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Villa Nanas, Echo Beach Canggu

A quiet family villa escape, hidden in the heart of Canggu...

We loved our chilled-out family stay at Villa Nanas and we love their “Live like a local” tagline.

Set down a quiet gang (lane) amongst the ricefields with local Balinese families, cows, roosters and dogs for neighbours, this villa definitely offers a taste of the old-school Canggu life.

It is not super luxe, in fact it is quite simple, but it still has style.  It’s a lovely family holiday home with a relaxed vibe and has everything you and the kids might need to make your stay happy and comfortable.

For the kids:

One of the best design elements of this villa is that the kids bedroom is attached to the master bedroom via an internal door, so Mum and Dad can be close by at night.

A colourful, tropical, mural adorns the wall of the kids room which is well set-up with twin single beds, cute linen, little chairs, a baby cot, books and baskets of toys. The little guests have their own ensuite bathroom attached which is equipped with a baby bath, potty and kids toilet seat.

A highchair and a stroller are available for guests too.

The sweet Komang who cooks and cleans the villa is also available to babysit for approx AUD $6.00 per hour.

Pool and garden:

The pool is lovely and was the perfect size for our family of four.  There are also two big comfy beanbags to lounge, plus flamingos and toys for the pool.

The side lawn area was great for kicking the soccer ball and practising cartwheels!

They can easily arrange to hire a pool fence for you too if needed, just let them know when you book.

We all love to lie around the pool chatting and reading, so the only thing missing here for us was a couple of sunloungers.

Food & drinks:

Komang cooked us breakfast each morning for the cost of the groceries plus a tip, and although we love a big resort buffet it was so nice to enjoy lazy poolside brekkies in our PJ’s!

Toast made with fresh bread from Bali Buda (we BYO’ed Vegemite from Aus and bought some locally made organic jam), strong coffee (love that Bali kopi), fresh watermelon juice, and a platter of tropical fruit, and some mornings we also added either pancakes, or bacon and scrambled eggs too.

Komang is also available to stay on and cook lunch if you wish, however we generally ordered lunch to be delivered from one of our old faves Betelnut who we have on speed dial and will take orders via Whatsapp.

Bedrooms and living space:

The villa has three bedrooms, with two of bedrooms adjoined on one side of the living room (the master and the kids bedrooms) and another seperate master bedroom on the other side of the living room. Each bedroom has it’s own ensuite bathroom too (all with showers, no bathtubs).

The size of the villa was perfect for our family of four, and would be for a family of five too, however any more than that and I think the pool and living areas would be too cramped.

The living space is simple and doesn’t have a TV, and the dining table is small with just 4 chairs, which was totally fine for us.

Canggu location:

The villa is down a gang off the main road to Echo Beach, so there are a few trendy new options for places to eat close by including Bali Buda which we walked up too one night for pizza and organic take-home treats.

However it is about a 20 minute walk down o Echo Beach itself, which would be too far for little legs in the Bali heat and with no proper footpath, and all the hipsters on scooters whizzing by we definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

Hiring scooters is certainly an option, but if you do, please, please, please make sure you have travel insurance and always wear a helmet.

If you want to head to Echo Beach there are plenty of spots for dinner and sunset drinks, however it would be best to book a taxi to take you or arrange a local driver via Komang at the villa. Or within about a 5 - 10 minute drive in the other directions you could head to some of Canggu’s other hip and happening areas including Berawa beach, Tamora Gallery, or Batubolong.

We do love Canggu as an area for families to eat, play and stay in, however we don’t love the traffic or the beaches - they are surfing beaches, and are not safe for little ones to splash, play and paddle.

If you are a surfing family, or even not a surfing a family (like us) but just want to enjoy a relaxing family villa holiday where you can hang poolside during the day and then venture out in the afternoons and evenings to try all the Canggu hotspots then this is the villa for you!

Book Villa Nanas via Airbnb here.

Wapa Di Ume Resort & Spa

A place to escape in the cultural heart of Bali - beautiful Ubud....

Picturesque, peaceful and surrounded by rice paddies, at Wapa Di Ume you really do feel like you are in Ubud - the cultural and spiritual heart of the island.

I had stayed here a few months earlier for our Little Bali Love Mums Retreat, so it was lovely to return to this special hotel with my family.

Some of the best staff in Bali can be found here at Wapa Di Ume - so friendly, attentive, polite, and professional. I was warmly welcomed back again, and felt as if I had returned “home”.

Fun for kids:

There’s no kids club, no waterslide, and no TV’s but hey that’s no worries at all. You’re in Bali after all, and this beautiful hotel is the real deal. Surrounded by rice-paddies, buddhas and tropical gardens, and with many traditional touches, you get to enjoy the true beauty of the magical Island of the Gods.

There is a weekly schedule of free cultural activities for guests, and of course the little guests are welcome to join in, so the whole family can enjoy them together.   Here you can learn the traditional art of Balinese offering making, take a guided walk through the local village and ricefields, or get your yoga on with a morning class each day.

Pools:

There are two main pools, one on each side of the river, and both are suitable for children with shallower areas. We stayed in a villa this time with our own private pool, so we actually ended up spending most of our time swimming there.  If you can afford to upgrade to a villa, it is well worth it - having a private pool to splash about in is such a treat for the kids!

Food & drinks:

A delicious a la carte breakfast is included and is served at the onsite restaurant Mr Wayan and is positively huge with coffee, juice, tropical fruit, fresh pastries and a selection of main dishes.... we highly recommend the corn fritters and the French toast.

The restaurant staff love the little guests and our girls were constantly doted on, and were treated to special hot chocolates each morning.  There is a kids breakfast set menu, and a kiddies menu for dinner and room service too.

We enjoyed a lovely Indonesian dinner at Mr Wayan, which started off with a chilled glass of wine for Mum and Dad whilst looking out at the golden sun setting over the rice paddies - very special.  The girls feasted on mini size serves of mie goreng and chicken satay, and finished off with scoops of gelato.

We also loved the yummy jars of home made cookies in our room and the bowl of fresh fruit which is replenished daily - perfect for poolside snacking.

Rooms for families:

There are a variety of rooms, suites and villas here but a couple in particular that we think would suit families best.

