Bagus Ari Saputra
From: Ubud village
Son of the founder, I Ketut Bagia Astawa and his Finnish wife, Anita Ikonen. Assumed responsibility for the business on his father's passing in 2013 and took it from being a small guesthouse to a boutique hotel. Sees developing the property not as a business venture but an artistic project; creator of the Tri Gaya philosophy. Considers his destiny and that of Gayatri to be inextricably linked: if one is doing well, so is the other; if one dies, so does the other. If Gayatri is to be considered a living thing, and it should, he is the brain. Will never have another job as long as he lives.
Position: Head receptionist
From: Wanayu village
Ayu Urati has the honour of being the all-time favourite employee of Ketut Bagia, the original owner of Gayatri. She started working for him from 1998 and served until his passing in 2013. She has since been employed by his son, Bagus, and has become one of the most important and trusted members of staff. She acts as a maternal figure to the younger women who work at Gayatri and is an incredibly popular figure behind the scenes (on staff outings, people have been known to flock to whichever group she is in). For our regular guests she is a much loved friend. She has great powers of empathy and an intuitive understanding of what each guest needs, which is so important for someone in her position and enables her to serve easy and difficult guests alike with the same respect, professionalism, and dignity.
From: Silakarang village
Putu joined the Gayatri organisation when it still included the restaurant on Monkey Forest Road initially as a waitress. After a couple of days, she went up to the manager and said "Could I work in the bar? I really like making juices!" with that trademark smile of hers. This was a request that was impossible to turn down and she formed a formidable partnership with Dewa Ayu (who also worked at the bar of the restaurant but has, like Putu, since moved to the hotel). They were part of a dream team and their presence on site is a huge asset. Putu has since been trained as a receptionist. She is currently expecting her second child so will be on maternal leave at the end of the year. Her incredible considerateness and huge smile make her a favourite amongst our guests, who have variously described her as "sunshine", "the thing that initially drew me to Gayatri", and "the happiest girl I have ever met". About four guests have inquired about the possibility of brining Putu home with them; each time the management politely turned them down on the basis that Putu is on record as saying that she would never work anywhere else.
From: Bedulu village
Wayan Purwanti is a relatively new addition to our front office team but has been a godsend. Routinely exhibiting a maturity, sense of responsibility, and desire to learn that belies her tender years, she has been impressing from the moment she arrived. She is tactful under pressure, can improvise if needed, and is growing in her command of English. She loves travelling, listening to music, and singing (mainly to herself). Her dream is to go on holiday and stay in a hotel, which she has thus far not been able to. Our dream is that she will carve a career for herself at Gayatri which will put her in an income bracket that will enable her to stay in any hotel she wants.
Position: Head cook
From: Bedulu village
Ari trained as a cook in SMK Saraswati in Gianyar and gained experience at Cafe Des Artistes before joining the Gayatri kitchen team. He started out as an apprentice under Pak Dewa, who was our chef at the time, but has since honed his skill enormously and really matured in both a professional and personal capacity. He is now in charge of menu execution, event catering, and dish improvement. A greatly ambitious and sharp young man, he has become the undisputed star of our kitchen who leads by example, setting the high standards that the others must follow. A Buleleng native, Ari stands up for himself with the fiery nature associated with that region, which you only see if you know him over a longer period because his default mode is a disarming smile (see photo for an example). His main strengths as a cook are his incredible intuitive understanding of combinations and proportions ("Nothing worth learning can ever be taught" - Oscar Wilde) and constant desire to learn, evolve, improve. This means that he is incredibly quick, never static, and always positive and open-minded. He married earlier this year and is now a proud father of a baby girl (for fans of gender equality, he is also rare in the sense that he preferred a girl child to a boy). His Nasi Campur is famous the world over. Was worth breaking our wage structure for.
From: Blahbatuh village
Suma was hired by the original owner of Gayatri, Ketut Bagia, in 2011 for the restaurant, Cafe Gayatri. After the restaurant changed ownership in 2013, she continued there for over a year before being re-hired into the Gayatri organisation by the current owner, Bagus Ari Saputra in late 2014. She has been a reliable member of our kitchen staff ever since. Despite her small stature, she really packs a punch and is one of several strong, independent women who work at the hotel, a fact of which we are proud as equality in the workplace and the empowerment of women are deep in the value system of our business. Suma has always loved cooking and is one of a rare breed of people in today's world: someone whose passion is their profession, who in their free time enjoy doing what they do at work. This is something really beautiful to observe. Due to her upbringing, her strengths as a cook are in the arena of Balinese cuisine: her spinach crackers are a specialty only she can execute to perfection, while Ayu Gita, the sister of the owner, often specifically requests Suma to prepare sambal, the red chili paste that gives Balinese cooking its edge, if she is coming for a visit. She has also mastered the creation of raw cashew cheese cakes. Someone to hold onto.
