Where to Stay in Bali with a Family
The Urban Mum discovers where to stay in Bali with Family – keeping grandparents and teens happy on holiday.
Before children, Bali was where the Husband and I headed for holidays – spa treatments and shopping for me, golf and fabulous food for him. Remote locations, bustling spots, quiet villas, party resorts – we explored the gamut of offerings in Bali. Yet as we prepare to return for a multi-generational trip we are keen to discover a location that primarily keeps our teenage boys engaged (happy kids = successful holiday).
InterContinental Bali Resort comes recommended via well-travelled friends (are they not the best references…)
Close to the airport so as not to suffer through the notoriously jammed traffic, far enough from the ‘action’ to allow for peace and quiet (grandparents request), a beach to stroll and swim, local eateries accessible, spa treatments on the doorstep, large rooms, grounds that evoke the sense of tropical calm that we associate with previous Bali holidays. With all boxes ticked we set about planning to do just enough to entertain the boys, yet allowing for loads of downtime to unwind from a busy year.
Travel to Bali from Australia
A flight schedule that departs Sydney in the morning (not too early), landing in time for afternoon tea by the pool means Garuda Indonesia is our airline of choice. Too many years to mention since I last flew with them I am incredibly impressed with this (deservedly) award winning Airline.
New aircraft offer comfortable interiors (the economy class generous leg room welcomed on the overnight return flight). An entertainment system that works efficiently and extends a great selection of viewing (not always a given, even on renowned airlines), service touches reminiscent of the ‘old days’ when flying was something to look forward to (amenities bag, staff going the extra mile, drink offered on boarding).
Highly recommended and I will fly Garuda Indonesia again (my father is even considering travelling with them when next he flies Europe/Sydney).
Bali Airport to Hotel Transfers
Yes there might be cheaper options; yet a holiday inclusive of certainty and minus any hassle is one we seek. Our InterContinental airport transfer is pre-booked and waiting for us as we exit customs. Moments later two parents, two grandparents, two teens and plenty of luggage are loaded into a mini-van and we relax in air-conditioned comfort – the holiday begins.
Where to Stay in Bali with a Family
InterContinental Bali Resort
Oh there are a myriad of glamorous accommodation offerings in Bali – private plunge pool villas with enough staff to ensure one need not lift a finger, sleek shiny new resorts complete with music recording studios (yes that really is a thing…), retreats high in the lush bush clad mountains, experiential holiday options to stay with a local family (one family friend swears by this and takes her kids every year).
We take the large, established resort option, enjoying the certainty of a brand we love (IHG have served us well in Fiji, Vanuatu, Singapore, Sydney and Saigon) – as our transfer enters the rambling grounds we immediately feel the warm Balinese welcome.
InterContinental Bali Resort Location
Nestled on the shore of Jimbaran Bay, one of just a handful of resorts and the BEST location to enjoy famed Sunsets. Our days begin with a long beach walk to watch fishermen unload their catch further along the bay at the famed Seafood Markets (next door to the resort is another smaller version with about six restaurants that spill out onto the beach). The boys catch the gentle waves with Boogie Boards from the hotel beach hut, the husband and I keep an eye on them from a shaded daybed (full food and beverage service all day). The grandparents? Did I mention the resort is so large we can go for half a day without bumping into them, making plans to meet for meals – not avoidance tactics (my Dad is uber cool, I welcome his company) – the space gives us all the opportunity to totally unwind (perfect for groups of friends to holiday together).
There is no definitive township accessible on foot from the resort – so if you are after the hustle and bustle of Seminyak this is not the spot for you (however a 30 minute taxi trip will take you to the more populated areas). Rather, InterContinental Resort Bali is set on the local coastal road – across the road are a dozen Day Spa’s varying in quality (Spa Uluwatu at the InterContinental, the most luxurious option).
InterContinental Bali Resort Rooms
Large and cool; every room has access to a balcony area overlooking the gardens. We always opt for ground floor rooms as it makes for easier pool and beach access for the boys. Some of the rooms have been updated (predominantly in the Club InterContinental wing).
Whilst extremely well maintained, certain aspects of the rooms are starting to look tired – although they are solidly built (read quiet) and absolutely perfect for a beach style holiday where kids run in and out from the pool with wet and sandy feet. I prefer a property that is more forgiving for teen boys rather than uber chic where I am concerned about the furniture. Heaps of room to unpack, spread out to play boardgames and take an afternoon nap.
Club InterContinental Bali
For an additional per night per person cost – executive facilities can be enjoyed; exclusive use swimming pool, updated rooms, complimentary breakfast, all day snacks, cocktails, daily newspapers, on-call butler services.
Intercontinental Bali Resort Beach
A highlight of our stay. Previous trips to Bali I have not spent time on the beach, however there is nothing that beats a summer break by the seaside. We are blessed with lovely sunny weather (not too hot) for the first part of our stay – the beach is clean and the water balmy. A gentle breeze affords a small swell, enough to give hours of fun with boogie boards.
Fast forward a couple of days and the weather is more inclement, casting up flotsam and jetsam making swimming a no go – the water clears again just as quickly to end our trip on a high.
Intercontinental Bali Resort Food
Holiday inertia takes hold quickly – we struggle to venture far from the five excellent ‘in-house’ dining options (six if you include room service…). Our favourite becomes a toss-up between open air breakfast at Jimbaran Gardens or evening cocktails (and dinner) at aptly named Sunset Beach Bar & Grill (all pricing more expensive than local Balinese offerings, yet well priced for resort selections).
One night we gather strength and wander down the beach; past the sand-side restaurants – destination Four Seasons Resort, beach-club Sundara restaurant. Pricey (by Bali standards), yet a tres chic location (the beautiful people gathered) – food fabulous, service excellent.
Intercontinental Bali Resort Activities
Swimming (pool and beach), relaxing on deckchairs, lots of space for the kids to play (kids club, soccer, tennis, kids club), well equipped gym (and yoga classes), good spa treatments (in-house & just outside the resort).
What to do in Ubud Bali with a Family
Again we book the hotel driver (a very reasonable price for the day); by-passing the usual tourist haunts enroute we make a bee-line directly to Five Art Studio for a morning of traditional Balinese artistic endeavours (the maths genius husband delighted to find his creative side). Located amongst fields of hillside rice-paddy’s, the art classes are very much a family affair – husband Wayan Suardana and his team instruct us in the intricacy of Balinese painting and batik (wood carving is also on offer if you have more time), his wife serves delicious traditional morning tea in the open air classroom.
Lunch is enjoyed ‘jungle side’ – Komaneka at Bisma resort – as we relocate my father for a few days of zen (there is only so much ‘teen-time’ a Grandfather can endure) , his yoga loving nature entranced by the cool tonic of the hills. With private plunge pool, understated and welcoming service, and a romantic suite – he highly recommends this property.
Bali Villa Holiday with a Family
If you prefer the privacy and convenience of your own ‘home’ then a Bali Villa Holiday with a Family might be more your speed. Thousands of gorgeous properties are dotted throughout Bali, if you struggle with which location to choose and where to begin even finding these houses then Villa Finder have years of experience in matching guests to the perfect villa – their website also has lots of handy tips; including this genius FREE Bali with Kids guide.
Where to Stay in Bali with a Family – we will return…
- CREDIT & THANKS for the fabulous photos above to my son (the not so fab photos are mine…) find more of his superb work here
- in the interests of transparency – The Urban Mum received a media rate for accommodation at Hotel InterContinental Bali, all other expenses were paid for in full.