If you don’t mind being all in the one room, then the entry level spacious Lanai Rooms with twin double beds is perfect for a family of four.  

We stayed in the 2 bedroom family pool villa which we think offers the best of both worlds -  privacy and more space but with all the hotel amenities and services at your fingertips too.  However the master bedroom is upstairs and the kids room with the twin beds is on the ground floor which opens up on to the balcony and pool, so this may be a problem if you are travelling with toddlers, or want to be on the same level as your little ones at night.

Location:

The location is fantastic and is close enough to town and all the action, but still peaceful and quiet and surrounded by rice paddies, so you definitely get that true Ubud expereince.

A free shuttle bus for guests into town leaves every hour, and within about a 5 - 10 minute drive you are dropped in the centre of town, just around the corner from the market and right opposite Milk and Madu which is a family favourite of ours for excellent coffee, brunch, lunch and pizza. Our other Ubud fave Lacasita is just a short walk from where the shuttle drops you off - head there for a Mexican feast, happy hour cocktails or a family dinner on Nino Wednesday where the kids eat for FREE.

 

Thankyou for having us to stay Wapa Di Ume... we had such a divine stay for our Mums Retreat, so it was just wonderful to come back again and experience your beautiful hotel with my family.  xx

Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali

Fabulous festive family fun at the Fairmont...

They say third time’s a charm, and our third time staying at Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali sure was a delight! We were there over Christmas which added to the magic and specialness of our stay.

Fun for Kids:

Pool, beach and kids club - what more do you need?

The Little Bali Love girls (now 8 and 10) are probably starting to get a little too old for many of the resort Kids Clubs, and this one is definitely geared more towards the younger ones with a little treehouse and slide.  It is still a gorgeous and colourful space and provides a fun spot for the older ones to relax and spend some time indoors out of the sun crafting, or watching a movie.

On Christmas Day, all the junior guests were treated to a party on the lawn with music, games, activities, a pinata, and even a visit from Santa who had presents for all the kids.  We also woke up to a Christmas stocking hanging on our door filled with homemade treats - such a sweet touch.

Pools and beach:

There is one beautiful big main pool with views of the ocean and a very “interesting” pink flower sculpture taking pride of place, and big floating pillows which are fun for the kids to relax or play on.  There are two smaller, shallower kids pools on a lower level, which are shaded by Frangipani trees.

The beach is right out the front, and is dotted with colourful traditional wooden fishing boats. The sea is calm and safe for little ones to splash and play, albeit amongst the boats and all their paraphernalia.

Food and drinks:

The breakfasts here have alway been delicious, with a buffet and an a la carte menu for guests to enjoy.  Pancakes, eggs, pastries and tropical fruit dishes are on offer plus some more interesting options too including fresh sushi rolled to order, healthy juice shots and a smoothie bowl station served in coconut bowls.

There are two restaurants here, Layang Layang where breakfast is served and Nyala Beach Club & Grill by the pool, and both have highchairs for the tiny diners. There is a healthy kids menu on offer at both restaurants with Indonesian and Western options. The portions are on the smaller side and are served in melamine dishes so are perfect for little ones.  For older primary school aged kids, you can’t go past the wood fired pizzas for a poolside lunch.

The brand new Pier Eight Beach Bar was literally just opening when we stayed, and looks like a stunning spot to enjoy sundowners.

Waking up here on Christmas day was a treat, and it was fun to get dressed up before the Buffet brunch, which was a more festive themed version of their weekly Sunday brunch.  Live music, a glass of sparkling on arrival and mocktails for the kids, all the traditional roasts plus oysters, lobster and prawns, and a colourful drool-worthy dessert buffet full of sweet treats made it a decadent day to enjoy and remember. 

Rooms for families:

We stayed in a large suite with a king bed for Mum and Dad plus two extra single beds for the kids and still had plenty of room to spare.  There are a variety of suites suitable for families as well as the option of interconnecting rooms.  Baby cots are free of charge.

There are also 1, 2 and 3 bedroom pool villas onsite providing the best of private villa life combined with all of the luxury resort services and amenities.  A stay in one of the villas is next on our wish-list!

Location:

Sanur is a lovely area for families to stay, and a less hectic option than the Legian/ Seminyak side.  The resort is beachfront, and a paved path right out the front runs the length of the beach and is perfect for early morning bikerides or strolls with the pram.

A short walk up the beach and you have warungs, restaurants, spa’s, and even laundries at your finger tips.  Nelayan Sanur Bay which is just a few doors up was our favourite spot for a cheap and easy family dinner on the sand - nasi goreng, chicken satay, watermelon juices and happy hour Bingtangs - perfect.  They have a a small kids play area for toddlers too, and a cute boutique next door where my girls bought some trinkets for their rooms.

 

We recommend a stay here anytime of year... but a family getaway at Christmas time was extra special. Thankyou for having us Fairmont Sanur and for making our Christmas one we will always cherish and remember. See you again soon. xx

Hilton Bali Resort

True Hilton style plus Balinese service and smiles...

Recently renovated and re-launched, the Hilton Bali Resort is a perfect location for a family to relax, unwind and of course have fun!  Great for a “fly and flop” holiday as there is no need to even leave the resort.

Fun for kids:

The little guests are warmly welcomed as soon as you arrive, with welcome gifts (a bag of kids toiletries and a soft toy animal) laid out on the beds for them.

There is so much to keep them occupied here - pool, waterslide, beach, gelato cart, and the Jungle Kids Club complete with outdoor adventure playground, trampoline and rock-climbing wall.

The Little Bali Love girls are big fans of a pampering session too and we indulged in a Family Spa package together at the Mandara Spa which was pure heaven! The girls soaked in a flower petal bath, sipped ginger tea and nibbled on homemade cookies while we relaxed into a one hour massage. The girls then had a manicure, pedicure and finished off with a head & shoulder massage.

Pools & beach:

The pool area is huge and is made of multiple pools that connect in different spots.  The sandy bottomed pool area with the swaying coconut palms was our favourite area to relax and hang poolside.  

