Hippopo – a spa for babies in Vivacity, Kuching

Anyone who knows me personally also knows that I’m super proud of my brother’s twins: Luke and Leia.

So, as you could imagine, I was over the moon when I secured an appointment with Hippopo in exchange for my services!

The place runs on appointments so if you’re planning to just pop by, you might be disappointed to find that there are no available slots. You can call them at 082-263 916 to secure a spot.

Many people might feel the urge to roll their eyes at a “baby spa” because it seems frivolous – I too, was one of them. Who but the richest would spend that kind of money? But it isn’t like a spa that adults go to relax. It’s a wellness center that has many benefits to a developing child.

The treatment is said to help with sleeping, eating, development and even pooping! And it’s most beneficial to preemies, which the twins are. Born at eight months, they are technically almost two months old but their corrected age is just over a month. It’s confusing, but important for mommies to know so they can keep track of their babies’ development.

Leia is the older of the two and has a solid pair of lungs. One scream and you’d be running for the nearest escape. She’s got a healthy appetite and sleeps pretty well so we were hoping that the spa would be a fun experience for her.

Luke on the other hand, was born tiny. He’s filled out within the two months but still has a little more to go in order to catch up with his sister. He’s the quieter one although he grumbles a fair bit but can be pacified with a bit of ribbon, like a kitten 😂

A therapist was assigned to each of the babies and you can just see how much they adored them! It was so precious to see them fawning over them like they are the cutest things in the world. They handled them expertly and changed them into waterproof diapers before starting off with some stretches. This baby gym is to warm them up and prepare them for the next step.

After fastening the baby neck float on, they sat them by the edge of the pool and gently wet them with water from the pool as not to startle them. Slowly, they slid them in and allowed them to float for a bit and get used to the new sensations. This is where the hydrotherapy begins.

They alternate between jetting bubbles and turning the Jacuzzi off in order to stimulate the babies and give them time to rest in between. The whole session should not last more than half an hour, but because it was their first time and being newborn and all, it lasted fifteen minutes instead.

I never expected it to be fun watching babies float in a tub, but it was captivating. Luke began by falling asleep and Leia kicked around as though she was born for the water. After their fifteen minutes were up, they were prepped for a full body massage.

The oils they use are high quality, American eucalyptus essential oil which is made with organic vegan oils that are gentle on the skin. They also have a product for babies with eczema or sensitive skin, so mothers, take note of this lifesaver:

Once that’s over and done with, they’ll put on their clothes and you’ll walk away with fresh babies. They will usually be hungry after swimming, just like us! Even if it doesn’t look like they are doing much, it’s still exercise.

Luke konked out as soon as we left and Leia seemed to be in a good mood. All that changed when we reached home.

Leia threw a hissy fit because she was too tired to sleep so she resorted to crying instead. Horrified (because this has happened before and I was afraid she was reverting to old habits), I texted Hippopo and they quickly responded that it is normal as she might have been over stimulated from being so active. When day two came round, she was back to her old self but she’s remained smiley to this day! It’s such a heartwarming sight because she’s always been stingy with her smiles.

Luke was a downright angel and really benefited from the experience. He slept longer, drank more and finally accepted his pacifier! I’m not sure if that’s due to the swimming session but it’s awesome because he used to always spit it right out. He also seems to be less grumbly, which is also great because it gets pretty annoying. He’s like a legit Benjamin Button with his old man expressions and little grouchy noises as though he’s discontented with everything.

Before you run off to book an appointment, bear in mind that your child has to weigh 4.5 kilograms and be less than 36 months. He or she also should not be fed within thirty minutes of his or her session. This last one should be a no-brainer but no sick babies allowed and if he or she has just been vaccinated, wait at least 72 hours before their session. If your baby has sensitive skin, you might want to bring your own towel. That’s it, you’re all ready to go!


Cove55 – white like Santorini, chill like Malibu

I celebrated Valentines at a paradise filled with hidden wonders, just 20 odd minutes away from town. Turning off Jalan Sultan Tengah and driving past the gates of Cove55 transported us into a magical world of pristine whites and striking decor.

They boast a TV-free environment, which forces you to connect with one another like normal human beings and it was something I really adored. The imaginatively bankrupt might find it challenging or boring but it can be nice to take a break from the constant chatter that surrounds us. Aside from taking a couple of photos, my phone was largely left forgotten. A reprieve from a noisy world.

Take the opportunity to reconnect with your present and appreciate the finer details of life. Or take a dip in one of their two pools – the saltwater infinity pool overlooking the ocean has got to be everyone’s favorite.

We were upgraded to the Corner Suite (RM800) and didn’t even know! It has an airy, open concept. There was a coffee machine and the minibar came stocked with wine!

He couldn’t wait for dinner to roll around. It’s one thing to look pretty, it’s quite another to have quality meals.

Gillian, the lovely hotelier, recommended the umai and steak sandwich which comes with triple cooked chips. He ordered the pork belly and we waited with bated breath.

