It is clear that Sarita and I are both in love with Bali. Between us we have been around 40 times, were both married there, did business there at one point, and head back as often as we can. The holiday is certainly different now that we have kids, no sleep-ins and sun baking with books, but amidst the sometime chaos of any holiday with kids, Bali is the perfect destination to take the whole family.
We chose to split up the trip and stay in two different locations. Our first stop was the Hilton in Nusa Dua. This hotel is built into a cliff and the views are breathtaking. It is well set up for kids with a 30m waterslide the kids couldn’t get enough of. There is also two basketball rings in the pool, a volleyball net and a smaller kids pool with waterslide that even Harvey went on (with Dahlia or Oscar!). There are several pools to choose from and meander around making exploring lots of fun. The beach there is absolutely divine and you get the incredible sunrises on that side of the Island. We stayed in a villa which was a treat. It was a generous size with our own private pool and the sumptuous services you receive with club access, including a butler, buggy rides, afternoon tea and cocktails every night. Staying in Nusa Dua is a holiday for those who really want to relax, we hardly left the hotel. The restaurant we went to every day was located between the pool with the waterslide and the pool with the basketball hoops so the kids would swim right up until the food was delivered! It also had magnificent views of the ocean and there was often live music played also. The food was delicious and with just a short buggy ride back to the villa, this meant dinners were easy and enjoyable. Absolutely divine.
We then moved to the other side of the Island and stayed at the Padma, Legian, We had heard this hotel well catered for kids and this could not be more true. There are kids clubs for all ages including the younger kids club with activities like fish feeding, cooking classes, and painting tee shirts. The older kids were not forgotten with beach soccer, pool activities and surfing to name a few. Oscar and Dahlia were both a bit shy and hesitant to take part in the organised activities but because the hotel has the reputation of being child friendly, they made plenty of friends and loved hanging out with them. The pool games in the afternoon were always fun and the kids often won an ice-cream. Unfortunately I missed out on winning a cocktail as my bingo numbers were not successful! Again, there were multiple pools to choose from, with a specific kids pool fantastic for the younger kids. The kids menu was fantastic with the Mac n Cheese being a favourite! The Padma has a beautiful restaurant/pool bar called Skai Beach Club with an infinity bar overlooking the beach with a great view of the sunsets and we often ate there.
One of our favourite things to do in Bali is head to the beach at sunset, have a massage and a drink, watch the kids play, meet the locals and take in that incredible sunset.
When we stayed at the Padma in Legian, Oscar had his first surfing lesson. Only $25 for the hour, he was taught by a pro and within the first 30 minutes was standing up on the board! To hire a board or boogie board was only $5 for the hour and we often headed down to the beach in the morning so Oscar could practice his surfing and Dahlia loved her time on the boogie board.
One of the highlights of our trip was Waterbom Park. Despite its huge size, Waterbom Park was not difficult with a baby. We hired a gazebo for $25 for the day and we used it as a base and for Harvey to have a nap. There are waterslides for everyone and we all had a ball. We ended up staying for 7 hours as there was so much to do.
Much smaller than Waterbom but is a very easy day out with the kids. You can grab a seat and watch the kids on all the waterslides.
The shopping of course is always fantastic in Bali. We noticed the prices of some fashion had increased, but the homewares were absolutely beautiful and incredibly priced, as was all the normal Bali goods. Think sunglasses, sports kits, shoes, wooden items and so much more.
We have always loved checking out different hotels and places to stay. This time we went to the Ayana. We have stayed there previously but knew the kids would enjoy the waterslides and kids pools, exploring near the beach, and the amazing walks and views. Unfortunately we didn’t stay the whole day so missed out on sunset drinks at the Rock Bar.
We also visited the Alila in Seminyak. It is located in a fantastic spot, right on the beach and is my idea of luxury. The rooms are stunning with incredible views, the pools are located with views to the beach, the restaurant looked incredible and the service was fantastic.
The trip would not have been complete without a visit back to the Samaya, where we were married 10 years ago! One of my favourite hotels in the world, the Samaya is understated luxury with the most incredible food and service I have ever experienced.
Travelling with a 1 year old
Harvey absolutely loved the holiday. He loved swimming and soaked up all the attention from the beautiful Balinese. The plane trip was not too bad, he slept for about 2 hours both ways, had about 1 hour of being pretty grizzly and was happy to just sit and play on our lap for the rest of the time. Luckily we had day flights so all in all the plane trips were pretty good.
I was very worried about us getting sick, especially the kids. Oscar had an upset tummy for one night but other than that we were all healthy and even Harvey did not get sick at all. I used the Zoono hand sanitiser which kills germs and stays active for 24 hours and I really think that is what protected us!
I took a stroller which was an absolute must. The Cybex Eezy S Twist stroller had so many features that I loved. I could turn Harvey around to face either way, I could fully recline the seat so he was comfortable sleeping in there and it was very compact but still sturdy. I highly recommend this pram!
We had the pleasure of having Denik, our friend and nanny come and look after Harvey a couple of times. She is so beautiful and Harvey loved her.
We did not go out to all the incredible restaurants we normally do as the kids were exhausted come dinner time, so generally ate at the hotel or close by. However we didn’t miss out as the food at the hotels was beautiful and Fat Bowl, opposite the Padma was also delicious.
We personally know and recommend the below contacts, they are all amazing people! If you are interested in using them, please send them a text or call on the below details.
Nanny - Denik
Driver - Kanti
Driver - Made