There is a shallow toddlers pool with a small slide and lots of coloured balls, and a volley ball net and basketball hoops in the main pool. But the waterslide is what will no doubt be a hit with most kids, and kept our girls occupied going up and down over and over again!  The sign said it was for 10 years and over, but our 8 year old was totally fine on it, and we saw many littles ones aged as young as 3 or 4 going on it with no problems at all.

Food & drinks: 

The buffet breakfast here at the newly opened Grain restaurant is positively huge with every option and every brekkie dish you could think of! Dietary requirements are very well catered for with many Gluten Free options and even a seperate GF toaster.  A variety of non-dairy milk options were also available including soy, rice, almond and coconut.  Overall the staff are super accomodating and even made me a special vegan Mie Goreng with rice noodles and satay tempe for lunch one day.

Both of the main restaurants offer a kids menu with smaller serves of Balinese favourites (Nasi Goreng, Chicken Satay etc) on offer at Paon Bali and Fish and Chips, Burgers, Pizzas and Pastas at The Shore which is located near the pool and beach.  We enjoyed the most stunning 3 course sunset dinner here complete with mocktails and cocktails which was a highlight of our stay. And by day we would order poolside snacks, fresh coconuts and afternoon gelatos from The Shore too.  Drinks are a little pricey, but standard for this style of resort, so make sure you take advantage of daily happy hour at the pool bar between 4 - 6pm.

There is a new Japanese restaurant opening soon too, providing another dinner option without having to leave the resort.

Rooms for families:

We stayed in two adjoining rooms in the newly renovated cliffside suite with a balcony overlooking the pools, which was set up perfectly for us with two king single beds in one room for the girls and a king bed for mum and dad in the other.  This set up would probably be the best option for a family with 3 or 4 kids too.

The beds, pillows and doonas were so comfy and lush... and the evening turn-down service and slippers was a delightful touch. It is safe to say we all slept well and dreamt well here.

They also have 1, 2 and 3 bedroom luxury pool villas combining the best of private villa life but with access to all of the resorts services and amenities.

Location: 

The resort is a little isolated, and is located at the end of Nusa Dua, past the famous Geger beach.  As it is set on a cliff top with a stunning white sand beach at the bottom, we felt it had more of a Bukit/ Sundays Beach Cub feel than traditional Nusa Dua.

As we only stayed for 3 days/ 2 nights, and were in complete relaxation mode, we were more than happy to dine at the hotel restaurants on both nights.  However we regularly saw guests coming and going by Bluebird taxi or private driver in the evenings.

There isn’t much around in terms of other restaurants to go to for dinner in comparison to the busier areas, however it would only be a short drive to head up to the other end of Nusa Dua/ Benoa where there are a few options along the main street, or to the Bali Collection.  

Due to the location of the resort I would also recommend stopping on your way at one of the mini-marts or Pepitos to stock up on snacks for the kids, chips, Bintangs etc, as you don’t have the ability to go for a walk up the street and buy them.

 

A stunning resort for families with that famous Hilton style and outstanding Balinese service and smiles. 

We LOVED our stay and will definitely be back - two nights was simply not enough!  Terima kasih xx

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort

French elegance and Balinese culture combine at this family-luxe resort...

The Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort is a beautiful five-star beachfront property in the luxury enclave of Nusa Dua - it was a delight to visit for a little Mum and daughter getaway.

As a family of Francophiles, we adored the stylish Frenchie vibe, and thought all of the “Bonjour/ Selamat Pagi” greetings from the staff in the mornings was a gorgeous touch.

Fun for kids:

On arrival the little guests are warmly welcomed with little gifts - cupcakes, chocolates, an activity book designed in the theme of Le Petit Prince, and a kids club schedule so you can plan ahead.

The kids club here is fabulous and a step above many others in terms of the quality and the attention to detail of the activities on offer. It is managed by Cheeky Monkeys Learning Centre and all the staff were just excellent with an amazing array of extra activities available every day.

The Little Bali Love girls were lucky enough to experience two of the fabulous daily activities.  First up was the Balinese Cultural Experience where they enjoyed the most beautiful afternoon of Balinese culture, colour and beauty. Such a lovely way to learn more about the culture, religion and rituals of the Island of the Gods in a fun and age-appropriate way. 

The session included getting fully dressed up in traditional Balinese outfits with make-up and headpieces, learning the art of making offerings (canang) to the Gods, a Balinese dance class, a little parade through the resort en route to the on site temple, followed by placing their offerings to the Gods at the temple whilst making little wishes and giving thanks for what they have. 

They also participated in the Kids Cooking Class where they donned their Chef whites, and joined Chef in the kitchen to make fresh handmade pasta - Italian food at a French resort in Bali - very multicultural! After they made the pasta, some dishes that had been prepared earlier were served up to the little chefs and they enjoyed lunch together back in the kids club.

Some of the other activities include a Mermaid Day with mermaid tails provided by our friends at Putri Siren, or an afternoon tea party.

Pools and beach:

The main pool is huge and stunning an runs the length of the resort, with swaying coconut palms and bales to relax in along either side. There are various nooks and sections to play and enjoy, bridges that cross over the pool, the obligatory pool bar for afternoon milkshakes and cocktails (and also many enjoying a sheesha here too!) and sunloungers - some even immersed in the shallows of the pool.

There is a separate kids pool area, with a shallow water play area and small waterslide, however this area is really geared towards much younger kids eg: toddlers and under 5’s.

The beach is right out the front, and there is a private section for resort guests with sunloungers on the sand under the shade of thatched umbrellas, daybeds, a lush canopy of green trees, and a few cheeky squirrels here and there too. 

We never had a problem finding sunloungers by the pool, however twice I popped down to the beach on my own to enjoy a quiet moment with my book while the girls were in the kids club and both times all of the beach sunloungers were “occupied”.

Food & drinks:

The buffet breakfast is extensive, and is spread out into different sections which are in different rooms - bakery, deli, Asian, Indian etc. There is a lovely fresh juice bar area and the girls enjoyed choosing their different fruit combos each morning and adding mint and ginger, however we found the buffet lacked in actual fruit to eat which was a shame as we always love to finish off our indulgent buffet brekkies with a plate of colourful healthy tropical fruit.

