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Volume 64 sep/oct/nov 2019

IDR100,000 : S$11 : HK$60 : A$10 : â‚Ź6

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Ti m e t o re co nnect w i th n at ure , w i th your l oved o nes, a n d most impo r tantly wi th yo ur s elf. #A reYou R eadyToWa n der

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4 & 6 September 2019

ROMY BLACK 14 September 2019

GLOW 21 & 22 September 2019

ALFREDO 28 September 2019

MIMPI ft. KID FIESTA 23 & 26 October 2019

DAVE MAYER 6 & 10 November 2019

HUSKY 9 November 2019



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A culinary journey. Discover our eight-course degustation menu in an elegant 1920s inspired dining hall and cocktail bar. Set amid a lush jungle valley, just a stone’s throw from the centre of Ubud, we invite you to experience Bali’s most unique fine-dining destination. |


Volume sixty FOUR SEP/OCT/NOV 2019

The Yak Magazine Sophie Digby, Nigel Simmonds, Agustina Ardie, Michelle Lamb Creative Director Stuart Sullivan Sales & Marketing Shanty Wijaya, Amik Suhartin Production Manager Lia Maharani Graphic Designers Irawan Zuhri, Ida Bagus Adi Accounting Julia Rulianti, Istiana Distribution Made Marjana, Putu Widi Susanto, Gede Swastika, Made Rakayasa, Kadek Eri Publisher PT. L.I.P Licence AHU/47558/AH/01/01/2011

on the Cover: INK by Oscar Munar. model: helen.

Advertising Enquiries Tel: (+62 361) 766 539, 0851 0043 1804, 0851 0043 1805, 0851 0043 1796 Snail Mail & Walk Ins The Yak Magazine, Kompleks Perkantoran Simpang Siur Square, Jl. Setia Budi, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia

OK you know the drill. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced electronically or otherwise without prior permission from the Publisher. Opinions expressed are those of the authors not the Publisher. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising that does not comply with the magazine's design criteria. The Yak will not be held responsible for copyright infringements on images supplied directly by advertisers and/or contributors. Check us out online, we’re awesome (if we do say so ourselves). Peace.

Magazine printed by Gramedia Outdoor assets by Supaprint © PT Luxury In Print

The Yak Magazine


The Yak’s monthly e-newsletter is sent to 25,000 mailboxes every month.

Archives, additional content and more at

The Yak App – Bali's best listings guide – is available from the App Store and Google Play.

A contemporary retreat made by artisans at Desa Potato Head

Katamama is a boutique hotel made by artisans in the upscale Seminyak region of Bali. Featuring 57 individually designed suites overlooking the Indian Ocean, every detail has been handmade or handpicked using Indonesia’s centuries-old traditions interpreted in a modern and

Jl. Petitenget 51B, Seminyak Bali 80361, Indonesia T : +62 (361) 302 9999 E : katamama_hotel

timeless context. All suites boast outdoor spaces, whether


balconies, secluded gardens, or individual pools.


contents 20



Diary Days


Sharing Is Caring


News From Your World


Stuff Of Life


Alain Robert


Angie Anggoro

Yakety yak

dates with destiny

one world

new in the hood

out of the box



72 16


Lady Flic


Irvine Welsh


Pete Tong


Jehan Khaleda


Robert Ian Bonnick





sounds around






culture vulture







yak fashion


Lombok Surfari


Aaron Gekoski


Tanaman at Katamama





76 64


culture vulture

oral pleasures

Big six

taken not stirred


contents Omnibus, page 96: if music be the food of love . . . play on


Manarai Mixology


Swim Up Bars


Private Beaches

taken not stirred






Apurva Kempinski


ministry of interiors

venting in a villa

ministry of interiors

Capella Ubud

52 18


Samsara Ubud


Montigo Resorts


Batu Karang Lembongan

venting in a villa

venting in a villa

over the edge


Jasri Bay


Scar Reef


over the edge

over the edge

ministry of exteriors

SHL Asia



Mason Adventures


Glo Day Spa


Bali Island School


Client Clobber


What’s What






fashion freestyle

ad directory

astro yak

History Repeating


Ikigai (ee-key-guy) – Japanese for ‘the reason we get up in the morning’ aka ‘your purpose in life’ or ‘what lights you up inside’ … A few times the lights may dim, however doing some light Japanese or Hof breathwork fans the flames for us at The Yak and reignites our passions to once again burn bright. After all, we are Bali’s best collective window, and we are privileged to be able to reflect the creativity all those gorgeous, inspired souls whose ikigai is strong and palpable. In this issue, as in all our issues, we are thrilled to introduce you to our One World, a page where we highlight altruistic people creating noble charitable foundations to help the underprivileged of this world. It is not only a duty it is a joy and an honour – and for this issue please support http://www.wadahfoundation. To run you quickly through this our 64th offering to date . . . our New in the Hood presents to you all those who have just started their source of ikigai, followed by Out of the Box, which is our nod to those that create with fervor and either sell here on Bali or via the ether, available everywhere! This last quarter of 2019, please meet the most fascinating humans in our People features – each with an ardor and dedication that takes our breath away, read on and they will inspire you too. Starting with Alain Robert – a true Spiderman with a thirst for climbing, we then chat to stylists, DJ’s, motivational speakers and hospitality characters, each one with an urge to do better than yesterday; to share, to inspire and most of all to be themselves. Moving on from these amazing souls, we trek into some poppy fields with our first fashion spread, Equinox - where fashion, photography and visuals against a breathtaking backdrop of nature just brings out all of our force. Desire is as desire does, and this is the age of Ink. And that is where The Yak takes us in the second fashion spread, beautifully captured Oscar Munar. ‘Enshrined’ takes even more Yak fashion over the waters and north of the Equator to the Ayutthaya temple in Thailand, beautifully curated by none other than Angie Anggoro who simply has that passion for fashion. Crossing into the feminine, we gather together some of the island’s hardest working women to find out about how complicated, or not, it is to be an entrepreneur here in Bali as a member of the fairer sex; read on and get motivated. Surf’s up next, and the appetite for travel and surf knows no bounds. Ano Mac “tales” us of travels east of here, of waves, of food, of friendship. Then it is time to almost die on the inside with Our Greatest Shame, as Aaron Gekoski photographs and recounts some of the tragedies happening daily with the our inhumane use of animals as entertainment. Saving these animals from enslavement is definitely his ikigai! Time to eat and drink, as Bali’s best get creative in the kitchen or behind the bar. With our Big Six we ‘dough’ up with the island’s dedicated bakers, who turn the lowly crust into something magical and delectable. Mixologists muddle, shake and swirl behind the bar as we take you all around our beautiful playground, from swim up bars to private beaches. Brush that sand off and head into Omnia, Kempinski, Capella and Samsara where interiors and service are key, just as much as landscaping and here we meet the SHL Asia boys who are greening it up in the hills. Finally, we wind up our third magazine of the year with a dash around the country-side with Mason Adventures, obviously this needs following up with a day of pampering, ever grateful to Glo Day Spa. And having reached the end of our missive we’ll let you check out what is in store for you over the next few months with our ever-fascinating AstroYak, or did you flick to that already? I know we do! As ever, in zeal and enthusiasm, may The Yak be with you.


yakbak Dear Yak, Yours is a lovely magazine – simple and nice but full of the info that you need for a cozy lifestyle, and The Yak Awards is inspirational in bringing business people together. Well done. Emily Rina Via IG Why thank you. Dear Yak, Just to let you know that my wife Nari and I used our Yak Auctions voucher for The Anvaya hotel in Tuban last Sunday night. It was very good, great service. The place was very busy. Thanks for the opportunity to stay and for following up with them. Ian Wedding Bali All part of the service Ian! Dear Yak, We're ecstatic to see Puerta26 featured! Thank you for the article! We love your magazine! Team Puerta26 Sanur We're quite keen on your steaks as well!

Dear Yak, It’s such an honour to be featured in your business goddesses of Bali issue along with all these truly pioneering badass Valkyries of commerce and contribution and I would like to go into talking about these wonder women more when the article comes out. Special shout out though to the lovely female entrepreneur Sophie Digby for being the first and best international mag in Bali for so many years. Even 11 years ago when I moved to Bali, everyone and I mean everyone knew what was what because of The Yak Magazine. High quality printing, international standards all round. My first interview with you guys put my business on the Bali map all those years ago. It was so touching for me to experience the full circle of my journey as a business woman and Bali lover with all of you at the photo shoot. And of course thanks to the greatest lover of all things female, Nigel Simmonds. Best regards, Navia Nguyen Amo Spa Bali It's an honour to be part of such a great community, truly.

In The Lap Of: Christian Bale Two of our favourite heroes of the silver screen hit the shores of Bali this month . . . starting with none other than Thor himself Mr Chris Hemsworth who brought his particularly robust form of Aussie glamour to our beaches for a quiet surf. Followed a week or so later by the inimitable Christian Bale, who posed for pics with the elephants at Mason Adventure Park where we were able to press a copy of this organ into his hot and sweaty palms!

Seminyak’s favorite beachside seafood restaurant, Starfish Bloo combines Pan-Asian flavors with Western essences in an innovative open kitchen. From chef-curated tasting menus to à la carte sharing platters, sizzling seafood delicacies and regionally-inspired recipes, world-class cuisine awaits! For reservations +62 361 3000 106



fridge magnet fodder for the peripatetic.

Balinale International Film Festival Now in its 13th year, Balinale is the longest running and most celebrated annual film festival on the island. From September 24 to September 30, you can catch another round of fab films by established and up-and-coming indie filmmakers from Indonesia and abroad. In addition to nightly film screenings and an outdoor cinema under the stars there will be inspiring events like the Young Indonesian Film Circle, educational workshops, daily seminars with visiting filmmakers, celebrity meet and greets, international gatherings, and film premieres. Tickets are on sale now, and all proceeds benefit the educational events and free children's programmes.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Get ready to expand your horizons and be inspired at the 16th annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival taking place from October 23 to October 27. The Telegraph UK named it one of the five best literary festivals for 2019 and for good reason. Every year the event brings in thousands of thinkers, dreamers, artists and activists from around the world who gather at panel discussions, master classes, literary lunches and cultural workshops. The theme this year is Karma, so the conversations will centre around whether we truly understand the consequences of our actions and, perhaps more importantly, how best to respond to the actions of others.

Pesona Nusa Dua Fiesta You may know Nusa Dua as a tourist enclave, but come October the area will transform into a vibrant hub of arts and culture with the return of Pesona Nusa Dua Fiesta. This annual festival showcases the diversity of Indonesian culture with three days of contemporary and traditional dance performances, live concerts, food and beverage extravaganzas, and an array of parades featuring fashion, art, and Bali’s famous ogohogoh figures. Bring the whole family because there will be activities to suit all ages from cooking classes to body painting, killer jam sessions and fun games. The festival will run from October 25 to October 27 on Peninsula Island.

Herbalife Bali International Triathlon Sanur is going to be hopping on November 10 when over 2,000 athletes from 29 countries will converge on the seaside village to take part in the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon. This is the twelfth year for the ‘Triathlon for the Soul’, and as always, it offers up a thrilling course steeped in Balinese culture. The triathlon begins with a sunrise swim off Mertasari Beach, followed by a sprint down the Ngurah Rai By Pass and back to the beach, and finally a cycling race through the streets of Sanur. The roads will be fully closed to vehicles, so spectators are welcome to cheer on the participants from the sidelines.

IF YOU’RE IN MOROCCO… September 13 to September 15 — Oasis Festival (Marrakech): Party like a rock star and rejuvenate the body and soul at Oasis Festival, a unique three-day festival held at the gorgeous Fellah Resort in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Grab a cocktail and groove to house rhythms next to the pool, slip out for a massage at the serene spa, or chill out on cushions in the hookah lounge. You can also take part in daily yoga sessions, sip drinks in the champagne and cocktail bar, and indulge in creative cuisine at pop-ups by some of Marrakesh’s best restaurants. The lineup this year includes EDM talents like DJ Bone, Horse Meat Disco, and Eats Everything.

November 15 to November 24 — Oban Winter Festival: Most people lament the onset of winter, but the cheerful folks from Oban figure it’s a great excuse to throw a party. Every November, this seaside town puts on a ten-day winter festival that includes a reindeer parade, Victorian market, an ice skating rink, comedy nights, cocktail sessions, workshops for kids, and more than a few ceilidhs with music, dancing and storytelling. Every night there are different events going on that will give visitors a glimpse into the unique culture and character of West Scotland.

October 19 to October 26 — Fes Festival of Sufi Culture (Fez): You couldn’t find a better setting for one of the world’s biggest Sufi events than the medieval medina in Morocco’s spiritual and cultural capital of Fez. Now in its twelfth year, the Fes Festival of Sufi Culture was created to showcase the artistic, intellectual and spiritual wealth of Sufi culture and promote intercultural dialogue. For those who don’t know, Sufism is an esoteric branch of Islam that focuses on mysticism. The festival is open to people of all faiths and includes round table discussions, traditional dances by whirling dervishes, poetry readings and concerts. IF YOU’RE IN SCOTLAND… November 9 — Glasgow’s Whisky Festival: Celebrate Scotland’s most famous tipple in the country’s biggest city at Glasgow’s Whisky Festival. The focus is on local distilleries and independent bottlers close to Glasgow, but you’ll also find whiskies from all over Scotland, as well as rums, gins and other spirits. Whisky lovers can visit over 70 stalls offering elixirs from exhibitors like 1770 Glasgow Single Malt Whisky, Bruichladdich, Glen Moray and Kilkerran. Members of Glasgow’s Whisky Club will be on hand all day to answer questions and help you find your new favourite scotch. 24

IF YOU’RE IN BRAZIL… September 27 to September 29 & October 3 to October 6 — Rock in Rio: If you’re in Rio de Janeiro this autumn, you’d be crazy to miss out on one of the world’s biggest music festivals. The lineup for Rock in Rio reads like a dream team of artists from all genres including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Imagine Dragons, Drake, Iron Maiden, Foo Fighters and Ellie Goulding to name just a few. The festival will take place over seven days at Barra Olympic Park with seven different stages, multiple chill-out areas, a gourmet square, giant Ferris wheel, zip line, and the Mega Drop for adrenaline junkies. November 15 to November 18 — Brazilian Grand Prix (São Paulo): For four days in November, the atmosphere in the Interlagos neighbourhood of São Paulo will electrified as car racing fanatics gather in droves to see some of the world’s best drivers rip up the Formula 1 Grand Prix track. Join the crowds in the grandstands for the practice rounds from November 15 to November 16, the qualifying round on November 17, or the official race on November 18 when one death-defying driver will walk away victorious. You can also expect lively parties and carnival-like vibes around the city every night throughout the Grand Prix.

Jl.Petitenget 228x Seminyak Bali


Supported by


Asia Cultural Exchange Perth Fashion Festival September 5 – 15 International Runways Australia – Indonesia Business Series – Australia – Indonesia


Image by China Fashion Association

New International Collaboration

giving back

Time to help out: get involved.

Bali EVEnt By WADAH (Women and Hope Foundation). Clear September 14th on your calendar because the first ever Bali EVEnt is taking place at Panchoran in Ubud and it promises to be an evening of masked mischief for a marvellous cause. There will be magnificent music, dancing and frivolity, plus cocktails, exquisite cuisine and a charity auction where you can snag seriously sweet items. Even better, all proceeds will go towards building a much-needed preschool and community centre in a disadvantaged hamlet in Timor. The Bali EVEnt is the first of what will be an annual event to benefit women in Indonesia. The team behind the gala is the International Committee of WADAH (Women and Hope Foundation), a Jakarta-based organisation that was established in 2008 to address the special needs of women as they participate in social, educational, community and cultural activities. It grew out of a need to bring hope to communities by helping people help themselves and share a better future for their families and society as a whole. WADAH refers to a place in the Indonesian language, but WADAH Titian Harapan embraces a broader meaning that encompasses not only the sense and spirit of a place, but the home and community where one belongs. Operating at marginalized and underprivileged levels in society, WADAH supports Indonesian people by offering the opportunity to manage their lives beyond family survival, lifting them out of the spiral of illiteracy and poverty. The foundation currently serves 53 communities throughout rural Indonesia. Education is one of the main focuses at WADAH, so they have a number of programmes in place to facilitate learning for people of all ages. These include the construction of school facilities and libraries, preschool classes, training for preschool teachers, tutorial classes, alternative learning systems, an adult literacy initiative, and scholarships. In addition, WADAH also supports development and preservation of traditional arts. To date, the foundation supports 38 preschools, nearly 1,300 preschool children and after school activities for over 5,000 children. The foundation also implements public health programmes in communities that do not have access to basic health facilities. Working with local volunteers, the team sets up health and sanitation facilities, provides communities with nutritious food made with local ingredients, and disseminates public health knowledge including information on improving maternal and child health. WADAH also links local communities with health clinics or hospitals where possible.


Last but not least, WADAH aims to empower people through economic development programmes. Initiatives include providing facilities for the development of small businesses, vocational training, training in financial management, and the implementation and management of savings schemes. They also encourage entrepreneurship by offering small and medium enterprises loans and supporting the formation of cooperatives and small businesses operated by members of the community. After seeing such great successes in the Indonesian communities they served, WADAH branched out to the Philippines and Malaysia in 2014. India was next in 2016, the same year that the foundation was granted Special Consultative Status at the UN ECOSOC. Today WADAH still runs programmes in all four countries and works with partner organisations in Nepal and Africa. One shining example of a WADAH success story is the Solar Grandmas programme. Last year, the foundation sent 13 Indonesian grandmothers who previously had no formal education to Rajasthan, India, where they completed a six-month training course on solar electrification and rainwater harvesting. By taking these skills back to their villages, the grandmothers have dramatically helped over 4,000 individuals from 514 households. This year, nine more women will complete the programme in the hopes of becoming community leaders who can literally light up homes in their villages. The inaugural Bali EVEnt is an opportunity for you to enjoy a glamorous evening out in a divine rainforest setting, while also lending support to WADAH and the great work they do. The party kicks off with cocktails in the garden at 6pm followed by a seated dinner with wine, live entertainment and a charity auction. When the clock strikes midnight, a light supper will be served along with espresso martinis. The dress code is formal eveningwear, so think glamorous garb, and don’t forget to bring a mask. Tickets are IDR2,800,000 per person and include the welcome cocktails, dinner with wine, light supper, espresso martinis, and entertainment. 100% of the proceeds will be used to construct a children’s preschool, train new teachers for the school, and build a multi-facility community centre for women and their families in the underdeveloped hamlet of Fatuliman, Koa Village, Timor, Nusa Tenggara Timor. Now if that’s not a reason to get dressed in your finest and enjoy a fab night out, we don’t know what is!






WOMEN’S EARTH ALLIANCE In 2006, 30 women from 26 countries met to create a framework for transforming the world. They united with a shared dream: to build an alliance that would put an end to violence on Earth and on our world’s women. From that first meeting, Women’s Earth Alliance was born. The mission is to equip women with the skills and tools they need to protect the Earth because communities that have access to clean water, healthy food, and protected land are more likely to see improvements in economies, human rights, education, health, democracy, and peace. Visit their website to see how you can help women strengthen their communities from the inside out

BEGUILING BIASA Available in stores now, BIASA’s summer collection for men and women evokes sophistication, elegance, and fluidity with pieces inspired by nature in all its beauty. The contrasting colour palette features soft pastels like lilac, opal, and new sky countered with stronger touches of ginger, Orient blue, army green, and smoky shades of stone and smoke. Signature light and flowing fabrics include linen, cotton organdy, and cotton muslin presented in their natural states. As always, the attention to detail is spot on with artisanal details like contemporary prints, hand-knitted macramé details, and block printed dots. Tel: 361 730 3088

SPICE NIGHT BAR Ubud has a much-needed addition to the nightlife scene with Spice Night Bar. This new initiative extends the hours of Spice by Chris Salans until midnight and adds a roster of signature cocktails to the already innovative menu of Indonesian finger food. Chef-owner Chris Salans says, “As part of Spice Night Bar, we will be reintroducing people to the traditional Balinese drinks arak and brem. We will also have a full range of imported spirits, but our focus is to bring Balinese culture into our guests’ experience with new beautiful and dramatic cocktails all based on local ingredients and flavours.” Tel: 361 479 2420

GET TEMPTED AT TULEN Ubudians have been keeping Tulen a close-guarded secret lest the crowds start pouring in, but we reckon something so good won’t remain a secret long. Set in the rippling rice paddies of Sri Widari just a short drive from the Ubud Royal Palace, Tulen is all about refined simplicity in a spectacular setting. The funky multi-level space has open sides that overlook lush greenery and allow breezes to flow in. On the menu you’ll find elevated Balinese classics like tuna sambal matah and roasted pork belly, as well as international creations like handmade feta and spinach ravioli, braised beef tripe, and vegan pad thai. Tel: 361 982 544

THE PONTIAC STARDUST Just next door to Flat Stanley, The Pontiac Stardust offers up the same retro Palm Springs vibes along with creative cocktails by award-winning bartender Beckaly Franks. Beckaly was the first female mixologist to win the prestigious 42 Below Cocktail World Cup, and was the driving force behind sister venue The Pontiac, which has made the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list four years in a row. Try one of her tropical libations like the White Limo with pandan vodka, Luxardo Bianco, banana, lemon, orange bitters, chilli salt and pepper. You can also grab easy-going eats inspired by California food truck fare. Tel: 361 447 1192 34

BEACHFRONT BASKING IN KOMODO Experience barefoot luxury at The Seraya, one of Komodo’s most unique island resorts. The first thing you notice is the bamboo manta-shaped restaurant soaring over the house reef. Explore the eco-minded property further and you’ll find six new bungalows just steps from the sand and a fully-equipped dive centre. With fourteen rooms total, this boutique island resort is perfect for lazy days on the jetty and beach, adventures into Komodo National Park, excursions below the waves aboard the traditional Indonesian wooden cruiser Dalliance, and long-table dinners where you can compare photos and traveller’s tales. Tel: 813 3939 0305

NATURAL, LOCAL AND SUSTAINABLE Purity is key for BALIAN, Bali’s first natural mineral water sourced and bottled directly from a free-flowing spring on the slopes of Mount Agung without tapping the aquifer. With Bali’s environment always in mind BALIAN is now launching crates to make its 330 ml & 750ml Still and Sparkling glass bottles returnable, creating a real circular packaging solution to help the islanders to reduce their carbon footprints and avoid plastic usage on the island.

JU-MA-NA AT BANYAN TREE Seeking out a spectacularly scenic spot to wine and dine that special someone? Ju-Ma-Na at Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali is just the place. This sophisticated venue has huge windows that offer views over Melasti Beach and the Indian Ocean, plus a lovely al fresco terrace for sipping and snacking under the stars. Swing by around sunset for cosmopolitan cocktails and Arabian-influenced light bites, and then stay on for a gourmet meal of French cuisine with Japanese twists. The restaurant is also open during the day for those looking for a chic lunch or coffee spot. Tel: 361 300 7000

TITI BATU Titi Batu Ubud Club combines community, sports and wellness at a multi-purpose space with a plethora of fab facilities. Warm up with a workout on state-of-the-art machines in the gym, test your skills on the squash court, or get into your groove at one of the high-energy dance classes. There is also a 25-meter lap pool, a skate park with boards and equipment for hire, a sauna, steam room and spa. Little ones will love the family pool with a jumping bridge, karate and gymnastics classes, and the dedicated kid’s room for creative play and artwork. The centre is located at the site of a 200-year-old bridge between Lotunduh and Mas. Tel: 361 972 134


APERITIF OPENS FOR LUNCH Nestled on the ridge of a lush jungle valley at the Viceroy Bali, Apéritif is the new darling of Bali’s fine dining scene. This much-lauded restaurant is now open for lunch with a specially curated five-course degustation menu by the talented Chef Nic Vanderbeeken and his kitchen team. The menu changes daily based on the best produce available, so dishes could include poached Lombok oyster with yoghurt, lemon whey, spirulina seaweed, and smoked oyster emulsion, fresh ceviche with leche de tigre, or venison wellington with silky foie gras, light puff pastry, and truffle mashed potatoes drizzled with an earthy rendang sauce. Tel: 361 908 2777

ARTISTIC EATS AT SANDS RESTAURANT The Anvaya Beach Resort Bali just unveiled a new menu at Sands Restaurant inspired by global flavours and featuring the very best produce from Bali and neighbouring islands. Each day the kitchen team brings in fresh ingredients from local suppliers and transforms them into imaginative creations that treat the local agricultural products with respect. Appetisers and mains include the seafood paella, sashimi salad poke bowl, chicken tikka salad, and shish kebabs. In addition, the restaurant throws a sublime seafood BBQ dinner every day from 6:30pm to 10pm with seafood on ice and an array of options for the grill including king prawns, lobster, crab and more. Tel: 361 2090 477 38

LILY JEAN GOES GREEN In support of and inspired by the Slow Fashion initiatives that are taking place in Bali and around the world, Lily Jean has taken an ecofriendly approach to their collections. Throughout the year, the label will be dropping mini capsule collections with a strict zero waste policy in mind. All the garments are protected in biodegradable packaging and handed to customers in reusable cotton bags. Leftover fabrics are made into everything from underwear to headbands, scrunchies, and eye masks. Nothing is left to waste if it can be used. Lily Jean invites you to visit their newly renovated flag store at Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak to pick up some ‘not fast fashion’. Tel: 361 847 6829

WHOLESOME EATS AT BEACHGARDEN ORGANIC KITCHEN Canggu’s healthy hotspot, Beachgarden Organic Kitchen, has just raised the bar again with the introduction of a brand new menu by Brazilian chef Ronald, a protégé of Alain Ducasse. With an enticing array of avant garde vegan, raw, vegetarian and whole food dishes, plus classic Western eats, there’s something for everyone, whatever your mood. In addition to the recent arrival of chef Ronald and the new menu launch, Beachgarden Organic Kitchen has completed a gorgeous renovation and expansion of the Batu Bolong venue for their second anniversary. Tel: 812 3749 6861

PURIFY WITH POMEGRANATE Sensatia Botanicals never ceases to blow us away with their all-natural products that leave skin feeling refreshed and revitalised without the addition of harsh chemicals. Their newest product is the Hydrating Pomegranate Cleansing Water, a lusciously light cleanser that helps to balance skin-tone. The alcohol-free formula contains extracts of pomegranate and aloe vera to clear away dirt and impurities and hydrate skin. Kakadu plum adds an extra boost of vitamin C for a brighter, more even complexion. Say goodbye to dirt and grime and hello to healthier, glowing skin.

