Take a Family Break at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa

Take a Family Break at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa is one of the highest rated resorts for families in Tanjung Benoa and even on Bali in general. We’ve stayed once before a couple of years ago and my kids Lola (10) and Marlow (5) absolutely loved it. I was interested to see if it would still be a favorite now they are a little older and have been to a lot of other resorts. Read on to find out all about our stay…

Getting to the Resort

& Checking In

Tanjung Benoa is the small peninsula that sticks up from Nusa Dua into Benoa Bay. It’s very easy to get to from the airport to Tanjung Benoa (in around 15 minutes) thanks to the overwater toll road that connects them. We drove from Ubud which wasn’t quite so easy thanks to a huge amount of traffic in July, so after 2 hours we were crazily happy to get to the hotel.

When we arrived I immediately noted it was much busier than it had been the first time we stayed (in February I think). There were lots of kids and groups and it was a real mix of Australians, Europeans and Asians. We were given welcome drinks, cold towels, and the kids even got a great little activity pack. I didn’t mind at all that our room wasn’t quite ready yet because the staff were all really lovely and we could see they were all at working full speed.

The Area 

Tanjung Benoa isn’t everyone’s favorite area. Some say it’s boring or there isn’t enough shopping/eating/excitement going on. For me, I think it’s pretty ideal if you have kids and want to hang in the resort, play in the pool, and do day trips out to other places.

There is a shuttle to Bali Collection shopping centre in Nusa Dua, and a driver to Kuta/Legian/Seminyak will only cost $20-ish.

It’s quiet at night and the sunrises are beautiful. There are also all kinds of fun watersports if you want a bit of a thrill. There will always be haters, but I’m a fan of Tanjung Benoa with the kiddos.

Our Room

 

There are 171 rooms and 19 suites to choose from at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa with 2 room types specifically tailored to traveling families. This time we stayed in a Tanjung Family Adventure Suite on the 4th floor.

This room has 2 bedrooms, a nice big ensuite with a king bed and private balcony for the parents, and a spacious 2 single bed room for the kids. The kids room is complete with ocean-themed walls and sheets, a PS4 and an ensuite bathroom designed just for the kiddos.

Both rooms open onto the living room with a table and sofa, tv and dvd player, coffee and tea making facilities and a large balcony. The sunrise from the balcony was really lovely. We also watched fireworks from here at night.

The suite had the feel of a cozy apartment with wooden floors, loads of wardrobe space and a comfy sofa. The space between bedrooms makes it feel like home and not having to share a bathroom is fantastic!

The only sounds we heard from the room were the tweeting birds in the courtyard atrium and the ocean breeze when the balcony doors were open.

 

The Layout of the Resort

 

The Holiday Inn Benoa is really nice and compact. A huge lobby leads to the courtyard pool that the pool access rooms connect to. The pool is shady and has little islands in it and Duke’s Pool Bar and Lounge is here as well. Pasar Market Cafe where breakfast is served and the Kids Club is at the end of this and then the 2 tiered beachfront pool with the gym on one side and Nudi bar and restaurant on the other.

The beachfront pool and on the beach is where we spent most of our time and it seems most other families do as well. The little kids area is shallow and has a dumping bucket and small slide. The other parts of the pool are all 1.2 metres deep, so kids need to be supervised carefully. Marlow is swimming but isn’t confident if he can’t touch the bottom at all so we had to be in the pool with him all the time. There aren’t a ton of loungers around the pool so make sure if you want to spend the day there, you get to the pool nice and early.

The beach at Tanjung Benoa isn’t usually my favorite but I have to say the sand and water were very clean this time. I suppose it just depends on the time of year, tides, weather conditions etc. We did splash around in the water and play on the beach a bit but didn’t really swim.

 

 

Kids Facilities

The kids club at the Holiday Inn Resort might be quite small but it packs a punch. The staff are absolutely fantastic and keep the kids having fun with activities all day long. It’s also open 9am – 9pm with a one hour break in the evening, which is much longer than a lot of kids clubs.

There do crafts, indoor and outdoor games, movies and lots of other engaging activities. This is one kids club my kids have really wanted to spend time in…although Lola at 10 is now not so interested as she was a couple of years ago.

The kids pool is also small but perfect for being able to watch littler ones splash around. The slide is small and the tipping bucket is pretty gentle unlike some others so young kids love it. There are also daily activities on the beach like football, volleyball and kite flying that kids and parents can join in.

Because Lola is a little older, we played a couple of games of pool and table football in the games area just off the lobby. Marlow was happy to play on the Wii that they have there while I spent some time with Lola.

Eating

 

I didn’t feel like we ate the whole weekend but we were all definitely full all the time. Kids eat free at the Holiday Inn, which is a deal maker for me. Eating in resorts can be a huge expense so this takes the weight off a little. It’s also great to see healthy things on a kids menu. This is something Holiday Inn is really serious about.

Let’s start with Breakfast. The food is fresh, set up is easy to navigate and the kids were happy with all the goodies. There is a little kids area but my kids know fresh pancakes, waffles and adult sized donuts are where it’s at so they didn’t really take anything except chocolate milk. I always judge my breakfast on the fresh fruit, yogurt and seeds and nuts being the boring mum that I am and I was very happy with the selection.