In both onsite restaurants kids menus and highchairs are available, and there are kids areas with little tables and chairs, and a fun and colourful space to play and make new friends while Mum and Dad finish off their meal.

Buffet dinners are held in Kwe-Zeen, the same restaurant where breakfast is served, and Cucina is a lovely a la carte Mediterranean option with tables al fresco - a beautiful spot for a family poolside candlelit dinner and a glass of Prosecco for Mamma.

The cafe on the beach is a good spot for snacks and lunch and we enjoyed a nice meal there under the shade of the trees with the gentle ocean breeze.  There is also sunlounger service for poolside snacks, drinks, coconuts and lunches.

Rooms for families:

As it was just me and the girls we stayed in the one room (Luxury room) with a king bed and an extra bed - it was spacious, stylish and luxurious.

Other options for families also include two interconnecting rooms, or a one or two bedroom pool villa.  There are also ground floor pool access rooms with sliding doors directly opening onto the pool that winds its way around the resort, however this may not be the best option for families with little ones.

Location:

The resort is located within the gated compound of Nusa Dua.  So although you can’t walk directly out of the resort onto the street and have shops and restaurants at your fingertips, it is only a short taxi ride to get out of the compound.  Bali Collection, Nusa Dua Theatre, and The Bay complex which is home to the fun Pirates Bay, are all within about a 5 minute drive.

There is also a lovely path along the beach which is great for morning or afternoon walks with the pram/ stroller or a bike-ride, and makes it easy to visit neighbouring resorts too.

 

Thankyou so much to the wonderful team at Sofitel for making our stay truly "magnifique" - we hope to visit you again soon. xx

Padma Resort Legian

A fabulous and fun family-resort that ticks all the boxes...

We adored our stay at the luxury Padma Resort Ubud hidden in the hills of the jungle, so it was a delight to finally visit the famous family-friendly Padma Resort Legian by the sea.

This hotel just has it SO right for families.  It certainly ticks all the boxes and more for both the little guests and their parents.

Fun for the kids:

There is a never a dull moment for the little guests here at Padma Resort Legian.

Of course there is a kids club, with an adjacent outdoor playground, and all sorts of fun activities and games happening inside - but it is the staff here that make it truly outstanding . If you have stayed at the Padma in the last couple of years then you have no doubt encountered the fun and vibrant Mister Tyson Chicken Nugget! 🙂

A range of free activities are included - fish, duck and turtle feeding, kids yoga classes, Balinese dress-ups and more. Plus there are special activities at a small additional cost including cooking classes, cupcake decorating classes, t.shirt painting, and kids disco parties.

The beautiful on-site spa now offers kids spa treatments, and the Little Bali Love girls were lucky enough to indulge in a mani-pedi with flower art, followed by a milk bath complete with rose petals. Lucky little things! Hair braiding, kids massages and other treatments are available too.

Pools and Beach:

The pool choices here are many!  There is the long curving lagoon pool, the large main pool area, and the fun and noisy kids pool area with a choice of three waterslides plus plenty of balls and pool toys floating around.

There is an adults only pool and the pool located at SKAI beach club which is also just for the big guests - a nice spot to chill, read a book and enjoy a cocktail while the kids are in the kids club.

There is also the option of the beach out the front where you can rent a sun-lounger and umbrella from one of the little warungs. Please note, although the Padma Legian is a beachfront resort, there is still a road between the resort and the beach, and there is no private area on the beach for resort guests.

Food & Drink:

You can definitely judge a hotel by its breakfast buffet - and this one is a total winner!

Happy smiley Gamelan players greet you at the entrance, and then you have the choice of dining in the main area or in a family section which is an enclosed air-condtioned room, and has little kids tables and chairs set-up outside with staff from the kids club facilitating colouring-in, games and craft activities.

The breakfast buffet is extensive. Cakes, muffins, breads, pastries, bagels and even cronuts! Eggs and omelets cooked to order, pancakes, waffles, french toast and bacon. A salad bar. An Asian section. Plus a beautiful colourful array of fresh tropical fruit. It’s all there, it’s all fresh, and it’s all delicious! It’s pretty safe to say we did not go hungry at Padma Legian. 

Lunch and dinner options are plentiful too, and everything we experienced we couldn’t fault. We enjoyed everything from poolside snacks, lunches and afternoon gelato, to a relaxing room service dinner, to pre-dinner cocktails and mocktails at SKAI Beach Club. Various themed buffet dinners with live entertainment are held on certain nights and we enjoyed the Italian buffet which was a perfect evening with candles on the tables, delicious food, a couple of vinos for Mamma, a chocolate fountain for dessert, attentive service, and a live band.

We also found the food to be very reasonably priced, especially for the excellent quality, with only an additional 10% charged... definitely an incentive to stay and dine on site.

The Padma Legian are also well-know for going the extra mile and catering for guests with food allergies and dietary requirements, whether it’s Gluten Free, Vegetarian or Vegan, or Nut allergies. Guests are presented with a card on arrival written in both English and Indonesian explaining their food allergies which they can show at the restaurants within the resort and also take with them when dining outside of the resort too. An incredibly thoughtful and helpful gesture for their guests!

Family rooms:

This is a big resort with many rooms, however it never felt too big, crowded or uncomfortable.  The resort is well spread out amongst sprawling tropical gardens with different room options in different areas.

Families can choose from interconnecting rooms, pool access rooms, one or two bedroom suites or the popular Family Rooms, located in the same area as the kids pool and waterslides, and offering two bedrooms (one with bunk-beds for the kids) and two bathrooms.

Location:

The location is incredibly central, which provides another family-friendly tick. The beach is right out the front and offers an easy walk along the sand to Kuta on your left or Seminyak on your right.

The side street the hotel is on is full of little market-style shops selling everything from the famous “rattan roundies” (the must-have bag of the moment) to dream-catchers, fidget-spinners, DVD’s and other knicks-knacks the kids will love spending their holiday pocket money on. On the same street there are also a number of laundries, mini-marts and restaurants, with two popular restaurant options directly opposite the hotel entrance - Fat Bowl and Mamma Maurici.