MANDALA. THE BAY M.Group recently launched its fourth luxury villa on idyllic Nusa Lembongan, and we can’t wait to slip over for an island escape. Located just a 30-minute boat ride from Bali, this stunning cliffside residence is perfectly positioned for spectacular sunsets and dramatic views of crashing waves at Devil’s Tear across the bay. The villa boasts five individuallydesigned king bedrooms spread over 1200 square metres and large, light-filled indoor and outdoor living areas that are seamlessly connected. Stand out elements include a master bedroom housed in a teak Joglo, an ocean-view swimming pool, lush outdoor bathrooms, and a relaxing library refuge. 40

RAVE REVIEWS FOR RADISSON BLU BALI ULUWATU The people have spoken and awarded Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu with a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. The achievement celebrates businesses that consistently earn great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Björn-Henning Buth, general manager of the resort, says, “Through its exclusive setting, the resort appeals to guests who are looking for a fresh alternative to the many villa and homestay offerings in Uluwatu. Receiving the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence in the first year of operation has proven that our signature service complemented the overall guest experience, and we continue to stand out as a landmark destination.” Tel: 361 300 8888

LATE NIGHT LATIN NOSHING AT LA FAVELA La Favela is renowned for their late-night dancing and socialising sessions, and now they give you another reason to keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning with the Sao Paulo Station. Located on the second floor, this one-stop foodie shop offers up nine dishes inspired by various cultures. Take a break from grooving and fuel up on comfort-food eats like tacos with suckling pig, mixed mushrooms or fish tempura, poutine, or the indulgent la Favela burger with top sirloin on a potato bun with mozzarella, chorizo, crispy onion and jalapeno mayo for a spicy kick. Vegetarian options are also available. Tel: 818 0210 0010 SUBLIME SEAFOOD AT GLASS BRIDGE Glass Bridge is a fitting name for this stylish new Seminyak spot, as you’ll find huge glass windows on all sides and even a glass floor on the upper level that allows you to check out the action going on below. The menu boasts fresh Mediterranean and Asian dishes including superb seafood like vibrant sushi rolls, grilled salmon and juicy prawns. There are also plenty of healthy salads and hearty meat dishes for vegetarians and carnivores. Pair your bites with creative cocktails and cold beers that go for half off during happy hours between 3pm and 6pm every day. Tel: 361 447 1378

ELEGANT ELIXIRS BY DRAGONFLY WINES Dragonfly Moscato has a fresh new look to go with its bright, sparkling flavour. Made in Indonesia with imported grapes carefully selected from premium vineyards of South Australia, this sweet and sexy wine is crisp, clean, and easy drinking. Since releasing the Moscato in 2014, winemaker James Kalleske has tailored the wine to perfection with aromas of pineapple, melon and dried peaches and a palate with a fine spritz and more fruity flavours including apple, pear and citrus. Keep an eye out too for the new Dragonfly Cabernet Shiraz that just hit the shelves this June.

IZAKAYA BY OKU The Apurva Kempinski Bali recently launched Izakaya by OKU, an outpost of the awardwinning OKU restaurant at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. The Japanese restaurant is already earning accolades for its exquisite eats, chic bistro-style setting, and open-kitchen dining experience where guests and the chefs can interact. Chef Deni Koswara has curated a creative menu inspired by traditional Japanese cooking methods and ingredients with signature dishes like the aburi salmon roll, truffle gyu don, and saikyo cod. Pair your meal with sake, shochu or creative cocktails crafted by the resort’s sake sommelier. Tel: 361 209 2288

EVER-EVOLVING EL KABRON Located on the edge of a Pecatu cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, El Kabron Bali offers the ultimate Spanish dining experience. The venue recently reopened its doors with a sleek new look and shift in focus. Whilst keeping paella as one of the signature dishes, executive chef Marc has redefined the traditional paella and tapas concept and turned it into an innovative menu for all tastes. Guests can enjoy an explosion of flavours from a variety of Spanish regions delivered to your table with contemporary presentation that will seduce all the senses. Oh and did we mention the simply sublime sunset views? Tel: 878 6171 7212

PINK TREE LABEL Designer Bella Wina is the creative force behind Pink Tree Label, an innovative clothing line that draws inspiration from different decades, countries, and traditions. From gold renaissance prints to glamour simplicity, Bella breathes new life into well loved aesthetics and makes the old new again. The motifs are often very ornamental and colourful, and always complement rather than compete with the silhouette of each piece. The flamboyant prints are expertly tailored into a variety of silhouettes, cuts, and fabrics that enhance the female form for an ultra-glamorous look. And while slightly risqué, each piece is tasteful, wearable and covetable.

EXPAND YOUR MIND AT TEDX UBUD On October 12th, TEDxUbud will return for its 8th edition at the Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets—a unique museum with a mission to preserve some of Indonesia’s most important storytelling heritage. The event was created to celebrate the people and ideas that inspire us and make us think twice about the world around us through storytelling that covers innovation, learning, change, and more. The theme this year is Movement, so speakers will be touching on diverse topics ranging from choreography to dinosaur movement, forced migration, emotional journeys, the impact of travel, social movements, and the motion of the earth under our feet.


TROPICAL SENSUALITY For over 20 years Paul Ropp has been wowing Bali boys and babes with his exclusive designer collections that are renowned for their limited edition fabrics, amazing attention to detail, and both imaginative and classic styles that are eye-popping and enticing. Paul believes that luxury and sensuality go hand in hand, which is why he creates clothes for people who ‘prefer to be naked’. Colour and intricacy of craftsmanship are his passion, yet you will also find classic black and white pieces that can be a staple for city wear amongst the flamboyant array of complex hand printed and embroidery embellished pieces.

ASIAN FASHION IN THE SPOTLIGHT Asia-based designers get to strut their stuff on an international platform at the Perth Fashion Festival with the introduction of the Asia Cultural Runway. The PFF is one of Australia's premier fashion events and it has cultivated an international reputation for fostering some of Australia's most sought-after creative talent, and for showcasing Western Australian designers on a global stage. The Festival runs from September 5 to September 19, and the Asia Cultural Runway will take place on September 13 with collections by Indonesian designers Asti Kaleta and Ali Charisma, plus beloved Bali brand Quarzia. 44

CAPELLA UBUD Hidden away in a lush valley on the outskirts of Ubud, Capella Ubud is already creating a buzz for its inspired design and extraordinary ambiance. The resort is the brainchild of Bill Bensley, an interior designer and landscape architect who has been named the ‘King of Exotic Luxury Resorts’ and one of the Top 100 Designers in the World by the Time and Architectural Digest magazines. Inspired by the first Europeans settlers in Bali in the early 1800s, Bensley created this sensational tented camp in tribute to their spirit of adventure. Throughout the jungle sanctuary, guests will find gorgeous colonial décor alongside local touches. From November 1st to 3rd, for one weekend only, accompany Bill on a journey of adventure and discovery through Bali. Tel: 361 209 1888

PODIUM LOUNGE If you’re planning on hitting up the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Singapore, then The Podium Lounge is an absolute must. This is the world’s biggest trackside celebration of the F1 season and an after-party of epic proportions. Held over three nights from September 20 to September 22, the event will host a jaw-dropping 10,000 guests at the completely transformed Grand Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. Run shoulders with F1 drivers, supermodels, and Asia’s jet-setting elite as you sip on sophisticated cocktails, take in fashion shows, and groove to live performances by Melanie C, The Cuban Brothers, and Raleigh Ritchie.


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the French SpiderMan as he prepares for a tricy climb in a troubled Hong Kong.



Adrian Batten spends an illuminating afternoon with Alain Robert,

sky high. images: afp.

It is when we live with the reality of our immediate extinction that we live most intensely. As adults most of us would understand if not agree with the statement. And yet we don’t understand, not really. It is a truism, just words. The concept becomes commonplace and twodimensional. It is only at exceptional moments, when we fall in love, experience catastrophe or face great danger that time slows down and we enter an altered state of heightened reality. Most of us are neither structured nor wish to live at such intensity. Love settles down or dies. If we survive catastrophe or moments of great danger, the memory fades and life goes on. There are those few of us, rare people who really do manage to lead their lives at this level of intensity. We envy them, even while we lack the desire or ability to emulate them. For us, such people possess a numinous quality conferred by their willingness to risk self-extinction without the desire to achieve it. Quite the contrary in fact, their desire is to live long and do it all . . . full on. I met and shot the breeze for an entire afternoon with just one such person last month, high up on the Bukit plateau in the windy halls of the Uluwatu Renaissance Hotel. He was Alain Robert, aka ‘the French Spiderman’, who has for the past six years had a home in Bali, where he lives on the Bukit in a house nearby with his Indonesian second wife and their young daughter.

shoulder length hair and a prominent Gallic nose that has been broken four times. He has had three serious falls in his career to date. The most serious nearly killed him, leaving him invalided for two years before, quite remarkably, he overcame his disabilities and returned to climbing. Nonetheless, as a result to this day he suffers from vertigo and is prone to epileptic fits. After a while you notice the pronounced upper body strength and the lithe suppleness of the rest of the man’s body. There is not an ounce of fat on Alain. Which is just as well as he was eating bread, prosciutto and fritto misto all washed down with Chandon Brut for four hours non-stop. His metabolism is obviously that of a 19-year old surfer, not a man three-years shy of his 60th birthday. In appearance he looks like an Apache version of Iggy Pop. In fact a fortune teller did tell him he was descended from the native Indians of America’s South West. Something he resonates with and dresses accordingly. Once, jailed in his attempt to scale “my Everest”, which is what he calls Kuala Lumpur’s Twin Towers (450m), he went straight from his prison cell by limo to dine with the King of Malaysia in a leotard, bare-chested save for a signature lizard-skin waistcoat. He speaks English fast and well with a pronounced French accent, which can sound opinionated but isn’t, in the light of the humour, street smarts and self-knowledge he brings to his conversation.

Alain Robert, aged 57, is a rock climber acknowledged as one of the leading exponents of an elite niche among climbers known as Free-Solo. This means climbing a sheer 300m cliff face alone, unroped and without any mechanical aids. Just you and the rock face, with perhaps a bag of chalk around your waist to dry your hands. Even a short way up in a climb if you fall, you will die. Climbing in this way is very ancient, arching back to the time when man first went out into the savannahs and raised his eyes up to the mountains. It pitches man against nature in the starkest way possible.

As a child Alain was shy and quiet, but in his inner life he was, he said, “D’Artagnan, Zorro and Robin Hood. I identified with adventure and the outlaw spirit”. He still does, adding Che Guevara, the Dalai Lama and Abbé Pierre to his list of icons. Even today 70 percent of his climbs are illegal and he’s been jailed and fined on many occasions. His life changed aged 12 when he was locked out of his parents seventh floor apartment and had to climb up to it. From that day on rock climbing became his life. Before he was 20 he was climbing free-solo and went on to become one, if not the best – in what was to become the purest and most classic form of what we now call extreme sports.

Robert is a small, seemingly slight man just 1.65m (5.5ft) weighing just 50 kilos with straggly

In the mid-1990s Alain was to experience a second epiphany, when he discovered

“Buildering”, a clumsy word to describe the niche of niches, that is climbing skyscrapers free-solo. Climbing was Alain’s life and passion, but only when he climbed a skyscraper did it all come into focus. His need for fame and recognition, to attract beautiful women, make pots of money, be accepted by poets, kings and vagabonds, to lead life utterly on his own terms – all came to pass. And to add icing to the cake, all the while supporting progressive causes, the little guy and, best of all . . . giving the finger to power. Since 1997 Alain has climbed over 160 of the tallest structures in the world’s major cities, most of them illegally. He has fallen, been jailed, fined and punched in the face for his temerity. But the public love him for it, he has tens of millions of hits online and the powers-that-be are conflicted. Some really hate him and try to stitch him up any way they can, while others just “tut tut, bad boy”, fine him a nickel per floor, and invite him to dinner. Perhaps Alain Robert’s greatest gift to us is his divinely inspired ability to take a big black pin and stick it to the most prominent parts of the Masters of the Universe. He has, to coin a phrase, become the perfect outlaw for our day and age . . . a modern incarnation of the parfit gentil knight of old, the Urban Iconoclast. Recently Alain has turned to motivational speaking. He’s good at it and has successfully added a second income stream to his sponsored climbs. At age 57 this is a smart move but he’s not about to give up climbing. With a man this fit he could go on well into his 70s. Along with the ready opinions and obvious intelligence there is a vulnerable quality to the man and he is easy to like, so one fears for him. We root for him and want him to go on doing what he does so well, and . . . we want it to end well too. Alas, what we want is irrelevant. In the great scheme of things, the act is supernal and the effect numinous. That’s the way of it, it couldn’t be other. “Most people dream their lives, I live my dream”, says Alain.



Hi Angie. You’re something of a legend in the Bali styling circles and it’s time we did an interview with you ... Legend, that sounds soooo limiting or dead ... I'm pretty much here and not dead yet, still fascinated and taking notes on what's happening on the island. I mean I have witnessed your growth at The Yak :-) Circles like cycles are transient here so I don't know what you are talking about hahaha. Where are you from and how did you grow up? I come from a mixed racial background and grew up in different places prior to Bali, and that tasked me with adjusting myself to different places all over the globe. I don't want to bore anyone with details (and I prefer to keep a certain air of privacy too...). Being a gender ambiguous person I do have to check my surroundings, but being a nomad, it's easier just to ignore it as you'll be that strange kid. So it was fun. Asia was easier because people just don't want to have anything to do with you while in Europe people try to rationalise your behavior. I was a proud weirdo. How did you get into fashion and styling? I don't really know how exactly. I did modelling when I was young, my parents were against the idea of me doing anything with fashion. I was educated as a hotelier – my parents wanted me to become management but I expertly manipulated them and ended up learning the art of Bakery and Patisseries instead, which then kind of halted due to my political activism that saw me exiled by the family to Europe. You see I wasn't politically correct, I was a total black sheep, which I think is fabulous, but not in the eyes of the family. Hence I decided to just move to Bali and join the hippies which I thought was a hilarious idea. I ended up doing the fashion thing in the day and doing clubs at night. Styling came later. I started by helping friends and clients to put looks together to create moods and stories, making it presentable and pleasing to the eye.


I like good pictures, ones that have something going on, rather than just a plop of shit crammed into a frame. What’s changed in the world since you were a kid? Everything! How do you view gender politics today, and how does it affect you? I'm from a rigid, boring multi-cultural and multi-religious background which focuses on trying to box me into a good old functional part of the beehive society, where I have to follow rules according the norm, whatever that is. The norm of propriety, gender, gender-role, genderexpression and also sexuality. It was a place that I would want to look back at yet I love the contrast of values and traditions. Younger me asked so many questions and the adults never gave me straight answers. It comforts me to know there are many ways or facets to see things or situations. But I know what was/ is real because I had to make my own decisions, you see... I wanted to be my own person, and I thought and still think I can just be myself as others are taken (a cliché but true).

If you weren’t living in Bali where would you be? I am where I want to be. It's hard to imagine living in a place where you don't want be. But maybe I would be in some farm in Patagonia somewhere. Have you ever felt prejudice about who you are as a human, and if so where has that prejudice come from? Not so much here, as I stay away from assholes and the ignorants. From time to time I hear some racial remarks such as ‘you are not like normal Asians’ (I still don't know what normal Asians are) or some bitchy women talking about how all the eligible white dudes are all having yellow fever because the locals are young and easy (I don't have the heart to tell them it might be their own problem). I think in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious place like Bali, assumptions aren't the best thing to have, as it does tend to lead to prejudice. When were you happiest? I'm happy when I can be grumpy. Happiness is what you make it. But I know I'm happy when I'm among my closest friends.

What’s the most difficult part about what you do in styling? Synchronising taste between artists: photographers, make up, hair, models and clients. In Bali I've acted as my own art director and producer, but I like it ... it's exciting.

When were you most sad? I hope that would never happen!

What type of photographer do you most like to work with in terms of their work ethic or direction? I don't have a type, I just like it when they deliver on time and are nice enough to send copies to the crew, post publication. I know what I don't like, when they get too conceptual because they can't capture the beauty. It's embarrassing.

Who do you most admire in fashion, living or dead? My friends, they have such individual taste and most of them are making money from it. Smart!

What’s the most difficult styling job you have ever had? Can't think of any, I'm lucky I guess, I actually enjoy what I'm doing.


What would you say is your strongest quality as a human being? My humour, definitely.

If you were to have your time again, where would you live and in what era? I still have my time! Although Paris in the ‘90s was so much fun, but I'm fine with now.

glamazoid angie anggoro

on steering the scene and be-seen in bali. words: tony stanton. image: Otkidach Anastasiya

style and substance.


sounds around madonna made her do it. tony stanton meets muso lady flic. image: ryerson anselmo for costes portrait


Lady Flic, tell us about the time you fell out of a tree. Lol ok. I was about 15 years old and a big cricket fan. One day I climbed one of the big trees surrounding the local cricket ground so I could watch a game, I was up pretty high and unfortunately the branch I was holding onto was rotten and snapped off in my hands so I toppled down head first, well hand-first actually. I landed on my left hand and my elbow took all the weight and got pretty mashed up. Cut to two or three years later, finishing high school, I got an accident compensation cheque in the mail, NZ$8,008 dollars. I think within a week I moved out of home and bought turntables. I'm not sure I would have become a DJ otherwise, hard to say! It definitely set me on track. A happy accident, it's one of the themes of my life. Seriously though, has your life always been so ... unexpected? Well, I think I've always just gone with the flow, never really had that 'plan for the future' mindset, so there is always space for crazy. For sure some mad things have happened which have led me to unexpected places and states. In hindsight, there is always some kind of universal message or lesson, some unexpected enlightenment that I always used to learn the hard way, but am slowly learning to recognise before I break another bone or brain cell. We’ve done our research ... you’re a Kiwi who used to sneak into clubs underage, correct? Busted! Back in Wellington it was quite loose, we were clearly very underage, sometimes they just made us sign a piece of paper to get in, I guess that got them off the hook somehow. There were a couple of great club nights, and also a load of raves in big warehouses on the waterfront and other random locations. Eye-opening for sure. I looked at the DJ in awe, like holy crap that looks like a ridiculous amount of fun.

What was the first song or track that made you just think ... wow, music, that’s it for me... Probably something by Madonna. I think she was my first musical obsession. And Bali has been home now for, what, 10 years? How has the music scene here changed? Yes! Came for a friend's wedding, and here I still am, it's a funny old life. The scene has changed dramatically. For the better, and for the worse, loads more good stuff and way too much of the other. It's a fickle place in terms of events, people are spoiled with what they get offered, which makes it hard for promoters to bring something unique and credible and make any kind of profit. So currently we are seeing a lot of the same. Bali's music scene is still very young and doesn't have a real solid foundation, so things just pop up, aren't supported then they disappear. Bali's transience is its blessing and curse. My wish is that people just dig a little past the gimmick or flavour of the month and find the quality, because it is there. What’s the best venue on Planet Bali right now. Let's go for Top 3... Vault is a proper club that filled a gap in the right place and time in Bali with great sound. I always have fun in there. La Brisa - the setting and ambience are awesome, and they have been doing some nice bookings. W Hotel - I've been dj-ing there recently and just loving the vibe, the sound, the view, the staff. It's still one of the most beautiful venues in Bali. What sets your sets apart from other Djs? How to answer this question without sounding like a wanker? Ha ha. Well, I guess versatility and flow ... making connections that others might not, due to having such a deep well to draw from. I like walking the line of bringing people joy and confusing them.

When we were setting this interview up and discussing photography you were like ‘please don’t make me shoot again!’ Is it so traumatic to stand in front of the lens? I'm one of those introverted extroverts. It's like 'yes I want to be the centre of attention but give me space, goddammit'. It's just not my comfort zone. And Bali is full of photographers, it's one of my pet hates, you're out and about and there's someone with a lens in your face, ugh, now I have to think about how I look when I'm just trying to chill. Anyway I'm totally in love with the photos Ryerson took, and beyond happy that I don't need to shoot again for at least five years. Ok here’s an easier question. What’s your go-to get out of jail free track to get a party moving? I always go back to Alexander Robotnik - Problemes D'amour. The amount of times I've played it, I would usually be so over it, but something about it just gets me every time. What genre of music makes you want to vomit? Most EDM and mumble rap. I find it pretty offensive and can’t be around it. I just don’t understand it. Call me old fashioned, (actually I’m not) but there is so much good music out there right now it boggles my mind that people settle for this absolute drivel. How do you stay ahead of the curve? By trusting myself and going with what makes me feel good. When was the last time you were happy? I'm high on life in general right now, and I don't plan on coming down anytime soon. Even though Bali has its issues, I feel so blessed to live here.



Irvine thanks for taking the time to talk with us. I wanted to start with a passage I read from a Guardian interview with you last year by Simon Hattenstone, who wrote: “It’s a nasty, brutish world he creates. In Filth, his protagonist is the filthiest of police officers; Marabou Stork Nightmares is about a man in a coma who was sexually abused by his uncle; A Decent Ride features an oversexed cabbie; Bedroom Secrets Of The Masterchefs is about a hard-drinking football hooligan; and on it goes. Welsh returns again and again to the same themes of corrupt, destructive masculinity: drinking, scoring, snorting, raving, shagging, bragging, betraying and destroying.” Yet when I listened to a podcast of you with James O’Brien I was shocked to find out that you’re actually a very sweet bloke. What’s going on there? Well, I tend to write about the human existential crisis that is bound up with the end of industrial society and our untethering to traditional elements supported by it; capitalism, socialism, the wage economy, imperialism and the patriarchy. Of course this is all a crisis for traditional masculinity but it’s broader than that. Because I write about a declining narcissistic culture and I’m fascinated about its foibles, vanities and abuses, doesn’t mean I’m in a position of advocacy (or condemnation) of that culture. I was also brought up to be polite. You were still young in 1993 when you wrote Trainspotting, which was voted – I read somewhere – the 10th greatest book of the 20th century. How did you manage that at such a youthful age? I started it when I was 28 but I felt I was very old then. I’ve never ever felt as old in my life as I did when I was 28. I think it’s about not doing what you want with your life. Writing Trainspotting for me had an element of desperation: it was about fashioning an escape and freedom, not from heroin addiction but from the crushing bourgeois nine to five life I’d embraced to replace it. I saw an excellent portrait of you wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that said “The book was better.” Do you think Trainspotting the book was better than John Hodge’s screenplay for the movie, and how involved were you in the film?


