It’s cold here in D.C., y’all. Like, eye-tearing, nose-running, teeth-achingly cold. Yes, the cold makes even your teeth hurt. It’s crazy.
And I won’t even get into my whole frozen fingers and toes situation.
So, with that in mind. I thought we might go back in time (to around August or so). Time to revisit someplace more forgiving and less frigid. Someplace where the gentle breezes warmly caressed our pale, pale, Northeastern skin. Ah, Bali.
Our first couple of nights in Bali were spent at the W Hotel in Seminyak, a very fun and touristy little town down on the coast. Think lots of hotels, restaurants, bars, boutique stores.
Check in was smooth and easy. We cooled off with a cucumber/minty/lemony type drink and a wet cloth while they processed our upgrade to a private villa.
Then we went to our villa, opened the gate and saw all this.
Then we basically disappeared and barely emerged from our villa. And lived happily ever after.
I’m just kidding. Sort of. We did spend a lot of time in our room.
Oh, actually, our villa had two rooms to choose from. A master and then another, slightly less opulent room with two beds.
For just the two of us. Crazy.
But when we did leave our little bit of paradise, we found the W Hotel to be just gorgeous. And the staff were amazing. So friendly and helpful. We even had the GM come out and say goodbye to us as we were sadly leaving.
The perfect oasis. I would probably chop off one of my frostbitten ears to be in one of those loungers right now.
A few weeks ago, I took part in a very special photo shoot at the pool at the W Hotel in Austin. It was pretty nerve-wracking. I was so nervous. I went on a 60-day cleanse, banning all carbs, alcohol, sweets. I subsisted on kale and sparkling water. I worked out extra, extra hard. I did thousands of crunches, millions of planks, zillions of lunges, and kajillions of tricep dips. Anyway, here are the stunning results.
Here I am lounging on the edge of the pool. I had to seriously suck in my stomach here. Can you tell? Why yes, I am wearing a Juicy Couture bikini! Good eye!
This is a particularly sassy pose, making use of the handrail. I think my booty looks particularly good in this pose. Can you see it?
This one was particularly fun. I kept jumping up and spraying water everywhere. You can totally see the sun glistening off the water spray. Right?
This is me, twirling happily in the Austin sun. You can make it out, right?
Wow. This is such a good one. Giselle Budchen called right about then and invited me to a pose off, but I said, “Can’t. Too busy. Maybe next time. Tell Tom I said whassup.”
Geeze, will you look at that tone and superfit model down there? I mean, come on. Every eye at the pool was totally on me. Heads on a swivel, yo.
So that’s the photo shoot, an XFE Entertainment Studio Production Ltd. LLC Inc. project. I am sooo relieved that’s over with and now I can go back to my regular schedule of eating loaves of bread and butter and drinking my body weight in Shiner Bock. Photo shoots, huh? So stressful!
Hey, speaking of eating too much and pigging out: Be sure to check back in tomorrow for a pretty awesome post about an little event we call Porktober.
Aaaannnnd, I’m back! Did you miss me? I would say I missed blogging, but that’s kind of a lie. OK, let’s just say I did miss blogging (there was plenty of brag-worthy stuff to share), but I drowned my sorrows in copious amounts of barbecue, queso, and chicken fried steak.
But, my absolute favorite pain-numbing agent while I was torn away from my blog was actually a hotel.
The W Austin is located in the new and trendy 2nd Street district, which meant plenty of shops and eating within walking distance. We ate at two nearby places including the newly-opened and very good pizza and wine place, Coal Vines (I had an amazingly awesome pizza with ricotta and tomatoes when I arrived in Austin late Thursday night, well after regular dinner time) and the newest outpost of hipster hangout Jo’s coffeeshop (I can only vouch for the chorizo breakfast tacos – decent, not great).
XFE also ate at Lambert’s (without me that Thursday night), but was disappointed. He’s become quite the brisket snob, and thought that while the crust on Lambert’s brisket was good, there wasn’t enough smoke on the meat. In case you were curious.
But back to the W. Thanks to XFE and his platinum Starwood status, we got upgraded to a “cool corner” suite, which has three rooms – a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom with large Jacuzzi tub, separate shower stall and enclosed toilet.
Design wise, everything had a very cool Western-bohemian aesthetic, with a few nice Austin music touches throughout. There were lots of tufted leather ottomans with oversized hammered silver trays on top of them, tastefully embroidered curtains, and colorful accent pillows on the large gray velvet sectional in the living room. The artwork on the wall reflected the fact that Austin City Limits has a new studio on the property, with pictures of musicians on the walls. The 52-inch TV in the living room was ridiculous.
But perhaps the best part of the corner room was the views. Our corner suite looked out over the rapidly changing downtown landscape and nearby Town Lake. Oh, and that view? It was also available from the Jacuzzi tub.
The toiletries, as with all the W’s we’ve stayed at were Bliss products. Nice extra amenities I hadn’t seen before included individually-wrapped loofah sponges and eye-makeup remover. The bathroom vanity had a mirror with a cool white design etched along the edges that I would totally have stolen if it wasn’t so large. Also, the silvery textured wallpaper was super glamorous. My only quibble with the bathroom was that they just had a regular old shower head in the glass shower. I was expecting one of those rain shower thingies. It just seemed odd to go standard when everything else had been bumped up.
We did use the gym one day – it was huge and very nice. Everything you could possibly need and then some. I did wish the treadmills had fans on them, though. The large windows let in a lot of sunlight and I got pretty sweaty, but that’s par for the course with me.
Since we’ve both been to Austin a few times now (and are returning again in October), we spent most of our down time at the pool, instead of running around town. The pool was unbelievable. Just gorgeous. We had it pretty much all to ourselves on Friday, but it was definitely crowded on Saturday. Lots of beautiful people the likes of which I never encountered in my seven years of living in Austin. The pool area also had great waitresses like Dawn who were willing to bring you nice tall mojitoes that went down pretty smooth in the 100-degree heat (but it’s a dry heat!). The security guy checking the list at the pool entrance is probably pretty necessary (I bet a lot of interlopers try to get in there), but the neon green wristbands seemed a bit much. Like we were going to the club or something.
Speaking of clubs, the downstairs bar areas were jammed packed while we were there. Again, with the types of people I’ve never seen in Austin. It looked like a “Most Eligible Dallas” in that place. We stopped by the one of the three bar-type areas that made up “The Living Room” each night, but only for one drink. It was pretty dark and crowded and service was (understandably) hit or miss.
With so many great restaurants in Austin, we did not eat at the W’s restaurant, Trace, but a quick look at the menu definitely has my curiosity piqued.
Overall, the entire staff from valets to check-in managers was great, and efficient. I look forward to our next stay at the W for the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival. I have a feeling that after all the eating we’ll be doing, we’ll need that extra large oversized bathtub.