I found the umai much too fishy for my tastes. He liked it a lot though and kept raving about the freshness of the ingredients.

When his pork belly arrived, I couldn’t take my eyes off its garnishing. I ended up finishing the baby bok choy but I didn’t particularly enjoy the meat. I found it a bit too fat and it got a bit overwhelming after a few bites. Some people enjoy that porky flavor though, I’m just not one of them. I imagine it would’ve been great braised. Deep frying it didn’t give the fats a chance to turn gelatinous, which is how I like my pork.

I was super excited to try the steak sandwich and true to Gill’s word, it was good. The beef in the sandwich was cooked to perfection and my preference is medium well, something that is seldom done right. I hate the chewy consistency of medium or anything less than and if it’s well done, it’s ruined.

The triple cooked chips sounded better than they tasted, unfortunately. After all that hassle (boiled, fried, frozen, fried), you’d imagine that they’d pack extra ooomph but they’re still just potatoes that could do with a little bit more salt.

The next day at breakfast, Andrew (the chef) blew us out of the water with something as simple as an English breakfast.

I damn near cried when I put the mushrooms in my mouth. Who knew that so much flavor could be packed into an oyster mushroom? I immediately made Adam promise to bring me back for my birthday, just for the breakfast.

It’s open to the public every weekend from 8AM – 10:30AM at RM75 per person. A main’s included, so you can order anything you like off their breakfast menu, but I strongly suggest you go with the Cove55 Breakfast. Then, help yourself to the buffet table filled with nuts and cheese, freshly baked goods (oh, the croissant’s the best) and cereal.

It really is the perfect place for a quick getaway. It was regretful that we had to cut our stay short due to responsibilities. Adulting sucks 😞 Although, it’s nice to know that this little slice of heaven is only a short car ride away. The people there are great as well, ever ready with a smile and willing to go the extra mile, making our stay an unforgettable experience filled with good vibes.

Hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy the spa on our next visit. It’s currently under construction but when it opens, we can have massages on the beach, relax in the sauna and even burn some calories.

Gillian gave me a tour of the place and showed me the rest of the rooms. Her dedication shines through and I wish I could have her brand of passion. She’s inspiring and really brings to mind the quote: whatever you do, do it well.

Balcony Room (RM560) Our original room, also featuring an open concept but much smaller than the one we were set up in. Feels like a studio apartment.

Garden Room (RM620) These rooms draw inspiration from Bali and is situated by the pool.

Villa (RM900) A walk in closet, a king sized bed and a free standing bathtub – it’s every girl’s dream room. There is a sofabed as well as a patio and the room has a max occupancy of five (two adults & three kids). The bottom right corner is the view you get from the tub 😉

Cove55 – Directions | Facebook


off with the faeries by a kuching blogger

My name is Veronica but I like to go by Veyroniqa, especially on the internet. It’s become my brand, my identity. Writing and capturing memories are my favorite pastimes, but I also like to look pretty, eat tasty food and go on adventures. So hi. Welcome to my blog.

You’ll get travel posts, including itineraries! I know how everyone hates planning.

But having been the only girl in a group of boys has made me embrace it because if I don’t, no one will 🙄 So you’ll have them to thank for that.

I’m a strong believer that before we travel the world, we should explore our own backyard. And I love discovering beauties in places nobody thinks to look.

The more I discovered, the more I wanted others to appreciate it with me. I’ll be sharing my finds here, so hopefully it’ll encourage people to visit my hometown and also inspire them to explore their backyards.

In my country though, there’s nothing we do better than food.

We all fancy ourselves Anthony Bourdain. Nothing moves a Malaysian like food does: we will happily ignore one another and bottleneck around accidents without actually doing anything but if we overhear someone talking about food, we’ll jump straight in. Debates over the best places to eat certain dishes are pretty run-of-the-mill and Kuching has more than its fair share of Facebook groups revolved just around food.

Personally, I’m a terribly picky eater. I like my food a certain way and I can’t stand certain flavors. But I’m passionate about it in the way that goes beyond mere taste. I think that food is one of the languages of love.

Sharing your favorite food is a gesture of love, it shows that you are willing to share whatever you have; saving the last morsel is a gesture of love, it shows that they are always thinking of you and that they are willing to go without for you; cooking is the ultimate gesture of love, think about it: feeding someone fulfills the most basic human need.

I’m always on a quest to find dishes that touch the soul. Flavors that move you to tears. Delightful combinations that make you want to sing! Michelin can keep his stars, I trust my tongue.

I’ll also write about beauty and fitness.

I’d like to think I’m pretty active and have a natural affinity for the great outdoors. There’s something about it that heals. Maybe it’s the peace.

I also believe in skincare over makeup, not because of any higher purpose other than the fact that I’ve got sensitive combination skin 😞

There’s also going to be a little of everything in between; snippets of life and whimsy.

Hopefully, I can spark some inspiration and start conversations.

Oh, and happy Valentines ❤