They are very different animals. Obviously without the book there is no film so on that basic level it’s obviously better. But the more I get into screenwriting the more I appreciate John’s genius in adaptation. What’s your process for writing, and has it changed over the years? Do you have a set time that you sit down etc? Can you talk us through the creative process as you experience it? No, it changes all the time. One of the best things about every new book is that you can impose a different regime on yourself and mix things up. Most writers I talk to are creatures of habit, they find a place and a regime that suits them and stick with that. I prefer to shake it up to get out my comfort zone. Did you know all the traits of each character before you start putting words to them? Again, each project is different. Sometimes you have the story or the characters well worked out in your head before you commit to page, other times you try and find them through the writing. The entire gang came back to life in T2 Trainspotting, the brilliant sequel based on your novel Porno. How gratifying was it to have Danny Boyle back in the director’s chair for that, and what did you think of the movie? Well, you can’t go wrong with Danny. It’s a joy working with him and John, you become like a bunch of enthusiastic kids setting out for college, planning to change the world. When you’re around that energy and attitude you know that something special will come out of it. There’s no cynicism in the air at all; though more than enough wry skepticism. You’re coming for UWRF next month (October). Is this your first trip to Bali? What are you expecting? Heard great things about it. Friend who visits regularly reckons the Balinese are the most chilled out people in the world. You’re living in Miami currently? Doing Pilates, I heard. Do you ever revisit Scotland and wonder how you managed to escape that world of Edinburgh in Thatcher’s Britain – the drugs, the violence, the filth . . . I’m back in Scotland at the moment. I’m always here and have kind of relocated. I’m bouncing

between Edinburgh, Barcelona, London and Marseilles these days. I don’t really try to avoid or seek out anything. I just hang out and let what happens unfold. Life is a big drama, just enjoy it and when it gets too much, go away and relax and then write about it. What are you working on at the moment? Do you like to stay busy as a writer, or are you tempted by other paths these days? We’re shooting Creation Stories and have two other films ready to go and are working on several TV projects. I also have a big music project and a new book. I’m tempted by everything. What would you say to your 18-year-old self today, and what advice do you have for anyone of that age who is involved in the creative field? It’s such a different creative world to the one I started out in that I have literally no relevant advice to offer anyone younger than myself. Basically they know much more about it than I do. I’m always asking young people “what do you think I should be doing about this?” You just did a DJ spot at Glastonbury, how did that go? The great thing about DJing – especially if you’re playing you’re own music – is that you get an instant reaction in a way you don’t with a book or even a movie or stage show. I love the immediate buzz. Glastonbury was the best one ever. The weather was great and I hooked up with a ton of old pals who were determined to have it. Describe yourself in five words. I have zero self awareness. When were you last happy? I’m very, very, very happy right now as I tend to be every morning and I hope it carries on into the rest of the day! Irvine Welsh thanks for your time. Irvine Welsh will be appearing in an in-conversation event as part of the main program at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, which runs from October 23-27. He is also a headline DJ for the closing night party at Blanco Renaissance Museum (free for UWRF ticket holders, there will be a charge for the public). For more info on UWRF 2019 go to

He smashed it with Trainspotting, then followed it up with a number of iconoclastic books that blew the socks off established publishing standards . . . and now he's heading for Bali. Tony Stanton spoke to the erudite author ahead of his appearance at UWRF.


people It's all gone right for mr wrong. mark baker caught up with the ultimate house selector. image: oscar munar.

tong tied.


All right then … so I’m here with my longtime friend Mr Pete Tong. Pete, welcome back to Bali mate and congratulations! What a gig, wow. Tell us about how you felt it went on at Omnia. I have to say it was almost like a perfect scenario. I loved playing on that cusp of day into night. Initially I thought it was maybe going to be a bit early, but it was absolutely perfect, I didn’t want to stop. It’s an amazing set up there on the cliff top, stunning view, amazing kind of layout production, perfect DJ booth, so I am very happy. The response I got from everybody was just unbelievable, everybody loved the gig. Are you little surprised to see a venue like that in Bali? I mean you’ve played many gigs here in Bali over the years… Fifteen plus years … I did Double Six back in the day. What’s year was that? Must have been early 2000, and then I did Ku De Ta just straight after that as well. Were you surprised to see something like Omnia here? It’s like a full on Western venue. I mean I know a lot about it, when I saw you in December-January. I was meant to shoot up there, but I never made it. But I felt like I knew it already, I’d heard so much about it from the Vegas crew, but I was still a little surprised, it’s very cool. And you just came off a big gig at Blue Marlin in Ibiza last week right? And you have a big summer-long gig running there this summer … Yes. I’m back there for the third season, they let me curate the whole summer this year, which is a lot of fun. It’s the third year but the previous two years I just did eight parties spread throughout the summer. It’s a bit tricky now because I live in LA, so we’re kind of back and forth. But I have to say coming to Bali … it wasn’t a step backwards, it was really good. I wish in some ways we had a venue like Omnia in Ibiza. Well I definitely agree. I was thinking with all the hype and hoopla over Ibiza and Europe, Asia is coming on strong now, a lot of the big groups and brands are coming into Asia. Give me your immediate thoughts of Asian partying, as opposed to Europe. I think obviously there’s just that heritage and history in Ibiza, it’s been there for so long and the crowds have got quite sophisticated. The most common worry now is that the prices are rising so fast that it’s pricing out the kids on the dance floor. Everyone is hyper sensitive to that. It’s not going to be great if the club is just full of tables and bottles, so that’s why you want people dancing. Ibiza has always been about that balance, from the ‘80s and ‘90s, but currently it’s just that the cost of going to Ibiza is making it more of a weekender place. Plus it’s much easier to get in and out of the island than it used to be.

So, people start to arrive on Thursday and Friday and leave on Monday or Tuesday, and then go multiple times during the season rather than the old days where you would come for two or three weeks or in some cases the whole summer. Do you find yourself, with the explosion of festivals these past years, playing clubs as much? I mean clubs can’t pay fees like the festivals can … Yes and no. Yes, because I love playing in clubs. But you are absolutely right, particularly in a country like America for instance, where it’s an event-based business, and certainly in cities like Los Angeles and New York, it’s becoming more and more challenging to run a regular club. The crowds there, they get to see so much, they’re almost spoiled, they go out for those big one off options in Brooklyn or Queens. Running a regular club – as you know better than anyone in New York – is more and more of a challenge. You saw an amazing club like Output close last year, because the scene, particularly in Brooklyn venues, is perceived to be a one-off kind of thing. But for me, playing clubs is always important, because it’s less kind of show case, it’s more of a place for experimentation. So, I will always be looking to play clubs. Coming back to Bali, I think for a long time now the island has been talked about like the Ibiza of the East, but what I have noticed this past year is that it’s really starting to come to fruition. The number of venues, the improving infrastructure means that Djs from all over the world are coming here on a consistent basis. Bali definitely leans more towards day clubs and day experiences because people want to get up and be healthy in the morning. Absolutely. You see with the consistency of something like Potato Head over the years, also Mrs Sippy and all of the clubs around Canggu and Seminyak who consistently book cooler and cooler people. I’m also not getting younger! I love playing a day gig. It’s always a joy to see you play, you are timeless. You just keep going and going… I think when you play a place like Omnia on a Sunday, you want to keep going. I love doing those kind of shows. How would you even describe the set you played the other night? I never seen you play that kind of music. I think it’s kind of morphed over the years. I’m a purist, and my set still has its roots in house and techno, and now maybe it’s a bit more mystical with a kind of deeper Bedouin vibe … And that gels more with that sunset thing. Are you producing your own music at the moment? Yes, still making a lot of music. The big thing I’ve been working on this past year is with George Buckley and the heritage orchestra.

The next question is this, I was thinking about our age and the generation of music ravers that have grown up with you over the past 20-25 years. The heritage, what’s that all about? It looks incredible, and the Albert Hall is insane … I got invited to do show at the Albert Hall for the proms. The Proms have always been this very kind a po-faced, classical music festival and they wanted to do something a little more contemporary. So, in conjunction with Radio 1 I got to create this concert that was a celebration of Ibiza, kind of ‘heritage’ music. There were so many house and trance and techno tunes back in the day that had real string, well fake string, parts, and we got to reperform with an orchestra, it was an amazing day and night. Fortunately it went properly viral, because the BBC filmed it so beautifully, and there was this huge ground swell of demand globally to do it again. So we eventually made an album, we started going on tour this year, we’re back next month in the UK doing a series of shows at four race courses, and then we’re back for the big arena tour in December which culminates with two nights at the O2, and we got the album coming in November or December this year as well. It looked unbelievable, I mean the crowd was certainly loving it. It’s a real transformative experience. We literally take people back to Ibiza. How do keep yourself in shape? You’re looking pretty good. How do you that, when you are touring so much? A good wife and family. I think just knowing that when you get to our age, you just can’t go crazy all the time, so I think living in California helps. I’m doing a lot of road biking and the lifestyle is good out there, getting out of a city like London and New York helps. What’s your favorite food or your favorite restaurant? And you are eating healthy these days obviously… All of kinds of Asian Food. Me and my wife tend to go to traditional places that don’t just revolve around food, knowing the owners and friends there… Does Caroline travel with you everywhere? No, not anymore, but on a big trip like this, sure. I know she loves Bali too and has spent a lot of time here - she speaks Bahasa! Yes, definitely. She has deeper roots than me here, she used to live in Bali as well. Ok, so thank you! It’s been great, we loved having you. It was an awesome gig; we hope you come back soon. For sure!



Photo: Ryerson Anselmo mua: Renny Purwitasari Besseling location: la favela, bali

movin on up.


Jehan, it’s been a while since we caught up, how is life treating you? Hola, life is good, awesomely bitter-sweet and blessed! Things are great, I'm moving along sharpening my skills and entering a new path now, still struggling in some ways but I'll learn. What projects are you working on currently and what’s lined up for the future? I decided to take a role in LYD Bali Group about a year ago and still, being a mother for my two little rascals. I was a working-from-home-mom for two years until I accepted an offer from Alvaro and returned to the workforce! Now I lead a diverse and multifaceted team of a creative, technical and administrative people. My focus is on marketing and production, but I am continually leveraging my abilities. Still following my passion. Are you still involved in Bali Tonight? No, I am not, but still supporting as you know how it began and grew. Over the years, I have had opportunities to learn so many things with Cedric, the Founder of Bali Tonight. It's our blood, sweat and tears. My only wish is to see him and the team keep going and make even greater achievements. How difficult is working for a nightlife company and being a mother at the same time? Well, back home at 4am then drive them to school at 7.30am, what do you think? Ha ha ha. I have to admit it that it's not easy to balance work, family and me-time, especially as my kids have just reached school age. But when things changed for me I felt that I had to prove to myself that I had it all together and wouldn’t miss a beat. Although the reality of being able to stay up late evenings in heels, no matter if it's a weekend or not, is all about my passion. The LYD Group seems to have grown quickly since it first arrived here in 2010. What are the core values that make the group a whole? I'd say the first is that word again – passion; it leads to continuous improvement in all that we do. We know our success depends upon the initiative we take individually and our ability to work in a team. Therefore, from La Plancha, La Favela, Attika, La Laguna, La Brisa, and the other brands in the same boat, we know where we are going. What we see before everything is customer satisfaction; offering high-quality product and service . . . that's our A-list. Tell us about LYD Organic and LYD Bakery, the newest members of the family? LYD Organic and LYD Bakery began with a commitment to add specific value-added products to our daily supply across all brands. As our company has moved more into sustainability, it has centralised its sources for ingredients, with all of our brands for instance using home-grown

vegetables and spices from our farm in Bedugul. To reinforce our qualityoriented management, we then established LYD Bakery as a central production unit in 2018 with Pastry Chef Maxime. Now, we supply our tailormade bread and bakery products to all LYD Bali Group brands and other businesses in Bali; this includes hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality institutions. La Favela, La Plancha, La Brisa … they have all been enormously popular right from the start. What’s the secret? I believe it's because each brand has its own personality, from the prime location, exterior-interior, products and service, the whole experience! I'd say each brand is one-of-a-kind, especially in Bali. La Plancha with its colourful umbrella and legendary sunset; La Favela with its original concept and vintage design, intimate yet wild in its own way with the Graffiti and stencil art-adorned walls from around the globe, I call it my playground! Then Attika, a true prohibition-style cocktail den. La Laguna, a fairyland. And La Brisa . . . unbeatable view! What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Oooh, darling, as always, deadline! Ha ha ha . . . What do you think is missing in Bali’s nightlife scene right now? In my opinion, Bali's nightlife is under threat. Day parties are the new trend. It's no longer divided into beach bar or traditional nightclub, there's a diverse and growing number of options now. Many are good, and the competition is stiff. What I'm missing thought is an authentic experience. Everybody seems to do almost the same thing with the same ingredients but just a different place. What works is a consistency of idealism, which means no-one can ever copy you. What’s next for the LYD Group? We are preparing for a new brand, launching soon, can’t tell you now or it won't be a surprise! La Laguna? Yes! It's gonna be wicked, I promise! And when can we have lunch? Let's have lunch in La Brisa on Sunday, it's kinda my ritual, and I know you'll love it! Jehan, many thanks for your time. My pleasure. @didanadira


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Robert … I’m not sure where to start this. You’re tall and charismatic, you’re an author, a life coach, you’ve worked with supermodels and represented your country as a sportsman at the highest level. So where would you start this interview? Maybe with … ‘What is one of the most powerful insights you have gleaned from all these experiences?’ No matter a person's appearance from the outside – good looking, confident, high self-esteem, rich or famous, we are all the same on the inside. We all have our own specific challenges we either address or run away from. Looking back on my early years, even though I felt happy, I never felt I was enough, I had self-esteem challenges, chronic shyness and jealousy of others. I also stuttered, hated the way I looked and felt less than worthy. By all accounts you had a pretty shitty start in life. Tell us about that. Shortly after being born my elder sister and I were basically left by our mum on the doorstep of a distant relative in London. It was where our father was living at the time as we waited for him to come home. A short time after that we found ourselves in St Bernardo's orphanage (I was six months old or so). From around two years of age we were moved to a long-stay children's home in London where I stayed for sixteen more years. However, as you will understand if you read this article all the way through – I experienced a different outcome. How important is your name to you? As a parent now, even though my partner Marina chose our kids’ names, I understand the difficulty of creating a name. From this point of view I honour my parents’ choice and my name is important to me – which I also happen to like. Outside of this a lot of people call me by one of my nicknames anyway. You’re a motivational speaker, right? In your opinion what’s the single most important aspect or attitude to life that will help a person get on? An attitude of gratitude. When did you realise you wanted to help people visualise their dreams and make them happen? These seeds were planted young before I was 15 years of age whilst growing up in children's homes. If space permits I can divide this up into the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. Firstly the how . . . I was shy growing up and the youngest of the 18 kids which could stay in the children's home at one time. I spent a lot of time alone or just observing. I spent time in the company of communicative, observant women too which taught me how to listen. These factors were crucial. I

learnt how to analyse people's behavior and patterns. Consequently I would be that guy at school who was good at listening and solving people's problems. Now for part of the why . . . I experienced the broken dreams, helplessness, self-esteem challenges and violent natures of fellow orphans but also their triumphs. In their best light these kids also invested time in me, teaching what they did well, like how to play football, fight or dance. Also describing where they had failed or let themselves down. Seeing this (one was shot in the head) broke my heart. I felt a sense of duty to discover the best in people and help them succeed not fail. Do you think you’ve been successful because of the way you look? That would be part of it but the bigger part would be my attitude to life and the people around me. Hypothetically I’m a 45-year-old man in an unhappy marriage stuck in a job I don’t like and not earning enough money. I’m overweight and cynical about life. I hate everything. What would you say to me? I work quite intuitively but depending how deep down the rabbit hole you are: - I'd remind you how to tune in, meditate or quieten your mind. - Remind you of how life can work / the nature of thought and how it creates your reality. - Find out what drives you, turns you on and help connect you to your dreams and desires, for example. - Remind you to visualise with emotion, intention and purpose. - Remind you how to overcome speed bumps to achieve your dreams. - Remind you which part time plays in attaining this new reality. Who is the single most interesting and fulfilled person you have ever met? Two names spring instantly to mind: Mahamandeleswar Nitychanada, an Indian Meditation Master (amongst other things) and a friend here in Bali called Kai Jordan. Tell us how you ended up on this island… Marina, myself and our kids were living in Sydney and we reached the stage where that great city which I love was becoming too difficult (especially after our second baby Almira came along). It was actually Marina who suggested we spend some time in Bali. I had happy memories of my last visit to Bali some 20 plus years prior so I was more than prepared to take the leap.

What do you plan to do here? As a family we'd love to invest in property here. Personally, I'm focused on spreading a positive message through speaking, coaching and community collaboration. Such as our Monday night "Speak-uP" at our concept store, Lyfe in Bali (in Tamora Gallery, Berawa) featuring transformational speakers. In July for Speak-uP #10 we featured a Q & A with the first Indonesian woman, Mathilda Dwi Lestari, to climb the world's seven highest mountains, including Mt Everest. At Tamora Gallery I'll continue to community-build through weekly events such as Kids Sunday to annual events like the Berawa Food and Wine Festival. Finally, Bali VIP Concierge will give me the opportunity to share how beautiful, special and unique Bali is with a larger collective of friends living overseas. You’re a father of two children. I’m curious: what would the post-dad Robert say to the pre-dad Robert? Great question . . . I truly understand that I am a product of all of the learning experiences, successes and challenges that I have had so far. Having said all that preparedness was lacking when it came to solid financial habits/education. I remember a time when, by my standards, I earned a great deal of money – but instead of investing it or being a great custodian of it – I couldn't get rid of it fast enough! Having a family now has brought me into contact with that, repeatedly. Another one would be being comfortable way sooner to take even greater risks and embrace life fully, to breathe through challenges as the answers always appear. The importance of spending quiet or reflective time in order to tap into your creative flow and finally not to be afraid of feeling seemingly negative emotions. Who is Robert Ian Bonnick when he is being the best he can be? An adventurous, fulfilled, charismatic, free spirited human being who effortlessly attracts to him all resources and materials he needs to move to the next level of creating an incredible life for himself and his family. A man deeply connected to source, who treats everyone the same (which is . . . very well) regardless of their background, skin colour, ideology, religious or political beliefs. A man who makes everyone feel comfortable around him, inspires self-mastery, inner fulfillment and the understanding that transformation is part of who we are and that we can achieve anything. Amen to that.

robert ian bonnick was an abandoned child who went from nothing to everything. he spoke to tony stanton about how. photo: otkidach anastasiya styling: angie angorro

soul survivor.



you and i. when the days equal the nights we begin our journey anew. photography: ludo paul muse: anna amurova






culture vulture “My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”

Photo essay by Oscar Munar.


“She had a flower tattoo on her wrist; "What does that mean?" he asked her. "Absolutely nothing," she said, "it's just a flower.�


culture vulture “He whirled in the water and grinned at me. Damn, he was a handsome bastard. I realized he was halfnaked. Blue swirls of tattoos painted his chest. When God made that chest, he did it to tempt women.�


“They keep track of time. Sometimes things happen and you feel that you need to mark them down.�



culture vulture

“Our bodies were printed as blank pages to be filled with the ink of our hearts.�



is gender a factor in success? we asked bali's leading femme fatales. words: karen donald. images: ryerson anselmo for costes portrait


empowered (left to right) : nicolaza, liat, alexa, susanna.



FIFTEEN years ago, when I was starting my company Made from Stardust, a businesswoman gave me some advice. "Stay focused on what you're trying to achieve. Your worst enemy is going to be self-doubt." With so many competitive men ahead of me securing positions in the workplace, she emphasized the importance of backing myself and closing the confidence gap. Years later, I still value advice from business owners – especially from dynamic women who face additional and unique obstacles because of their gender. Unlike Western issues surrounding female equality, Indonesia has additional cultural and religious structures that have an influence upon women’s rights and self-image. But statistics show that women are now starting businesses at twice the rate of male-majority-owned enterprises. Strategies that have helped female entrepreneurs to succeed include defying social expectations, building a support network, tackling gender discrimination and balancing dual career-family pressures. Although businesswomen with children experience even more demands on their time and energy, the growing success rate of female entrepreneurs shows that women are naturally resourceful and blessed with skills to succeed – despite the odds. I asked nine women founders – all of whom I greatly admire – to provide some insight on how to overcome challenges in the world of business. Here is what they had to say.

Susanna Perini, Founder, CEO & Creative Director of BIASA Group Italian-born Susanna Perini is the founding designer of BIASA Bali – an award-winning and internationally recognized clothing label, art space and lifestyle brand. Her story began in 1994, when she created a boutique inspired by an Indonesian lifestyle and Italian design ethos, offering visitors and residents sophisticated resort-wear collections along with treasures from around the world. Susanna was awarded an Order of Knighthood from the Republic of Italy in relation to her work


within Indonesian Contemporary Art and its promotion through cultural exchanges in Italy.

staff and taught them to rise through the ranks regardless of background or education.

“I am privileged to be the product of two generations of self-employed women," she told me. “My early conditioning leans towards selfassurance in a male-dominated world, making my experience unusual compared to the hardships still faced by women in the workforce, especially in Indonesia. Growing my business as a woman in Bali has shed light on the stark diversity in culture experienced here between the sexes. Indonesian women are definitely considered ‘less adequate’ than men to handle top management roles and decision-making in business. For this reason, at times I also personally experience a subtle resistance by male colleagues to fully embrace my lead as a captain.

“As a female business owner I have looked into the issue of self-empowerment and how it relates to a woman’s belief in herself and her role in the workplace. My advice for local businesswomen is to seek improved economic opportunities. At Amo we actually only have one male staff member in a management authority position. All other management and leadership roles have been promoted from within the company, which has provided the necessary training and essential personal development skills to make this internal shift possible for our female local staff to assume these positions.

“My advice to female entrepreneurs would be to draw a clear intention of your own inspiration and share that with others. Be aware of the influence of actions that we directly or indirectly inflict upon our environment. I believe that becoming financially rich, powerful or famous are no longer sustainable goals – those intentions create destruction and suffering. By including compassionate values in our priorities we have the chance to practice an alternative and more sustainable business format than the one we have experienced through the centuries in a maledominated world. “Living in Bali, and gaining a true appreciation for its culture has taught me that there is an untouched universe at play between the seen and unseen. As a woman, I believe that being driven by underlying values that may be kept in the realm of the unseen is perfectly okay.”

Navia Ngyuen, Former Model & Founder of Amo Spa Bali Vietnamese-American model and actress Navia Ngyuen created Amo Spa as a profitshare company with the mission statement: Women’s Rights and Equality through Economic Opportunity. Currently eighty-five percent of Amo’s work force is female – not managed by male authority figures, but female role models. This is because Navia invested in her local female

Although we have an old paradigm stating what the good mother and wife should be like – such as careers, economic self-sufficiency, perfect bodies, and not to age or be too powerful – our female staff are now the breadwinners for their families. During 10 years of doing business in Bali we have seen the positive effect training has had on female staff members at work and in interpersonal relationships with their mother in laws, husbands, communities, and being role models to their children.”

Made Yanie Mason, Co-Founder/President Director of Mason Adventures: Mason Elephant Park & Lodge, Mason Sky Tours, Mason Gourmet, & Mason Chocolates. It has been thirty years since award-winning Made Yanie Mason started her adventures. Ever since she was young Yanie admired her parents and older sisters who worked very hard throughout their entire lives. This inspired her to do something different, with conviction. Not long after meeting her husband Nigel, she decided to open Yanie's Restaurant, which was incredibly popular and a first of it's kind in Legian – which would set the foundations and pave the way to the initiation of her first Rafting Adventure Tour in 1989. “I had many problems to overcome over the years, starting with my marriage to a Westerner, which was heavily frowned upon at the time, as well as the government, which most certainly did not take women seriously in business. During my

amo amas amat ... navia.


feature janet (left) and niluh.


early years in business I was frequently looked down upon, especially by people who were quick to make assumptions. We had to work extremely hard over long hours just to make ends meet because we had very little money – however we had lots of enthusiasm and made a great team. It was a struggle back in the 80s and most likely I was being paid the least. However, since starting my own businesses – being paid unfairly based on my gender is no longer a problem. It’s only in this century that Balinese women have been able to overcome the prejudices of the past. Women in Bali are now far better educated and are definitely being taken much more seriously. "My best piece of advice for businesswomen is don't ever be afraid to stand up for yourself. Be patient, find your genuine passion in life and always strive to pursue it. Stay strong, determined, and don't listen to the bullshit along the way – results will eventually speak for themselves.”

Janet DeNeefe, Founder and Director of Ubud Writers Festival & Ubud Food Festival Janet DeNeefe is an expert in the business of hospitality, food and spices. Her creations: Casa Luna Restaurant, Indus Restaurant, Honeymoon Guesthouse sit alongside the Ubud Food Festival and Ubud Writers & Readers Festival – named by The Telegraph as “Among the top five Writer's Festivals in the World”. Accidently starting her first business in 1987, ‘Lilies Restaurant, Monkey Forest Road’ was acquired from a bankrupt landlord for a ridiculously low sum of money. “My best piece of advice for female entrepreneurs is do things with integrity and for the right reason and then give it 150 percent dedication and attention. Be in charge, never give up and work hard. It's also important as a woman to have a support network and loyal friends around you who will listen at all times (and always take your side!). "Personally, I ignore failure because otherwise I would not succeed. But I don't really see things as ‘failing’, I simply treat things as experiments, and if it doesn't work you make it better the next time: It's all a learning experience. If it doesn't work, you try another way. Rome wasn't built in a day!

