Once the rainy season set in, causing not so fun dark grey clouds to emerge over Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, 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 I imagined traveling salesmen and grandparents hunkered down in front a nasty buffet breakfast, with outdated decor.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.
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 serious of a place to live, and wished that I could live with my head in the sand a bit. The world needs serious people, who are attempting to change the world. But, right now, I don’t want to be that person. I realized we just needed to have some fun for a change. The Courtyard Bali Seminyak delivered, and pretty much guaranteed fun.
I also realized that sometimes we take ourselves too seriously: what will people think if I make a fool out of myself; we don’t want to go there it’s way too touristy; I am not going to do that because it looks stupid. This stay at the Courtyard Seminyak reminded me that it is okay to be silly, and to have fun.
Away from serious Ubud, I noted the little fun statements sprinkled throughout the hotel. Our do not disturb sign read “I need a little ME time.” The tiny notepad in the room read “Accomplished List. Much more gratifying than a to-do list.” The hotel room key exclaimed in all caps “WANDERING IS ENCOURAGED.” Even the staff during breakfast in the Seminyak Kitchen wore t-shirts that read “Wake up sleepy head.”
The Courtyard Seminyak offered aqua aerobics one morning. It was fun to watch the Indonesian staff doing funny little dance moves pool side, while the group of a half dozen holiday goers danced in the pool, attempting to follow his cues. They blasted fun top 40 music. I noticed a gentleman, easily in his 80s, a few lounge chairs down from me, watching the activity in the pool above. He was bopping his head and tapping his toes along with the music, while watching the activity unfold.
It was so refreshing at the Courtyard Bali Seminyak, to enjoy this little oasis in the middle of the bustling beach community, where people were enjoying their holidays, not caring whether someone saw them dancing silly aerobic moves in the pool, or whether they made a big splash while attempting to get onto one of the floating pool pillows. Not worrying that they would be judged by the people that surrounded them. In fact, I became one of those people who floundered attempting to get up onto the floating pillow, but once I was up there, I lounged in the sun, and floated around the pool, happy as can be.
I made a resolution for the day that at some point we would sit at the swim up bar, just because it would be fun. I can’t remember when the last time was we did something as frivolous as belly up to a bar, inside a pool, and order a fruity cocktail. I remembered our honeymoon at a Sandals resort back in 2001. I didn’t care much about which all inclusive property we choose, only that it had a swim up bar. I remembered the joy I felt drinking plastic glass after plastic glass of some sort of frozen banana concoction loaded with Appleton rum. I remembered how happy we were, and honesty how simple our lives were back then, pre 9/11.
I wanted to recreate that. And, even though we waited a little too long, and the sun was setting behind the walls of the hotel, I was thankful I forced us to have this bit of fun. I ordered a spicy pineapple chili Mai Tai, and loved it!
Even the Seminyak Kitchen breakfast was fun! A great atmosphere, with great food. Servers even walked around to surprise us at the table, with things like chocolate covered cream puffs and mini spring rolls.
We needed this beach break from Ubud, just as we need our more permanent break from Ubud that will start in January. The Courtyard Bali Seminyak was just the place to do it. It was just simply fun.
The Courtyard Bali Seminyak
Located on Jalan Camplung Tanduk, in Seminyak, Bali, rooms start around $140 a night, depending on season.
The Courtyard Bali Seminyak, a Marriott Hotel, hosted our beach escape, but of course, all of my views are my own. I promise, we really did have fun!
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.