Luxury Dining in Ubud – The Sayan House

Luxury Dining in Ubud – The Sayan House

Ubud, Bali, has a decent food scene, and not just for vegetarians.  There are good options for western food at reasonable prices.  And, there are a few restaurants I would consider for luxury dining in Ubud. Generally, though, when we ate at those fancy places I was often left thinking “that was good . . . for Ubud.”  It just seemed there was always something missing, a hard to find ingredient perhaps that would have brought the whole meal together. The Sayan House was perfect luxury dining in Ubud, and never once left me thinking “that was good . . . for Ubud.”  Instead, everything we ate was just plain good, and easily the best meal we had while living in Ubud. The Sayan House was perfect luxury dining in Ubud http://ctt.ec/G8T_2+Click To Tweet First off, I enjoyed the calm and quiet of this far corner of Ubud, while admiring just how pretty our invitation for dinner was.  This was part of the soft opening at The Sayan House, so we had a VIP invitation, which was so classy.  It really set the scene for the attention to detail this luxury dining in Ubud experience would provide. The Sayan House – Luxury Dining in Ubud The views over the hills at Sayan were spectacular, with a sunset that offered the perfect luxury dining in Ubud experience.  We enjoyed a little romantic quiet time, while waiting for our dinner companions, Joe and Emerald.  Once they arrived, we began our feast. I started with one of the best cocktails I have had in Ubud, a Machu Matilda, . I say this...
Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua – A Bali Beach Escape

Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua – A Bali Beach Escape

I have been known to be the Goldilocks of the beaches, and in Bali this was certainly the case. I am not a surfer, or even a strong swimmer, so the hard core, strong wave beaches on the southwest of Bali just don’t do it for me.  I am all about lounging around in the water, bobbing along like an apple on Halloween.  And, it took us over one and a half years until we found me the perfect Bali beach escape, at the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is not the real Bali, and is world’s away from Ubud.  But, that was what I liked about it.  The Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua is set in a resort zone, on the west side of the tiny peninsula that juts off the south end of Bali, an area called the Bukit.  It was an escape, from the rainy season in Bali, from the traffic of Ubud, and our life living in Bali.  I think it is a similar escape for folks from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and certainly all over Australia.  A perfectly manicured resort community, with hotels, and relaxation, as far as the eye can see. Escaping to the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua I could tell we were in a different place as soon as we walked in and saw the large open air lobby, decked out for a Balinese style Christmas and the lagoon style pool that meandered through the resort.  I knew right away that I would be enjoying a cocktail while sitting pool side.  After a week of crazy eating and traipsing all over Bangkok,...
The Last 5 Things I Have Learned Living in Bali

The Last 5 Things I Have Learned Living in Bali

I just woke to my final day in Ubud.  I am so ready to leave.  I am thoroughly done with living in Bali. I just woke to my final day in Ubud. I am thoroughly done with living in Bali. http://ctt.ec/fhtaY+Click To Tweet We arrived in Ubud in March of 2013, which seems like almost a lifetime ago.  We had been here once before and were skeptical, but open minded, about whether we fit in.  When I initially wrote about the 5 things I learned about living in Bali, I had a hard time saying I even lived here. This is what I learned from my first few months living in Bali: I needed to slow down, I needed to detox, I need access to a large city, I don’t know if I fit in here, and I don’t know if I could live in Ubud long term. A wise woman I was in June 2013.  Our first few months in Ubud we met no new friends.  We became friendly with some expats, but we ate dinner alone every night, and it was an isolating experience.  We came with no friends, and really left with no friends. We did return to Ubud, though, for me to attend my yoga teacher training, which was an amazing experience, and at the time I thought life changing.  During this time living in Bali, we met some friends, and settled in more.  After analyzing and analyzing where we wanted to settle down in Asia, in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, or even Yangon, with loads of pros and cons lists, we went with our...
Reflections on a New Year