"There are plenty of Indonesian mentors in Bali. Ubud has a history of successful mentors/entrepreneurs and women have always run our most popular warungs. I wrote about them in The Jakarta Post – Ibu Oka's, Murni's, Canderi's, Cafe Wayan and Oka Wati's are/were successful because of the women who created them. Customers like to see the ‘face behind the business’– the person with the story: so be prepared to stand up and share the reasons for your endeavours. My biggest skill is my humour – without it I would have fallen in a heap on the floor. Flexibility and patience is a must in all businesses here. You have to take it as it comes and be patient throughout the process.“

Alexa Genoyer, Founder/CEO of Blue Karma Secrets & The Oracle Luxury Cruises Alexa Genoyer’s area of expertise is hospitality and luxury cruises. Alexa started her journey into hospitality 14 years ago after vividly dreaming she owned a 10-bedroom guesthouse in a place “where she could hear religious chants far away”. Following her dream Alexa travelled the world from South America, to North Africa to South East Asia and finally found it while visiting land in Gang Bima. The bungalows of an old Pondok Wisata triggered a flashback and that’s how Blue Karma Seminyak started. In 2018 Blue Karma Ubud was named “Number One Retreat Resort, South Pacific” by I-Explore. “My advice for women who struggle to be taken seriously is to remember all the women who fought, and still fight in many parts of the world for their rights. I make sure that all the women working with me are respected just as men are. While recruiting our female Cruise Director I was concerned that female authority may not be accepted by men coming from different religious backgrounds – actually I was wrong, as it does not depend on the gender but on the personality of the individual. "My life skills are the ability to multitask, curiosity, adaptability, and willingness to work as a team – to leave space for each person to be creative. If you are starting in business, I suggest that you forget seeing yourself as a ‘woman’, instead feel yourself as being a ‘person who is driven by an idea.’ If you don’t want to experience separation, then don’t think separation. Don’t consider yin and yang, but instead consider a

whole in which you have a bit of yin, and a bit of yang. There is not black and white, but thousands of greys. There is never bad nor good: there is something.”

Niluh, Founder & Creative Director of Niluh Shoes Ni Luh Putu Ary Pertami Djelantik was born in a small village near Kintamani, Bangli. For 16 years she has been running a handmade leather shoes and accessories manufacturing company called Niluh Djelantik. When Niluh was a child, she used to wear a pair of shoes two or three sizes too big for her. Her mother – a single parent – insisted that she get an education and sent her to the best school even though they were poor. At nine years old Niluh told her mom, "One day when I have a job and make my own money I will buy a pair of shoes that fit." And in 1995, as a receptionist, she bought her first pair of high heels that cost IDR15,000. Winner of many awards including: The Yak Magazine's Woman of the Year 2015, Denpasar Marketing Champion 2016, and Forbes Indonesia, Rising Global Stars, 2017: Niluh believes in craftsmanship, and creates high quality products that compete internationally. “In my working experiences, I have always been surrounded by male colleagues. I make sure that my voice is heard and that my professional capacity is also part of the company’s growth. I use special techniques when communicating with my team: since they come from different backgrounds, ages and education levels. It is very effective, and at the same time they feel that you give them the love and respect they deserve. "My best advice for female entrepreneurs is there is no elevator to success, as everybody has to take the stairs! Each failure is a lesson that will improve your skills and ability to grow the company. Once you have achieved your success, always remember to give back by sharing your skills with those in need so they can follow in your footsteps and reach their own stardom. It will not be an easy journey, but you know why you started in the first place so give it your full attention, and never forget to be grateful. Delegation is important and you need to trust that your team is capable of doing their job well. As for your relationship with clients, and suppliers, consider them your family: at the end of the day they support you and make sure that your company is strong.”



Liat Solomon, Founding Director of Down To Earth, Earth Café, the Bali Vegan Festival, Zula, and Paradiso Theater Ubud Liat Solomon is founder of the enterprising Bali Vegan Festival, and owner of Zula, Down to Earth, and Earth Café – where focus is on creating a better world through pure, organic foods. Liat has never worked for anyone else: she opened her first restaurant at the age of 19 following her love for the earth, supporting people who wanted to live a healthy lifestyle. For 37 years Liat has been sharing her knowledge with our community here in Bali – bringing clean and organic food to every table.

ambiance for people to enjoy their dining experience from beginning to end. Winner of several Yak Awards, Sardine has editorials in The New York Times, Harper’s Baazar, Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet Traveler, Times Magazine, Luxe, and Indonesian Tatler. “For me a restaurant is like a theater, everything matters: ambiance, greeting, service, lighting, music and of course good food. The biggest lesson I learned in Bali is patience. My ability to relate to people from all walks of life and cultures helps me to be able to work with men and women, move around the world and start new ventures. I have always worked for myself so it’s up to me to find

“My advice for female entrepreneurs is to make sure you have a support team and learn to delegate. Eat a healthy diet, sleep well and make time for love. Remove anyone from around you who is not supportive. Most of all, I think it’s about being true, honest, kind and generous. It’s wonderful to see women in power. Women have the full spectrum of emotions, passions and ideas. "Being a woman in business is common now, but when I first started I was not taken seriously and was often taken advantage of and exposed to threats and humiliation by men in powerful positions. Coping with the fear of failure is very important because I have faced so many challenges with my business, such as having to rebuild Earth Café Seminyak after it suffered major loss in the recent fire, and with Paradiso Theater Seminyak after it burnt down less than 24 hours after opening. Telling myself ‘better days will come’ is important.

Pika Chevillot, artist, interior designer and restaurateur, was born in Slovenia. Inspired by her insatiable curiosity for other cultures and places, she began to travel the world at young age. She spent time in Argentina, the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, New York and Los Angeles before moving to Bali with her husband Pascal where Sardine was born. Housed in a striking bamboo structure – overlooking a vista of endless rice paddies – Sardine is a charming restaurant serving healthy, tasty and light cuisine du soleil, ideal for a hot Bali climate. Pika likes to set the stage and provide the perfect


Nicolaza Lupercio, Co-founder/Creative Director of Mexicola Group Bali Born and raised in Mexico, Nicolaza Lupercio runs Motel Mexicola, Da Maria and Luigi’s Hot Pizza. Her career in hospitality started in Playa Del Carmen during 2002 working for Grupo Habita, one of Mexico’s leading hospitality organizations. Nicolaza has been passionate about food since she was little girl. In 2008, while living in Terrigal, Australia, some influential people tried her food and decided to invest in her skills. Since her arrival in Bali, Nicolaza has won several awards – Motel Mexicola was voted “Top 10 Restaurants in Bali” by Forbes Life Magazine’. Motel Mexicola won “Best Bar” at The Yak Awards, with Da Maria winning “Best Italian Restaurant” by The Beat Bali Awards. “My life has always been devoted to service, and that’s what hospitality is all about. I love giving people an experience and offering great service. I have never faced gender-based obstacles, although I am aware that it happens. My father was my first boss, and my last boss, and Mr Alejandro Rueda, is still my best friend. I have only worked with men and all my business partners are men. If anything, it’s been really positive – I have learnt the way they think business wise and they have learnt from my feminine touch too.

"Being a single mother is also a heavy load. Putting my own needs, wishes, and hopes on the backburner because kids come first. Luckily living in Bali I have the ‘second shift’ duties covered by help, which allows me to spend quality time with my kids and put the troubles of the day behind me.”

Pika Chevillot, Co-Founder of Sardine Restaurant

surround yourself with like-minded people. Be realistic and understand how to get from point A to point B. Keep learning – as knowledge creates confidence. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!”

yanie by ted van de hulst.

and create opportunities. In my experience, an individual’s talent, knowledge and reliability are more important than gender itself. At Sardine we have many female employees and both my husband and I try to encourage and empower them equally. My advice for women starting in business is to choose something that you are passionate about where you can grow and get better with experience. Put your heart and mind into it: get excited and take pride in what you do. Take advice only from people who know the subject, and

Within my culture Mexican women are not intimidated by any gender – work is work. That doesn’t mean we are less feminine, but we don’t project fear when it comes to work, as for some work is survival. Here in Bali, people often are surprised that a female is behind such an explosive brand like Motel Mexicola. The reaction is always so positive – I get great satisfaction from it. "My advice for female businesswomen is to trust your instincts and the process – let go of fear no matter what. Things may not go the way you expect them to go, but you will be surprised that in the end it will turn out even greater than you expected. In today’s world it’s not enough to provide a great product, you have to apply love to everything you do. There is no such thing as luck. Power is not given – it’s taken. So go for it, it’s up to you!” The Yak Magazine contacted many women for the purpose of this feature. We would like to thank those who were able to contribute their valuable time.

gang of four: pika, nicolaza, liat, alexa.




I N V I TA T I O N S & T I C K E T D I S C O U N T S

w w w.t h e ya k m a g.c o m / v i p

The Yak Magazine


yak fashion

photography: oscar munar @oscarmunar styling: angie anggoro @glamazoid models: renia for balistarz @lovebalistarz talia for the socialite model management @thesocialitemodels

white shirt dress. batik coat and scarf cardigan by namu. jewellery by john hardy. shoes by zara. palm and wicker hat stylist's own.



yak fashion

ali charisma endek ikat worn with tasseled lace navy tasseled lace worn headscarf. jewellery by


tassel top skirt. as john hardy.

ali charisma ikat-top worn over double layer lace and tasseled skirt. jewellery by john hardy.


yak fashion

ali charisma endek ikat tassel top worn with tasseled lace skirt. navy tasseled lace worn as headscarf. jewellery by john hardy.


namu cotton denim dress worn under batik zigzag top. patricia rox corset belt. jewellery by john hardy.



Somewhere in the Namibian desert, hidden from prying eyes and the willful vandalism that usually accompanies these things, stands an art exhibit unlike anything else on earth.

“Without music, life would be a mistake,” wrote Friedrich Nietzche, whose “Ubermensche” philosophy tried to teach us that man can overcome his very being so that no action can be judged.

The creation of artist Max Siendentopf, it consists of a series of 1.5 meter-high pillars atop which sit an iPod connected to several speakers and all in turn plugged into a solar-powered battery source.

Nietzche also famously wrote “God is dead”, but the great protestant reformist Martin Luther clearly disagreed, saying almost 300 years earlier that “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”.

Playing endlessly on loop, at full volume, is just one song – Africa, by the 1970s Los Angeles soft rock band Toto.

We’ll never know who created the first music, but most academics agree it was probably unintended, and originated with early man when they tried to imitate birdsong in order to catch prey.

That the song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1983 is more testament to the dearth of decent music from that period than its quality. Band member David Paich had been playing around with a new keyboard when his fingers literally stumbled across the nowfamiliar riff. At the time, Paich had never stepped foot in Africa, but a copy of National Geographic on a nearby table – open at a feature on Africa – caught his eye, and a hit was born. If an alien spacecraft was to choose a remote part of Earth to land unseen, they could do far worse than to pick somewhere in the remote Namib. One wonders what they would make of this bizarre spectacle. It is more likely however, any alien life would first come across Earth’s music somewhere in deep space following the launch in February 2018 by Elon Musk of one of his electric cars aboard a Space-X rocket. The cherry-red Tesla is now cruising through deep space with its top down, being “driven” by a mannequin, on a timeless voyage that could last for millions of years. If an alien spaceship was to stumble across and investigate this curious vessel, they would discover ¬– also being played on solar-powered endless loop – Space Odyssey, by David Bowie. It’s probably a good thing that in space, no-one can hear you scream. These two “follies” – as the creations of brilliant eccentrics were once properly known – give a great insight into our relationship with music. Most people consciously pin significant events in their lives to specific dates - we all have birthdays, for instance, or anniversaries marking a wedding, graduation or even relocation. Recovering alcoholics or drug addicts can often tell you to the minute when they went on the wagon, while sports fans can recall with clarity the time and place their team won a significant victory. Music has a different effect on us, however. Instead of taking us to a certain time, it also takes us to a certain moment.


Given every culture in the world - even the most isolated tribes and those long extinct - has some form of music, it is safe to say that it originated in Africa and spread through the world along with the great dispersal of our ancestors. The world’s oldest living civilization is widely accepted to be Australia’s Aboriginals who anthropologists date back in an unbroken line to around 80,000 years ago - nearly twice as long as the roots of western Europeans and east Asians. Aboriginals have a rich musical tradition - including instruments - and so it is fair to date the evolution of music to at least that period. The first “instrument”, however, was almost certainly the human voice, with fireside tales being far easier to remember and pass along as poetry or song. Instruments would have evolved quite naturally. The banging of a stick against a rock would become a drum; a whistle, when accompanied by a leaf or piece of bark would become a crude pipe. A flute, a V-shaped vulture bone with five holes found in a cave in Germany, has been dated back around 35,000 years and is widely considered the earliest known musical instrument. Ancient music, the name given to that which followed the prehistoric period, is far better documented and the oldest known song written down dates to 3,400 years ago in Syria - a rather monotonous hymn to a pagan god. Skipping along, we get to early music - mostly dominated by the Roman Catholic Church - and straight into the Medieval period, heralded by those Gregorian chants named for Pope Gregory 1, who was himself a composer. It was the Renaissance that brought us something more akin to the music we know today - tunes and songs orchestrated for multiple instruments and voices. The invention of printing had a profound effect because finally musical scores could be copied multiple times and those familiar with the “language” could learn it from sight, rather than ear. With music now a mass medium, it was ready to take on the world.



Mozart was an alcoholic gadfly obsessed with writing songs about poo.


We tend to think only modern music has the power to shock, but in reality music has been causing revolution for centuries. Beethoven, arguably the greatest classical composer in history, wrote his brilliant Symphony No. 3, known first as Heroica as a tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte, thinking the Frenchman embodied the democratic and republican ideals that Europe yearned for at a time Kings and Princes were starting wars on a whim. When Napoleon turned out to be just as tyrannical as the royals he toppled, courts across Europe refused to play Beethoven’s masterpiece, so he renamed it Eroica, ensuring its place in history. Beethoven was probably the world’s first true “tortured genius”. He was a child prodigy and in his early twenties was already one of the most sought-after musicians in Europe, able to compose new pieces to order for any occasion - at a price, of course. But in his early twenties he was interrupted while composing a piano piece and flew into a rage, which resulted in an epileptic fit. He somewhat recovered, but was left with tinnitus that deteriorated and eventually left him profoundly deaf by the time he was 40. He constantly considered suicide, but such was his genius that he was still able to compose some of his greatest works, entirely in his head and for full orchestration, without hearing a single note. Mozart was the next tortured genius - an alcoholic gadfly obsessed with writing songs about poo - who left an astonishing volume of work despite dying a pauper aged just 35. From the beginning of the 20th century, musical development fairly raced along. Before the invention of the gramophone or wireless radio, the only way to listen to music was to play it yourself or hear it live. Popular songs of the day were hastily printed and sold for a penny so that performers could cash in on the latest trends by busking in public or singing in pubs. No Victorian dinner party was complete without someone playing a piece to the gathered guests, while comedic operas by composers such as Gilbert and Sullivan were as popular then as musicals like Cats and Les Mis are today. It was Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph that truly changed everything. Suddenly everyone could play music in their own homes - albeit scratchily. Despite the evolution of music, academics argue there have only been three true musical “revolutions” in the last 50 years 60s, 80s and 90s. A group of British scientists looked at more than 17,000 songs from the US Billboard Hot 100 and looked at the different characteristics of each song - including harmony, chords and tones, and then analysed how they changed over time.

In the early 1960s, chords found in jazz and blues started to die out and the invasion of British bands - from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones - introduced a new sound, rock. New technology including synthesisers and samplers drove a second major style shift in the 80s and gave us disco, which still endures in much club music. The third, in the early 90s, came when rap and hip-hop entered the mainstream. Today we all hold some music in our hearts and minds - even without deliberately doing so. How many times have you heard a song and it’s taken you back to a time or a space - a real space-time continuum. For me, I only have to hear the opening bars of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne and I am transported back to the late 70s (we were a bit behind the times where I was growing up in Africa) and I am having sex for the first time with the song playing in the background. Cohen’s performance lasted a lot longer than mine. Who can resist singing along to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, especially in a car, and that song instantly takes me back to seemingly endless road trips. I can’t listen to Suzanne Vega at all. The only tape cassette we had between us while covering the appalling genocide and retaliations in the Great Lakes region in Africa was her Greatest Hits album, and any song from it reminds me of butchered, bloated corpses. But mostly, music gives us joy. A few years ago, I spent some time in jail for an offense that would not even be considered a crime in much of the world. Conditions were stark, I was afraid for my future, and I was surrounded by, well basically a bunch of desperate criminals. The thing that kept everyone on the straight and narrow was music. At almost every hour of the day, you could hear a prisoner singing - sometimes several in an impromptu choir. The wardens allowed us to have musical instruments and in a population of around 1,500 people, there are always going to be some who can play - many very well. Their practice sessions and concerts were always well attended, with prisoners gathered around, lost in the music and for a while oblivious to their surroundings. The famously atheist American novelist Kurt Vonnegut - at time of writing still going strong in his 80s - was asked years ago what he wanted as his epitaph. He replied: “The only proof he needed for the existence of God, was music.”



Drive, park, surf, drive, eat, drive, sleep. Three old friends take a '63 Landie to lombok for some high times on surf and turf. Words: Ano Mac. Photos: Harry Mark.


are we there yet?



This is the story about three friends. All of whom herald from the same small coastal town in Western Java, all of whom had fallen under the spell of surfing. A spell cast by those first surf pioneers who roamed the southern coast of Java looking for waves during the '70s, '80s and '90s. It’s a small knit community, their town in paradise. Full of people who rely on each other for everything. A place where they shared what little they had. For these three, and a handful of others who aren’t the focus of this yarn, that included the first surfboards they’d managed to acquire through travellers, either from breakage or gifts. Their town was fortuitous enough to be on the map for the water magicians who passed by. Blessed with a wave that’s now something of an international attraction. But that’s not the focus of this story either. The oldest of this trinity, Husni Ridhwan, was whipped up into traveling and surfing from a young age. He’d caught the bug and he was good at it, something the trio have in common. At one point he’d competed and had been Indonesia’s Longboard Champ. But he was too laid back for the whole rigmarole that is competitive surfing. A woman, a daughter and work conspired to make him move to Australia many moons ago. The youngest, Dean Permana, left to seek something he foresaw in his future, something he couldn’t find in that blip on a map. He upped roots travelling to Bali just over a year ago. That left just Deni Pirdaus in paradise. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not lonely, as I said before, he’s still got a mass of mates up where he lives, it’s just that they aren’t pertinent to my tale. This is an account of an opportunity. The timing was right. All three were in Bali for a moment and when a friend-of-a-friends old Mark II Landrover from 1961 was offered up to use they hatched the plan for a short surf trip. The car would move them, but they knew it wouldn’t go fast or far, so they looked east, a place they didn’t get to often but somewhere they knew had waves – Lombok. They wanted to take advantage of this shared location and with that thought in mind the three of them loaded the Landie to the hilt and set out on 'surfari'. If you leave late in the evening you can time it right and miss the traffic from Canggu to Padang Bai. The


trio knew that the crossing on the car ferry could take anything from five to 10 hours, so leaving on the midnight ferry was the aim. That would get them in around dawn – or at least in the morning, before the sun got so hot you could fry eggs on the Landie's deck plate. Husni would pilot the vehicle from beginning to end. Neither of the others had a licence for a car, and with this old girl requiring a certain touch, he would be, for the duration of the trip, the skipper, shackled behind the wheel. The responsibility rested easily on his shoulders, most notably because he was the oldest but also because during his time in Australia he had driven a Landcruiser on a daily basis. This to him was just more of the same. Riding shotgun for most of the trip was Dean, the youngest of the bunch who’d resettled to Bali to get greater exposure for his surfing career. For him this trip to Lombok wasn’t about the distance as much as it was the company he would keep. Deni had flown in from West Java for the Deus 9ft & Single comp. and for him to chase waves with his buddies to a place he’d never been was too good an opportunity to pass up. The ferry ended up taking seven hours, the last two sitting so close to the coast they could throw stones at it. They sat there waiting in a queue for the ferry in front to get loaded up with trucks, cars, bikes and people and when they rolled off the boat they were well and truly over it and headed up the hill through the odd crunch of gears to find some surf. First place they came upon was Mawi, a beautiful, vaguely populated bay on the southside of Lombok. Hills stand like pillars at wither end and it’s awash on the one side with aqua blue waters and on the other with fields of half grown green grains. There’s a white stripe of delineation, the sands of the beach being the in between. This was a spot with a known left hander and a lot lessknown right. Well these three were all naturals and to a man, they liked going left as much as they liked eating sandwiches for lunch, which when you take in where they are from, isn’t very much nor very often. The right was working when they arrived and after parking and safely securing their gear they dived in to the waters and out straight into the

small waves on offer. The clean, clear sea served to dislocate the travel dirt and washed off the past night and morning’s trek. Steep cliffs on two sides held the wind at bay until a little later in the day when they could enjoy the separation and solace this far-flung spot provided. Hunger pushed them out of the water and back to the car. They packed efficiently and headed off to find a local lean-to and a delicious meal of rice, meat and vegetables. Their repartee was immediately apparent. And they spoke with a fluidity and candour only true friends acquire. Teasing and mockery were there but malice wasn’t. They talked about everything and everyone they knew in common. They talked between waves, between the bouncing over bumps on the dusty track and between mouthfuls of food. They filled in the gaps that had appeared in their friendships when one moved away or stayed. Thus, they began to set up a sedate routine. Drive, park, surf, drive, eat, drive, sleep, drive, park, surf, drive, eat, drive, sleep . . . and so on. Talk was a constant. Where many others would have fallen silent this triad chose to speak, laugh and play all the way. They trawled the south coast from Serangan through to Grupuk. The days blurred until they were gone and time told them to point the car north and head for the ferry home. The ‘63 Landie performed amazingly. Shouldn’t sound so surprised but for a vehicle whose age is only slightly younger than the combined age of the three occupants it was great to see there wasn’t a hiccup from it the entire trip. Of course, it was slow, noisy, underpowered, with an uncomfortable driving position, minimal or no creature comforts, and no land speed records were broken before, during or after their jaunt. It should be said that it was the car that set the tempo for the entire journey. With its open sides, brakes and clutch that can both be very, very heavy (a real pain, literally, getting on and off ferries and in traffic jams) and a totally inadequate sized motor, it took them out into the wild untamed places. The three boys were transported back to a simpler period, allowing them to unconsciously drop the pretences of the intervening years, leaving them able to catch up on missed times and hear about the others opportunities. They vowed to not leave it so long before the next trip.

overland to walk on water.


culture vulture

our greatest shame So Aaron, any first impressions of Bali you can recall? Well, like so many other people, I fell in love with it when I first went there about maybe 20 years ago and it’s changed quite a lot since then! A very beautiful place, rich in culture, amazing food, and welcoming people, but mass tourism has now created some significant issues on the island and one of those is wildlife tourism. World Animal Protection did a study last year and pretty much all of the wildlife tourism locations they surveyed failed the basic standards of animal welfare, so this is something that really has to change in Bali, and that starts with tourists voting with their feet and choosing not to visit some of these places, and everyone has a responsibility to do something about this, the venues as well. Growing up – how did you first become interested in photography and wildlife protection? I think most English people were brought up with David Attenborough, and if you ask most people of my age they grew up watching his documentaries and because of that we were exposed to many stories about the natural world. For me, those were some of the things that helped get me through my childhood and as I was watching his documentaries I always thought in the back of my mind maybe one day I’ll be able to work in the industry too. But then I got into the corporate world and worked in advertising as a copy writer for a while, and then had my own modeling agency and then in my late 20s I thought, you know if you’re actually going to do it and fulfill this childhood dream of becoming a wildlife film maker, then I have to do it now. So I sold up, and first off went travelling and then did a wildlife film-making course in South Africa,


Aaron Gekoski champions animal rights in a world still numb to their welfare. He spoke to Jason Hubert for The Yak.

a gorilla in warsaw, poland.


culture vulture

and since then for the past decade I have been looking into issues of human animal conflict around the world. I was in Africa for six years and now Asia for the past four years, and as I do this I’m predominantly an environmental photo journalist and that’s my main love – being behind the camera and documenting human animal conflict as a photographer. One of your recent posts exposes the lucrative trade of Indonesian and Thai river otters to the streets of Tokyo for entertainment at otter cafes and as personal pets in apartments – how long has this been going on and how did it become a trend? First of all, it’s the Asian Short Clawed Otter and they are mainly coming from Indonesia. So the poachers will go out with their dogs and smoke out the parents from their burrow and then kill the parents in order to get to the babies which are then sold into the exotic pet trade, and this is how many of the otters in the Tokyo pet cafes ended up there. This is actually quite a recent phenomenon and it follows the advent of cat and dog cafes in Tokyo which became all the rage for a while, so some of the cafés decided to engage with more exotic species in order to differentiate themselves from the competition and in order to capitalize on the otter craze that is sweeping the planet, which is partly fueled by social media. If you go into Google or Facebook and type 'cute otter' you’ll find hundreds of images with otters juggling stones and putting them in their pockets, holding hands in the river . . . they have these very quirky mannerisms that make them very popular amongst the general public. They’re seen as romantic, cute, funny . . . and this has made them target for the exotic pet trade. But the thing about otters is that they make terrible pets. In India they use otters as hunting packs for river fish but are still kept in cages – do you see that as exploitation also or more acceptable? I think it’s different if you’re looking at traditions that have been around for a long time in which people rely on them for their livelihoods . . . so I think that is quite different. It’s not exploitative like within the exotic pet trade or for wildlife tourism. One is relying on the otters to help feed their families; the other one is using the otters for entertainment. In some cases, the nature of the exoticism comes from strange or unexpected origins – such as the use of civet cats for Kopi Luwak – this became a delicacy borne out of random tired palm oil workers wanting a cup of coffee. Is this just wrong on all levels or is there a humane way for such a thing?


