The GM explains how the resort continues to fulfil travellers' Eat, Pray, Love aspirations
Michel Bachmann is the general managing presiding over Amandari alongside the resort's sacred stone tiger.
Designed in the style of a traditional Balinese village on a luscious lip of the Ayung River Gorge, this retreat offers immersion in the old Indonesian ways of life, with the added luxuries of a decadent spa and picturesque infinity pool recalling the shape of a paddy field. All the culture and cuisine of the capital, artistic Ubud, can be found on the doorstep.
Connecting Travel talked to Bachmann about the importance of authenticity as demand for cultural immersion increases and how travel agents can work with the Aman brand to create Eat, Pray, Love moments for their clients.
What are the USPs of your hotel?
Amandari is the original Balinese sanctuary, the first to honour the rich culture and village life of the 'Island of the Gods'. Every detail of Amandari reflected reflects a traditional Balinese village, from the alang alang-thatched rooftops of the freestanding suites to the emerald curve of the rice paddy-inspired swimming pool, the first infinity pool in Bali.
The 30 suites and three-bedroom villa are all accessed via a Balinese stone entrance with elegantly decorated interiors using teak and coconut wood. Each accommodation includes a private tropical garden, and most also have a serene private swimming pool.
How do you help guests to immerse themselves in the local culture?
Amandari has long cherished a close relationship with its local community. Children attend dance classes at the resort and religious processions pass through regularly. Activities also enable an insight into the destination’s natural beauty and rich heritage with visits to Ubud, the artistic heart of the island.
Private tours of the ateliers of silversmiths, wood carvers and painters are available, as well as trips to nearby ancient temples and guided hikes through the countryside
What incentives and support do you offer the travel trade?
We have a very close relationship with our trade partners. We extend a commission or a contract rate for a select few who work with us on a regular basis. For enquiries, we ask that agents kindly contact our central reservations team in Indonesia via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are currently your key source markets and your future target markets?
Currently, our key markets currently comprise USA, Western Europe (UK, France, Germany, Switzerland), Singapore, Mainland China, Japan and Australia. Based on the recent rise in enquiries and bookings, emerging markets include the Middle East and India, as well as South Korea, South-East Asia, India and Latin America.
How do you attract and cater to guests from the Middle East?
We've seen a consistent rise in travellers from the Middle East. This market continues to show a strong demand for properties that can offer elevated service and exceptional accommodation, with multi-bedroom options for larger groups.
We recently hired a Regional Director of Sales for the Middle East, who is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening our existing key trade relationships while also establishing connections with new partners. We hope this will enable us to not only continue to showcase our distinguished brand within the region, but also keep a close eye on the ever-changing desires of consumers in this market, allowing us to offer stays that go beyond expectation.
Sustainability is gradually becoming more important to travellers based in the Middle East. What’s the hotel’s policy?
In keeping with Aman’s ethos of living in harmony with the environments surrounding each property and carefully preserving their natural beauty and rich heritage, Amandari has placed sustainability at the centre of its practises. The resort has launched several initiatives in collaboration with the local community. For example, the team now collect vegetable scraps from the kitchen daily to deliver to local farmers to feed their animals and the gardening team has set aside land where local villagers are able to grow their own produce, and where the team can avoid changing linen, the money saved is donated to an organisation striving for Water Protection within Bali.
As part Amandari's symbiotic relationship with the local community, 50% of the team are from the Kedewatan village where the resort is located. This has resulted in a low turnover of staff as our team members are able to remain close to their families and delight in showcasing their home and Amandari’s magical surroundings to guests.
For more information, visit www.aman.com/resorts/amandari