Reflections on a New Year

People often assume that our lives are easy.  It is likely that they are easier than others, for sure, but this year has been anything but easy.  Our life overseas is not all rainbows and unicorns. People also often assume that life in Bali is “obviously paradise.”  But, life in Bali this last year has been anything but paradise. Sure, we have had good times this year, mostly involving our travels away from Bali.  We had food porn filled weeks in Taiwan and Bangkok, a month of traversing across Spain, Italy, and Athens, with the highlight being our two weeks in the food capital of Emilia Romagna.  We saw family in the US and met new traveling and blogging friends.  We launched a new business, and have forged ahead on the blog.  All good things. At this time of year, many writers tend to reflect on the prior year, and their hope for the future. Reflections on a new year.  I told myself I would not write such a post.  I was not about to write the best foods we have eaten, or the best destinations we traveled to.  Mostly because, as I reflect on this last year, I realized it was a tough one for us.  And, because of the life we have decided to lead, I was not expecting a year in this new life to be this tough. As the year wraps to a close, though, I am struggling more and more with putting our time living in Ubud into perspective.  Early on, I wondered whether we fit into Ubud, then, it seemed we did, and...
Celebrating Christmas in Bali

Celebrating Christmas in Bali

So, how do a couple of self proclaimed anti-Christmas American expats spend Christmas in Bali.  You would be surprised. It was a simple day.  I woke to the view outside our bathroom window.  The rice had just been harvested, and the fields had just been cleared.  That means we have water front property.  The reflection of the palm trees in the water was simple stunning. I woke to some good news as well, that Viator selected us as a Top 25 Travel Blog for 2015, along with some of the blogs I have been watching for a long, long time. I was excited, proud, and humbled.  It was a fab Christmas morning, even though I wanted to be as anti-Christmas as I could be. As much as we have tried to escape Christmas in the past, whether in Asia or Central America, we thought that in Ubud it would, once again, be hard to escape the holiday.  Our good friend, Emerald, made it very hard to escape Christmas.  Without any planning on our part, we found ourselves hosting Christmas morning for several Christmas Escapees, with Eric cooking up a full spread.  Scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and Eric’s famous potatoes with garlic and shallots. Pure heaven on a plate. Our goal for the day was to sit around and binge watch TV shows, and I promised Emerald some West Wing.  I lined up all of the West Wing holiday specials as a special treat for her.  As much as I am very anti-Christmas for a variety of reasons, she actually enjoys Christmas, so I was treating her to something special....
Courtyard Bali Seminyak – A Perfectly Fun Escape

Courtyard Bali Seminyak – A Perfectly Fun Escape

Once the rainy season set in, causing not so fun dark grey clouds to emerge over Ubud most days, I knew we needed a break.  Generally, the beach is a little more sunny and warm, so what better way to escape the rain, and escape Ubud, than to head to the Courtyard Bali Seminyak, steps from the beach. Not Your Grandmother’s Courtyard Hotel This is not our first visit to the Courtyard Bali Seminyak.  We used a Marriott credit card related free stay there a couple of weeks before.  At first, I was hesitant to “waste” the certificate on a Courtyard, having memories of old school Courtyard hotels in the US. I imagined traveling salesmen and grandparents hunkered down in front a nasty buffet breakfast, with outdated decor. But, this is not your grandmother’s Courtyard.  Modern and refreshing, this is a new concept by Marriott, and we simply loved it.  The rooms were contemporary, and in neutral colors. This is not your grandmother's Courtyard http://ctt.ec/PuWf8+Click To Tweet The bathroom was even unique, with the shower at the front of the room, towards the outside wall of the hotel, allowing for natural light in the shower – almost unheard of in the hotel industry.  The staff were dressed casually, smiling, and fun, even wearing santa hats for the holidays. The buffet breakfast was impressive.  We were just entirely pleased with our stay, so we asked if we could return. We needed the escape from Ubud. Learning to Have Fun Again – Courtyard Bali Seminyak Style There was another reason to escape Ubud.  I often times believe that Ubud is too...
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