Well, yes it can be done humanely, which I saw in Timor Leste for example where the workers go and collect periodically after the civets have fed from selected trees. So it can be done that way but it becomes hugely expensive as the yield is often lower. It’s much cheaper and easier to keep the civets in cages and only feed them coffee beans, but that way they’re not always being fed the ripest beans and they’re kept in horrible conditions. They’re nocturnal animals and the fact that most of these places operate during the day full of tourists makes it very stressful to them, so basically yes there is a humane way but because it’s more expensive it’s sort of paved the way for this inhumane industry and most people are either unaware of it or turn a blind eye. You often have to play charades to gain access to some of the characters or locations in your features – has this ever backfired or become dangerous? You know what, it hasn’t really. Most of the time unless people are doing something illegal then they’re happy to talk to us. There aren’t that many instances where we’re going under cover to try to unearth something that is dangerous. For the documentaries a lot of what you’re seeing is just by buying a ticket to the shows and then exposing the trade. There is one story involving the mafia in Eastern Europe but I can’t go into details about that here. How do you see the further persecution of journalists and media at large under the current political climate? Is there anyone you can call for support if things go awry? On a personal level, I don’t really notice persecution of journalists and media and actually for my work, the way that media has opened up over recent years and there’s so many different outlets it’s actually become a lot easier. Now at the press of a button you can get your work out there to thousands upon thousands of outlets and I have a very good agent in London who secures media stories that I work on who gets my work to the right places. These days, particularly with social media, you can almost bypass traditional media outlets. For example after working on a recent story about the turtle rehabilitation centers in Tanjung Benoa, I released the images a day or so later, and within a couple of weeks they had reached 1.7 million people on Facebook. How do you see social media affecting animal based tourism? Does it amplify the wrong destinations as free for all forums for anyone trying to make a buck? I think that social media has really led to what was

already a lucrative industry becoming even more profitable. So the exotic wildlife industry is now a US$250 billion per year business, and recent research shows there’s almost half a million animals that are suffering for our entertainment and a lot of this has been amplified by social media. They’ve also actually done research that shows many people do have animal welfare concerns when visiting some of these places, but the perceived benefit of that Facebook or Instagram post impressing their friends somehow outweighs any animal welfare concerns that they have, so that’s incredibly dangerous and worrying for wildlife as a whole. Can you tell us a bit about the Raise the Red Flag platform? How best can every day people help the cause? Well, Raise the Red Flag was borne from the need of having a platform that is dedicated solely to the wildlife tourism industry as currently there is nothing available. So this allows people to let their concerns be heard while they’re on holiday. If they see any forms of abuse happening during shows or location visits, they can raise a red flag within the platform so that it becomes verified and appears as a report on a global map of the wildlife tourism industry. Through your work, you are exposed to numerous examples of human and animal depravity for song and dance performances or entertainment of an often unwitting audience – do you ever lose faith in humanity? Yes, constantly, and it is very easy to get disheartened with this wildlife tourism project that I’ve been working on and you do see the very worst of humanity, but I should also say you see the very best of humanity too, because there are people who dedicate their lives to protecting animals, whether they are scientists, researchers, campaigners or government officials, there are lots of people who are working to try and protect animals. What’s your dream? We’re currently in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event and this is due to mankind, so my dream is to live in a world where animals are treated with respect rather than as commodities. I think that’s a lofty ambition but you’ve got to keep the faith.

depressing scenes from dam sen water park in vietnam, which stopped using animals in shows in 2018 after a public outcry from tourists and wildlife organisations.


+62 811 396 4444 Handono +62 851 0058 0033 Office @virtuoso.bali @virtuoso.bali Photo Credit: Villa The Sanctuary Bali, In-House Planner.

Sound Systems • Lighting • Staging & Flooring • Special Effects • Props

oral pleasures

tanaman For the earth – Tanaman at Katamama introduces a modern Indonesian plant-based menu. words: sarah douglas.

Modern, beautifully presented and authentic.


Give a great chef a challenge and watch the magic happen. Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa grew up on the stunning island of Nusa Penida, a beautiful yet challenging place to begin life. His dreams took him to New York and Chicago where he discovered that all things are possible if the dream is big enough. Mastering the art of French cooking, his culinary memories are still bound to his childhood and it is at Potato Head Beach Club where it all comes together in one delicious package. Emerging as one of Bali’s most creative chefs, Wayan has revolutionized the menus at Potato Head Beach Club with a forward thinking and creative approach to local, sustainable ingredients and zero waste policies. Turning his hand to his latest challenge, Tanaman, the atmospheric new restaurant concept at Katamama, sees him working with a talented team to introduce a plant-based menu that sparkles with originality yet harks back to dishes they are very familiar with. “When coming up with ideas for the new restaurant at Katamama, we looked at a plant-based menu but it was challenging for us at first. Then I realized that many of our national dishes are plant-based, we just never thought about it that way,” explains Wayan. Together with Katamama’s Head Chef, Gregorius Arya, who has recently returned from five years in Dubai, and Chef Indra Ari Saputra, the team put their heads together to create an astonishing menu that is modern, beautifully presented and full of authentic flavours. While skeptical at first that they could adapt their skills to create his new menu to meet the high expectations of Katamama’s discerning clientele, the team found themselves travelling down a road that became increasingly more interesting. “At first, I just said no,” laughs Chef Indra, who is in charge of Research and Development for the culinary team that drives the entire group. It’s clear that he’s surprised himself, proudly joining the team that presented their first tasting menu. The menu will offer over 20 dishes, each one honed by the skillful team. They have experimented and drawn on international inspiration for this menu. They all agree that creating a menu based completely on local and sustainable produce requires a far more creative approach than a traditional one. “You have to make it look great, taste delicious, you have to make people happy and reinvent many of the traditional cooking methods that we have used before, “ explains Chef Wayan. Being more of a burger and beer kind of girl, I approached this lunch with some trepidation, much the way the chefs probably did at the beginning of this journey. By combining an arsenal of cooking methods, spices, textures, colours and their combined experience, the menu was delicious and captivating all at the same time. Dish after perfect dish was beautifully prepared, perfectly spiced and seasoned and the various textures and bursts of colour were not only satisfying, they took me on an amazing culinary journey I won’t soon forget. There is no doubt that the chefs are proud of what they have achieved here and rightfully so. It is a menu that will delight not just the converted but gourmets as well.

Our meal began with two starters. A traditional Bakcang Jengkol – a traditional Chinese-influenced dish of stuffed rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves. Instead of the traditional chicken or pork stuffing, this one uses a distinctive bitter bean, slow braised in a sauce created with soy, shallots, onions, ginger and candlenut spiced with nutmeg and cloves. It’s served with a side of crispy-spiced coconut. Also on the starter menu was Lumpia Basah; a fresh spring roll wrapped in home-made rice paper filled with fresh and sautéed vegetables and coconut, served with a home-made sweet and sour sauce, inspired by a West Javanese favourite. We then moved on to a soup and satay course. An aromatic mushroom stew served in a creamy coconut broth was earthy and delicious. Once again we travelled to Java for inspiration from the classic Bubur Jamur Asap, with an added twist of smoked oyster mushroom. Alongside an elegant satay, Sate Terong, created with eggplant, served with a creamy curry sauce, inspired by the Balinese satay lilit. The main event was an incredibly lush version of rendang, Rendang Bangka, made with jackfruit. The chefs explained that their version of the West Sumatran classic involves cooking the spice paste for 16 hours. Served with crispy red beans and vegetable crackers, it was an incredibly complex and beautiful dish. It was served together with a pandan flavoured rice freshened with parsley and daun siji, a leaf used in Indonesian cooking to achieve a beautiful shade of green. The relationship with famers that has been spearheaded by Chef Wayan is a vital part of this menu. “I prefer to go direct to the farmers and work with them, it has benefits for each of us,” he explains.“ The farmers get a greater share of the income and we ensure there is a steady supply from a reliable source.” The menu will also showcase traditional ingredients and methods with a range of innovative cocktails and health tonics Katamama Hotel, situated behind the iconic Beach Club, is a monument to modern design incorporating local materials. Created using over a million Balinese temple bricks, it has been recognized worldwide for its sustainable design principles. It is also an incredible monument to local design, arts and artisans. Beside it, a new addition to the family is almost complete: a new hotel overlooks the beach as part of the Creative Village that is now in the final stages of pre-opening. The new complex will be called collectively Desa Potato Head, a village that encompasses the two hotels, the extended Potato Head Beach Club, new dining spaces, a creative hub and design-driven open spaces dedicated to music and art that will be open to both guests and the public. Modern, sustainable, Indonesian design has never had a better ambassador. The commitment to quality and innovation, and its connection to the rich history of Indonesia, puts Potato Head group at the forefront of Indonesian hospitality and Tanaman is yet another example of what can be achieved if you think local and dream big.


big six

bread, you say? sarah douglas celebrates Six of bali's best bakeries.

Bakers are some of the most passionate people you’ll met, happy as well. Perhaps it’s all that dough, or the early mornings. Meet six of our favourite bakers. Coffee n Oven. This rustic café and bakery in Berawa is a fast track to heaven for lovers of Europeanstyle bread. Baskets and shelves are piled high with a selection of various breads, from pumpernickel to sourdough, rolls, croissants, tarts, cakes and pastries. German owner, Jirka, has put his own stamp on Coffee n Oven and the crowds are a sure sign that he is doing something right. Europeans tend to go for denser breads and you’ll find these here, alongside some of the best baguettes, which make for great sandwiches. Holidays are always celebrated here so stop in for your favourite treats. Stay a while and enjoy the menu which features a delicious range of home-made products including their own jams. The sweet café and bakery is a great place to pass some time, cozy and comforting, and the longer you stay, the more you’ll find to take home. Tel: +6282144485160 Yak Map N.1 Delicioso. There are times when one just wants bread; freshly baked, sliced and fluffy enough to make biting into your sandwich a pleasant past-time. Delicioso to the rescue. Their loaves are baked daily and shipped all over the island to satisfy those who still like their bread to be a trip down memory lane, rather than a gourmet experience. Indonesian breads, sold in the supermarkets, often sweet and frankly, lacking in the texture and flavor stakes. Delicioso delivers bread as you remember it being. They have a large range but it’s here I stop for my sliced loaves. Delicioso is also the sister company to Ixora, and don’t even get me started on the incredible decorated cakes that are created here, from golf bags to giant, towering dollies and everything in between, they are the masters of fondant. Tel: +623618499346 Yak Map U.1 Farine. Despite the fact that UK Chef Steven Skelley had a massive job as Executive Chef for The Mexciola group, a sourdough starter gifted to him by a friend sparked a passion he could not deny. Somehow he found time in his impossible schedule to open Farine, a Berawa bakery much loved by locals and restaurant and café owners. It’s the kind of bakery where you walk in for a loaf of bread and leave with bags filled with deliciousness. With a whole range of sourdough, baked on the premises, including his latest bake; large slabs of Turkish bread, you can satisfy almost any hunger here. Beside the gorgeous piles of sausage rolls, incredible home-made English muffins, brownies and flourless cakes, it is the bread that keeps you coming back. From classic levain to dark rye to country breads and more. The bakers start early, baking on premises, so you enjoy watching them work and the heavenly aroma of freshly baked bread as you scan the range to make your choice. With an extended café outside, you can now eat in and enjoy a great cup of coffee while savouring your purchases. Tel: +62812-3969-6420


Kayu Api. French chef turned baker, Olivier, literally changed our lives when he opened his bakery cum café in Umalas. Overnight, his wood-fired bread showed up on many of our favourite restaurant and café menus. So exacting is he that he rebuilt his handmade wood-fired ovens three times in the first five years. He mixes his own grains as he doesn’t trust the commercial multi-grain mixes, he uses reverse osmosis water, natural sea salt and regularly expands his familiar recycled paper menus. He now offers a sourdough loaf, bubbling and big enough to feed a family (although you can buy half ), his country bread is legendary, with its crisp crust and loose interior pocketed with air bubbles from the natural yeast. His bread is still among the best value in the south and continues to appear in homes and cafes across the island. Enjoy a seat in his garden café and peruse his selection of savouries, bakes, brownies and gluten free treats as well. Tel: +62361285984 Monsieur Spoon. When a foodie friend conducted a survey on his food and beverage site for the best bread, Monsieur Spoon’s multi grain emerged as a clear favourite. The bakeries and cafes founded by two cousins, Rafi and Gregory, have expanded and are now found throughout the island including Seminyak, Ubud, Petitenget, Pererenan Canggu and Umalas are a magnet for anyone who loves French patisserie, everything is rich, shining and pretty as a picture. The bread however can’t be overlooked. Including some of the island’s best baguettes and croissants, they also have a range of woodfired loaves sold by the 100gram weight. It’s not easy to figure out how much bread you need, as they carve off giant crispy loaves, but you soon get the hang of it. All of it is good but the loaf which came up favourite among Food and beverage’s Facebook followers is indeed delicious. Full of nutty grains, it’s chewy and crunchy at the same time, and makes fabulous toast. Tel: +6287862808859 Yak Map P.8 Starter Lab. When baker Emerson told his mother that he was leaving his teaching job to become a baker, she wasn’t happy. Emerson and his wife Min opened Starter Lab just over a year ago and they have just launched in Singapore, the future for these two looks very bright. Their mission: to create the best sourdough bread possible, they have come damn close. Enthusiasts swoon over their classic and creative loaves. Emerson honed his skills in New York and followed with a spell at the birthplace of San Francisco sourdough, Tartine. Their little bakery in Canggu has set our world on fire. In the tiny premises they call home, their team work round the clock, kneading, proving and baking some of the best bread on the island. Working with partners like Locavore to experiment with new flavours including fermented foods, pickles and the like, there is always something new here. The weekends sees them adding piled fresh, hot high cinnamon scrolls, and for Easter they baked the most heavenly hot cross buns. But it is the sourdough loaves that have people lining up outside their door from early in the morning. Passion prevails and this is sourdough lovers heaven. Tel: +6281238290930 Yak Map P.1

taken not stirred sarah douglas heads upstairs to the third floor of la favela bali's classic cocktail bar, attika. cocktails: nikita fedchishin images: lucky 8.



"The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess." ~ James Thurber The stairway leads me ever upwards, the music and the hum of dinner guests fade as I mount the old wooden stairs in search of yet another fascinating room in La Favela’s menagerie of spaces and objects. No matter how many times you visit, there is always something more to discover, and this time it is the attic, or Attika. Arriving at Seminyak’s famous nightclub at 8pm may seem unusual and I’m greeted with a restaurant full of people dining. The main bar is set up with tables, the gardens beyond are also filled, twinkling lights accompany the sound of people gathering over a meal. Private rooms sparkle with conversation and an outdoor terrace deck overlooks it all. In the evenings, La Favela is a popular restaurant and how they clear the space for the eager crowds that line up nightly to party is difficult to imagine. Needless to say, they are a well-oiled machine and it happens every night. Tonight there are over 200 diners here and my head spins at the thought of what has to happen for the nightly turnover. However, there are spaces that cater to those who arrive early in search of a drink, ready to start the party before dinner is cleared. For them, the stairway to this heavenly loft is revealed. Attika is a speakeasy bar fashioned after the 1920s Prohibition era. It is perched at the top of the venue, thus the name. For quite some time it was a secret hideaway where staff and management could sneak away from the enthusiastic crowds below, it became evident however that it was a secret too good not to share. Like the club below, Attika is filled with memorabilia. The DJ booth is fashioned from an old piano. The fascination for collecting has formed this club, and all the others the LYD group have created, including La Plancha, La Brisa and La Laguna. Why create something new when old things can be recycled and are so much more interesting? Even the floors and ceilings are created from buildings of old and it all comes together in this intimate cocktail space. The bar itself, another remnant from some retired building, is stocked to overflowing with premium spirits. The cocktail menu has no shortage of irony yet I’m not surprised to find that whisky and gin reign supreme up here. Nevertheless they are proud of their signature cocktail list and I am on a mission to try them all. It’s not long before the nooks and crannies in this softly lit attic begin to fill. Attika has obviously been discovered, by word of mouth, or purely be accident, it’s hard to say, and aside from the early arrivals, it’s also a place where night animals can escape the pounding soundtracks and the crowds below. Attika has its own soundtrack, a soft house vibe that plays perfectly in this hideaway bar. Well priced at Rp165,000, the bar staff are devoted to serving up a premium cocktail experience with plenty to mull over. We begin with the Attika, a tequila-based cocktail infused with

cucumber, tamarind purée, orange juice and red pepper, it’s quite a statement yet cool with the cucumber which lends the cocktail a very clean flavor. Some might suggest it’s all downhill tackling this list but instead we head up as the next cocktail is called The Elevator. Vodka mingles with apple juice, aromatics and a garnish of rosemary and cinnamon, which are fired up to add an astonishing warmth and aroma to the drink. This one is a winner. The bar continues to fill as the bartender gets busy with his La Violetta cocktail, gin infused with kafir lime leaves, dragon fruit and a honey mead tonic. These drinks pack a real punch and the rosy glow of the bar is starting to permeate my mood. During the evening, various members of the management drop by, this is clearly a favourite space of theirs. The GM Rossano Costella tells me that in the two years plus that he has been here, there have been a lot of changes at La Favela. “It was a matter of putting in real guidelines and training all the staff, from the door people to security, in how to handle the crowd. Drunk people are turned away, there’s a strict dress code, bad attitudes are checked at the door, and we have a strong policy of checking ID for underage drinkers, and anyone who has too much to drink or is causing trouble is dealt with firmly but politely,” he explains. However, I have risen above it all, closeted away in this gleaming space. Next up on my list is a Monkey Old Fashioned, which curiously is flavoured with banana and beer foam. Despite the unusual mix, this is one of my favourites. When it comes to signature cocktails it’s not only upstairs where the bartenders get creative. Two cocktails arrive from downstairs. One is called ‘Popcorn’, garnished with a pile of popcorn, served in a paper bag. BKK-DPS cocktail, also from La Favela’s bar menu ‘sells itself’ according to the staff. At this stage I’m seeing everything in soft focus and the soft, twinkling lighting is wrapping me in womb-like comfort. Another reason why people make the trip up here is that La Favela stops serving their signature cocktails around midnight, there simply isn’t time to devote to artisan cocktails, so serious drinkers take to the stairs. The cocktails follow one after another and the concept here becomes clear. The focus is on local herbs and flavours, lots of house-made infusions and elements of ice and fire add interest. I’m told the classic cocktails are also popular, espresso martinis, Aperol spritz and whisky sours make the best seller list. It’s an astonishingly beautiful bar, or is that the cocktails talking? The combination is a winner, and I can see myself returning here again and again, it’s definitely a place for grownups with sophisticated palettes and those who simply want a comfortable place to call home for the evening. @attikabali TOP FLOOR PLEASE.


taken not stirred

manarai beach house is the perfect spot for a cocktail or six, as sarah douglas discovers.

jamaican me horny.


With a sea of blue pools lining the white sand beach at Nusa Dua, a string of seaside cafes and beach barbecues, one venue stands out for its cool vibes and world class entertainment. Manarai Beach House brings a little thrill of the excitement of Bali’s best beach clubs to the shores of Nusa Dua. Part of the Ismaya Group, one of Jakarta’s leading food, beverage and entertainment outfits, it’s sophisticated and a lot of fun. With two pools, a restaurant, wine shop and three bars, the venue is small by beach club standards but packs a whole lot of personality into its absolute beachfront location. Blue and white are the signature colours at Manarai, creating a fresh island feel. While the Executive Chef creates great menus that include gourmet meals in the air-conditioned restaurant, delicious pool-side menus and snacks, it’s cocktail hour when we arrive and we dive straight in. Perched on the spacious double day beds overlooking the pool and the beach, the cocktail menu sings to us, with exotic local ingredients and premium spirits. Many feature local fruits and coconuts and are served in beautiful woven baskets. Our first cocktails are coconut-based. The ‘Shaken Pina Colada’ is served in a fresh pineapple and has all the freshness of a Pina Colada, made with fresh pineapple, rum and coconut cream, yet it’s shaken rather than blended, making it refreshing rather than cloying, and not too sweet. My partner chooses a ‘C-cup’ and falls in love with the mix of coconut sorbet, coconut water and home-made vanilla syrup. It’s served in a fresh coconut with a bamboo basket to support it. It’s not complicated but it’s light, and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg on top earns it a big thumbs-up. She orders another one! The main cocktail bar sits to the side of the beachfront pool, shining with its mix of blue tiles. There is a swim up bar at the more intimate pool that sits beside the restaurant and on the beachfront, a bartender is swinging bottles like the professional he is. Day beds are scattered on the beach, extending the venue to the seafront. Waiters are on hand to explain the cocktails and the menu appears to ensure we add a few snacks to our afternoon of fun in the sun. The music, thankfully, is tasteful and not too loud. This is a venue that likes to party and world

class entertainment is often on the bill. Today, it’s just the playlist and it adds a gentle beat to the afternoon. We decide to dive into some of the more exotic cocktails and try a gin-based drink called ‘Tan Lines’, it’s a pretty pink, frothy drink created with watermelon and pink peppercorn. Others that catch our eye include the ‘Peas Out’, with vodka, St Germain, cucumber juice and green pea cordial. It’s almost as healthy as a bloody mary. There’s a prosecco and coconut sorbet cocktail called ‘Girlfriend, yes!‘ that sounds delicious, while the ‘Twisted Tiki’ catches our eye for its intoxicating mix of bourbon, mango rooibos and laksa cordial. With a total of 14 signature cocktails, it’s clear we won’t be ticking off the whole list in an afternoon, but it’s tempting. Snacks arrive and we dig into a Caesar salad, seafood spaghetti, a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with San Danielle ham, Manchego cheese and black truffle, and delicious wagyu beef sate served still sizzling. In between dips in the beautiful pool, mere steps away from our day bed, we decide to try the classics and opt for a frozen margarita, and a skinny bitch made with Absolut vodka. The sun heads towards the horizon, the sky turns a beautiful shade of pink and the lights that festoon the beach are lit. Canopied day beds take on a new romance while a bonfire is started and the entire beach house takes on a pretty glow. It’s a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon and for those staying in Nusa Dua, not wanting to brave the traffic, it’s a destination that has become popular with both families and grown up holidaymakers. Excellent services, great facilities, a menu that travels from the simple to the gourmet and some fabulous signature cocktails makes this a great day out. While weekdays are softer, the weekends are party days and the line-up of entertainment attracts guests from all over Bali.

tropical and fruity (hic).


feature Soak up the sun and have your very own pool party with our list of the best swim up bars in Bali. by sarah douglas.

ready and waiting at cafe del mar.


