Following in the spirit of “Eat, Pray and Love,” where the book was read, and the movies were viewed, we came to Bali with big hope. This Bali travel project, 2018, held many promises for my husband and I. We chose The Ayodya Resort for our Bali stay. I was amazed by the youtube video. Its true color was reflected in my soul once I started knowing it’s genuine spirit upon arrival.
After eighteen hours of flying to the East, I was tired and my senses were numbed. It took me a few hours of sleep to re-balance; and then, my spirit woke me up in the middle of the night (it is daytime back home). I knew it was my time to explore.
I left my husband sleeping. My curious inner-self and excitement to be in a land of Gods, led me from my hotel room alone. Here I was, Traveling Lady Moon, armed with my small flashlight, pocket camera, and room keys. I walked into the mystical darkness of the Ayodya; feeling safe and secure.
I know my way around five-star hotels where all is perfectly guarded and secure for its guests. I started recognizing images of the Ayodya in the dimmed intimate light. I met the hotel night staff; night workers were surprised by my presence at first, but soon they got used to my smile and my small camera in my hands.
All looked so magically mysterious, like from a movie. Once I sat on the stairs in front of Shinta, a Goddess from the lobby temple looking up in the heights, I felt her power over me. I knew her from the epic life story of this land. Every country has its romantic tale, and here I was in the presence of the Ramayana and of its star-crossed lovers – Rama and Shinta.
“These lovers are pivotal characters in the 24,000 ancient poetic verses that convey the tale of their epic life journey relating allegorical teachings and philosophical fables that are ingrained in the very consciousness of almost every Indonesian – particularly those raised in the rich Hindu traditions of the Island of Bali. Repeated nightly in the dance-drama performances that continue to mesmerize a modern generation of Indonesian children, the tales of Rama and Shinta teach ideals relating to love, friendship, marriage and duty to family and homeland.”
I asked Shinta to be my guiding light on this journey throughout Bali. I kept coming to her to meditate every night, when all was quiet from tourists and the night crew was quietly resting in lobby chairs, I didn’t care, I wanted my moment with this prime energy source of love and bravery, here in the Ayodya.
Morning light brought me new awareness when I looked around from my balcony and it felt like inside met outside beauty. How divine! No doubt, the Ayodya successfully bridges the distance between Bali’s rich ancient cultural traditions and the flawless service and elegant accommodation demanded by sophisticated holiday travelers of the modern era.
On my way to the breakfast, I proudly shared all my findings with my husband who was amazed at how fast I became oriented to the place. “If he only knew, smile!” By the way, the breakfast buffet was perfect in every aspect of this service. You can choose either Indonesian cuisine or regular western style breakfast with eggs, bacon, omelets or coffee/ tea, and choice and pastries. We got used to having our breakfast on the garden patio while listening to birds’ songs, or talking to the lovely waitresses; it became our morning ritual.
After our breakfast morning ritual, I was lucky to meet Mr. Dady Primady, a Marketing Assistant of the Ayodya, and learned more about this unique hotel-temple structure that was about to steal my heart. He felt my genuine interest in Balinese culture. With his and hotel staff assistance, I discovered more about this fantastic resort.
“It has the spacious 537 rooms, accompanying conference facilities and surrounding gardens, all proudly Balinese in detail. Also complementing this uncompromising commitment to the Island, its culture and its people are open spaces that are reminiscent of the majestic courts of Balinese Rajas; stone and wood carvings executed by Bali’s most-talented craftsmen; and performance spaces with Balinese temples serving as backdrops for dance and musical performances staged by the Island’s best artistic troupes.”
The AYODYA PLACE– Bali Experience At Its Best!
Once I heard “Palace” in his speech, I felt increasing vibes, and I knew this is a place to be. In no time, we walked all corridors to the closest section to the beach. A new reference to being a Bali resort started taking a place in my mind. It is five plus stars, I marked it in my mind, and from the moment we entered this new territory, I felt terrific. Here I started experiencing hotel artistry blended with spirituality that permeates every element of Balinese life – here; I got a glimpse of Indonesian Royalty life.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed and blessed by a ritual. In the main lobby, on the wall, I saw a tapestry that embodied the Bali ancient Ramayana tale wrapped all around us. They were pleased to see I could recognize it in many elemental decors in the Palace environment. A richness of this love was reflected in their eyes.
The Palace has it all: unique Balinese culture intermingled with the “modern smart table butler service” that offers the new cutting-edge way of hospitality. It settled well in me. I became a guest of the Ayodya Palace. Once you cross the threshold of the Ayoda Palace, there is no turning back; our belongings were transferred magically without even lifting our fingers, how divine!
At present, I am back home on the shores of wild Pacific Ocean of Canada, here I cherish my Bali memories even more, and secretly wish I can take you all back with me to nourish your soul.
My eyes learned to see deeply, and I know that from the moment I entered Bali, I was guided and protected on my private spiritual journey throughout time and space in the Ayodya. Energetically, we met in the middle – the West came to the East – like two sisters or two Goddesses, we celebrated each other presence.
To all of the world state-of-the-art adventure travelers, or spiritual treasure travel seekers, I recommend putting the Palace of Ayodya on your travel bucket list to treat yourself with an “Indonesian royal life” stay. The AYODYA PALACE experience will be imprinted on you forever, as it is still vibrantly alive in me. One must see it to believe it!
On a personal note, I left Shinta’s temple in the hotel without telling her “goodbye”, not to create any sticky situation for me. In my heart, I have never left my quiet meditation place in front of her during night time — when nobody is watching, sharing our stories and listening. Since that time I miss her, something I wonder if Shinta Goddess noticed my contemplation absence as well. Only Goodness knows, I summed.
Written by Veronika Prielozna, alias Traveling Lady Moon from LIVING HARMONY ON DEMAND
Images: Jozef Prielozny
Edit: Cynthia Kueber
Reference: The Ayodya hotel info brochures and conversation with hotel employees.