bali for the wedding) that the bride arranged for Laura to attend their wedding. It was a complete surprise to the groom, to see Laura walking down the aisle!
However, after 8 years of diligent work, Laura reached the age of retirement and it was time to find her a new home. Our Chief Leader of Security, Pak Andreas – who was Laura’s guarding partner since she was a puppy – adopter her last month in February 2015, and loves her like his own child.
“Laura is like family to us, I never put her in a cage,” said Pak Andreas. “I let her interact with my family even with my little jealous Chihuahua, Fixie, and I take her for a walk every morning or afternoon, whenever I have time.”
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali has 25 dogs in our K9 squad, including Dobermans, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. We started to breed them in 2005. Each of our pawed friends is precious to us, and part of our family. We are grateful to all for their dedicated years safeguarding us and our guests. Enjoy your well-earned retirement, Laura!
Hi 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.
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!
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 :-)
March 5 is Balinese New Year, otherwise known as Nyepi, or the ‘Day of Silence’. This is a very important date on our Balinese Hindu calendar, as it involves an island-wide purification. Some tourists avoid Bali at Nyepi time because of the restrictions placed on movement around the island during the 24-hours of silence, but I think it is a fantastic time to be here, an opportunity to experience many colorful festivals and ceremonies and learn a lot about our culture.
Nyepi is marked by 24 hours of silence, a day of introspection when everyone in Bali must stay inside their residence and keep quiet. No vehicle or machinery is allowed to operate (which also means Bali airport closes down on this day each year), no fire or electricity may be used, no work may be done. All shops and businesses will close and the whole island will literally ‘play dead’ from dawn on March 5 until dawn on March 6. The idea is that the demons who inhabit Bali will be fooled into thinking the island has been abandoned, and will go elsewhere, like Lombok or Java. A little sneaky of us perhaps!
For tourists, the rules are more relaxed, as long as you do not leave your hotel. AYANA minimizes use of lighting and power, halts its shuttle service, and asks guests not to wander around outside or leave the property. However, otherwise guests are welcome to use the resort grounds and facilities as normal, while keeping noise to a minimum.?
It is an interesting time to be in Bali, because in the days leading up to Nyepi, you will have the opportunity to witness some unique aspects of Balinese culture. These include the preparation and parade of ‘ogoh-ogoh’, large papier mache statues of various things, ranging from skeletons to monsters.
The night before Nyepi, you will see villagers all over the island parading ‘ogoh-ogoh’ through the streets and making a lot of noise with a marching rhythm band, as they spin the monsters around in circles. This is like the last ‘hurrah’ before the island shuts down on the following day, for the period of silence.
At AYANA, our Guest Activities team is busy creating two ogoh-ogoh dolls: one is a 2.5-meter-high figure of Hanoman, the famed monkey general, fighting a demon, while the second is a smaller 1.5-meter-high figure specially created for children. Tomorrow on Nyepi Eve, a priest will bless the ogoh-ogoh dolls and then we will parade them together with our guests, through the resort grounds, as we try to wake up the demons before we go to bed and ‘play dead’ for 24-hours. Hopefully our trick works and we can rid Bali of any evil spirits lurking about!
Hi everyone, I’m pleased to join the AYANA team as Chef de Cuisine at Dava restaurant. I visited Bali once before and it is a dream come true to have the opportunity to work on this island, with so much fresh produce and so many creative and skilled people. Dava has always had a stellar reputation since it opened in 2005, but I will be “reinventing” the concept as an “innovative steak and seafood restaurant”. I haven’t stopped for breath since arriving but I’m loving it!
My first major responsibility – apart from launching the new a la carte and tasting menus – will be overseeing our Valentine’s Day dinner at Dava. This is such an important evening for couples, and we’ve prepared a special menu that evokes sensuality and romance. Hope you can join us!
Cinnamon Smoked Pumpkin
Cured Duck, Spicy Maple Dressing, Apples and Arugula
Braised Oxtail Omelet
Blue Crab Bisque, Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
Lobster and Crispy Pork Belly
Kimchi Sauce, Fiddlehead Ferns, Lemon Basil
Pan Roasted Red Mullet
Garlic Emulsion, Coco Beans, Red Peppers and Cilantro
Australian Wagyu Filet
Toasted Candlenuts, Pickled Radish, Watercress Sauce
Red Velvet Fondant
Milk Ice Cream and Strawberry Pudding
Speaking of love, people always ask me how I got into cooking. It was while I was working at a ski resort back home in the USA. I was 17 and I was assigned to banquet set-up, but I decided I wanted to wear a tall, white hat. Now I never wear a hat, it falls off going in and out of coolers and is very inconvenient. But I’ve never lost my passion for cooking!