Café Del Mar Soaring high above Berawa beach, this brand new club has the island buzzing but is not as yet (at press time anyway) at soft opening stage. Be prepared to be wowed when she does open her doors. Perched on the beach a mere hop from many of the island’s favourite destinations, this Ibiza-inspired club features an endless beachfront pool surrounded by day beds with not one, but two swim up bars, one at either end. The Ibiza connection can be felt through the astonishing architecture on offer: massive white arches frame the beach clubs, a central DJ booth and light tower, a massive shell-like stage speaks of future parties and events while private cabanas complete with pools and lounge areas and private en-suite bathrooms pave the way for luxe private parties. Two restaurants are housed within the arches, a stunning dining room overlooks the ocean and a casual bistro overlooks the club. Expect cocktails, food and sounds inspired by one of Ibiza’s iconic brands, brought to life on the shores of Canggu’s Berawa Beach. Yak Map K.12 Finns Beach Club Finns opened to huge crowds and the pool was a hive of activity, bordering on too much for some. The recent renovation has put paid to that idea and now adults and families have their own dedicated pools. Finns extended along the beachfront and introduced Finns VIP, a beautiful, spacious area that also boasts both adults only and family pools. Finns Beach Club has been transformed as well. Where formerly one pool sat, central to the beachfront club, there are now two pools, and the bar that serves up ice old beers, classic cocktails and bubbles by the barrel has also been extended to satisfy all their patrons. Parents can enjoy themselves while their kids play within reach, while those without kids can relax and party in the adjoining cool, blue pool that comes complete with circular lounges immersed in the water. The renovation means everyone gets their own space and the drinks keep coming. Book online for the best deals. Minimum charge applies across the beach club but the entire cover charge is a credit for F&B. Yak Map J.1

Manarai As cool as a cucumber, Manarai Beach House sits on the beautiful white sand beach of Nusa Dua. Part of the exclusive Ismaya Group who host venues across Jakarta and Bali, Manarai offers a glimpse of the other side of Bali and is a fun day out for those staying in Nusa Dua, wanting to get a taste of a great beach club without going too far. With two pools, two bars and an excellent restaurant and wine bar, Manarai’s original pool offers a circular swim up bar where the cocktails are every bit as good as the food. The bar sits between the restaurant, the deck and the main pool, so this is the spot to escape the crowds and enjoy your own party with a little more privacy than the beach-side pool affords. Settle in as it’s surrounded by seating, including seats around the bar, and offers a chance to see some great bartenders at work creating artisan cocktails that have been developed by the group just for this venue. Pop, fizz and sparkle are all on the menu here so settle in for a great day out. Regular parties and DJ events add to the fun. Yak Map H.16 Omnia Rising like a sparkling phoenix from the spectacular cliffs along the Uluwatu coast, Omnia is a venue where everything shines brighter. While day beds and VIP booths are the premium spots to be and be seen, the Cliffside swim up bar is the club's alternative place to chill, swim and hang out all day. With free seating and sun pods offering the perfect place to catch some rays, the swim up bar offers spectacular views along the staggeringly beautiful coastline and an overflowing choice of classic and signature cocktails. Omnia’s option is also a favourite with ‘grammers wanting to capture the club’s glittering cube, the sweeping coastline and the sleek lines that are signatures of the Omnia experience. Tucked away at the other side of the bridge, beside two of the popular private cabanas, it’s the place for General Admission guests to capture their slice of Omnia or simply take some time out from the main pool and sip your way through one of the island’s great cocktail menus. Yak Map F.16

Potato Head Beach Club If there is anything that can be had to eat or drink, it is more than likely on Potato Head’s menu. The horse-shoe shaped beach club straddles Seminyak’s coastline and the pool offers some of the best views. With four restaurants, and numerous bars, the service at Potato Head extends right down to the pool, so there’s no need to ever dry off. Enjoy great sound tracks and amazing views while sampling this menu that offers everything from cocktails that shine with personality to an endless menu of beers, wine, soft drinks and mocktails. It’s centre stage at Potato Head and right on the beachfront, in fact it’s one of the venue’s best spots to enjoy life by the beach while still enjoying the vibes of one of the island’s most popular beach clubs. Yak Map L.5 Waterbom It would be too easy to write Waterbom off as a destination for kids and families. It is absolutely fabulous for kids and adults as well, yet it is also a favourite among young adults and fun lovers of all ages. The park spreads out across beautifully manicured lawns with food and beverage outlets to rival many five-star resorts. One of the main attractions is its central pool, where the swim up bar is the place to sample some of their sensational cocktails, cold beers and local and imported wine. Complete with a volleyball net and piped underwater music, it’s the perfect place to lay your towel on one of the surrounding day beds and take a breather between the thrills and spills that are a huge attraction for all. Sol Sessions party events happen around the pool and it’s the place to be for cooling off and catching up with friends between dancing, swimming and grabbing some of the fabulous new smoke-pit specials at the nearby Shack. Yak Map C.12



ULUWATU Panoramic Clifftop Landscape. Rooms with a View. Bespoke Culinary Experiences. Escape - Reboot - Recover Wellness Concept.

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu Jl Pemutih - Labuan Sait, Uluwatu, 80364 Pecatu - Bali, Indonesia T: +62 361 300 8888 E:




looking for a private beach?

ondy sweeting sought out the best.

karma cola.



Karma Beach is at the foot of a stunning cliff and one must be forgiven for thinking of Corfu in Greece’s Ionian Islands. The water is dazzling green to deep blue and when the tide is out, a reef appears and creates a lagoon – all the better for water play including snorkelling, SUP boards and surf skies. On the sand is a beach volleyball court that gets a good workout a few times a day. Karma is not only one of the most visually arresting beaches in Bali; it also has an ocean side spa. A wooden treatment room is built into the base of the cliff and the windows are thrown open to invite a soundscape of the ocean that is only metres away. It’s an extraordinary way to enjoy a high-end massage by a professional therapist. Heavenly delight does not come close to how a session feels. Float back to the beach for lunch from a menu that has a Greek twist. Think mezze platters, pizza, luscious meatballs, and haloumi cheese in a filo pastry. Karma fully enjoys its geographical gifts and wraps them exquisitely up for absolute immersion. Insider tip: stay a few nights in the villas that crown this beautiful bluff. La Joya Resorts at Balangan have two beautiful properties on the remote peninsular and La Joya Biu Biu has a secret beach. The stairway leads to a private crescent shaped beach of golden sand and rocky outcrops. This is a surprising treat from a low key, ultra stylish French-owned resort with terraced pools, cosy thatched private huts, an urbane restaurant – plus a spectacular spa set into the cliff face. The stairs flanked by jungle and while monkeys are evident they don’t seem to have an assault gene. Keep an eye on the tides when planning a visit since it can get a bit wild when it comes in and during full moons. The beach itself is a stunning spot that is, as its name suggests, secret and only open to guests or visitors to La Joya. Instagrammers will drool at the rare

opportunity to have a beach to themselves and to take as long as needed to pose for the perfect post. Insider tip: Day pool passes are available for visitors. Stay for sunset sax session. This is a deep soul indulgence. Roosterfish is the private Pandawa beach attached to the Renaissance Hotel and Spa in Uluwatu. This family friendly beach has it all – a casual restaurant, a swimming pool with a swim up bar and beach front of the deliciously soft white sand of Pandawa. There are beachfront balés on a grassed lawn, beanbags and sun lounges on decks and lawn by the pool plus towels on tap. A large open sided tropical restaurant with a soaring ceiling serves up chilled cocktails, huge signature drinks, wood fired pizza, burgers, Indonesian favourites and big buckets of icy beers plus juices made to order. A small shop has emergency supplies of dresses, shirts and other holiday necessities. The beach is azure blue with white crests on the rolling waves. With a backdrop of cliffs with gigantic statues of Balinese Hindu deities set in alcove caves carved into the limestone rock face is has an exotic tone. Roosterfish can be hired for private functions. Teens will disappear into the treehouse look out above the diner while sand toys are provided for the little ones. Recently the beach was the stage for a party that had DJ Romeo and performances of magic traditional music. Insider tip: this gem is a family friendly retreat from high voltage venues. Anvaya Resort in Tuban Bay has a pretty slip of a beach that is accessed from the resort or an ocean path. The crescent of sand is lapped by clear water that is deep enough to swim in safely. Sun lounges attached to the resort, along with a beach volleyball court

services guests and so do the staff delivering a stream of cool drinks and snacks. While Anvaya beach is not officially private, it is little known and few people pull up and sit down. Brightly coloured traditional wooden Jukung boats decorate the sand and bob on the gentle waves as if The Yak’s stylists have been let loose to create a scene of tropical bliss. A few friendly hawkers offer mega-value massages, inexpensive sarongs and local handicrafts. Insider tip: take a room for your final day in Bali and enjoy the beach, resort and room facilities before heading to a red eye flight from the airport that is just a few minutes drive away. Sunday’s beach has created the ultimate luxe private beach experience with four white curtained bamboo bales that can be reserved for the day. Perched above the beach, the balés each have a private shower and loo, a butler, volume control for your personal speaker, butter soft towels, beanbags, infused water and an overhead fan. A few steps down a short walkway and roped off from the masses is your exclusive sun lounges on the sand. Enjoy a flute of chilled Chandon on arrival and canapés in the afternoon. At 5pm the staff come and build a personal bon fire by the sun beds so you can relax into the evening and enjoy the blazing sky at sunset. A day reservation is from 9am until 10pm. Sunday’s beach is famous for its glittering water that is outstanding for water sports that includes SUP boards, canoes and snorkelling when the tide is low. This is an intensely beautiful part of Bali. The premier management team has created seamless luxury and a uniquely casual in vibe with a menu packed with delicacies such as grilled lobster, ribs and salads. Each dish is perfectly executed and as fine as sandy feet dining can be. Insider tip: grab seven friends and book now.


ministry of interiors enter, earthlings.


it took the island by storm when it opened. now omnia has become a firm favourite – for its events, cuisine and architectural dynamic. liuz sanchez gets his hands up in the air.

The best fine-dining experience combined with some of the most stunning views in Bali, all enveloped in a carefully constructed auditory experience. Bali has dozens of high-end luxury day clubs all vying for our attention, each with their own unique selling points. So what makes OMNIA the day club par excellence on the island? I invite you to walk a mile in my shoes for a moment. From the entrance, OMNIA stretches out all around you. Guests enter through the grand staircase that serves as the ground floor of their award-winning restaurant Sake no Hana, an architectural masterpiece that provides stunning views through its open-air concept. Staring southwards, the staircase leading to the day club is reminiscent of Bali’s iconic hillside rice fields. Continue down and you will encounter the day club itself; day beds surrounding an infinity pool whose color blends in with that of the ocean behind it, creating that true infinity pool illusion. When I visit OMNIA I tend to arrive early so as to spend as much of the day there as possible. Arriving early also means getting the full OMNIA experience. The day starts very laid back, with chill ambience music lulling guests into a sense of relaxation. As the sun climbs higher into the sky the music begins to pick up, as do the guests. The swim-up bar becomes more crowded and the day beds, all occupied, transform from a relaxation spot into lively centers of dance and laughter. To the left of the pool is their already iconic Cube bar, a large bar with lots of seating and a magnificent view from atop the limestone cliff. With a 100-meter drop below, the Cube truly is an impressive piece of architecture and an insanely popular Instagram location in Uluwatu. The Cube itself has a glistening crystal façade

with hundreds of LED lights inset that are programmable, lighting up the horizon after dark and creating amazing light shows that complement OMNIA’s night-time aesthetic. To the right of the pool you can find the dancefloor, DJ booth, and behind it OMNIA’s coveted VIP section equipped with its own swimming pool and private bathrooms. At the start of the day most guests will be in their own world enjoying the sun, good food, drinks, and their circle of friends. However, as the sun begins to set the lines between us all begin to blur and the DJ lures everyone to the dancefloor. Sake no Hana A trip to Omnia would not be complete without dining at Sake no Hana. Not only is this Japanese restaurant the first thing guests see when they enter OMNIA, but it also provides visitors with an unforgettable dining experience. OMNIA has gone to great lengths to ensure their menu is perfectly calibrated to please the senses. From sight, smell, touch, to taste; every meal prepared has been carefully engineered not only to look great, but taste and smell fantastic as well. Sake no Hana’s top floor overlooks the club, and as such creates an excellent counter balance to the club itself. Dining in this open-air latticed restaurant turns you into an observer of the goings on below, creating a secondary experience of OMNIA. The restaurant’s interior is light and breezy, with natural patterns and a design inspired by nature. The restaurant not only complements its surroundings, but also seamlessly blends in to Uluwatu. Dining by the grand staircase below is an entirely different experience, as the minimalist contemporary light installation complements the setting sun and bathes the area in a warm glow.

Sustainable Architecture The masterminds behind OMNIA’s architectural feng shui are WOHA, a famous Singaporebased architectural firm known for integrating environmental and social principles into their construction, and the Rockwell Group, awardwinning architectural behemoths in their own right. Every aesthetic choice was a careful and deliberate decision. According to Paul Hugo, Director of Marketing at Hakkasan Indonesia, Sake no Hana was built entirely out of reclaimed wood. “The idea was to blend in as much as possible to our surroundings,” Paul told us. “We wanted to make sure that we source locally as often as we can.” Hakkasan Group OMNIA is the brainchild of the Hakkasan Group, a global hospitality company and pioneer in the industry. Hakkasan has produced several notable projects including the Michellin-star restaurant that bears its namesake, Herringbone in the USA, and of course Sake no Hana in London and Bali. With a wide-ranging hospitality portfolio, OMNIA represents their first foray into the Indonesian market. Not only have they done an excellent job at creating a boundary-pushing day club in Bali, but the added presence of OMNIA in Uluwatu has done wonders in shining a spotlight in Uluwatu and upping the profile of a region which has historically attracted mostly surfers and backpackers. A different concept every weekend Paul explains: “Whilst weekdays are a relaxed affair for soaking up the views and rejuvenating under the Uluwatu sunshine, we program every weekend with a different concept on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. On Friday we have hip hop,


ministry of interiors cliffside cuisine and daybed dreams.

followed by commercial music on Saturday, and house, techno and disco on Sunday. People have their preferred OMNIA days and come back every week, and the crowds from day to day are very different from one another.” The way OMNIA is designed grants them a large degree of freedom to play around with. Sake no Hana’s grand staircase can be transformed into its own party space when the need arises such as in after parties. As the sun sets OMNIA also brings out large speakers that they can hang by the dance floor beside the DJ booth, which itself is one giant subwoofer. Many places have their signature party, a once a year or season event meant to showcase the best they have to offer. “We don’t work that way,” Paul explains. “We focus on bringing it every single time, by having big name draws every month, followed by other great artists every few weeks, and resident DJs every day.”


A Ceremony of Colour OMNIA isn’t just about good food, music, and a poolside experience either. The company has consistently strived to be a part of the community and to incorporate Balinese culture into the venue. Starting at the end of August OMNIA will be hosting an immersive creative installation inspired by ritual Balinese ceremonies and traditions with a contemporary twist. The installation features over 4,000 handcrafted bespoke pieces that create a transformational and immersive experience throughout OMNIA. A Ceremony of Colour is a creative collaboration with the Bali-based studio Atelier Seni, Petals by Puri and executed by local craftspeople. Ines Katamso, Art Director behind Atelier Seni, was inspired by the decorations used in Balinese ceremonies and on holy days. “I wanted to combine traditional techniques with modern materials, so I mixed it with a digital drawing that has been printed on recyclable paper to create a contemporary interpretation of traditional decorations.”

OMNIA has collaborated with local craftspeople to create the installation throughout the venue. At the entrance, two large handcrafted barong Ket heads stand guard ready to greet their visitors. A 1.5m by 6m dragon centerpiece can be found inside the venue, with hundreds of handmade penjor hanging above the dance floor and main deck. Beyond that ten large penjor sculptures will grace the main deck,. while 800 traditionally woven lontar decorate the DJ booth. A Ceremony of Colour runs from August 31 to September 29, showcasing and promoting amazing Balinese art. If you get a chance to check it out I highly recommend it! Omnia is open every day from 11am until late. To reserve a day bed contact reservations@ General admission fees vary depending on the performers, so check in with the venue beforehand. Keep in mind the minimum age is 21 and you will be carded upon entry.


venting in a villa

The Incredible Li g h t n e s s o f a p u r v a

Kempinski Sarah Douglas experiences 48 hours at the spanking new Apurva Kempinski, where European hospitality meets Indonesian grace in exceptional form.

a stately pleasure dome.


With a swirl of red, a flash of blue, a wash of fountains, a sparkle of gold and a wave of technology, the Apurva Kempinski is revealed. Looking forward and looking back has resulted in one of Nusa Dua’s most astonishing new resorts. Introducing Europe’s oldest hotel brand to Indonesia, Kempinski looked for inspiration in the rich history of Java and Bali to create a storybook experience that is both majestic and personal. Welcome to the Apurva Kempinski. The invitation read 48 hours but I had to check again. The extended stay is an unusual testament to the generous hospitality of Nusa Dua's most recent luxury resort. Still, I checked it twice. Determined to set themselves apart from their neighbours, who include some of the most recognised hotel names on the planet, including Ritz Carlton, St Regis and Grand Hyatt, the Kempinski group got creative. After much searching they found inspiration in the stirring history of the Majapahit Empire, the source of many of the myths and legends that brought Hinduism to Bali. Pulling into the vast entrance of Apurva Kempinski for the first time is daunting. The vast lobby soars high above the sea, wrapped in glass and gilt and fountains, with beautiful hand-made wooden screens that soar towards the ceiling. The welcome however is anything but intimidating. Friendly faces approach with iPads the moment you leave your vehicle, asking your name to start the check-in process before you arrive at the actual lobby. Service here is something else. Personable, modern and genuine, you are taken care of from the moment you leave your car. And it continues this way throughout your stay. Despite the size of the resort, the experience is more like a boutique hotel. My journey begins in the exclusive cliff lounge, open to guests who are staying in the suites. The check-in process is done in the lounge where refreshments and towels welcome you. The staff then escort you to your room. In my case I am on the 8th floor, one below the cliff lounge. The suite is furnished in cream and black, complete with a lounge area and a desk, it also has a stunning cliff-side private pool and

terrace and a luxurious marble bathroom that looks over the property towards the ocean. Built over 100 square metres, it’s beautifully decorated, filled with light, with amazing views. Kempinski’s designers have added brilliant terraced bougainvillea gardens at the top of each of the buildings and the central resort area is a sea of blue and green, with numerous pools and a central restaurant leading to the beach. Whichever way you look, there’s something beautiful. Sunday at Kempinski. My check in was on a Sunday which allowed me to join Nusa Dua’s newest brunch offering. A ‘brunchcation’, it offers guests a chance to stay all day and enjoy the pool with complimentary day beds and a sunset cocktail included. Food is a huge part of the resort experience as the original Kempinski was a food and wine merchant in Berlin. He is credited with, among other things, introducing the fixed price menu to Germany, a concept that caught on immediately, especially as it included a glass of wine or beer. The tradition continues, although the Kempinski family are no longer involved in the hotel brand. Here I meet Executive Chef Eric Cocollos, a loquacious Frenchman who had stationed himself behind the fresh seafood buffet, shucking oysters and trading stories. This is his first posting in Asia. His career has taken him from Paris to Marrakech, working at some of the world’s leading hotels, including the iconic Plaza Athene. Not only is Eric a hands-on Executive Chef, showing up in every kitchen I visited during my stay, he is also one of the most generous with his time. We spoke at length about the challenges of opening a new hotel, inconsistent supplies and the enormous amount of training it takes to bring his team of chefs up to the level he expects. It’s high, very high, and he believes that it will take another year or so before the kitchens are where he expects them to be.


venting in a villa

Despite this, every single meal I enjoyed during my stay was incredible. Including the brunch. A vast selection of fresh seafood, salads, Asian meals, roasted meats and barbecued seafood lay in wait. The open kitchen allows guests to watch every part of the cooking and preparation. The chefs are an international team that includes an Indian Chef, ex Oberoi, and local chefs who have worked in some of the island’s most exclusive restaurants and resorts. The floor staff are also incredibly efficient. The generous brunch offering ends with dessert and here is my ultimate undoing. From a crepe station to a chocolate fountain and an endless assortment of cakes, patisserie and fresh gelato and ice cream, it truly is one of the island’s great spreads. Surrounded by water, the restaurant sits in the midst of the resort, with a sunset terrace and bar above it. A rest in my suite followed, naturally. Sixty percent of the rooms and suites offer private pools and there is still an ocean-front tower to be completed. All the rooms and suites offer views and the resort has a dedicated family pool with slides and a playground for the kids. The main pool is vast and there is a protected beach at the front where a beach club will open soon. One of the signatures of Kempinski is the Ladies in Red. They are roving concierges and appear throughout the resort. Just when you’re wondering where to go, what to do next, if you’re a little lost, they're there. A quirky mix between a character from a children’s storybook and Japanese geishas, Kempinski introduced the ladies in 2009 and they are found at every one of over 700 properties worldwide. They meet you at check-in, they have a little hub in the lobby and are there to make your stay as smooth as possible. Throughout the resort, the staff is empowered to deal with the guests. From the room service staff to the General Manager, everyone is approachable and it makes such a difference, before long you feel like you belong. No small feat in a resort this size. My final experience for the day was the complimentary sunset cocktails and canapés offered in the lounge. With two pools, including a hydro pool, it’s the perfect place to wind down at the end of a day… Or begin one. Day 2 at Kempinski – breakfast, lunch, spa treatments and dinner. Breakfast for suite guests is also offered in the Cliff Lounge. Other breakfast choices include the main restaurant or room service. Once I had discovered their beautiful eggs benedict (the prettiest version I have ever been served), this was my regular go-to. It also got me out of bed, not easy when the rooms are so seductive. Day two was filled with meals and spa treatments. Lunch was a chance to meet the Indian Chef and despite my reservations that it might be too rich for a pre-spa meal, it was perfect. Light and beautiful, fragrant curry was served alongside little starters that gave me a taste of things to come. A tandoor oven has been ordered from India and then a full Indian menu will be added. It’s definitely something to look forward to. Behind the main restaurant, a staircase leads to Koral, the resort’s underwater restaurant, surrounded by aquariums. It’s in the final stages of set up on my visit and I expect to be enjoying a meal here surrounded by colourful fish and coral very soon.


The spa is everything you expect from a luxury hotel. Located on the top floor of the cliff building, the rooms are generous and overlook the ocean below. I was booked for a signature massage and scrub but in light of all I had eaten, and was yet to eat, I chose a more vigorous treatment, aimed at raising the circulation and smoothing out the curves. The masseuse was incredible and both the massage and the scrub left me tingling and the masseuse out of breath. It was amazing. I resumed my position at the cliff lounge as the sky turned a beautiful pink, before heading down to prepare for dinner. Izakaya is inspired by the award-winning Jakarta Restaurant, OKU. It’s a bistro-style setting with yet another open kitchen that offers à la carte or stunning degustation menus. While Eric hovers behind the stoves, checking on all the meals, the head chef greets me and explains the menu. The sommelier approaches with a choice of cocktails and sake she has chosen for my meal but offers to change it for anything I prefer. Her selection sounds perfect so I settle in for the full experience, the restaurant humming with fellow diners. And then, not only a string of dishes, but a parade of chefs, accompanies my dinner. Each dish is perfect, the portions are small and every dish from the raw to the smoked and grilled shows off the amazing freshness of the ingredients. By the time jewel-like slices of wagyu beef and a little grill are laid in front of me, I am full to overflowing. The butter like texture of the meat inspires me to eat more than I need but with the offer of a glass of pinot, it’s too good to resist. Dessert arrives and it is not one but two, along with a beaming young chef who explains this is her creation. She is owning it and I have to photograph them, they are so beautifully presented. The delicate flavours encourage me to continue. Thankfully my suite is just moments away and a cup of tea in the enormous bed, with the twinkling lights of the resort below, sends me gently off to sleep. Day 3 – check out and an Indonesian farewell. It’s check out day and it’s very hard to leave. I head to the Cliff lounge for my last bite of the stunning eggs benedict and some of their fabulous jamu selection, the health tonic famous across Indonesia. I manage some time at the main pool as it’s too good to resist, before packing up and heading to the lobby for one last meal. The lobby bar and deli specialises in Indonesian food. With airy, terraced booths overlooking the resort, it’s a popular place for outside guests and those who want to find a quiet corner to read or work. So far I have enjoyed a lavish brunch, gourmet breakfasts, a beautifully cooked Indian meal and a Japanese degustation I’ll not soon forget. My final meal is local, and it’s very good. Spicy, fresh and incredibly authentic. With so much to see and do within the resort, I’d be surprised if guests ever leave. Despite having two nights here, there is so much more to discover; stories yet to be heard, spaces yet to discover, it’s all so beautiful and the combination of European hospitality and Indonesian grace is wonderfully expressed. They have absolutely achieved a resort that rises above many of its neighbours and will only get better with time.

exceeding expectations.


ministry of interiors

There’s camping. there’s glamping. and then there’s Capella.



