Each year, for the past 14 years, I have treated myself to a very special birthday gift – a trip somewhere warm. If you’re born in February, the coldest month of the year, like me, chances are you have not come to enjoy epic garden parties or picnics to celebrate your special day. At best you may have gathered the troups in some bar or hosted a dinner party, but frankly I never even did that. At age 22 I finally decided to give myself the best gift of all – travel. I liked it so much I just kept doing it and it’s since become a thing I am simply counting on and planning my year around. With time the trips have become longer and since having my son who is now 4 I have usually stayed in a warm far away land for around 2 months. Long enough to avoid the coldest part of the winter, long enough to come home to longer days and not too long of a wait until the temperatures would pick up again.

This year, for my birthday, I picked Bali. For 9 weeks I traveled much of the island, rented a villa for a month, had friends coming to visit and had an amazing time in the process. When the end of my time there rolled around, the timing coincided with my birthday and I knew I had to finish it with a blow. My wish was to get pampered in a nice hotel, eat amazing food and swim countless laps in an olympic sized pool. Well, my wish was granted…

I was super stoked when the Stones Hotel agreed to host my little man and I for 3 nights and boy, did they go out of their way to give me the best time there is. Early check-in, room upgrade, steak dinner invite – you name it. My birthday weekend was made!

The Stones Legian is a top notch 5-star hotel which is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection which has gained my full trust ever since an incredibly memorable stay I had at the Cotton House in Barcelona, which subscribes to the same group. Everything is designed to spoil guests.

An enormous entry hall features a looooooong check-in counter with plenty of staff to serve you and ensure you don’t have to wait long to start your holiday experience. We arrived way too early but within no time were given a temporary pool suite to hang in until our actual room (a living room with adjacent bedroom and 2 balconies) became available.

I loved that I had arrived at a place where the only decision I had to take was whether to swim in the olympic sized pool or walk across the street to the beach. Everything here was easy and convenient, I was showered in smiles by super friendly employees and the quality of our bed was the best I had come across in the whole of Bali. Just when I though that it could not get much better I found out that we had arrived in time for steak night and I do not exaggerate one bit when I say I have probably had the best steak of my life at the Stones Kitchen, the hotel’s vibrant signature restaurant with an open kitchen.

Due to the hotel’s super central location in Kuta, the island’s best shopping is at one’s feet. Perfect for someone like me who had held back her shopping cravings until the last days, just to buy enough to fill an extra suitcase. It’s Bali, after all! Home to incredible home decor, beautiful clothes and all the hand bags your heart has every dreamed of (I went home with a whopping 8 of them!)

In the evenings I would always sit on the sofa of my balcony, enjoy the sunset and the serenity of the palm trees. Then I’d put up my feet, order a drink through room service and put on a Netflix documentary – my idea of living my best life.

2 days in, the big day was finally there. February 27th – my birthday. The night before I was asked at what time I would like my breakfast served to the room and at 8am to the dot a friendly butler came in with a cart full of breakfast delights, opened the tab to my balcony bathtub (you read that right) and carefully arranged all the food on a wooden tray sitting across same tub. DAY MADE!

I sat in my warm outdoor bath, indulged on eggs florentine, salmon toast and fresh croissants, sipped on latte and a young coconut and felt like anyone should feel on their birthday.

After a morning round in the pool I came back up to find a beautiful birthday table, complete with a delicious and personalised cake, a lovely flower arrangement and a ballon!

Later that day my special day was made perfect with a 2 hour signature massage which, hands down, was one of the best I have had in my life and I will forever cherish the memories of these last days in Bali.

Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness, Stones Hotel, I will most definitely be back for another round.


*Disclaimer: I was invited to 3 nights of complimentary accommodation at the Stones Hotel in Kuta, Bali. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.