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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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!

2. Temples
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.

3.Jenggala Ceramics
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.

4. Surfing
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 guest.relations@ayanaresort.com

The ‘dry’ season from April to September is usually the busiest time in Bali, thanks to the perfect blue-sky days, the excellent conditions on the west coast’s surf spots, and the lack of torrential downpours. For those visiting from the southern hemisphere, it means escaping the cold of their winter season, for sun-kissed skin that lingers with the scent of salt. The endless summer in Bali is indeed a wonderful time to visit the island.

But, what happens to Bali during the monsoon season? Here are some considerations, before you black-out the October to March ‘wet’ season. It actually has its own benefits!

Less crowded in the busy tourist areas, means no need to reserve that iconic restaurant or bar in advance, you can normally just walk-in without being put on a waiting list! And it is faster to get around the island too.

Less pricey for low season! Many airlines and accommodations offer lower rates and special promotions (excluding the busy Christmas and New Year period, and Chinese New Year)

Less guilt because the wet season is when some of the most delicious Bali fruits are at their best, so you will be sure to be eating healthy and enjoying every mouthful! Savor the ripe flavors of Mangosteen, Avocado, Kiwi and the snake-skin Salak - and you will have no excuse to be weighed down by the calories of the famous Babi Guling!

Less heat, which is nice for those who prefer to avoid too much UV exposure. The rain, which is often just a passing shower that clears to blue sky, freshens the air and nourishes the blossoming forest and flowers on our hill – and is perfect for sleep-ins!

Less rush to catch the mighty Bali sun, as it rises around 06:18 – 06:23 and sets around 18:40 – 18:47 at this time of the year, which is later than during the dry season. The sunset looks different to than usual due to the clouds; it appears as various shades of color palette.

Sunset from Rock Bar, as captured by @chandrasenadipa, @sky_rocket, @kimii30 on Instagram

Less queueing, for example to Rock Bar if you’re not staying at AYANA and RIMBA (in-house guests enjoy Priority Access to skip the queue anyway rain, hail or shine). But just make sure you check the weather before making the trip out to Rock Bar, as if it is raining, we have to take cover, while our sister UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant provides a sheltered venue with a rooftop pool and stunning views!

And what’s more, you get to hum that song with a glorious feeling, while strolling through Bali with a happy refrain, just singing in the rain!

We in Bali are very lucky that every day we are able to witness the rotation of the Earth in all its beauty – especially that golden time of twilight as the sun sets to dusk. From intense oranges and reds during the ‘dry’ season (April through October) to pastel pinks and violets during the monsoon season, all the colors of the rainbow cross the sky.

Here in Jimbaran, nature cannot be more kind to us as it presents Bali’s best sunsets along with geological diversity from the tranquil bay to the dramatic cliffs, the rolling hills to lush gardens. Here are our recommended spots to treat your eyes:

Rock Bar
A wise man said there are plenty of ways to go to Rome. Now here are few ways to go to Rock Bar: avoid the inclinator queue by stay in-house at AYANA Resort and Spa or RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA, or even better, take advantage of the exclusive Villa benefits to reserve your seat at the top bar.

Kisik Jetty
You cannot get any closer to the sunset than on this 30-meter pier stretching out from the coast. While the jetty is only for private dining and is most popular for special occasions (the kind that get an ecstatic ‘Yes’ answer!), the Kisik Seafood Bar & Grill offers another beach-front venue with a view of the sunset over the jetty in action.

Sami Sami Bar
Cliff-top views right above Rock Bar. If you have come from outside the resort and face the queue to Rock Bar, this is an easy option to still catch the sunset!

UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
It is usually glamorous city lights that you see from rooftop venue, but at UNIQUE, we present sunset across the forest. Yes, a view like no other.

Warung Kubu
Let’s call this a special present from the mighty Indian Ocean, shall we? Offering a chilled-out tranquil ambiance, Warung Kubu is located on the cliff-top above our private Kubu Beach. It can be reached by the resort’s complimentary shuttle tram, exclusively for in-house guests, and serves some mean cocktails, fresh coconut as well as traditional dishes like satays.