I’m not a camping person. Certainly not the sort of person who would jump at the chance to sleep in a tent. Aside from the lack of a toilet, I don’t enjoy the idea sleeping on wet, soggy ground without access to things like a door that can shut and preferably, lock. I did sleep in a tent once. Although sleep is a relative term. I was able to shut my eyes, plug my ears with wax so that the slugs and the worms or whatever else was crawling around on the earth’s surface would not mistake the orifice of my ear for a nest. The surface my head prefers to rest on is a pillow which is preferably atop a mattress. I recall that I lay there, counting the hours until sunrise when I could unzip the sliver of canvas that separated me from the elements, crawl outside and stand upright again like a human, and return to civilization. But then came the chance to visit Capella Ubud. I was told it was a refined jungle camp “experience” and that word, so closely connected to “camp”, naturally, made me nervous. What kind of experience? The experience of returning to sleep in a tent was not high on my list of priorities. However, one quick glance at the website, I was packed and ready to go. From the description, I could tell that the one bedroom and two bedroom tented villas, set in the rainforest and rice paddies, were awash with five star luxury, detailed and elegant touches, that clearly defied the associations one has with camping. Namely, hardship. There would be none of that. These were not TeePee tents and while the accommodations are technically considered tented, this term functions more as a concept than an accurate description of what you’re getting. I would soon discover it’s a bit like describing a luxury super yacht as a boat. Now reader, as you might have gleaned, I am a fussy traveler. My adventurous spirit extends to not eating sushi on a Sunday when I know it’s not fresh. My eye is trained to spot the dust and the rust and the nature I am most in tune with is the cynical one inherent in my being. So when I tell you that this jungle camping tented experience was astounding, I mean this from the bottom of my picky heart. There’s camping, there’s glamping, and then there’s Capella. Though near Ubud, the Capella grounds are located in the terraced landscape of Keliki, an authentic Balinese artists village which has less foot traffic and provides an immediate sense of entering a private sanctuary, removed from conventional tourist destinations. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a refreshing ginger and coconut water drink served in a Riedel crystal tumbler at the elegantly tented reception. The concept of Capella is a throwback to the more romantic elements of the 19th Century European Dutch settlers. The decadent perks of luxury are seamlessly blended with whimsical art objects, and antiques. Tented style, as you can imagine, is quite different than a tent and the visionary behind the Capella Ubud is the noted landscape architect and designer Bill Bensley, whose taste, artistry and talent has placed him in the pantheon of design superstars. What distinguishes this property and makes it special is his vision. He’s taken a theme without exploiting it so that it’s a presence without being oppressive. This is an art. It’s a masterful blend of immersing the guest in untouched natural surroundings (no trees were moved or cut during construction) with spectacular comfort,

playful style, and it’s all subtly integrated. There are 22 one-bedroom tents – individually decorated to reflect the charm of the 1800’s while making sure every modern luxury and convenience is intact. For instance, an antique rotary phone on the bedside table – actually works and connects to the front desk. A technical marvel. While each tent varies in theme (the Cartographer’s tent displays maps, telescopes and compasses – the Birdwatcher's Tent is adorned with exquisite drawings of birds, specialty equipment, etc) they are all secluded, quiet and large (173sqm) – some with private pools and each with careful detail, handpicked art and artifacts that reveal Bensley’s exacting eye. All tented villas have a traditional hand-carved Balinese door. The heavy duty material used for the tent is the same material used for Formula One in Abu Dhabi and the inside is covered in refined batik fabrics while the floors are made of dimpled teak wood made in Central Java. Each fixture and fitting is unique and the understanding of lighting has been perfected. The night I stayed, there was a rainstorm and as I slept soundly on the Italian Poliform mattress (yes, I checked because it was one of the best mattresses I’ve ever slept on), with the soothing sound of raindrops, feeling utterly protected and comfortable while still in nature. Every tent is set apart and hidden in various landscapes – rainforest tents, river tents, terrace tents – and should you wish to encounter other guests, there is opportunity for that as well. The Officer's Tent is a meeting place with a billiard table, cocktail bar – reserved for camp residents, there is a wide range of coffee table books and an ideal place for a coffee, tea or gin and tonic. It’s like being dropped into a Rudyard Kipling poem. The antiques are exquisite – decorative without being kitschy at all. There is also the camp fire – a large pit lit up at night where guests can gather around and roast marshmallows under the stars. Given the particular clientele, accommodations are made for any type of discriminating eater and times for dining are negotiable. If you’d like breakfast at 2pm, no problem. Meals at Mads Lange, named after the Dutch spice trader, are served under an enormous and magnificent bespoke Kamasan – a traditional painting that tells the story of Ramayana – which gives the effect of eating in a sacred environment and should you wish for an even more theatrical meal, there's Api Jiwa (Sanskrit for soul of fire), where the chef creates an Omakase menu in front of you that feels like more of an event than a meal. All prints on the premises and all artwork are sourced in Indonesian and European auctions or come directly from the private collection of the owner and Bill Bensley and the atmosphere is in equal measure as pleasurable and stunning as the food. Whereas in my previous camping excursion I had been counting the hours until I could escape, staying at Capella Ubud had the opposite effect. I was aware of the passing time with only one desire: to stave it off. Therein lies the magic of this truly exclusive and special experience. You won’t want to leave. A.L. quirky, stylish and luxe.


venting in a villa swim, relax or feast.

Samsara Ubud is tucked into a lush jungle ravine at the end of a rocky road deep into Ubud’s famous Tagalalang region. Expect no neighbours and a soundscape performed by nature; chirping birds, tinkling water and the wind whispering through the jungle that surrounds the estate. The concept of luxury at Samsara Ubud is grounded in a belief that nature holds the key to happiness and serenity. Remember the name Samsara Ubud. The smart money predicts a big future for this exclusive new brand, which is just a few years old. Its star is on the ascent. Finding Samsara Ubud is fun and entails a bit off off-road style driving through the bumps and holes of a decrepit road. It’s a flash back to the ‘old Bali’ that expat elders go all misty eyed for. But unlike old Bali, Samsara Ubud has luxury accommodation and services to match. With just 17 villas – from one bedroom to three bedrooms and each with a private heated pool – the resort is small and exclusive. However, the services reflect something bigger. Designed by the internationally praised, Bali-based architect Popo Danes – a professional who prefers towering trees as noise filters to air conditioners – Samsara Ubud is contemporary Indonesian in design. The smallest villa is a huge 122 sqm with the three bedroom houses closer to 300 sqm. Those on the lower terraces – or during the quiet evening on the high terraces – listen to the nearby waterfall. Interiors are cool with high, pitched ceilings crafted from rattan and cool stone floors with neutral coloured mats. Samsara Ubud's eternal ‘8’motif appears in design accents while furnishings are rich teak wood and exotically patterned fabrics is used for cushions. An elegant sofa faces a wall fitted TV. The canopied beds are deep and comfortable. Bathrooms are luxurious with Makassar marble as the material of choice. Samsara Ubud branded quality toiletries and plenty of bottled water are ritzy. The outdoor shower delivers a tropical tone while a deep free standing bathtub has its own timber table fitted out to hold two beverages and a laptop or tablet. For maximum indulgence order a floating breakfast. At the appointed time staff arrive bearing a woven boat-shape float filled with your breakfast of choice that may include eggs benedict with smoked salmon and asparagus, fresh juices, coffee, cereals and bakery plus a basket of freshly peeled fruit. The shape of the boat tray makes it manageable to actually eat at while perched by the pool. If you are 12 years old, standing in the pool or sitting is the preferred position for floated dining. The central restaurant Kelusa, has a progressive Indonesian menu from a chef who has been on the pans in high-end resorts. Indonesian favourites are available along with


hand made pasta, crisp salads and unique fusions. The Buntut Strozzapreti is hand twisted pasta paired with Indonesian pulled oxtail, local celery and a beef jus. The Indonesian classic Opor Ayam – a white curry chicken – is deconstructed with a tender chicken thigh set on potato with asparagus and tempura bok choy and an ‘opor’ coconut emulsion. European dining is well executed and includes tender beef, salmon steaks and excellent risotto laced with plump tasty prawn and saffron strings. Cocktails and mocktails are creative and refreshing. Sit down on the open terrace and take in the distant sunset with a popcorn sour – a sweet and sour vodka-based drink or an alcohol-free Jasmine Pear Mood that is a mix of mango, jasmine tea and raspberry. Water is served rather than sold, a personal favourite gesture of hospitality and the resort has 24-hour in-villa dining. The spa is tasteful, with a large and airy reception with friendly and efficient staff. A stroll into the therapy rooms is an entire change of scene with a hallway that is sectioned by velvet-roped curtains with a mirror at the end creating a cool optical illusion. The blue and green aesthetic running through the entire resort continues to lapis blue walls in the spa that surround picture windows that look into a hanging garden with soft light. Spa treatments start with a foot bathing ritual where toes are soaked in a brass basin full of warm water, frangipani petals are added to the mix plus drops of peppermint essential oil. Toes are gently rubbed with fresh lime and scrubbed with salt then towel dried. The spa menu offers various massages including the two-hour Chakra massage with a traditional Ayurveda Shirodhara where warm coconut oil is poured on the forehead and hair through a beautiful copper vessel. The spa offers beauty treatments including facials and maintenance such as manicure and pedicures. The resort also has a jungle view gym beside a central 17-metre pool shared by guests – it is a little more heated than the private pools but like the villa pools, it is lit up with dramatic blue lights at night creating a dreamy scene. It is the perfect place for a quiet spot of stretching, a yoga session or hitting the machines. Save the meditation for the villa deck that overlooks the dense tropical forest. Samsara Ubud has a daily traditional Balinese afternoon tea showcasing the finest local teas and fresh cakes. Three times a week an outdoor cinema is created with beanbags on a grassy lawn and large portable screen. Cultural walking trips through the local villages are a wonderful lesson in Balinese religion and daily life. With it's remote location and delightful serenity, Samsara Ubud creates a special place that is a holiday within a holiday and a must-do for romantics and nature lovers.

ONDY SWEETING retreats to the hills

rooms with a view.


venting in a villa

Montigo delivers exceptional value for money in a prized part of the island.


montigo mix Deep in Petitenget is a resort that pulls together typically divergent styles of traveller. Ondy Sweeting checks-in.

Insta-devotees, flocks of friends, hipsters, young families, solo adventurers, elders, and honeymooners can all immerse into Montigo in happy bliss and harmony. It’s fascinating and rare to watch such wildly diverse people mingle freely. Like ducks in a row – Montigo is on the strip that is home to legendary destinations including Potato Head, the W Hotel, Pontiac Stardust and dozens of fabulous cafes, restaurants and shops. It’s the stylish heartbeat of Seminyak. The resort itself is full of surprises with a tasteful spa that is open until 11pm, making it a perfect place for a night massage before trotting through the lush gardens to hit the hay. Three pools are a standout with a party-type pool at the front of the resort attached to the buzzing Tiigo restaurant where the public can also dip and dine. As an excellent spot for people watching, the pool has a deck and two rows of sun lounges with one side of the pool set aside with a long bench and chairs for those who fancy puffing on a cigarette or cigar. A daily roster of DJ’s fire up the decks from 2pm to deliver island tunes and cool classics for the long happy hours where two-for-one cocktails rule. The Montigo Mule is a refreshing libation with a twist of kaffir lime leaf. A stroll down the central pathway reveals a whole lot more than the big open-air, street side restaurant. A newer multi-level accommodation wing is opposite the original two-level buildings that house comfortable suites. In the middle is the family pool – a sparkling blue rectangle flanked by sunbeds, umbrellas, bean bags plus a kiddy friendly shallow end. When it comes to children, the Montigo has a handle on what makes a great family holiday. The Tilo kid’s club is free for in-house guests who can drop their offspring in for an hour or three so both adults and the little ones can enjoy some downtime. The team here are trained and adept at entertaining kids with crafting, board games, painting, dress ups, movies and dining. There are PlayStations, Wii and Xbox. It’s also a place where kids find friends and can have some quiet time out of the sun. Montigo also has a ‘garden’ pool which is tucked into an enclosed garden and lawn and is strictly for ages 16-plus. It’s a charming bolthole that is whisper quiet and a fabulous suntrap. Accommodation ranges from deluxe rooms, garden and balcony suites plus two bedroom apartments. The garden suites are spacious and have a private

garden behind hedges with a big outdoor sofa, a dining table and an overhead fan. The generous interior space is split into a sleeping area and a living space with a television that spins to face either side and set into a chic wood panelled partition. Interiors are bright with neutral colours and tropical blues. Block out curtains cover a wall of glass with sliding doors that lead to the garden. The beds are cloud soft and heavenly. The contemporary bathroom is, like the entire property, sparkling clean with a deep freestanding bath, glassed-in shower and his and hers vanity. Among the services at Montigo are 24-hour dining, a gym, and a hotel shop stocked with swim suits, resort wear, toiletries, snacks and quirky decorative items. Motor scooters can also be hired by the day or week. Montigo delivers exceptional value for money in a prized part of the island. Daily activities may include morning yoga, aqua aerobics or Balinese cooking classes. It is a supply and demand situation and according to the wonderful staff, if guests demand it, they will deliver it. In fact, the Montigo team is outstanding and remember guests by name. The open-fronted roadside restaurant and bar has dining tables, low tables ideal for bar snacks and drinks while people watching and a big central shared table for meeting people and lively conversation plus offering a birds eye view of two TV’s tuned silently to sport. There is a long bar and the open kitchen where flames roar and chefs work with a smile. This area connects to a second dining room behind vast glass walls and is enclosed with ultra chilled air-conditioning that can be a blissful retreat from a steamy day. High ceilings deliver a tropical feel while the menu reflects the international clientele of the resort. Expect Balinese dishes including the island’s famous suckling pig babi guling, Asian grilled fish, rice dishes and noodle soups. Western go-to foods include burgers – made with wagyu steak – pizza, pasta, grills, sandwiches and salads. The ‘prawn cappuccino’ is a lush soup with juicy chunks of prawn. It comes in a bowl that is much bigger than a cappuccino cup, so be warned not to expect an amuse bouche. The golden beach of Petitenget is fewer than 10 minutes walk away via an important sea temple. This is an active place of high religious importance so on any day, passers by may chance upon an exquisite Balinese ceremony that can be experienced nowhere else in the world.


over the edge

batu karang the lembongan offering that has it all. sophie digby dives in.

hello, it's heaven calling.


If every decent holiday starts with a cocktail we’ll need to start right at the bottom of this luxury, hillside property at none other than the seriously excellent Whisky, Gin and Wine Bar The Howff to enjoy The Art of Mixology Guest Experience. Did they know I was coming? Nothing could be more up my street! Ubertalented mixologist Luca is in charge and an Old Fashioned is on the cards … Traditional and modern boats bob up and down in the aquamarine sea just below the decking and as he regales us with motes and notes of alcoholic consequence, an oak box of Hunter Laing’s Old and Rare Single Malt Whisky selection approaches our table… Slowly it opens to reveal light wreaths of smoke and two cut crystal glasses with our preferred elixir of the gods, a ball of ice and a sliver of orange rind. We sit back to sip and admire “that view, tho”. Few views garner such admiration and sighs of appreciation, as the sun sets behind Gunung Agung, as seen from Batu Karang Lembongan Resort & Spa. And refreshingly enough it is not just the view that ticks all the holiday boxes at this gorgeous, family-owned island paradise. Set into a steep north-facing hillside, having totally respected the contours of the land throughout the build, the resort benefits from the sloped (wellbuggy’d) incline. Each level has a fantastic view. From The Howff, which overlooks the water at a height of about three meters, it leads up one level to The Deck Café & Bar and the pool (this is just one of three, not counting the private plunge pools and the one in the Wedding / Occasion Villa!) On the same floor find the newly opened Parad-Ice Parlour created for the gelato generation and the Resort’s excellent Muntigs Bar & Restaurant. Here the seats that are most in demand are definitely the barstools at The Balcony Bar, which overlook the bay and beyond, just until nighttime that is – then find yourself a pew at one of the romantic dining tables placed around the pool or in the pavilion. Since we are at Muntigs, I must mention the food. Just like The Howff Whisky Gin & Wine Bar, with its plethora of Single Malts, one can expect the same level of excellence coming out of the kitchen. The menu blends asian-inspired and international cuisine with an à la carte that reads like my bible of musteats on every holiday. Time to loosen that waistband! Delicious food makes one deliciously sleepy, so time to buggy-up to our suite complete with master bedroom, bathroom, lounge, kitchen and private (bubble) pool, situated at the top of the resort. Open the door and my bottom jaw mimics the movement of my suitcase as it is placed on the floor by the staff. Wide angle views of north-facing promise – jukungs, Jungut Batu Bay and Bali. Breathtaking indeed. I’m definitely glad of the buggy ride up, otherwise I might just have fainted.

with what we can actually touch: the toiletries, soaps and salts are handmade from pure, natural ingredients and commissioned by BK. The divine woven items that dot and decorate are from pandanous or palm leaves and water hyacinth. Let’s go bigger; feel the gorgeous doors, hand-carved by Balinese craftsmen; touch the coral limestone walls, up-furbished and reshaped having been hewn on site to make way for the villas. Local masons handcrafted the 6,000 cubic metres into 6,000 stones and bricks, which are used throughout the resort. Now to taste; the amazing fresh herbs and vegetables are grown right on property in the hydroponic garden and served at The Deck or at Muntigs. Enjoy the immaculate gardens that are watered thanks to a sophisticated water waste management system and, now that we are going underground and behind the scenes, BK also hosts a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis water system, implements energy conservation, responsible waste collection, mindful housekeeping, bans the use of single-use plastic bags on property, and only provides corn starch straws for soft drinks and cocktails. All this is supported by a very strong Local Trainee Programme employing 50 percent of local Lembongites and other Nusa natives at the Resort. But I have gone all serious on you, so let me get back on track and above ground and offer a quick tour of the recent additions and upgrades to this already fabulous resort. Phase 1 boasted 10 One Bedroom Villas, the Restaurant and Bar, Gymnasium, Pool and Day Lounge. Phase 2 saw the building of the Twin Share Rooms, Double Rooms, Wedding / Occasion Villa, Superior One Bedroom Villa with Plunge Pool, two Three-Bedroom Villas, the Lulur Spa, the Pool Bar (there we go drinking again), two swimming pools and Conference Centre. Here at Phase 3, after a 2018 rebrand, the team at BK added more Superior One Bedroom Villas with Plunge Pools, Double Rooms with Plunge Pools, a Suite with Swimming Pool, a new Conference room and a small but incredible lawn events space – this one is all about the view! But as with all things it should not always be about the Resort, after all it is good to stretch the legs a bit, and so I go, at the unearthly hour of half six in the morning, on a guided village walk. Accompanied by the charming Pande, native of this beautiful island, I am shown what Bali used to look like about 30 years ago. The temples, and their guardian statues; the cemetery, and cremation grounds. The early morning market also up early, is all a-bustle with the aroma of coffee, the scent of flower petals for offerings and a smoky whiff of pepes of coconut on the small charcoal barbeques. Talking of smoke, if it wasn’t so early, I might just be tempted to ask Luca to make me another of those fabulously smoking cocktails in a box. As a gift from us to you, use the direct online booking code THEYAK and get better than the best rates around!

At the beginning, I touched upon how BK respected the contours of the land when building. So now let’s continue to talk about ethical sustainability and,


over the edge


sophie digby heads east to the beachfront enclave jasri bay.

yesteryear is still right here.


It was when I recently came back from a trip to Europe that I suffered massive culture shock – it was strange that it had not been the other way round. This time the culture shock was not bending to Bali’s favour. A first for me! Without going into the emotional details of my first week back from Europe, with its wide streets, ample pavements, museums, architecture and gorgeous affordable wine, I realized I had had a hard landing! As I mentioned, a first ever. However gently edging back into Bali life, I slowly re-found that which makes us stay; the unequivocal energy that permeates; the scent of incense and sounds of gamelan, the priest on a random corner releasing a trapped spirit creating mayhem and those sunsets. The very real joys of being in Bali.

with the style of yesteryear there is that iconic yin yang mosaic design on the bottom of the free form pool!

Those of us who have been here nigh on three decades reminisce on previous times, and there is no better way to stop reminiscing on the past than to bring it into the present by traveling a mere couple of hours eastwards. So to Jasri Bay we have come, stopping along the way for an hour or so of modernday decompression, spent at the elegant Alila Manggis, before racing the few miles up the road to the hideaway. Jasri Bay Hideaway. Yes, we got lost. Google is not that great up this end of town. Actually, it's possibly not that the American giant that fails, but the signal that lags…LOL

This wooden two-story pavilion has an enclosed downstairs living area and a singe bedroom above. Similar in style as the other cottages it is just slightly smaller and the marble bathtub is but for one person, still large by normal bath sizing standards.

Good news, yesteryear is still right here, thankfully so. Beachfront enclave, unfortunate access (thankfully, as that way Insta-peeps might not dare tread its path) crashing waves and a chocolate factory. I mean, really? What more could you ask for? I know I am in the right place at the right time when they tell me that the gorgeous blonde at the reception is also called Sophie. She is a golden lab mix and of course we hit it off as namesakes usually do! So let’s explore. Two cottages and two Suites – all made from fabulous wood, all fronting the sea. First off and half-raised on Mayan-style, pebble plinths, Kelapa Cottage. One large, open-plan covered space complete with four-poster bed and mosquito nets, sitting and dining area leads onto an outdoor wrap around balcony with cushioned seating. A covered outdoor bathroom (with vast marble bathtub for two - top and tailing, rain shower and on theme seashell resin sinks) leads off the bedroom. To one side, an antique opium, highly carved, wooden, cushioned day bed and a swimming pool. And in sync

Next door, but not that close, is Pandan Cottage. This is the twobedroom option, and since it is on two floors with a massive, open-sided entertaining space on the ground floor with the two bedrooms, bathrooms, balcony and wrap around terrace on the top floor, it is not exactly a cottage, more of a tropical, pioneerstyle house. Pandan has an extensive lawn edging the private promenade that links the dwellings, and hosts a very and I mean very, large sunbed. Balinese umbul2 (flags) flap in the breeze as the waves thump onto the shore as we visit the third overnight option, the Neptune Suite, with which Pandan shares the pool.

Lastly, and this cottage is usually occupied by a long-term Bali resident, we discover the Mandala Suite, tucked away at one end of this spacious seafront property, and at the time of going to press it was not listed on the website. But do connect with the charming Agung who manages this divine hideaway you never know your luck, We know it is there because we saw it. I briefly mentioned the quaint, village-style chocolate factory next door (that makes the luscious dark chocolate of the Sorga brand which also creates some delightful ice creams), a tour of which is a fun and educational way to spend an hour away from the sea and pool. So lastly I should mention the food. All food is brought to your cottage so it really is up to you to choose where you would like to enjoy what the Jasri Bay kitchens have created for you. The menu is very comprehensive and dives between vegetarian, pescatarian and even vegan. Meat is also on the menu as well as salads, curries and rice dishes. I am quite impressed, being so far off the beaten track, not only how good the food is and how delicious but also how beautifully served it, we are definitely spoilt for choice. Thankfully, I am now back in Bali and it is just as it should be…

eastern promise.


over the edge

scar reef

tempted? let's go.


sophie digby checks in to a spectacularly remote surf camp – and prays for flat water. Images by Ian and Erick Regnard.

bay watch and right . . . breathe.

Shock horror, I think I am suddenly interested in surfing! No, not the actual sport, I am a little too past the up-to-vertical in one swift, fluid movement of arms, hips and feet. Nor is it because one can view sun-bleached hair, wide, tanned backs, slim hips in low-riding board shorts. No, none of the aforementioned. I am interested in the world of surfing. Great surf breaks attract great surfers; great surfers find great lost-to-the-world beaches and luckily some of those surfers decide to set up shop with some of those great breaks in plain sight of the breakfast room. Some such persons are Francoise and Natalie, and some such lost-in-paradise lodge is Scar Reef Resort, happily planted on the west coast of Sumbawa, already very well known to those that paddle out looking for impressive right or left handers. Scar Reef Resort is located on a fabulous white sand crescent shaped bay and looks out over a reef, which is the raison d’etre for the famous Scar Reef wave that at times hosts seriously high barrels and extremely impressive sunsets daily. Having recently undergone a major 'upfurb', the resort now consists of one large (just gorgeous) and for want of a description “honeymoon suite” aka The Beach House – this is my auberge for the three nights I am staying here, and no I am not on any honeymoon … however the label is not lost on me. It is all wood. A very spacious, open-plan, white-washed bedroom-cum-sitting room opens onto the terrace and annexed is a fully equipped kitchen, which comes with bar counter, barstools with surround sound waves gently 'swashing' the shore. The view is of Scar Reef – The Wave - so the tales around the proverbial campfire are possibly of brutal, board-breaking bravery … and Betadine. The Family House stands two stories high and stands back a bit from The Beach House, also all wood, mostly white washed with one main bedroom-cum-sitting room and an additional half attic room up a laddered staircase – perfect for the kids to dream of pirates and ships lost at sea. The spacious right and left shower-rooms are below the ample balcony on the ground floor. The other five individual rooms continue with the ever-elegant, white washed wood interiors yet differentiate with terrazo floors instead of wood, and boast cleverly molded pavilion seating. Eye to detail is impressive. Natalie’s taste is exceptional.

What is left to 'upfurb' is the breezy restaurant, which in its own right is still cute and perfectly functional. Surrounded by immaculately brushed sand, palm trees and bougainvillea, the Scar Reef eatery is manned by head of ops Jon and his trusty crew of Uka, Maliki and Erol, amongst others. Of note is that everything is prepared fresh in the kitchen – the muesli is home-blended, the tomato curry sauces for fish or chicken are lovingly blended by hand – not easy when quality provisions are hard to come by, and the wholesale and retail comestible world is two islands west away. But, by George, Jon manages to step up to the plate and deliver! But back to why I would I be interested in surfing? Did I mislead you, I wonder? I am actually interested in great surf resorts when the incoming swell is zero. The surfers are absent and the occupation is low, the beaches are deserted (which they are anyway here in Sumbawa) and the tide is in. I now find myself checking swell charts and trade wind forecasts, looking for the niche in between the king tides and the 9ft and singles. So just to tally up, when the 'surf’s down’, I’ll be catching me a plane and a boat and booking into Scar Reef Resort!