If you need a change of scenery for the day, Padma Resort Legian guests can visit the beautiful Padma Resort Ubud with a day pass, which includes free transfers to and from for hotel guests.

To all the wonderful staff and team at Padma Resort Legian -

Thankyou SO much for having us. We loved our stay and can’t wait to visit again! xx

You can also read our article about our stay at Padma Resort Ubud here.

Grand Mirage Resort

Welcome to Family Paradise...

After enjoying a stay in the original Grand Mirage Resort a few years ago, we were excited to visit again and experience their new modern family wing - aptly named “Family Paradise”.

The new family wing is essentially another hotel building just a few hundred metres down the road.  It is new, contemporary and simple in style, and although it ticks all the boxes for a family holiday I missed the swaying coconut palms, lush gardens and expansive green lawns that the older resort provides.

However, no matter which building you are staying in you will get the best of both worlds and are welcome to use the facilities, pools and restaurants of both, and it is just a super short walk along the beach path between the two.

Family rooms:

The many options of room styles may be confusing, however guaranteed you will find a room to suit your families needs.  There is a mix of rooms, suites, apartments and even some villas with private pools in the original resort.

Our “Family Studio Bunk Room” in the Family Paradise building was simple and spacious and could have comfortably fit a family of five with a queen bed for mum and dad, plus bunk-beds and a trundle for the kids.  There are also slightly bigger suites that will also fit a family of five but also offer two bathrooms.

And if you want to splash out a little more, there are themed family suites with kids furniture and colourful murals on the walls.

Fun for kids:

I think it should be renamed “Kids Paradise”! 🙂  Hours and hours of fun can be had without even having to leave the resort!

The new mini waterpark area in the Family Paradise wing was a hit with my two who loved the smaller waterslides, splashing and running around, having the big bucket tipped on them, and also just the fun, happy and colourful vibe.

Once they worked up the courage to try out the big waterslide in the main pool, they were sold!  Then it was just up and down, over and over!

The main pool is great, with a smaller shallow toddler pool at one end, and lots of different pool toys and balls floating around to play with.

The Bamboo Kids Club comprises of a room with an indoor play area (slide, ball pit etc) and little tables and chairs for drawing, games and craft activities, as well as a seperate Video Games room (which I am happy to say we didn’t venture into once), and an outside undercover games area with pool table, ping pong, giant chess and a wrestling area - what the?

The Kids Club is staffed by a lovely team until 5pm, but is open until 9pm under parent supervision so you can pop in for a play before or after dinner.

There is also a rock-climbing wall over near the big waterslide and a fun playground in the garden.  Also keep an eye out for fun kids events they run from time to time including their famous foam-party.

Food & drinks:

This is first and foremost an “All inclusive” resort, and as we were not doing the all-inclusive package, we found the a la carte options for lunch and dinner quite expensive in comparison to other family resorts around the island. Perhaps the higher prices are to encourage you to take up the all-inclusive package, which I think would actually be a very worthwhile option for families who are planning to eat most meals within the resort.  Alcohol, mini-bar, watersports, activities, laundry and other extras are also included in the package, so it is definitely worth checking out.

The a la carte menu for lunch, snacks and early dinners by the pool was not only pricey, but strangely for a family resort, there was no kids menu on offer.

The buffet breakfast spread in the new modern dining area was very good though. An extensive selection with all the regular favourites - pancakes, waffles, toast, bacon, eggs cooked to order, cereals, pastries, muffins, fresh fruit and even pizza and sushi!

Regular themed buffet dinners with live entertainment are held at the Rama Stage in the original resort, and on the Saturday night we dressed in our best kaftans, strolled up the beach and enjoyed a beautiful candlelit Balinese buffet dinner.   It started off with the kids making traditional Balinese decorations, and after dinner followed with a Balinese Kecak dance show that the girls were mesmerised by.

Location:

The resort is in the Benoa area, not in the main gated section of Nusa Dua.  The downside is that the beach in Benoa is not as pretty as Nusa Dua, and it is inundated with boats and noisy jet-skis, however the location is more central in terms of being able to walk out the front and have restaurants, shops, mini-marts & laundries at your fingertips.

There is a fantastic Coco Mart directly opposite the entrance to the Family Paradise wing which literally has everything you might need including snacks and drinks (chips, biscuits, fruit, Bintangs etc) to nappies, wipes and toiletries for bubba, to blow-up pool toys, sunhats, beachballs and baskets.

There is a Starbucks right next to the front of the hotel (which weirdly looks right in on the kids waterpark). It’s not my cup of tea for a cup of coffee if you know what I mean, but I did see a few parents from the resort popping in and out for their morning takeaway caffeine hit, so it is a handy addition to have on site.

 

To the team at Grand Mirage, thankyou so much for having us - we enjoyed our stay, and it truly is a paradise for both families and kids! xx

Impiana Private Villas Seminyak

Impiana Private Villas Seminyak, previously known as The Villas, are located in a fantastic central Seminyak spot.  Bali Deli is right across the road for snacks, treats and Bintangs, and it is just a few minutes walk up to the main road for shops, markets, cafes and restaurants. Just a short cab ride away you can be down at Seminyak beach soaking up a stunning sunset with a cocktail in hand while the kids play on the sand, or shopping and eating your way along the famous Jl Oberoi.

The luxury villas range from 1 - 3 bedrooms, and the 3 bedroom villa we stayed in was positively huge! Each spacious bedroom has their own king size bed and ensuite, with two of the bedrooms adjacent to the living area, and the third bedroom in a separate pavillion which would make it a good room for older kids, teenagers or grandparents.

The pool is massive, and had a big shallow area which would be perfect for little ones to sit, splash and play.  You can also hire pool toys directly from the villa, and we were lucky enough to share our pool with a giant pink flamingo!

Pool fences, car-seats and baby cots are also provided for guests on request.

Each morning the chefs come into the villa at the agreed time to cook and serve your breakfast or you can choose to enjoy it in the courtyard cafe at Prana Spa. We always opted for the the in-villa brekkie which is a more relaxing option with kids. The girls loved their special kids set menu which included pancakes and fruit skewers and Mum enjoyed the healthy set menu option with bircher muesli, avocado on toast and a plate of fresh tropical fruit.

