It was a staycation, of sorts. I know traditionally a staycation is when you take time off of work and stay at home to relax, but that is really our life. I am not sure what it is called when you check out of your home and into a luxury property on the next road to the east. Whatever that word is, that is what we did when we checked into the Viceroy Bali, Indonesia, for a weekend.
A Lot of Luxury So Close to Home
It was raining that afternoon as check-in time came and went. We tried to wait out the rain, so that we would not show up at Ubud’s 5 start hotel in our natural state. We wanted to be classy for a weekend. To be fancy. To feel posh.
Instead, we arrived at the Viceroy on our motorbikes, soaked through and through, complete with poncho and a wet over night bag. Nevertheless, the front desk staff welcomed us warmly.
I was offered a frangipani flower necklace – I had to remove my soaking wet poncho first, which the staff folded nicely for me and offered to take away, like a built in coat check. I was offered a cold towel, which I am sure would be refreshing on a normal day in Bali, but instead I used it to wipe away the rain that had splattered on my face on the way over from our house in Ubud, just two kilometers away. I enjoyed an iced mint tea, to quench my thirst from the “long” journey.
After checking in, we were shuttled in an insulated golf cart through the property, down slippery hills to our villa number 19. As the villas became more front row, they are more downhill – the entire resort is set precariously on a hill side, overlooking the green Ubud tropical forests.
The Viceroy’s Deluxe Terrace Pool Villa was perfectly quaint, for a humungous hotel room, with Balinese influences we just don’t have in our own house in Bali, including a thatched roof, traditional artwork, and a wooden, outdoor bale, perched over the infinity pool, each seeming to defy gravity. Oh how I wished it were sunny. Just two hours before it was hot enough in Ubud that I would have plunged into the pool with my clothes on. Now, it was grey and cool, at least for Bali standards. But, so is the life in Bali during the rainy season.
And, how did I enjoy the local luxury – by taking a hot bubble bath while enjoying a glass of wine, partaking in a hot rain shower (which rivaled the Bali rain), and wrapping myself in lush terry bath towels. [photos withheld to protect the decency of this site] Eric watched TV, a luxury for him in his own way.
We followed my luxury afternoon with a sunset cocktail and a decadent dinner with Chef Nic at CasCades Restaurant. I was stuffed by the time I laid my head on the down pillow to enjoy the silence of a closed-in room, as opposed to the open air bedroom surrounded by jungle sounds, like we have at home.
The weather did not cooperate the next day either, which actually worked out well. I did not want to work, and we could not layout and improve our tan, so we planned and plotted. One of our old habits was that every time we were on vacation, we would plan our next vacation. This trend started during our first trip to Asia in 2006. I sat by the pool in Bangkok with a Southeast Asia tour book that we used to tour Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. I was already researching our next trip, with a plan to hit Vietnam the following year.
Now that we are settled and living in Bali, we have had no interest in leaving, and no interest in traveling, making me the worst travel blogger ever. But, our Ubud “vacation” inspired something. Perhaps it was the Air Asia ad that I spotted, but as it rained over Ubud, and we were housebound in our Viceroy Bali villa, we started to plan our travel for 2014. We began to get excited again about travel. I had to pry myself away from travel planning in order to make it to our spa appointment. I know, rough life.
The Lembah Spa
The Viceroy Bali offered us a romantic two-hour couples spa treatment at The Lembah Spa. For a moment, I felt like we were on a perfectly romantic Bali honeymoon. We arrived at the appointed time and asked to change into a little robe, those little spa panties, and small slippers. Eric looked a little ridiculous [photos withheld to protect the decency of this site], but took everything in stride. We enjoyed an iced tea while overlooking the tropical forests until we were escorted to our room.
The ladies washed our feet in a lime bath, before we laid down on our separate massage tables, romantically facing one another – although our heads were planted face down. After a one-hour full body massage, where I was rubbed with a ginger scented oil that left me smelling a little like a gingerbread cookie, we received a Balinese lulur scrub, and then were each coated in cool yogurt. [photos withheld to protect the decency of this site]
After a quick shower, we were escorted downstairs for a floral bath. Generally, at other spas in Bali, we are placed in separate tubs, but perhaps to encourage romance, we shared a tub, with a thick layer of flowers across the surface, which thoughtfully spelled “I love you.” Simply adorable. This time, I am including the photos. Who cares about decency?
Looking for more romantic hotels in Bali? Check out this roundup of epic luxury resorts in Bali for a little romance
We were spent after our massage. At 8:30pm, I was still not hungry for dinner, after our CasCades tasting menu the night before and the decadent breakfast that morning. Despite not being hungry, though, we indulged in $20 Wagyu burgers, definitely the best burger so far in Ubud, as it should have been. I would expect nothing less from the Viceroy Bali.
We called it an early night, woke for breakfast the following day and thought about checking out, and returning to our rough lives back in the reality of Ubud. Our posh vacation weekend had come to an end.
The Viceroy Bali hosted our stay for the weekend, but my opinions are my own.
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.