Villas are all the rage in Bali but there’s a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned hotel with a fabulous kids’ club, a waterslide and a kids’ menu that makes mealtimes a breeze. Whether you’re looking for a flash five-star luxury getaway, a beachside jaunt or a holiday right in the heart of Kuta, Honeycombers Bali – the online guide to everything chic on Indonesia’s favourite isle – tell suitcases&strollers the insider’s tips to the perfect family-friendly hotels in Bali.
Located right in the heart of Jalan Petitenget in Seminyak is the Semara Resort, an absolute haven for families thanks to the Cubby House, a kids’ club that will keep the kids entertained for hours. Activities at the cubby house are strictly indoors so they’ll be busy painting, reading, playing with toys, watching DVDs and playing games on the computer. There are movie nights and special events such as pirates days and jungle safari parties. They also provide a good value kids menu. When they’re done at the cubby house the Semara pool is a great place for families to hang out.
You know what you’re getting when you book into a Hard Rock Hotel – it’s colourful, noisy, in-your-face and the kids will love it! The rooms are well set up to accommodate families, especially the Luxury Kids Suite, which is designed especially for the little ones right down to the toiletries and comes equipped with Playstations and other surprises to the keep the kids entertained. One of the pools comes with a great kids’ slide and the Lil Rock Kids Club will keep the young tykes busy for hours with Lego, Play-Doh, and organised activities. If that’s not enough, there’s also a 5-metre climbing wall. Teenagers will love this hotel too.
This resort right in the heart of Kuta is great value for families. They have a good kids’ club where the little ones will be entertained with story-telling, dance lessons and games, as well as a kids’ pool with its very own slide and a flying fox which is great for older kids. That’s assuming you’ll be spending much time in the hotel; it’s located directly opposite the famous Kuta beach and surrounded by the spanking new Beachwalk shopping complex as well as all the bargain shopping you could hope for.
Located in downtown Kuta, Bali Dynasty Resort is a perennial favourite with families. It has a 56-metre waterslide and a kids’ water fun zone which has two extra mini water slides, pull ropes, bubbler jets and the one that gets all the kids squealing – the tipping trough. There’s a Club House so kids can retire to the air-conditioned comfort should they get tired of the great outdoors. If you’re up for something different book into the Luxury Tent Villa –think glamping not camping – or book a family room and the kids can fight for the top bunk.
These 2 and 3 bedroom apartment style suites are perfect for travelling families as they come with a fully equipped kitchenette, living room and dining area and are located in the beachside enclave of slower-paced Sanur. There is a fabulous pool with 30-metre long waterslides, a wading pool for the little ones, and a shaded area in the kids’ pool. At Camp Splash! the kids can play a round of water volleyball, basketball, table tennis, darts, or just jump around on the play equipment. When they’re well and truly exhausted they can head indoors for a face paint or a game of Wii. Note that the Suites are located about a five-minute drive from the beach but there is a free shuttle to take you there and back.
Pan Pacific is located near the sacred temple of Tanah Lot on Bali’s southwest coast and also attached to the famous Greg Norman-designed golf course. Apart from golf, there is also a great kids’ club, Kokokan (named after a Balinese bird), and a fantastic pool with slides that will appeal to the young and the young at heart. Kids can also learn Balinese dance, language and handicrafts as well as get adventurous on the flying fox and climbing wall. Golf lessons are available for children if they’re already that way inclined.
Here’s a resort that kids will go ape for: five-star African safari lodge-style accommodation located in the middle of the Bali Safari and Marine Park. Take advantage of your location and go on a night safari tour where you’ll be able to feed elephants, tigers and zebras. Or have a roaring good time exploring exhibits and shoes in the day. Don’t forget to ride on the elephants, ponies and even camels! Enjoy a meal at the Tsavo Lion Restaurant which directly overlooks the lion enclosure.
This is one of the few good hotels in Ubud for kids that has activities and spaces totally geared towards children. The Pici Pici Club, which translates as little snail in Balinese, offers a fabulously rich array of activities for kids. They even have a Rice Barn Tree House tucked away in their own private jungle. Kids can explore the tree house, take a tour of the garden, learn Balinese dance and cooking, play Nintendo or Wii or simply kick back with a book or DVD.
If you’re after a super luxe family holiday, look no further than the gorgeous Ayana Resort and Spa, located above the crystal blue waters of Jimbaran Bay. The resort has a separate kids’ swimming pool which comes with not one, but two slides. Their recently renovated kids’ club comes complete with trampoline, kids’ billiard table, table tennis and outdoor play equipment. For the kid that likes a screen there’s TVs, XBoxes and Wiis. Other activities include petting zoos, ceramic painting, as well as traditional Balinese dress-ups, crafts and games. With the kids entertained parents have no excuse not to make use of the Spa on the Rocks and the world-famous Rock Bar.
With direct access to the calm waters of Jimbaran Bay, the Four Seasons Resort is a great choice for families who want a classic beach holiday. The resort will provide you with beach games and toys so there’s no need to pack the cumbersome buckets and spades. They have a kids’ club where the little ones can play a game of Wii, make and fly their own kite, craft, paint or even attend dance classes. But our favourite family pastime at the resort is the cooking school where you can learn to make Indonesian and Balinese dishes. They even hold complimentary pastry classes for kids.
What’s not to love about a hotel that has a written mission statement about their commitment to families? Not only do they offer complimentary breakfast, lunch AND dinner for kids up to 12 years old, there’s the Kura Kura (which translates as turtle) Kids’ Club which hosts themed days such as “Bali Exploration”, “Superheroes”, and “Let’s Dance”. The hotel is located at Tanjung Benoa, near Nusa Dua, and has direct access to a white, sandy beach. When it’s time for a bit of indoor R&R, kids can head straight to the air-conditioned Games Zone which has computer games, a pool table and toddlers’ area.
Everyone loves a present and kids will adore the welcome backpack they receive on arrival. Apart from a sun hat and other goodies, it also includes a drink bottle which can be refilled for free at the Veranda Restaurant. There’s also great kids’ food, an outdoor playground where they can run around and activities such as face painting, kite-making, storytelling, pizza-baking and fishing. Air conditioned indoor areas with Playstations and a computer alcove are ideal for older kids wanting a bit of time out. Movie nights with complimentary food and drink will keep the young ones busy so parents can enjoy a quiet, romantic meal for two.
It is not safe to drink the water from the tap in Indonesia. Only use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth and be wary of children drinking water in the shower or the bath.
If you prefer the idea of a villa, get some travel tips about what to look out for from the suitcases&strollers story Balinese Villas Compared
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