If you want to chill, relax and swim at the villa all day, there is a great room service menu with an extensive array of options - eat, swim, sleep, repeat, that’s what holidays are all about!  We were blown away by the detailed kids menu covering off snacks, light meals, main meals and sweet treats just for the little ones.  The food is of a very high standard and we enjoyed every meal or snack we ordered - so there’s really no need to even leave the villa!

The famous Prana Spa is a design icon on the island and part of the Impiana Villas complex. We highly recommend the Mum and daughter princess package, where we were treated to a relaxing massage in the most stunning room, followed by a manicure and pedciure, then to top it all off high tea in the pretty courtyard.

Chill Reflexology is another spa option onsite and has been a favourite of ours for many years (Mums and Dads - make sure you take some time out to enjoy the 90 minute “Ultimate Chill” treatment - heaven!).

A daily shuttle service into Kuta is provided and in-villa cooking classes and poolside BBQ’s can be arranged.

Make sure you check their website before booking for special offers and family packages which include massages for mum and dad (plus babysitting), gifts for the kids, a family BBQ dinner cooked in your villa, plus activities such as a free day pass to Finn’s Club or a daytrip to the Elephant Safari Park.

Terima kasih Impiana Villas - we loved our stay and hope to see you again soon. xx

The Sea Shanty Jimbaran

A four bedroom luxury villa for families...

We have stayed in many villas all over the island yet the 4 bedroom family-luxe Sea Shanty in Jimbaran is by far our favourite. The villa itself is so well designed and is both stylish yet incredibly family friendly and safe too - the clever Australian owners, who are a family with three young children of their own, really have thought of everything! 

Sleep...

Our girls enjoyed playing & sleeping in the upstairs kids room complete with bunkbeds, chalkboard, toys and books and of course the resident Mr Octopus mural in the childrens ensuite was a huge hit. The kids body lotions, shampoos and even bubble bath are a thoughtful and welcome touch. 

Upstairs there is also the main master bedroom, which is just stunning with its own balcony and massive ensuite bathroom, and is very close to the kids room.

Downstairs are a further two bedrooms both with king beds and ensuites, so in total the villa comfortably sleeps 6 adults and 4 kids, plus there is the option of two extra childrens beds which can be added to the bunk room as well as cots for the littlest guests.

Play...

We spent a lot of time playing or picnicing on the spacious lawn, enjoying the totem tennis and Throw Down picnic rugs that are provided. And of course also made good use of the refreshing pool and all the pool toys. 

A pool fence is also available if needed as are Boogie boards for the little groms to take down to the beach. 

The poolside Bale is a nice shady spot for Mum or Dad to relax with a book and a coconut and still keep an eye on the little water-babes in the pool.

When the kids needed some chill out time out of the sun, they would find a shady spot and set up camp on the beanbags with their books, or head upstairs to the TV room and watch one of the kids DVD’s that are provided.

Eat...

The wonderful staff - husband and wife team Lina and Supri are true treasures... Linas beautiful smile, warm, welcoming and helpful nature combined with her fabulous cooking are all simply the best! Nothing was ever too much trouble and they both have such a gracious manner and soulful charm as they go about their tasks. 

Breakfast is included in the nightly rate however Lina and Supri are on hand all day to prepare lunch, dinner and snacks too for just the cost of groceries plus a small service fee.

We loved waking up to the smell of coffee and the breakfast table set and ready for our morning feast of pancakes or crepes, muesli, bacon, eggs, toast and tomatoes and always a colourful platter of fresh tropical fruit too.  The little ones will enjoy their very special teddy bear pancakes too!

We have enjoyed many a dinner prepared by Lina and Supri too - delicious candlelit family dinners and Indonesian BBQ feasts with fresh fish and prawns, Lina’s famous Beef Rendang, mie goreng, nasi goreng and chicken satay for the kids along with many other tasty local dishes including my favourite vegetarian dish Urap. All finished off with a platter of fresh tropical fruit, sticky black rice pudding served with coconut cream, and ice-cream for the kiddos - delicous!

Location...

The location really couldn’t be any better! The villa is just 100 metres from Jimbaran beach which is a fantastic safe beach for kids to swim or learn to surf.

We loved being able to simply pop down to the beach in just a couple of minutes for an early morning walk and a swim, a sunset drink and a splash and of course some BBQ corn on the cob from one of the carts as a tasty pre-dinner snack.

Sundara at The Four Seasons is a favourite for a fancy sunset cocktail, and for a more chilled out vibe we love enjoying icy cold Bintangs and fresh juices on the beanbags at Beekini Bowl.

Just around the corner is Grocer & Grind for a coffee or juice, a bite to eat for lunch, or pizza for dinner.

And a short taxi ride up the road are three lovely spots for dinner - Balique, Kayumanis Resto and Cuca.

Right next door is a Pre-School and across the lane is a High School. We enjoyed waking up hearing the childrens laughter and chatter, and loved the sweet smiles and waves from the little ones next door.  It all just adds to the overall friendly, relaxed, kid-friendly vibe at the Sea Shanty. 

Terima Kasih...

We have adored all of our relaxing escapes (three times and counting!) at this special family villa and highly recommend it to other families - it would be perfect for two families to share or a special multi-generational holiday with the grandparents too.

Terima Kasih Sea Shanty - We can’t wait to visit again! 

Love the Little Bali Love family xx 

Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran

This resort is so well set-up for families and they have literally thought of everything...

From the moment you arrive at the Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, the little guests are included and made to feel special and welcome. A kids welcome drink and cute stuffed toy turtle are presented as a gift on arrival, they have their own special area at the check-in desk complete with a little step stool if they can’t reach, colouring-in sheets and crayons, and even an ipad to keep them occupied while Mum and Dad handle the check-in. There are also rattan rocking horses dotted around reception for the little ones to ride on and enjoy.

Family rooms:

They offer a variety of rooms for families including two storey duplex rooms or the option to take two interconnecting rooms which we stayed in - one with a huge king bed for mum and dad and one with two king single beds for the girls.

