Well so many of you have asked questions whilst we were away on our little holiday in Bali. But if you can, try not to make it too little, we always head off for 2-3 weeks to see and do everything but 10 days would probably be enough. So I thought sharing some of the key sights, eats, shops and places to stay here in a blog would be a great reference for any of you thinking of travelling there with family or kids, and why wouldn’t you really.
It was our fifth time visiting Bali, our first was when we got married there and I was 6 months pregnant with Franca, the next one I was 7 weeks pregnant with Ashton so the last three Ive had to make up for all the cocktails I missed out on on those first two! not too hard when they are around $6-11 a pop.
There is so much to tell so best to ask a question here if its something I haven’t added and ill try and answer to the best of my knowledge. But first things first FLIGHTS, if you can aurora it only fly direct. AIRNZ are the only airline that do and it means a 8 hour flight verses a 13-17 hour one depending on your stopover. There were no direct flights our first few times and it was pretty long, now it seems like a skip and a hop in comparison and worth the extra $$.
AREAS TO STAY. Well Seminyak is top of our list, even for a few nights. This is where all the boutique shops are and most of the best restaurants, You can easily travel here but the traffic in Bali is chaotic at best and it takes about a hour to travel 8-10km so we choose to stay walking distance to the hot spots and nail them all out whilst there. We rented a Villa there this time and google searches or tripadvisor are the best places to look to find your prefect place. We have also stayed at a boutique resort Cicada Villas and The W retreat, both highly recommended but of course you need to find something that sits your budget and group size.
Basically every resort and Villa will supply a breakfast included in the price, we do get a little tired of the same old so we do forgo it a few times to eat at some of the amazing Cafes in Seminyak such as Revolver, Sisterfields, Pettitenget and Corner Store and to name a few.
We also have twice stayed on arrival at The Holiday Inn Baruna Bali in an area right next to the airport called Tuban that is far away from Kuta to be quiet and a great starting place to settle in and climatise. The resort has great rooms and we stay in a Garden Studio so the kids can run straight outside, for us a must on holidays. I always ask for them or find ground accommodation to make life easier. It has a kids club, great pool, awesome food, cold cheap beer and on the beach so we do 4-5 night here and this is when well visit the Waterpark thats a favourite WATERBOM BALI as its walking distance as well as a 15-20 Minute walk along the seafront path to two malls Discovery and Beachwalk that has Zara,Gap, Pull and Bear and H&M (though that was pretty small and rubbish). Also a trip we always do is The Marine Safari Park that the kids love, it has heaps of fab shows and a water park too so take your togs! oh and who doesn’t love a pool bar…
I kind of did that back to front but you guys get the drift right?
Other areas to look at staying are Ubud as thats more in the jungle and a whole different vibe. Think yoga, raw food cafes and monkeys,its the first time we haven’t stayed there as it is quiet small and we feel we’ve done it all but we did a day trip as the kids really wanted to see the monkeys and I really wanted to visit a new beach with no beach club Jungle fish and it was a perfect mix. I also jsust loving watching out the car window the little villages and rice fields you pass. Hiring a driver is simple and inexpensive. it can be done from your hotel or we use a company GOOD BALI DRIVER I just found on tripadvisor and they were good too!
We haven’t stayed in Sanur but hear its good and also Canggu we visit here as a few great eats but never stayed. Nusa Dua is full of the big resorts and in my option its much like going to Fiji Denureu so we don’t bother as wed just go to Fiji for that experience.
Beach clubs are a fun way to get out and chill for the day, the two we love are Finns (used to be in another area but moved to Canguu) and Potato Head, usually there is a minimum spend to get a daybed of around $50 NZ but thats easy with lunch and a few cocktails, get there at opening to secure one and a good spot would be my advise. We also love Kudata and the addition to a pool now this time was so great for the kids. We head there for sunset drinks and dinner though not in the day. The Sunday Brunch at the W retreat is also a must do, book from here and you can enjoy the pools after. La Plancha on the beach with bright bean bags is another of our favourite sunset spots, get there around 4.30 and the kids play in the sand whilst you sip cold Bingtang.
The shopping in Bali is fantastic, besides all the obvious market stalls dotted all around with Bali delights you barter for such as Kaftans and sarongs, there are beautiful homeward and clothing boutiques with different and quality items. So besides the big Malls with the Branded shops the mail street and a few around it in Seminyak is the place to head. They stay open until 10pm so a great option to beat the heat is to shop after dinner as its pretty brutal in the day, though I always do both!
My favs are Misterzimi, August the label, joy jewellery, Rose and Thorn, Religion, Drifters and Magalipascal. But wonder around and you’ll find lots or delights. We also catch a taxi out to coco and ginger to shop up a storm for Franca.
Massages are cheap and amazing and a must, if you have a Villa most will have ones that will come to you, a great and cheap option at about $10 a hour. Some of the Day Spas are a bit more pricey if want to visit one with a good reputation. My go tos are the new Spring Spa that was $40 for a 90 min massage so still super cheap, Chill Reflexology, Bodyworks and the one at the waterpark great if you visit! tag team with you loved one for a hour back,neck and reflexology deal. Out on the street you’ll find plenty too and they all do nails etc too, a fun pamper day with the little ladies if you have one in tow.
Im just going to list our Fav restaurants, bars and cafes as there are just so many, so look them up and see their locations and menus to see if its something you like.
Motel Mexicola, KuDeTa, La Luciolla, Pettinget, Sea Circus, Sisterfields, Revolver Cafe, Sarong, Biku, Metis, Sardine, Breeze at Samarya Resort, Woobar, Milk and Madu, Old Mans, Cuca, Jimarban beach for seafood, Alchemy (Ubud), Corner Store, Mamasan, Bali Cafe.
Theres more Im sure Ive forgotten but that should keep you busy anyway and Im sure you’ll hear of others from friends and family that may have visited.
A few Photos here from our last resort that was The Pan Pacific, It was a great family resort that was huge and had all you need for a easy peasy stay. A fantastic kids club with its own pool and playground, the kids went in it for about 3-4 hours a day (no complaints from them) as this last stop was so we could all have some fun time, like beersies in the pool for the parents. It also has great restaurants that have dance show buffet nights, ping pong and a golf course. The spa was amazing but we only did it once as this place is up there with prices so around the $90 for a $90 minute one.The POOLS were to die for and had two great waterslides for the kids that they loved. the room was fab as pretty much at the pool and kids club with a King bed and Bunks for the kids so we just left it open all day and they came and went.
The extra activities that cost around the $20 mark was baby turtle releasing, rice planting and a rope course that our kids all did, and were all fabulous. With a sunset bar and views over Tanalot temple you can visit for free with a resort tour each night it was a perfect way to end out holiday.