Photography: Insta - @iananderick

Extra Info: • Fly to Lombok (Praya Airport), hire a driver to take you to the northeast sea-port and get on the fast boat to Sumbawa – the 16.30 is the easiest one to catch if coming in from Bali. • Boat trips out to the reef – or a free trip around the bay even if non-surfers – is included in the room-rate. NB. If the surf is ‘up’ the boat is busy and would not be available for landlubbers – understandably so! • Yoga – beautiful wooden Yoga off-ground pavilion, located in the centre of the property, is ideal if looking to do a yoga or breath work retreat or just daily morning practice. • Snorkeling is an option if the lagoon is calm, and if you bring children we definitely recommend buckets and spades too. • Horse riding is also an option if you are experienced – please advise before booking. • Waterfall – half an hour away is swimmable (not in the dry season of course), • Scar Reef’s 4x4 car trip to Gunung Kertasari for sunrise and cloud viewing. • Two motorbikes are for rent. 143

Photographer: axioo.bali

Street Address: Bloomz Flowers & Events Bali Jl. Mertasari # 99X Kerobokan Kelod Bali 80361 bloomzflowersbali +62 8124 654 8499

ministry of exteriors a trio of balinese architectural landscape designers are building a name in gardens and hotel projects across asia. image: lucky 8.

three wise men.


Kadek, Jung and Anang, welcome to The Yak. Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves and SHL Asia? We are the three principals of SHL Asia! We all have architectural backgrounds, but we developed a fondness specifically for landscape architecture after we worked together in a landscape design studio. Later in 2010, we established our own architecture firm focusing on hospitality landscape and architecture design. At that time it was called Studio Hijau Lumut, and then Anang came along a year after and we eventually rebranded as SHL Asia. We have recently moved to our new studio – which we call Workspace and Culture (WAC) – and celebrated our ninth year in the industry. Congrats on the move. What is the story behind Workspace and Culture? WAC is very personal to us. The idea first came when we needed to accommodate the growing number of members in the SHL Asia family. Because we always want to do better – better service, better products – we wanted to have our own creative working area to support the team. We designed and built it from scratch. It represents us and became a symbol of our growth into our ninth year. We were greatly inspired by the houses in urban villages in Denpasar and implemented these elements into the building and its composition. Just like the traditional Bali houses, the home is not one big massive building but instead a compound of buildings connected by a lane or hallway. We wanted to make this quite simple and seemingly effortless, so raw and exposed material like bricks and metals were applied throughout the building. Other than that, WAC presents a clean canvas, with an allwhite color scheme. A splash of colour is added from the vibrant plants, different textures and individual activities. We are very pleased with the final result! Your team is relatively small … how do you manage such huge projects? You’re right, SHL Asia is an intimate team. Each of us has our own role and focus. As a design consultant, the principles come up with the design and idea but we are always open for discussion and collaboration with our team since they are young and often they can see things from a different perspective. The design is then distributed to each of our team through the supervisor. He makes sure that the work flow in the studio is going smoothly and everyone finishes their tasks on time. It is not always easy of course with the tight schedule and deadlines, but the team love what they are doing and are always passionate about design. That’s why, at the end of the day, it always feel worth it. What made you focus specifically on hospitality design? As a Bali-based design consultants we were born and

raised here and we see the potential this island has. Bali has an amazing natural landscape. Here we are talking about endless beaches, million dollar views of Bali’s jungle and rivers, and not to mention the rich vibrant culture. The growth in the hospitality and tourism industry in Bali over the last decade has been enormous and we view this as an opportunity – it’s even become a part of the Balinese daily life. Through our design, we wish to give people an experience that will be remembered long after they leave Bali. What sets you apart from the rest of the design consultants out there? If you ask us what are the characteristics of SHL Asia, we can tell you we have none. But what we do have is a story to tell. We understand the importance of storytelling and we believe our design speaks for itself. We want these stories to raise the value of the design and elevate the user experience. Before the design process begins, we are like an empty glass … so the initial idea of the client can fill us up. We are also inspired by the things around the site, like the local folk lore or history of the site. Overall, it all comes back to the location, the client’s desire and a will to make each project unique. It is always interesting to see the finish result as it may vary even when we are dealing with the same client. As in our projects in Ubud, Bisma Eight and Folk Pool & Garden, they originate from the same client but both have very different concepts. We always try to provide unique experiences in every project and give a personal touch for people to remember. Hence, it’s important to differentiate each project by paying attention to detail. Where does your inspiration come from? We take inspiration from many things. Sometimes we get an idea when strolling around the site or when we have discussions with the clients or network with people, it is fascinating to see how people see things from their perspective. For us, creating design is one thing, but it is creating the ambience that often gets tricky. Aside from the design itself, we also offer experience. It is important to travel a lot and visit different places. It enriches our knowledge in creating real life ambience. For hospitality landscape and architecture, we love and are inspired by the work of Geoffrey Bawa and Made Wijaya. What would your dream design look like? We admire a big, spacious gardens, with shady old trees combined with lush vibrant shrubs. A typical Balinese garden is definitely up there, a garden where we can relax and feels like home. What projects are you working on and what is next for SHL Asia? We have a lot of exciting projects on the go at the moment. We have under-construction boutique resorts

projects going in Ubud, Blackpenny & Adhiwana Jeevaloka, and one on Labuan Bajo Island, also a commercial building in the neighboring island, Lombok at ITDC Mandalika. Another project in Natuna Island is in construction. Anyone would agree that the landscape in Natuna is one of a kind and we are so thrilled to play a part in developing the island’s tourism. In July, we went to India for a landscape project in Goa. This project is interesting because the design is very much inspired by Bali’s signatures and we are trying to recreate the Balinese ambience to this villa project since it has similar climate and variety of plants. We are not planning to stop anytime soon and will keep creating design that people can enjoy and remember for a long time. Are you noticing a new eco-consciousness with your clients? If so, in what way? Absolutely. This could be the result of demands from more eco-conscious travelers. Nowadays, people are more aware, particularly in Bali, especially those who move within the hospitality industry. Some of our clients have made some serious commitments in lessening the impact on the environment of their property. For example, our landscape project in Ubud, Cloud Nine Estate. This eco-luxury villa is committed to conscious living, which includes a zero waste concept, ecologically-sound operations and water-saving bathrooms, and ecological toilets that will compost their gardens. Aware of their mission and supported by them SHL ASIA was encouraged to design a landscape without individual, private pools in order to help reduce waterwaste for the overall project. Our other project, Folk Pool & Garden, we used recycled materials in almost every area, interiors and exteriors, as per our client’s request. We always try to maximize the use of local materials collected from the area. SHL Asia and our clients have the same belief, recycling materials greatly helps the environment. How do you ensure you stay up to date on the latest landscaping techniques and trends? To be completely honest, we don’t necessarily always follow trends but we do stay abreast of things – which means we are open to positive change while staying true to our core philosophy. We make sure our team gets continuous access to professional development through good quality literature, actively engaging in related community events, attending seminars/workshops as well as joining exhibitions that will increase our knowledge about the industry and current design trends. And not only design-wise, we also make sure we stay up to date technically for all on-site implementation of the most recent technical standards.



who dares wins ONDY SWEETING explores the brand behind powerhouse bali outfit mason adventures.

Baby Arjuna is the newest addition to the Mason family – the powerhouse dynasty behind Mason Adventures. Born just two months ago, the healthy boisterous pachyderm has created a buzz at the elephant safari park in Taro and visitors watch the bub falling asleep in the grass or standing quietly next to his mother – a rescue elephant from Sumatra who is now thirty years old and a mother of two. The duo reflects the business in many ways. It started small, survived some dangerous times – Sumatran elephants enslaved in the logging industry have a life expectancy of between two and six years – but prevailed to grow and strengthen and live a long and happy life with off spring. Nigel Mason, the founder of the company, has the mega drive and determination that has helped him to create Bali’s most success adventure company, which has world recognition for the quality of its diverse businesses that include helicopter tours, hotels and gourmet foods. From starting out with his wife Yanie’s namesake restaurant in Legian and on to white water rafting – the group has flourished with its newest project – an exquisite bamboo building near its Taro elephant park where it has a restaurant, a chocolate making studio and a jungle buggy grand prix track. “Mason Gourmet Foods is a fairly new business and we are aiming to create a unique chocolate brand for the island,” says director Shan Mason. In fact, to keep production local the company provides local farmers with multiple varieties of cacao plants for them to grow and sell back to the business as the heavenly ingredient. “At the moment we do buy in cacao from across Indonesia but in time it will be an organic product exclusive to Bali,” says Shan. The family is well known and loved on the island with Nigel and Yanie at the helm and their boys Shan and Jian as directors. They employ about 800 local people within the group and nearly every member of the team that you speak with lives nearby and has worked for the group for many years. Husband and wife teams are a common theme. Nigel takes his role as a business leader seriously and enjoys creating job opportunities for locals. He has been through many cycles during his decades in business. After the infamous Sari Club bombing he famously kept his entire team of Indonesian staff despite tourist numbers plunging. He sold a piece of land in Nusa Dua for AUD $1 million to keep the businesses operational. “That land is worth $40 million now. I had to sell it to keep afloat. It still annoys me but it did help to get us where we are today,” he says. The same sense of responsibility is held toward his elephants. “After the bombing tourists to the park went from a hundred a day to one, so our other business fed money into the park to feed the elephants and


keep them well cared for. Our other business still under writes the elephants to this day,” he says. Nigel is a perfectionist – a trait that has delivered Mason Adventures many accolades from the Luxury Hotel Awards and animal welfare organisations that audit the elephant park. The dedication to quality can be seen at every point from the lush bowers of orchids that drape from trees in exceptional tropical gardens to the constant flow of improvements. The top of the range jungle buggies have roll bars, side nets and every safety addition possible. It’s great fun ripping around the jungle in these beasts. But only if you hold a current drivers license, are over 18 years old and process through the safety procedures. Mason Chocolate too is a high-end operation with exquisite produce that integrates unique fruit flavours lime, blood orange and pomegranate, which is divinity itself. The small production house in the beautiful bamboo building will soon quadruple in size as demand skyrockets. These are in addition to the $15 million adventure centre in Ubud that has state of the art rafting gear and accoutrements such as a restaurant, and a spa. Art galleries with fine collections, (including a Salvador Dali) are a feature of Mason properties. “We work toward quality all of the time. We don’t do cheap,” says Nigel. The company has abandoned the elephant theatre to create a space to present documentary films to educate guests about the herd of Sumatran elephants and they have bought more land to create a relaxation space for the elephants. “Don’t be mistaken that all elephants like each other. Sumatran elephants move in maternal groups without males. So we have to be very careful to keep them in small groups that get on well. Having said this, they clearly do get on because they keep having babies,” Nigel says. A new overhead walkway has been built in the elephant park so diners can enjoy a birds-eye view of the park at night. The ideas are refined and feed demand from big spending tourists. Mason Air has long been whizzing high profile guests around the island in their private helicopter to land them at Taro. Most recently the Kardashian crew and Kanye West stayed a while at the park – then turned up again for more. David Beckham, Alicia Keys, Sir Richard Branson and dozens more have enjoyed the elegant hospitality delivered by this Bali-born company and admired family.

still the one – mason adventures has grown from strength to strength


spas beauty knows no bounds with georgia and her team at glo day spa. In need of some serious primping and pampering? Glo Day Spa & Salon is your one-stop shop for vanity and sanity. For nearly 15 years, this city-style spa has been exceeding expectations with on-trend beauty and body treatments, not to mention a stellar team of passionate therapists and stylists. Georgia Sutherland is the visionary behind the brand, and like many other long-term expats she came to Bali thinking she would only be here for a short while – but ended up making the island her home. “After graduating from hotel management school in NSW, Australia," she told us, "my first posting was at The Legian, which back then was surrounded by rice fields. I arrived thinking that I would do a year or two here and then leave. I had no idea then how I would fall in love with this island, the people, and the culture . . . and still be here 23 years later.” Providence then prevailed. “After two years working in the hotel industry," she went on, "the Indonesian Monetary Crisis happened in 1998 and many people were retrenched. But during that time I found my new passion when I was approached by Mandara Spa and offered the position of Operations Manager.” That position would spark a lifelong career in the spa industry and inspire Georgia to create her own brand with the mission of upping the spa game in Bali. She said: “Indonesia has a wonderful history of hair and beauty, but 15 years ago there was very little available to the residents of Bali other than a couple of little local day spas offering hair cream baths and manicures or pedicures and waxing, which did not adhere to any level of hygiene or sanitation. “I opened Glo Seminyak in July 2005, as I believed that I could not be the only person on the island wanting a spa that offered awesome services with beautiful products, professionally trained staff, and a high level of hygiene and sanitation.” Originally called Glo Nail Bar, Georgia’s venture was the first city styled spa on the island and it was an instant hit with locals and expats. Services included manicures and pedicures and soon expanded to waxing, spray tans and tinting. As guests repeatedly asked for more services, Georgia and her team listened and added spa treatments and a full service salon. Today the name Glo is synonymous with style in Bali. Spa and salon seekers have four chic locations to choose from in Seminyak, Sanur, Canggu and Nusa Lembongan, and at


each location you’ll find international teams of therapists and stylists offering a multitude of beauty and body treatments ranging from massages to microdermabrasion, haircuts and colour, eyelash extensions, men’s grooming and much more. Glo is passionate about everything to do with bridal hair and make up and bridal hens days and spa parties. “Our incredible Glam Squad will have glammed at least 150 brides from all over the world,” says Georgia. “We love doing weddings and make sure that our brides and their entourage are always thrilled. We also love knowing that our skills show in many people’s wedding albums around the world.” What sets Glo apart from other spas in Bali is not only the consistent delivery of stellar services, but also the dedicated team members who are constantly striving to offer the very latest in beauty trends, technology and techniques. Georgia says: “We bring in trainers every six months from Australia to refresh skills and keep up with the latest trends in hair, make-up, beauty and nails so that we continue to be visionary and a market leader in the day spa market. We are also committed to introducing new treatments and services and importing the best available items including vegan and cruelty-free products.” The Glo staff members hail from Indonesia, Australia and Finland, and all are experts in their field, whether it’s hair styling, spa therapies or beauty services. The therapists and technicians also undergo special training in hygiene, avant-garde techniques and sanitation. Georgia says: “Glo would not be the success it is today without the Glo family. We are a team of 55 and eight have been with me since the beginning. I love my team and I know they all love working at Glo, which shows in their dedication, professionalism and passion in what they do. As a whole, we believe the total Glo experience is more than just the services that we provide; it’s about the relationships we build. “We love the saying by Don Sibet, ‘What comes from the heart, touches the heart’, and this is our philosophy at Glo. You can expect a beautiful warm welcome on arrival, have confidence in your therapist or technician, total comfort during your time in Glo and a very fond farewell on departure. And you can expect to leave feeling and looking better than when you arrived.”

a palace of simple pleasures.


schools great facilities and dedicated teachers make the B.I.S experience exceptional.


bali island school B.I.S offers excellent academic opportunity and a strong community spirit, writes stephanie mee.

When Bali International School opened its doors in 1985, there were just eight students on the roster. The school was entirely paid for and run by the parents, and just one Canadian couple, Bill and Gundi Robertson, were in charge of the teaching and administration. Fast forward to the present and the school (now named Bali Island School) is one of the most sought-after learning institutions on the island. This August, over 240 students began classes at Bali Island School. Most hail from far-flung places like Belgium, Japan, the UK, Russia, and the USA. They are studying fully accredited International Baccalaureate programmes and taking part in a plethora of after-school activities, inter-school competitions, and projects that connect them to the local community. As the student base has grown over the years, so too have the facilities. The school still sits on the original site in Taman Banjar, Sanur, but it now has a library with 40,000 titles in its database, classrooms with state-of-the-art learning equipment, a 25-metre swimming pool, three sports fields, and a covered area that is used for basketball, volleyball and tennis. Yet despite all the changes, some elements have remained the same. Garth Wyncoll, Head of School at BIS says, “When the school was just starting out, the teachers knew their students very well and that still holds true today. We have a ratio of seven students to every teacher, so the teachers are able to learn each student’s interests and learning styles and there is a real sense of family and community.” Just like the students, the teachers at BIS come from all over the world. Each is International Baccalaureate certified and has considerable experience and expertise not just in the subjects they teach, but also the after-school activities they run. Garth says, “I worked at a school for 15 years where all the teachers had to be coaches outside the classroom as well. That experience has affected my thinking and hiring. It’s so important for teachers to really get to know their students and make a connection. Once a child gets to know and trust a teacher, it really opens the doors so much more learning can take place.” The staff at Bali Island School understand that transitioning to a new school can be difficult, particularly an international school. Many students are far from home, so trying to adapt to a new environment can be challenging. To help with the transition, each new student is assigned an advisor and a buddy who is

a returning student. A counsellor is also available for one-on-one chats. New parents are also given a warm welcome and plenty of support. The PTA often holds coffee meet-ups and invites all parents to attend meetings where they can learn more about the school programmes and become involved if they wish. In addition, every class is assigned a parent of a returning student who can answer any questions new parents may have about the school and living in Bali. This sense of community is central to BIS and extends beyond the campus. Students are encouraged to engage with the local community through an array of projects that include teaching English to Indonesian students, assisting animal welfare organisations and taking part in beach clean-ups and other environmental efforts. “We are an internationally minded school and our community involvement stems from that,” says Garth. “We want our students to appreciate and respect all the aspects of living in another country. Many students will move to other countries for university and get jobs where they will be working with people from all over the world. Having the skills to be open to other people’s views and communicate your views so they’re understood is incredibly valuable.” This ethos coincides with the school curriculum, as the International Baccalaureate’s mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. BIS offers the full IB continuum from preschool to grade 12 including the Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programme. For older students who are starting to think about what they want to do after they finish high school, BIS offers college and career counselling and coordinates an annual college fair attended by approximately 55 universities. Every year, 90 to 100 per cent of BIS graduates get accepted into universities around the world. Garth says, “There’s no doubt that we produce strong students. In fact, our highest IB results in many years came through this year. Our students get accepted into great universities and I really believe it’s because we are a highly functioning small school, which allows students to get that closeness and community spirit feel you wouldn’t get anywhere else.”



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Astrologer Dallas Kalmar hits the charts to provide some cosmic intel for September, October and November.

aries It’s your life, it’s your call / stand up or enjoy your fall. Sept. 14’s full moon sounds the call for reform on how you spend your time and energy. Now hear this: vampires aren’t always taking what isn’t theirs. This lunar theme echoes again – twice – Oct. 13, and on Nov. 12, even louder. The latter moon in your house of money and self-worth is a harbinger of what needs cleaning on your side of the street, but also of rewards for a job well done. With Mercury muddling through your power-hungry house of shared initiatives and secret dealings until Nov. 19, however, there could be some meteor-sized misunderstandings that come to light, probably around mutual funds. Be firm but gentle.

libra Raise up your mind / it’s time to shine. September acts like the cosmic corkscrew to your proverbial Châteauneuf-du-Pape! It’s your time to shine. Your sign gets a fist-bump from both Venus and Mercury on Sept. 14 and a new moon on Sept. 28, priming you with a persuasive edge and charisma in spades. When action-fueled Mars joins the party Oct. 4, you have the drive and courage to execute all those fabulous pitches (even if they happen to take place between the sheets)! Watch your finances in November so you can turn any snafus around by Jan. 3. You've got bones in your closet. Is that the faint scent of singed phoenix feathers? With your cathartic twelfth house all fired-up, themes of retreat, recollection (sometimes painful), introspection and renewal dominate until Nov. 20, and with muddling Mercury here (moving into your sign from Halloween), going a bit isolato when possible could be your saving grace. As the Zodiac’s sex kitten, however, that might be way easier said than done – especially when Venus saunters into your sign Oct. 8 (sex appeal) and Mars in your house of clandestine temptations (eek!). Your cosmic clean-slate opportunity arrives on Oct. 27 with your only ‘personal’ new moon this year…


Fresh she’s so fresh, exciting / she’s so exciting to me… In need of a muse or some marriage mojo? September kicks off with the passion planets canoodling in your fifth house, cranking up your ‘It-factor’ in love and all things creative! On Oct. 13, the full moon in your twelfth house of healing and closure sets the stage for your emotional release party. Rip the metaphorical plaster off, first by detaching with gratitude (‘thank you for this lesson, but I don’t need _____ anymore…’). Make more heart-space by doing some forgiveness work, and a fresh start in love will be yours for the taking by Oct. 27’s new moon in your partnership house.


When your heart and my heart attaches / you and me are gasoline and matches. Venus is working hard for you these next few months! First, she’ll breathe synergistic magic into your intimate life and creative work projects (Sept. 14-Nov. 1). Then, she’ll endeavor to mend and transform your closest partnerships, harmonizing any residual differences that have erupted since the July 16 lunar eclipse in your eighth house (think power struggles, joint finances, secrets revealed) and aligning your intentions for mutual benefit. Mercury is doing the cha-cha in your work/admin house for most of Nov., though, so smartphones and files could go AWOL. Back it up!


Real love / someone to set my heart free. (Bedside) table for two? With Velutinous Venus gracing your home sector until Oct. 8, you’ll be inclined to romance your abode, whether single or attached. If the former, you might consider whether your space is energetically compelling enough for ‘The One’ – or anyone – to accompany you and adjust accordingly! The Scorpio new moon in your house of love and creativity helps clear your meta-relational cache on Oct. 27. With Venus and Mercury also here, you’d be right to don your sexiest guise this Halloween – and take the lead!


leo Contact. Creative and communicative synergies abound beginning Sept. 14, with a convoy of planetary energy in your expressive third house. The new moon also here on Sept. 28 can help seed some of your loftiest initiatives, and when Chief Executor Mars arrives on the scene Oct. 4, you’re a pitching powerhouse! And then, breakthrough … interrupted? Oct. 31, mix-up master Mercury camps out in your emotional fourth house for 3 weeks, resulting in two-mouths-one-ear syndrome – wreaking havoc within your domestic/foundational sphere. Instead of fighting tirelessly to be heard, try and listen to the quiet voices from within. Honour your own inner bandwagon.

sagittarius And the less I seek my source for some definitive / the closer I am to fine. Like the barista of the Zodiac (‘what can I get started for you?’), a new moon camps in your sun’s sign on Nov. 26, when she’ll be rolling out the red carpet for a better, perhaps more emotionally vulnerable (and lovable!) version of you. Recently noticed a propensity to be alone, turning inward in favour of socializing? You can thank Mars in your introspective twelfth house for that! Until Jan. 3, ensure you’re getting plenty of rest, making time for what nourishes your soul. That way, you’ll be perfectly primed to pounce on prosperity when lucky Jupiter enters your money house for a year from Dec. 3! capricorn Wanna take back control… / Computer says no. On Oct. 31, Mercury stations retrograde in your eleventh house of teamwork and technology, making any collaborative effort feel more like punishment – especially if they involve electronics or financials. Rather than trying to extinguish an electrical fire with a water hose (literally), back off and try to let it unfold in its own divine (albeit irritating) order. The Nov. 26 new moon in your house of healing and closure rewards your ability to let go by aligning you with the perfect person(s), timing, resources and/or circumstances to move forward on a mission dear to you, sans any emo-cerebral impedimenta. You’ve got to listen; I'm a songbird with a brand new track / you underestimate. The Sept. 14 full moon in your financial/work-a-day sector might have catalyzed an opportunity to change how you make money – and how much. Fitting, since your house of career and public image is en fuego for the next few months, especially in October. That full moon (Oct. 13) in your networking house gives your professional platform a boost, and the new moon on Oct. 27 acts like Ethereal Bootcamp – sending your conceptual cache of ‘creative clutter’ to the ether – in order to make room for the real gems.


Superstition ain’t the way. Friday the 13th falls in September this year, and it’s anything but un-lucky! Kicking off your cosmic coming-out party, your gift from the cosmos? Another full moon in your income sector on Oct.13, which spells possible bonus – maybe even a windfall for you! One caveat: with your ninth house of travel and legal issues occupied by Trickster Mercury until Nov. 19, you could be easily bamboozled into a travel deal or legal agreement you might soon regret (especially if it involves court or transportation!). Maintain a Socratic approach until the coast is clear: “A ll I know is I know nothing at all.”

pisces 'Cause we are living in a material world. Happy solar return, Virgo! That might be all the birthday brouhaha you have time for this year, as Mars stokes the fire in your belly for making some mammoth money moves in the last quarter. While big returns hang on the horizon, acting (ahem, buying!) on impulse or from perceived scarcity won’t serve you now. Quell the urge to merge or sign the dotted line until a week or two after your ruler, Mercury, goes direct on Nov. 20. In the meantime, hug it out when possible – it’ll release oxytocin, which = less stress + more clarity.


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