When you arrive in the room, yummy welcome treats are already laid out to enjoy... milk and cookies, lollipops, gummi bears, fruit salad and jelly for the kids and an assortment of mini sweet treats and a fresh bowl of tropical fruit for mum and dad.

In the kids room there was even a selection of baby and kids toiletries on offer including baby powder, baby oil, bubble bath and rubber duckies... see, told you they have thought of everything! 🙂

Our two adjoining rooms were on the ground floor which really is the perfect spot for families with  easy access to the pool via the sliding doors and the ability to be at the brekkie buffet or kids club within seconds.

Pools and Beach:

There are multiple pools to choose from, even one with a sandy “beach” area, big floating pillows to relax on, shady bales to snooze in, a fun kids pool with waterslides, and another kids water play area out the front of the kids club with colourful beanbags to lounge on and a kids playground too.

The beach is just a short walk away via a private path that takes a few minutes, and brings you out near the Sundara beach club, with the famous Jimbaran seafood warungs a little further up to the right.  If you are heading to the beach you are welcome to collect a special Beach Kit from the pool desk to take with you which thoughtfully includes a beach basket, beach mats to lie on, towels and bottles of water.

Fun for kids:

The nautical themed Meera Kids Club which is spread out over two stories has to be one of the best we’ve seen with plenty to keep the little ones and the slightly older ones occupied.  There’s a big slide, ball-pit and trampoline area, plus a movie room to chill-out in, art and craft tables, games, a gamelan to tinker on, a foosball table and much much more.

In addition to the awesome Kids Club, there are some fantastic activities on offer for kids and families to enjoy together, including a Balinese Kite making class followed by a kite-flying session on the beach as well as a Balinese cooking class.  

Our two little cooks happily donned their aprons, gloves and hats and joined Chef in the kitchen to whip up not one, but three traditional Balinese dishes.

They helped chop and prep the veggies, including the longest beans we’ve seen!  Wrapped the banana leaves, shaped the chicken on to the skewers, then cooked them on the grill. Once everything was ready they plated up their dishes complete with steamed nasi putih and garnishes and then sat down to enjoy their lunch! Yum yum!

Food & Drinks:

The buffet breakfast is huge and there was just not enough time to sample all the goodies on offer! It includes a large selection of breads, bagels, pastries, muffins and cakes which are all baked in-house every morning, along with all the usual faves - bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles and an abundance of tropical fruit and fresh juices.  There is also a kids buffet breakfast area with cute kiddie brekkie options like fruit skewers and sweet treats, small tables and chairs and one of the lovely kids club staff on hand to assist with pre and post-breakfast activities.

Movenpick is also home the the stunning Above Eleven bar for beautiful sunset views over the whole of Jimbaran and happy hour mocktails and cocktails. We enjoyed sunset drinks here before heading back down to Anarasa restaurant in the resort for dinner.

Location:

The resort is located within the new Samasta Village complex and provides many options to eat, shop and play including the Movenpick cafe, Periplus book store, Gannara Art studio which offers kids art classes, and plenty of restaurant options.

 

Thankyou for having us Movenpick - we loved our stay full of special treats and surprises and can not wait to come back and stay again soon. xx

Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali

After staying at the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa which we loved, we were SO excited to stay at their sister property, the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali in Tuban!

Located in a quiet pocket between the airport and Kuta, this resort is fantastic for families who are looking for a spacious family-friendly hotel right on the beach and close enough to the action for when you want it, but not too close! 🙂 The beach out the front is quiet and chilled out with fishing boats, local kids playing soccer in the afternoons, and stunning nightly sunsets. A complete world away from Kuta, yet really only about 5 - 10 minutes. And just out the front of the hotel gates you will find everything you need from mini-marts for snacks, to local laundry by the kilo!

There are a variety of rooms for families including both rooms and suites, some with themed rooms for kids and bunks, and some with lounge rooms with sofa-beds, so there are plenty of options to suit different tastes and budgets.

The kiddos will love all the fun facilities on offer... there is a kids club of course with lovely staff and all the usual games, toys, puzzles, art and craft and even fish-feeding. The kids club is free for guests however there are different optional activities each day for a small fee eg: the girls did a cookie baking class which was an extra Rp 50,000 (AUD $5). They loved the kids club in its current state... but will be wowed again once the brand new kids club is finished and revealed... it is still under construction and will be launching soon - stay tuned!

There are two onsite restaurants to choose from... and the kids eat for free at the Palms restaurant for both lunch and dinner as long as there is one adult with them who is eating. They get to choose a drink, main and a dessert from the healthy kids menu.

The Envy restaurant is right on the beach and is slightly more upmarket, has beautiful sunset views, happy hour cocktails, and live music. A colouring-in menu and pencils keeps the kids entertained, as does the huge lawn out the front perfect for a pre-dinner game of Tiggy!

The large main pool includes pool toys, basketball ring and balls plus theres a smaller shallow kids pool. A poolside Ping Pong table offers another activity option and the lounge area with the ice-cream bar is a nice spot to enjoy an ice-cream, kick back and watch some TV and escape the afternoon sun for a little while. There are beautiful bales dotted around the main pool and the tropical gardens, and if you are lucky enough to nab one of these they are the perfect spot to relax, set up camp and settle in for the day.

The girls and I enjoyed a magical massage together in the Tea Tree spa which has sea views and an ocean breeze - we have had many a massage in Bali and this was honestly one of the best! They offer a variety of family treatments including Mummy / Daughter and Father / Son packages as well as Twinkle Toes mini pedi’s, Fancy Fingers mini mani’s as well as mini facials.

Novotel Nusa Dua

This lovely Nusa Dua resort ticks all the boxes for a relaxed family getaway...

The little guests are made very welcome at Novotel Nusa Dua from the moment they arrive when they are gifted a cute animal soft toy as a welcoming gift. The Kids Club is lots of fun and the staff are cheeky, chatty and vibrant (“Chips” was our fave!), and they offer a great selection of activities on a daily basis including Balinese dress-ups and cooking classes.

There is a little playground area attached to the Kids Club with swings, slide and monkey bars and our girls enjoyed having a play here each morning after breakfast. The main lagoon style pool was huge and provided hours of entertainment for my girls along with the balls and pool toys provided. There is also a small kids pool for babies and toddlers adjacent to the Kids Club.