The Villas at AYANA Resort
Here at your newly-renovated private pool villa, snuggle on the daybed or dip in the pool until the sun swaps places with the stars, For an extra special treat, enjoy a romantic dinner served by a butler in your villa garden.

SKY
Sunset as the backdrop to the perfect ‘I do’. Enough said.

AYANA RIMBA Team

The combined forces of AYANA and RIMBA’s culinary team stole the show at Bali’s 8th Salon Culinaire Competition, taking home 10 awards from the event. Attended by thousands of people from Bali’s tourism sector and over 800 exhibiting companies from 40 countries, the competition was part of the Food, Hotel, and Tourism Expo held from 6 – 8 March 2014.

AYANA and RIMBA’s Culinary and Food & Beverage Service teams showed their mojo withan outstanding display of talent from the kitchen to the table. Competing against chefs from other 5-star Bali hotels, they won two individual awards, three individual medals, as well as five medals in the new team-category competition, Dewata Gastronomic Challenge and Wine Pairing, which scores each hotelon a 3-course menu with wine pairing and table set-up.

Congratulations to all team members on their outstanding achievement!

Individual Winners:
1. Rio Phillipus Ginting (UNIQUE Rooftop Bar) won Diploma Award for Individual Hot Cooking Meat for
“Crusted Strip Loin with Butternut Puree, Glazed Vegetable Beetroot, Foie Gras Veloute, and Yuzu Pepper Sauce”
2. Ida Bagus Adi Pratama (To’ge Restaurant) won Diploma Award for Individual Hot Cooking Meat for “Pan Roasted Beef Sirloin Steak with Sweet Purple Potato Puree and Thyme Reduction”
3. Putu Gede Harry Pramana (To’ge Restaurant) won Bronze Medal for Individual Hot Cooking Meat for “Roasted Fillet Harvey Beef Striploin, Crusted Black Truffle Broccoli with Onion Marmalade, Pumpkin Mousse and Honey Glazed Baby Vegetables, Butter Foie Gras and Thyme Zoe”
4. Dhani Iskandar (Sami Sami Restaurant) won Silver Medal for Individual Hot Cooking Fish for “Barramundi with Spicy Crab Crust on Light Sauce of Lemongrass, Micro Herbs, Spinach Tortellini and Clams”
5. I Made Erik Darmawan (AYANA Pastry) won Bronze Medal for Chocolate Pastry Showpiece and Cake for “Tulips Chocolate Showpiece and Black Pepper Chocolate Cake”

Dewata Gastronomic Challenge and Wine Pairing team won:
- Gold Medal for Best Main Course “Duo of Tokusen Grade 9+ Beef Tenderloin & Knuckle with Butternut Pumpkin and Brie Cheese Torte, Beetroot Mousse, and Onion Confit”
- Bronze Medal for Best Service
- Silver Medal for Best Creative Table Set Up with “Winter Wonderland” Theme

Winter Wonderland Table Set-Up

- Silver Medal for 3-Course Gastronomic Menu:
Appetizer: Foie Gras Terrine on Brioche with Raspberry Jelly, Spiced Pecan, Fruit Mustand, Candied Zest and Poached Apple
Main Course: Duo of Tokusen Grade 9+ Wagyu Beef Cheek & Knuckle with Butternut Pumpkin and Brie Cheese Torte, Beetroot Mousse and Onion Confit
Dessert: Valrhona Chocolate Fondant with Strawberry Parfait, Feuilletine and Candied Pistachio, Blueberry Compote and Milk Sorbet
- Gold Medal for Best Team Second Runner Up

Foie Gras Terrine on Brioche with Raspberry Jelly, Spiced Pecan, Fruit Mustard, Candied Zest and Poached Apple

Duo of Tokusen Grade 9+ Wagyu Beef Cheek & Knuckle with Butternut Pumpkin and Brie Cheese Torte, Beetroot Mousse, and Onion Confit

Valrhona Chocolate Fondant with Strawberry Parfait, Feuilletine and Candied Pistachio, Blueberry Compote and Milk Sorbet

Congratulations to the Dewata team members:

