Full disclosure: Kristy and Jesse were invited as guests of Viceroy Bali for their four night stay.
Further disclosure at the bottom of this post.
Oh what a crazy couple of days we've had! I wanted to step away from the craziness and continue sharing our Bali adventures with you so today I'm sharing our first day at the beautiful Viceroy Bali.
The Viceroy Bali (pronounced Vice-er-oy unlike how we thought it was originally) is a 5 star hotel in Ubud where every room is a luxury villa. Its run by an Australian family and made up of 25 luxury pool villas, situated in Bali's "Valley of the Kings".
Whilst there are many guests staying at Viceroy at any one time, you feel like you're on your own private getaway as you have your own private retreat. We were blown away with Viceroy's service - every staff member greets you with a smile and everyone knew our name and asked about our day. We would talk about our plans for the day at breakfast and the CasCades Restaurant staff would be waiting to hear about our adventures that night. Every single need is catered for - and The Viceroy is very allergy friendly.
After checking in and being given a cool drink and a gorgeous fresh frangipani lei, we headed to our room - Villa number 25. We were staying in a Deluxe Terrace Villa and it was absolutely stunning.
Opening your door you arrive in the living areas where you have a full desk and 47" flat screen TV with full satellite TV service, espresso machine with complimentary coffee and teas, iPod/iPhone music docking station and mini bar hidden away under the desk.
Opposite the TV is a ridiculously comfy lounge - complete with chaise piece (heaven, if you ask me) which was the perfect place to cool up with a good book or watch some TV (we got suckered into Private Practice on the drama channel).
And then you have the bed - and holyyyyyyyyyyyyyy heaven on earth was it comfortable. This bed was so big that Jesse and I could lie either side with our arms out and still not touch eachother - it had to be two double beds put together as it was ginormous (the picture totally doesn't do it justice).
Usually I'm someone who doesn't lay around in bed - I'm an early riser and a go-go-go-er but this bed sucked me right in.
The comfiest blankets, the cushiest mattress - it was seriously heavenly.
Then you have the bathroom - and what a bathroom it was! At home, we have a pokey little bathroom which whilst lovely, means you have to have a one person rule. This bathroom, however, was built for two - a huge bathtub, his and hers sinks (with complimentary water for brushing your teeth - safety first!), a huge dual headed shower and a toilet which was tucked away in its own little room.
I'm ridiculously modest so open plan bathrooms usually skeeve me out, however, the bathroom in our Deluxe Terrace Villa was perfect - the shower was tucked away in its own little space so you didn't have to worry about being exposed - and there were two different shower heads so you could pick what works best for you.
The waterfall shower head was heaven for Jesse - but totally not my style - so the fact that you had the option was perfect.
I also liked that the toilet was in its own little room as well... you don't exactly want to kill the romance by having a toilet out in the open do you?
But the absolute best part of our villa? The private bale and pool. I cannot tell you how long I spent lounging in the bale, reading a book or looking out at the jungle. The pool was way too chilly for us, but we still spent so much time out in that bale.
The breeze would pick up in the afternoon and it was perfect not too hot, not too cold - jussssssssssssst right.
The only thing that could have made it better was if the bale had a full daybed.
Once we were finished settling into our villa, we headed to CasCades restaurant to talk with the chef about my allergies. This was where Viceroy really impressed me. The chef, Nic, and I spoke in detail about all of my allergies (which I let him know about in advance) and he came up with a full menu of food to suit my allergies and coeliac disease.
Every meal time, Nic would ensure that my food was cooked exactly as needed and was basically my go-to guy when it came to food at Viceroy. The service was exceptional and I felt completely at ease - but yes, there was one minor hiccup which I'll talk more about in a second.
Here we are at lunch on our first day. We sat in the main dining area of the restaurant, in the cool shade.
First we started with drinks - a Bintang for Jesse and an ice cold water for me. I already knew what I wanted. If you've read SIL for a while, you'll know that I have a little bit of a watermelon addiction - so when Nic told me he'd come up with a watermelon salad idea for me, I was totally on board.
Jesse went for the Chargrilled Pork Ribs with corn cob, yellow rice and traditional spices.
Jesse's usually a barbecue pork ribs kinda guy (Sweet Baby Rays is the sauce if you ask Jesse) so these ribs were a little bit different - but he loved them!
The vegetables you see in the little dish is Balinese Acar, basically a vegetable pickle made up of cucumber, carrot and I think onion too.
My lunch was absolutely delicious - Watermelon Salad toasts made with watermelon, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and fresh basil served on top of 3 little gluten free toasts. As you know, Southern In-Law is all about honesty and I'm not going to cover up that a mistake happened as it's a learning experience...
After I finished eating, however, I felt a little odd. My stomach started hurting and I said to Jesse "there was soy flour in that bread". You see, whilst I'm a coeliac I also have a number of other allergies and intolerances. Gluten takes a while to give me a reaction, however, there are a few foods that give me an instant reaction - and soy flour is one of those.
I asked the waitstaff to call the chef and ask if soy flour had been used in the bread and he assured me that it hadn't, even going as far as getting the packet so I could read the ingredients. So it wasn't soy flour, but I still felt terrible so I went back to our villa feeling a little bit confused.
The rest of the afternoon I got sicker and sicker and I knew something wasn't right in the bread. By the time we got to dinner, I headed back to the restaurant wanting only some plain rice and banana (odd, but it works - trust me, I know how to deal with a sick stomach) and that's when the chef, Nic, came racing upstairs to let me know the problem.
One of the kitchen staff who made the bread had used a small amount of oil in the dough, not realising it was a problem and simply following the usual recipe. Oil is something this intolerant to everything girl can't have - and something that gives an instant reaction. Nic assured me that it absolutely would not happen again and from that point onwards, he would be the only one to prepare things for me - and that was the only issue we had throughout our entire stay.
Viceroy and CasCades Restaurant did everything they could to make sure the food was safe for me to eat - going as far as tailoring a menu to suit me and even preparing a 6 course dinner that didn't leave me with the slightest bit of a reaction.
So yes, at the time I was mad that a stuff up occured - but you have to remember that with these travel reviews, I'm taking a major risk. I'm going into situations where I'm trying to spread allergy awareness, not knowing how successful that will be. But why do I do it? Because I want to ensure that when you travel to Viceroy, or any other place we cover on the blog, that you'll be 110% fine.
Thanks to people like you reading Southern In-Law, I have the opportunity to do things like this to spread allergy awareness. It's an opportunity that I don't take lightly because I know what it feels like to have allergies. As you can see, I don't sugar coat things to make situations appear the way they're not - mistakes happen, but now I'm sure that the team at CasCades Restaurant will make sure that doesn't ever happen again. Sometimes I have to be the guinea pig, but if it means more freedom for those like me with allergies, that's what I have to do!
But tell me, what's your favourite thing to order at a restaurant?
And if you have allergies, how do you deal with a reaction?
Full disclosure: Kristy and Jesse stayed as guests of Viceroy Bali and all of their accomodation costs were covered by Viceroy Bali plus their breakfast and massage therapies. The couple paid for their additional meals and flights.