Most mornings at breakfast time there seemed to be an activity for the kids which meant the mums and dads can sit back and relax and enjoy one more coffee... one day someone was dressed up as Bugs Bunny (Chips, we know it was you!), and another morning the team from Bali Bird Park were set-up in the garden with a couple of little feathered guests.

A variety of accommodation options are on offer including rooms, suites and apartments. We stayed in a positively huge ground floor family apartment which was bigger than some villas we’ve stayed in! We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, a spacious living and dining area, and our own private outdoor area with plunge pool, sun-loungers, fish ponds and a Bale.

And as with all Novotel’s worldwide, when there are two paying adults, two kids under the age of 16 can stay for free and have breakfast for free!

The restaurant on site offers both a la carte or themed buffet dinners dinners including a kids menu and the bar had a great variety of snacks, sandwiches, salads and toasties for simple poolside lunches.

One of our favourite poolside treats were the all natural Paletas Wey Mexcan ice lolllies they sell... watermelon and lime for the girls and pineapple and mint for Mamma. Healthy, delicious, colourful and refreshing!

Although the Novotel is not located right on the beach this isn’t a problem as they have their own private beach club just down the road with a shuttle bus that literally drives back and forth all day and takes only a couple of minutes. In fact the beach club is called 2.28 Beach Club, named after the amount of time it takes to get there - 2 minutes and 28 seconds.

There is an onsite gym and spa, and the spa offers a dedicated kids spa treatment menu. We enjoyed a one hour family massage together, and due to the spa being heavily booked and my last minute planning the only time slot available was an evening session... it was actually heaven. We enjoyed an early dinner, then a relaxing one hour massage where one of my girls drifted off to sleep, then we floated back to our room for bath, bedtime and sweet dreams - a perfect way to end a busy day of sunshine and swimming,

Nusa Dua is a much quieter area of Bali, and home to many resorts, however out the side gate of the Novotel there are a few little shops and mini-marts for souvenirs and snacks. And within a 5 minute taxi drive you’ll find Bali Collection which includes a number of dining options, The Nusa Dua Theatre and The Bay area which includes the fun Pirates Bay - a great spot for a meal, a play and perhaps even some treasure!

Padma Resort Ubud

Our relaxing escape at Padma Ubud...

The drive (from Seminyak) to the Padma Resort Ubud is an experience in itself... lush greenery, winding roads, local famers, abundant ricefields, cows, ducks, dogs and more! Arriving at the resort, and entering the tropical compound it is absolutely breathtaking.

Padma Ubud offers a lovely change of scenery from the popular beaches and a tranquil space for a family to pause, just be, and enjoy some quality, relaxing time together. It was even more magical when we visited during the wet season... misty mornings with the mountains peeping out, and hot heavy tropical raindrops in the afternoons.

The staff here are simply wonderful - welcoming, professional and friendly and we really enjoyed chatting and getting to know many of them.

There is almost no need to leave the resort... with a choice of restaurants offering buffet breakfast, lunch, poolside snacks, cocktails and dinner, or room service if you fancy. There is a kids activity menu and coloured pencils are provided along with it.

That famous stunning curved infinity pool looking out to the jungle offers hours and hours of splish-splashing, floating and water-play fun, and there is a lovely Kids Club for a change of scenery that also has its own kids pool complete with waterfall and mini deck-chairs and umbrellas. Games, toys, puzzles, karaoke, art and craft and more are on offer, plus daily activities at no additional cost - the girls loved the cupcake and donut decorating classes and of course enjoying the finished product!

We also spent some time just strolling around and exploring the hotel grounds... listening to the Gamelan players, feeding the fish in the main foyer area, and a game of foosball or two in the lounge bar. Plus the lovely walk down to the river and across the bamboo bridge is well worth it and a magical experience for the whole family.

There are also plenty of activities on offer each day including yoga classes, cooking classes, bike riding, movie nights and there is also the spa for a spot of pampering.

Afternoon tea is included daily and we were lucky enough to enjoy ours in the Club lounge - jungle views, afternoon sweet treats, a pot of tea for mum and ice-cream for the kids - heaven!

And if you did feel the need to explore further afield, the resort offers a free shuttle bus into the centre/town of Ubud which is about a 40 minute drive.

We adored our getaway at this magical jungle resort.

Terima Kasih Padma Ubud - we WILL be back. xx

Katamama

Located in the Potato Head complex, Katamama is a breathtaking, luxe, boutique hotel and has quite a different vibe to many of the other resorts we stay at. It is not specifically aimed at families and kids, however little guests are still made most welcome.

It is completely unique and uber stylish... no traditional lobby or reception area here, instead you are escorted straight to your room, where you “check-in” in the comfort of your room on an ipad with a cocktail in hand!

And that welcome cocktail is made in YOUR room, by YOUR own personal barman, in YOUR very own bar! Yep, each room has its own bar decked out with spirits, mixers, a selection of glasses, cocktail making paraphernalia, fresh limes, gourmet snacks and ice! These magnificent details were probably wasted on my little travellers, although they have now developed a taste for an evening Virgin Mojito (their mocktail of choice on arrival!).

Yummy eclairs, pretty flowers and handwritten notes are gifted on arrival, a jar of homemade cookies adorns the bar for afternoon munchies, and designer chocolates are delivered to the room each evening for a night-time sweet treat.

The divine swimming pool includes a shallow kids section and there as in extensive Kids Menu at Movida downstairs (where breakfast is served a la carte each morning for guests), and the staff at the Akademi bar are more than happy to mix up fancy mocktails for the little guests.

An added bonus for Katamama guests, is that you have VIP access to the front row daybeds at Potato Head. We thoroughly enjoyed swanning in at the busy sunset cocktail hour and making ourselves right at home in our prime position daybed. Potato Head is a fun spot for a sunset family drinks, some cool tunes, interesting people-watching (selfie stick central!), a splash in the pool and play on the sand out the front.

As a sweet and thoughtful parting gift, we were given little friendship bracelets that had been blessed by a priest at their onsite temple.

Terima kasih Katamama - we loved our little luxe escape with you. xx

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