- Culinary
1. Patrick David Ramon (To’ge Restaurant) as Team Leader
2. Irma Anindita (RIMBA Garde Manger) for the Appetizer
3. I Ketut Juliarta (Dava Restaurant) for the Main Course
4. Tan Rio Wiyanto (RIMBA Pastry) for the Dessert

- Service and Table Set Up
1. Gede Budi Umbara (Banquet/Events) as Team Leader
2. Ngakan Made Artana Yasa (Padi Restaurant) as Sommelier
3. Putu Gede Andika Udiana (Banquet/Events) as Waiter
4. Ni Nyoman Juliani (Rock Bar) as Waitress

D’Agisna Ramdhani (known as Dadan) has traveled the world working for cruise liners and resorts from Africa to Australia, the Middle East, Philippines and his native Indonesia. Some of his most memorable experiences include building an underwater wedding chapel in Vanuatu. As AYANA’s new Beverage Manager, Dadan is responsible for all beverage operations including at the iconic Rock Bar where he has introduced new signature cocktails, and the Martini Bar adjacent to Dava which has launched a new 101 Martinis menu. No scuba weddings but still a close connection to the ocean!

AYANA: How long have you been at AYANA?

DADAN: Just three months now.

A: Where are you from?

D: Bandung, West Java, about two hours from Jakarta if you drive fast.

A: We heard you built an underwater wedding chapel, can you tell us about that?

D: I worked for a resort in Vanuatu where I built an underwater wedding chapel so couples could get married 15 feet (5 meters) beneath the ocean’s surface in a heart-shaped coral garden, complete with a tropical coral archway.

A: What gave you the idea for this?

D: I love the ocean, I am a certified National Geographic Diver which means we are more concerned with underwater conservation, education to local communities, respect for the sea and marine life, and not exploiting the animals that live in the sea. I thought a natural chapel made from coral would be a unique experience for guests.

A: How do they say ‘I do’?

D: The priest conducts the ceremony using scuba sign language. The wedding rings are kept inside an oyster shell and the couple shares one scuba tank with two regulators, to signify their new life together.? The couple say ‘I do’ by doing the scuba sign for ‘OK’. To announce they are husband and wife, the priest points to each of them, draws a love heart in the air with his finger and then puts his hands back together, before tracing a line across his throat to indicate ‘until death do you part’.? Then the couple takes out their regulators to kiss each other.

A: Did anyone ever do the scuba sign for an emergency exit?

D: Luckily, no (laughing).

A: What’s the biggest wedding you had there?

D: A German couple who had 15 guests and did everything underwater including signing the marriage certificate on waterproof paper. Their guests were snorkeling on the surface.

A: What brought you to AYANA?

D: It’s nice to be back home to share my training and experience with other Indonesians, and I had heard about the Rock Bar and wanted to work here. I also like to explore the dive sites around Bali.

A: Have you had a chance to do any diving since starting at AYANA?

D: Yes, at the USS Liberty ship wreck in Tulamben and a Japanese wreck in Amed on the East Coast.? But my favorite dive was a secret spot near Tulamben, where I went on my own and saw a school of 38 bumphead parrot fish as big as 20kgs, as well as the hippocampus pigmy ? a small seahorse the size of a sewing needle, and a black-tipped shark about 2.5 meters long.

A: You have introduced new cocktails at Rock Bar ? what is the concept behind them?

D: Our concept was to create refreshing drinks with local fruits, herbs and spices to add a more Balinese touch to the experience. For example the AYANA Passion features papaya (pawpaw), markissa (local passionfruit), strawberries and red pepper syrup with vodka. We are also mixing drinks the authentic way; for example our caipirinha is made with the original liquor cachaca, a Brazilian sugarcane brandy, while most places in Bali make it with rum, which is actually meant to be used for a caipirisimma.

A: Which is your favorite Rock Bar cocktail?

D: The Jimbaran Express, which has a tropical flavor with rum, chili, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir leaves and coconut. It is also available at Kisik restaurant, because it suits the seafood menu there.

A: Finally, we can’t help but ask, would you ever get married underwater and is it considered a legal wedding?

D: I would love to get married underwater but there is no underwater wedding chapel in Bali. And yes in Vanuatu it’s a civil ceremony legalized by the government, so it’s a serious commitment!

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!

Ssssshhhhhh…….