The Yak heads south to the ever-impressive Karma Kandara, to find out what they have in store for the “Summer”. General Manager, Shaun Dünhofen gives us a peek preview…
Shaun, so you are finally back from your travels. Anywhere you’d recommend we visit?
Thank you! No matter where I go it’s always great to return to Bali where new adventures, exciting opportunities, and good times are constantly unfolding at Karma Kandara
You and the Karma Team have been planning the calendar for the renowned Karma events. What makes a Karma event doable or not doable?
We take a lot into careful consideration when planning our Karma calendar including cultural and culinary themes, organization, feasibility, time frames, goals and objectives, guest expectations, local celebrations, etc. And as entertainment is a big part of the Karma ethos, the events we do come up with are always focused on providing the most fulfilling experiences possible for couples, friends and families alike. All these things factor into determining whether creating a viable event is possible or not. But luckily, we have very competent creative and logistics teams who are always up for making experiences a reality, so it’s rare that we have an event that’s undoable.
Karma Wine Dinners are legendary. Tell us more about the Caliwine-ication series? And is there another one up and coming?
Inspired in name by the award-winning Showtime series, Californication, our very own Cali native, Executive Chef Joseph Antonishek, has curated 4 seasons of California cuisine-inspired menus that feature seasonal local and sustainable ingredients, served in farm to table style, paired with wines from legendary vineyards such as Robert Mondavi. These culinary events begin with sunset canapés at Temple Bar & Lounge, before moving on to ‘di Mare’, where our 5-course paired menu is served. The final season of Caliwine-ication is planned for the 3rd of November but our amazing tasting menus are always available throughout the week at di Mare and Veritas exclusively.
Now that you have opened Le Club 22 do you have a separate schedule of events for the Club versus the beach?
We host an array of special events at Le Club, based on the expectations of our guests including jazz evenings, crafted Mixologist collaborations, specialty private lunches, and exclusive hosted dinners. Whereas our other beach bars, the Tiki Bar and pop-up Phoenix Bar, are smaller and more casual, so the events we have there do differ simply due to the type of venue space.
I see from your calendar that you are highlighting some favourites of mine. World Taco Day, International Gin and Tonic Day. Is this something you plan more for in-house guests or for walk-ins, like ourselves?
All the luxury, wellness, family or culinary events we host at Karma Kandara are always welcome to both in-house guests as well as visitors, so we ensure that anyone who is interested in celebrating these events is able to participate, whether they are a guest at the resort or just wish to drop by for the experience.
Every weekend in July is Nyegara Gunung. What is it?
Nyegara Gunung (which literally translates to ‘Ridge to Reef’) is a sacred Balinese Hindu pilgrimage from the sea, rivers, or lakes to the mountains. It applies to the Balinese philosophy regarding harmony between human, God and nature and acknowledges that the sea and the mountain may be seen as an inseparable entity. Hence, every action on the mountain can impact the sea, and vice versa. The proximity of Karma Kandara to the iconic Pura Uluwatu sea temple is quite auspicious as this is one of Bali’s six key temples to where many celebrants make their pilgrimage.
We will be commemorating this special occasion with a special pre-dawn hike and breakfast at the peak of Mount Batur, which is well known for being one of the most beautiful sunrise hikes in Bali. The mountain sits at 1.717m above sea level and takes approximately 2 hours to hike
You are renowned for the Eat. Play. Love. Karma from 15th to 18th of September. Can you tell is a bit more? Is this Bali-based or global?
Currently, this is one of our specially curated events that will be held in Bali, however we’ve already have plans to introduce this event to our other resorts in India, as well as in Europe. At Karma Kandara we will be bringing Karma Group members this unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of renowned author, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. This cultural, spiritual and romantic journey is inspired by our resorts in Italy, India and Indonesia, where over three magical days between Friday the 15th and Monday the 18th of September, Karma Kandara will be the gateway to a variety of unforgettable experiences including Vespa road trips, Bollywood performances, secluded beach picnics, and much more.
World Bollywood Day sounds fun. Karma Group must know a bit about Bollywood with its many resorts in India. How does this cultural cross-pollination happen? Are you bringing any one over?
The confluence of these cultural influences has come about because our Chef Joseph Antonishek recently returned from an Indian culinary adventure, and wanted to explore the idea of combining some of the special flavors he discovered along with the cultural heritage of India. So, we are planning to have an Indian feast on World Bollywood Day, featuring some talented Bollywood dancers. And be sure to stay tuned for more upcoming fun experiences at Karma Kandara!
Finally, it is Karma’s 30th Anniversary this year. Congratulations, Bali’s had a few ups and downs to be sure, but how have Karma Resorts managed to not only brave the storms, but expand?
Thank you. We are truly honored by the continuous support we receive from all our wonderful guests who have loved exploring the Karma Group brand all over the world during the past three decades. We owe our success to them as well as to our dedicated teams who have always persevered.
Karma Group founder and chairman, John Spence, has always been forward thinking so expansion has always been an integral part of the group’s vision. Karma Group was conceived as a global brand, and has strived to manifest this idea by continually expanding its portfolio in some of the world’s most beautiful locales during the good times, as well as the trying times. Undaunted by the challenges we’ve all encountered over the past few years, the Group has added a dozen new properties to the portfolio since 2020, which is quite a remarkable feat. Most recently, we’ve also just launched, House of Karma, a revolutionary new U35 members’ collective for the world of luxury travel and experiences.
Well, Shaun, thanks for your time. Is there any event-specific link we can check in on from time to time to see events and happenings?
It’s been a pleasure to connect and we always look forward to having you back!
Now, let’s grab that barstool, and a glass of rosé at Karma Beach’s Le Club 22 and watch the waves roll in!!