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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Sunset as the backdrop to the perfect ‘I do’. Enough said.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but forget trying to imitate his mother’s home cooking. Research shows that the best ‘love drug’ is chocolate, with just a few pieces able to affect blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, arousing excitement and alertness.
The science behind it apparently goes like this: Chocolate contains the organic compound phenylethylamine, a so-called ‘chocolate amphetamine’ as it releases dopamine and increases seratonin levels, to elevate mood and feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Phenylethylamine is also called the ‘love drug’ as it causes pulse rate to quicken, resulting in a similar feeling to falling in love. And who doesn’t love that feeling!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to see how we can sneak chocolate into the daily diet of the target of our adoration, to ensure we set the right mood. Here are few ideas for those staying with us at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, and RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA:
1. Chocolate Cigar & Port (Rock Bar)
A ‘cigar’ of chocolate mousse with marinated berries as the port on the side
2. Bourbon Choco Freeze (UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant)
An icy refreshment that somehow warms your heart with Bourbon Whisky, chocolate and vanilla ice-cream
3. Kulfi Lub Shira (Padi Restaurant)
Homemade Indian ice-cream-to-die-for with chocolate brownies
4. Sweet Bunny (To’ge Restaurant)
Caffeine and chocolate team up with Java coffee-infused rum, Bailey’s, Creme de Cacao, Kahlua and cream.
5. Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (Butler Gift)
Check-in to The Villas at AYANA Resort and enjoy this complimentary treat delivered to your private pool villa.
6. Strawberry Cheesecake (In-Room Dining)
Baked New York-style cheese cake with macerated strawberries and topped with shaved white chocolate.
7. Flourless Chocolate Cake (Spa Cafe)
Wickedly good, served with a delightful lavender ice-cream.
8. ‘Extravaganza Romantic Dinner’ (In-Villa Dining)
Enjoy a delectable private dinner served by your butler in your villa, and ending on a high note of warm Valrhona chocolate cake with cremeanglaise and raspberry sauce.
9. Ice-cream coupe (UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant)
Macerated banana, vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, strawberry sauce.
10. POD Chocolate Bar (Mini Bar Menu)
Don’t try to resist the temptation! The perfect midnight snack from your Mini Bar with the benefit of being made from organic cocoa beans grown in Bali.
Now that’s what we call a recipe for love! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our guests. Whether you get into the spirit of this day wholeheartedly or show your love in other ways, we hope to see you all with a piece of chocolate in hand in the near future! If you are looking for other ideas of how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Bali, check out our Date Night?experiences, with Rock Bar ‘Romeo & Juliet’ cocktails, Degustation Dinner at Dava, Couple’s Spa Package, and Rooftop Movie Night!
‘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.
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!
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!
This week’s blog is by Alma Desnuda frontman Tony Glaser, who tells us about the San Francisco band’s origins, spiritual practices, and community outreach work. You can catch them live at the Rock Bar every sunset from December 28 to January 3, excluding New Year’s Eve. Don’t miss them!
AYANA: What is your role in the band?
Tony: I’m the funky dude on the upright bass, singing with the other guys, and getting down with the California positivity!
AYANA: How did your Rock Bar performance come about and what appealed to you about performing in Bali??
Tony: To put it simply, us performing in Bali came from the hustle we put into our music everyday. We play everywhere, and I mean everywhere, so people see us and want to help. We met some great people one day, played for them, which lead to another thing, and another, and all of a sudden we have a tour booked in Bali and Australia! As for the appeal…umm, it’s Bali. Nuff said, ha! It’s also very spirtual and the culture is in line with our meditation and yoga practices.
AYANA: Can you tell us a little about Alma Desnuda (ie your style of music, how you got started, and where you’re going)?
Tony: Our music is a blend of sorts, acoustic soul to put it simply, but spans a wide range of styles, with vocal harmonies of conscious lyrics, funky grooves, and an appeal that makes all ages feel good. We met studying abroad in Spain, hence the Spanish name (Naked Soul), we’re headed to the top, and playing all over the world is the plan.
AYANA: What’s been the highlight of your music career so far?
Tony: I’m proud of our sincere commitment to using music as a vehicle for positive change in this world. We love to give back and it brings us a true joy, and so many highlights, Bali being a big one, as well as playing for the homeless, the neglected children, and for major venues. I had the priveledge to play for the troops in Iraq a few years back, and that was a major highlight.
AYANA: What other plans do you have while you’re in Bali (here’s an op for you to mention some of the community outreach work)?
Tony: We’re very excited to play for an orphanage in northern Bali. We asked AYANA to help us with our community outreach, especially since we raised money at our last SF show to bring out here to help give back to such a beautiful people as the Balinese, and they connected us with some children that we are stoked to play for. I hear there is some great river rafting, we’re going to surf for sure, and who doesn’t want to hang out with some monkeys?
AYANA: What’s next after Bali?
Tony: We’re off to Western Australia for a couple weeks. After that, back to the states, recording the next album, then a national college tour, then the world… with the help of our growing global community that we meet of course;)