JIMBARAN – BALI, 18 March 2010
– Guests of AYANA Resort and Spa Bali joined a lively parade to rouse the demons on 15 March, ahead of the annual Nyepi ‘Day of Silence’ when the island of Bali shut down for 24 hours of absolute silence.
AYANA’s Balinese Hindu staff led the parade of an ‘ogoh-ogoh’ (giant papier-mache monster doll) on the eve of Balinese New Year which is known as ‘Nyepi’ (literally translated as ‘silent day’). The doll was created over many weeks with the help of in-house guests and their children, who plastered and painted it in the image of a demon, according to tradition.
Following a Hindu blessing ceremony, the parade was accompanied by a drumming band as it made its way through the resort, stopping at major ‘cross-roads’ to run the ogoh-ogoh around in circles to confuse demons. Lively parades such as this are held on Nyepi Eve every year across Bali to ‘wake-up’ the demons, before the 24-hour period of silence when the island ‘plays dead’ in a bid to trick demons into thinking it has been abandoned, so they will go and annoy the inhabitants of another island.
“Nyepi is an interesting time to be in Bali, because in the days leading up to it, guests have the opportunity to witness many unique aspects of Balinese culture,” said AYANA’s General Manager Charles de Foucault. “These include the ‘ogoh-ogoh’ parades, which are always festive and fun, and more sedate ceremonies that whole villages turn out for. It’s a true reflection of the rich culture that makes this island such an amazing destination; there is nowhere else in the world where you can experience the unique Balinese form of Hinduism.”
Nyepi is a day of introspection when everyone in Bali must stay inside their residence and keep quiet. All shops and businesses close, 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, and no work may be done.
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 and not to leave the property. Otherwise guests are welcome to use the resort grounds and facilities as normal, while keeping noise to a minimum.
About AYANA Resort and Spa
On 1 April, 2009, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was launched as an independent hotel under the management of US-based West Paces Hotel Group. Named after a ‘place of refuge’ in Sanskrit, AYANA is perched on limestone cliffs up to 30 meters above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western peninsula. The 77-hectare property enjoys majestic views and a secluded location across its 1.3 kilometer coastline, yet is just 15 minutes from Bali’s airport. The 368 guestrooms comprise 78 private pool villas and a 290-room hotel.
Resort highlights include the 22,000sqm Thermes Marins Thalasso spa with one of the world’s largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pools and the Spa on the Rocks villas set amidst the Indian Ocean. There are five purpose-built wedding venues; the avant-garde Champa Garden for grand-scale events; four freshwater swimming pools including a children’s pool; a salt-water, infinity-edged Ocean Beach Pool at the cliff’s base, accessed via an inclinator; an 18-hole golf putting course; tennis pavilion; jogging/cycling path; fitness center; children’s center; seven boutiques; comprehensive meeting facilities and high-tech business center; and resort-wide WIFI.
About The West Paces Hotel Group
The West Paces Hotel Group based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. was founded in 2002 by Horst Schulze along with several former Ritz-Carlton executives. The principals of the company leverage unparalleled hospitality experience and a diverse track record of operating world-class hotels and resorts to create value through superior service at luxury, world-class properties and conference centers in gateway cities and high-profile resort destinations around the world.
In less than six years, West Paces has successfully launched two hotel brands, is operating 15 properties and with its Singapore based affiliates West Paces Hotel Group Asia, is on course to operate or have under contract at least 50 hotels by 2010. Co-Chairman and Founder Horst Schulze has helped reshape concepts of luxury service throughout the hospitality and service industries. As chairman of West Paces Hotel Group, he has created the unparalleled Canon service standards introduced at AYANA. For more information, visit www.westpaceshotels.com.
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