Aptly named after ‘a place of refuge’ in Sanskrit, Ayana Resort and Spa Bali is perched on limestone cliffs above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western peninsula.
The expansive resort includes 78 freestanding private villas and a 290-room hotel set amidst lush tropical gardens. Drawing on Bali’s rich cultural heritage, the resort embodies the intimacy, personal touches and warm hospitality of a boutique property, with the unrivaled facilities of a world-class resort. Enjoying majestic views across Bali’s dramatic west coast and as far as sacred Mount Agung, its secluded location is complemented by its own white-sand beach, yet it is just 15 minutes from Bali’s airport.
The resort’s design harmoniously blends traditional Balinese architecture and décor with the latest in modern luxury. Tile and alang-alang thatched roofing, distinctive Balinese doors, limestone carvings and a selection of Indonesian arts and antiques complement large marble bathrooms, plush bedrooms and private balconies. The spacious villas include private plunge pools and swim-up relaxation gazebos set within traditional walled courtyard gardens for maximum privacy.
Since Ayana rebranded in April 2009 there has been a series of upgrades to Ayana’s restaurants and lounges. The first, in July 2009, was the opening of Bali’s most spectacular sunset venue, the Rock Bar, perched 14 meters above the ocean on a rocky outcrop at the base of towering cliffs
Recently, the resort launched an extension of the successful Rock Bar, to meet demand both from guests staying at the resort and those visiting from outside to experience the iconic venue’s breathtaking views and world-class entertainment.
The extension includes new ocean-front viewing platforms which add another 75 seats to the venue, alongside a second service bar and expanded kitchen and bathroom facilities. The resort is also upgrading the inclinator, to enable increased capacity for the short trip down the cliff-face to the bar and nearby Kisik seafood restaurant.
It has also added a new Rock Bar Merchandise Boutique to meet demand for signature Rock Bar branded attire and accessories.
The extension reflects the same minimalist design as the original bar, created by Japan’s Yasuhiro Koichi to emphasize the natural beauty and layout of the rocky outcrop on AYANA’s Kisik Beach. All seats and day-beds provide uninterrupted views of the ocean and coastline, while a new DJ booth provides an elevated position
Ayana’s Damar Terrace restaurant has also had extensive renovations by Yasuhiro Koichi, the acclaimed Japanese designer behind the Rock Bar.
Koichi, whose company Design Studio SPIN has created some of Asia’s most iconic bars and restaurants, combined comfort with modern Asian decor for relaxed all-day dining at Damar Terrace. His trademark style is reflected in the combination of traditional materials, motifs and colors, set off by cutting-edge lighting and clean modern lines softened by tranquil lotus ponds.
The central thatch-roofed bale (open-air gazebo) features a large carved wooden dragon suspended dramatically above a bar made from recycled ship wood, giving it a rustic, cozy edge. Another bale
extends out over the pond with plush day-beds that almost appear to
float. Wooden partitions separate each day-bed, providing an intimate ambience while guests watch the colorful koi fish dart beneath lotus plants lit up by dozens of floating candles at night.
The beautiful glass lamps illuminating the restaurant were designed by Japanese glass artist Seiki Torige, who also created the bar using ‘kayu besi’ or ‘iron wood’ from an old Indonesian ship. Originally the hull of a wooden boat more than 50 meters in length, Seiki found this wood in a remote village in South Sulawesi. As its name suggests, iron wood is extremely hard and sinks in water like iron; according to legend, it also has the power to protect its passengers. It has been used in traditional Indonesian boatbuilding since ancient times.
Ayana’s Padi, previously the resort’s Thai restaurant, has been completely renovated and expanded, and its dinner menu relaunched with an ‘Asian Spice’ concept offering Indian, Indonesian and Thai cuisine.
Comprising four open-air, thatch-roofed pavilions, Padi’s dining area has been expanded to cater for up to 225 guests at any one time. It now features a magnificent open ‘hot’ kitchen where guests can watch native Indonesian, Indian and Thai chefs working alongside each other with fiery flair and fast-paced action, to prepare dishes from their homeland for the new pan-Asian dinner menu.
Padi’s design features a new entrance with a covered walkway adorned with Indonesian artworks, including a Balinese wood carving believed to emit positive energy to everyone entering the restaurant. Inside, Indonesian heritage remains the main theme of the décor, with traditional textiles, magnificent wood carvings, and a thatch-roofed ceiling featuring an original painting from a Klungkung village, which depicts a scene from the Ramayana epic. Large lanterns suspended from the ceiling provide an art deco touch.
Padi now also offers private air-conditioned dining, with two dining areas on either side of the open kitchen that can be closed for up to 10 guests each, in a setting reminiscent of a cocoon. When the folding doors to each room are fully closed, guests are completely surrounded by wooden ‘bee hive’ door panels and sea-shell walls and ceilings, creating a unique and cozy venue. The dining tables are equipped with built-in hot-plates to cater for ‘live’ cooking by guests and chefs.
Meanwhile, Ayana’s banquet and conferencing facilities have also been enhanced, with a complete refurbishment and technology upgrade to the Ballroom. This includes a motorized projection screen available literally at the press of a button, an integrated sound system to enable meeting organizers to transmit both video and audio between different rooms, and central microphone system.
With an area of 595sqm (6,405sqf), the Ballroom has capacity for more than 500 people. It can be divided into separate areas depending on individual group requirements, and there are six additional meeting rooms of various sizes throughout the resort.
The renovation of the Ballroom included repainting and refurbishing the entire space with natural honey and mahogany tones. The marble floors were polished, the walls painted, the partition walls re-covered, the plaster doors replaced by carved wooden doors, the carpet replaced, and new drapes installed.