There are so many fantastic restaurants here and I want to do something completely different with Dava. My menu draws on the concept of a classic steakhouse offering the best cuts of meats paired with your choice of gourmet sauces and sides. But we’re taking it upscale with a modern twist, offering seafood dishes, small touches of molecular gastronomy in the mushroom gelee and horseradish espuma for example, use of local flavors and ingredients, and a larger selection of meats than a traditional steakhouse.
All meats and seafood are prepared using the sous-vide (French for ‘under vacuum’) technique preferred by the world’s best chefs – perhaps most famously, Paul Bocuse, Michael Mina and Joel Robuchon. Sous-vide maintains the integrity of the ingredients and ensures even, slow cooking for full flavor, by sealing the meat or seafood in an airtight plastic bag in a water bath and cooking it at low temperatures for many hours. At Dava, the Braised Short Ribs are cooked for more than 24 hours, while the Angus Beef Fillet is cooked for two hours. The results are amazing. I have also created a new Tasting Menu for more adventurous guests, with a choice of 3, 4 or 5 courses. This is my play area, where I get to do the really fun things.
Before Bali I was based in Doha, Qatar, where I was Chef de Cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton’s La Mer French restaurant. Qatar was an extremely interesting and inspiring experience. It is a lot more conservative than Bali – the only places people can drink alcohol are in hotel bars and private clubs and the local people are not allowed in them, which makes the social scene quite different. Bali is much more relaxed and the climate and atmosphere of a tropical island wash over you like a cool breeze.
Hope to see you here soon :)
At 21, Made Sekarini (Sekar) had never set foot outside of Bali, did not have a passport and had never stayed at a hotel or even been on holiday. So when she was told that she’d been selected as AYANA’s Top Achiever for 2010 and had won an all-expenses-paid trip to Hong Kong, it was a dream come true. It was also proof that determination and hard work can overcome every obstacle to pull a young girl out of the rice fields and into a promising career in the hotel industry. Here is her inspiring story, as recorded with the help of a translator.
My name is Sekarini, my friends call me Sekar. My parents are rice farmers in North Bali, in the former capital, Singaraja, around 3.5 hours by road from AYANA. The views are beautiful but there are not many opportunities for work outside of farming, in my village. Rice farmers make barely enough to eat and clothe themselves, and my parents struggled to educate me and my four younger brothers.
After High School, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to university but my uncle in Denpasar offered to sponsor my education. I left my home and moved south to live with him. I worked hard and finished top of my class, graduating with a Diploma in Tourism.
I joined AYANA on an apprenticeship as a guest relations staff member. I loved the job and meeting all of our guests, helping them in any way I could. I was promoted to a full-time permanent position in October 2010, as a hostess at Ocean Beach Pool and Kisik Restaurant.
I was very surprised a couple of months later, when I received the news that management had selected me as AYANA’s Top Achiever. I was just working, doing my job to assist our guests in any way possible. I did not consider myself any better than anybody else working at AYANA, but I guess I am just more lucky.
When Pak Charles and Ibu Cynthia (General Manager and Human Resources Director) told me I was going to Hong Kong, I thought they were kidding, I didn’t believe it. I was so happy. This was my first trip out of Indonesia, even out of Bali. I had never been on an aeroplane before or stayed in a hotel. I loved it.
I spent three nights at a luxury 700-room high-rise hotel in Hong Kong. With a local guide, I went to Disney Land and met Mickey Mouse and rode a roller-coaster, went shopping at the markets and did a day trip to Macau to see the temples and casino resorts.
I had never seen such tall buildings like in Hong Kong and the weather was quite cold. No snow but cold. There were so many businesspeople and not many motorcycles, mostly cars and buses. It was very interesting but this experience made me realize how lucky we are in Bali.
I am hoping my next trip will be to Japan. I can speak, read and write Japanese. But first, I want to go back to university part-time using the money I have saved from working at AYANA, to get a higher level Diploma.
I never had a dream like this before because I could never afford it and my parents have to support my four younger brothers. But now I believe anything is possible. Thank you very much to AYANA guests, because they make my job very rewarding and are so kind to me. I feel very lucky.
Welcome to our new blog, the AYANA Zeitgeist! We believe Zeitgeist is the perfect description for our blog, as we aim to keep you informed about the latest news, events, promotions and inside tips to ensure you enjoy the spirit of every moment at AYANA.
In today’s world, escaping for some much-needed R&R is a rare treat and we consider it a privilege when guests choose AYANA as their sanctuary. By engaging more closely with you, we can further enhance the experience for every guest and allow you to enjoy every minute of your Bali holiday to the fullest.
To get started, we have asked our Villa Manager Veby to share some of her favorite examples of how AYANA’s butlers have gone beyond the call of our 24 Canon service standards, to provide unparalleled service for our guests. Keep an eye out for Veby’s post in the next few days, she has some very interesting stories to tell!
In the meantime, you may like to subscribe to this blog via RSS feed, and keep up to date with happenings at AYANA on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Keeping the Zeitgeist,
The AYANA team