From: Pejeng village
Dewa Ayu is a fine, beautiful young woman of great dignity. She used to work at the bar of Cafe Gayatri when it was still owned by the founder of Gayatri, Ketut Bagia. She quit there due to workplace politics when Bapak Ketut was no longer able to take an active role in its management due to the severity of his illness. After his passing, his son, Bagus Ari Saputra, on taking over remembered the esteemable qualities Dewa Ayu holds and immediately made sure to coax her back into the fold. After the restaurant changed ownership, she was one of only two of the most loyal employees to immediately follow Bagus out and into his other business, what we now call Gayatri (the other was Pak Dewa, the chef). As the hotel had no bar at the time, she re-trained as a cook. Now she is a reliable member of our kitchen team, whose cooking style is distinctive: there is a feminine care and attention to detail, in both her small and tidy vegetable dices and the softness and subtlety of her spicing. As a result, the food she cooks is beautiful. When she was younger, her dream was to become a mother; at the age of twenty-five, she has realised that dream as she is the proud mother of two children, the first a boy with big eyes and the second a girl who does not need to look far for a great example of womanhood.
Position: Junior cook
From: Bedulu village
Kadek Andini is the most recent addition to our team of cooks. She joined Gayatri in March 2017, seamlessly filling a vacancy that had barely had time to open. Her parents run a rooftile and brick production company in her native Bedulu village, and her her older sister, despite marrying (which traditionally means moving to the house of the husband and leaving the old family behind) works for them. Kadek wanted to expand her horizons, and feel some independence, so she sought work outside the confines of the family business and we at Gayatri are glad that she did. A young woman of tall and thin stature, she has shown great focus in her time so far as well as an ability to grasp new concepts quickly. She can now, if needed, handle an evening shift on her own, proving that she has developed the sureness of touch and understanding necessary for someone in her position. With some more experience and growth, she will be able to make the step up from junior cook to cook. She loves travelling and eating out with friends; her current favourite hangout is the super spicy noodle bar, Mikober, in Batubulan.
From: Siangan village
Eka used to work for a supermarket chain on Gatot Subroto Road before one of his relatives, a driver by the name of Gusti (whom regular visitors will know) told him that there is a vacancy in the hotel where he works. Eka made a dashing first impression, combining his Arab-style good looks with a great attitude, which made his hiring a no-brainer. He has an athletic background having played football for a team throughout his youth. More recently, when asked why he seemed to be sturdier than before, he replied it was because he didn't have football boots any more! So the hotel, to encourage his healthy hobby, gifted him a pair of Adidas Adipures. The hotel has also paid for him to get driving lessons and a licence, so that now he is able to double up as a driver if needed. Eka is a vocal and prominent member of the staff when it comes to the social side of things, often at the centre of the joke or conversation. He is the father of a small girl and his wife works at one of the local laundries; like most Balinese couples they hope to have a boy in the near future but do not want anoher child just yet because of the high costs of childcare in this day and age.
From: Pejeng village
Since February 2014, Ibu Ayu has been a faithful member of our team of builders. She is the one who carries an ageless Balinese beauty, the type associated with black and white photographs, and effortlessly transports heavy loads by balancing them on top of her head. When in 2017, she asked if her son could work for us, I told him to come for an interview. He made a good impression and has been working in our housekeeping department ever since. Like his mother, Komang has a wonderful old-fashioned goodness about him, which in Indonesian we call polos (when referring to an object the word means simple, but when used for a person it means a genuine, down-to-earth, unpretentious type). He is strongly built and possesses the easiest sweet smile. He is such a natural, unspoiled child of Bali that he sometimes replies to questions in Indonesian in Balinese. As a result, you might be able to guess that leaning English is a challenge for him but one he is working to overcome. His hobbies are playing futsal and watching football. He is a Bali United fan and whenever time and money allows goes to watch them live at the Gianyar stadium.