On the first day we ate what we made at our cooking class so were stuffed to the gills. I did have a cocktail at happy hour which was very tasty and 2 for 1s can’t be beat. The second day we had a lovely lunch set up in the upstairs area at Nudi. It has beautiful views to the beach and the food was really tasty. The kids had burgers and pasta and I had a delicious salad with roasted veggies.

We didn’t have anything over the weekend that we didn’t like and the kids menu is definitely a major plus at this resort!

 

Fun Extras

 

When we go to a resort we love to put ourselves in the shoes of families that have never been to Bali before. We want to experience the introductions to Balinese culture and traditions like they would.

At Holiday Inn Resort Benoa we got the chance to do just that with a cooking class and a spa treatment in their beautiful Tea Tree Spa.

We’ve done cooking classes before but this blew our expectations out of the water. The chef was fun and great with the kids and let them do just about everything. Over about an hour and a half we made fish ball soup, chicken satay, veggies, and even dessert.

We ate by the pool at a table they had set up for us. There was so much food and it was all delicious! We would definitely recommend doing this class!

Tea Tree Spa was also a fantastic experience. Lola and I had the mom and daughter package, which consisted of an hour massage and 30 minute facial for me and a 30 min massage, 30 min facial and 30 min pedicure for her. The spa therapists were fantastic with Lola and Marlow who wanted to come along and then decided to go to the kids club about 15 minutes in.

We felt totally spoiled and beautifully sparkly after our treatments.

 

Rounding up our Holiday Inn Resort Benoa Review

 

I won’t keep you in suspense…Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa is one of our very favorite resorts in Bali. The staff go above and beyond, the rooms are fantastic, the food is great, and the prices are excellent. I honestly can’t think of anything that I don’t like about this resort and if I did I would be seriously nitpicking.

The beach may not be Nusa Dua fabulous but the pools are excellent and even when they were at full occupancy it didn’t seem crowded or too noisy.

Basically, go stay at this resort! You won’t be disappointed.

If you’d like to read about our last stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa click this link: Bali Kids Guide Holiday Inn Benoa Review

If you’d just like to know more about the resort, visit their website: Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

 

Is this Paradise? It is for Families at Grand Mirage Family Paradise!

Is this Paradise? It is for Families at Grand Mirage Family Paradise!

Reviewing a hotel a couple of times may seem unnecessary, but I’m learning that it often gives us a different perspective on the hotel and the area. We first reviewed the Grand Mirage Family Paradise in 2017, not long after it had opened. It was a quiet time and the hotel wasn’t very full. We stayed in a Family bunk room last time with no inclusions, and a 2 Bedroom Suite with all inclusive benefits this time. The experience we had this time was quite different and I’ll explain why. You can also read our first review here: Is Grand Mirage Family Paradise the Most Family Friendly Resort in Bali?
Getting to the Resort & Checking In

 

The Grand Mirage is located in Tanjung Benoa, the peninsula that sticks out north of Nusa Dua. This area is only a 15-20 minute drive from the airport and is known as the watersports hub of the island.

The resort consists of 2 wings, the older Grand Mirage wing and the Family Paradise which opened in 2017. They are both beachfront and the walk between them is just 2 minutes.

We were checked in quickly (with a little stop in the VIP lounge) and got to settling in to our suite. 

Our Room

 

There are a number of different room choices at the Grand Mirage Family Paradise. This time we were in a 2 bedroom suite, which had a king bed in the master bedroom and a queen and a twin in the second bedroom. Both were en-suite and the master had a bath. The living room had a big fold out couch, arm chair, dining table and sliding doors to a balcony.

We were in the very closest room to the pool, which didn’t have direct access from the balcony, but the other rooms of this kind do. The room could easily sleep 5 and I was told the same room type but garden facing sleep 6.

My first impression of the room was that it didn’t look as big in real life as it does in the pictures, but I think it was more about the shape because we were in the end room. The bedrooms and living room are a great size and the bathrooms have tons of space. I especially liked that the wardrobe and shelves in the master bedroom were in the bathroom. I like being able to tuck my mess away so I don’t have to look at it.

We all found the room extremely comfortable and being so close to the pool was awesome. One thing I would have changed would be the fridge and unit with tea/coffee etc. in it looked like it had just been plonked in the room with no thought for what it looked like.

The Resort & Area

 

The layout of the Family Paradise is really exceptional. It’s small enough that you’re never far from the pool/restaurant/kids club. There are 2 restaurants on the 2nd floor, one by the pool, and the kids club and games area on the ground floor with the water park area just in front. A few steps from the pool and you’re on the beach.

Outside the resort the main road through Tanjung Benoa is lined with spas, restaurants and small shops. There isn’t anything really interesting along here, but you can easily get the shuttle to Nusa Dua and Bali Collection Shopping Centre in 10 minutes. Pirates Bay, Surf & Turf (small water park/beach club), restaurants along the beach and the Devdan Show are all just down the road as well.

Speaking of Devdan Show…go and see it! It’s managed by the same company that owns the Grand Mirage so guests get discounts and a free shuttle. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much, but my whole family LOVED it and the kids still talk about it. You can read more about it here: Devdan Show: Learn About the Treasures of Indonesia

 

Kids Facilities

The Grand Mirage Family Paradise has everything covered when it comes to kids activities. There is a kids club with soft play area, ball pit, toys and space for crafting. This is open to kids from 4 years from 9am-5pm. Children under 4 can use the play areas with a parent or nanny. You can also use the facilities from 5pm-9pm but there are no staff during these hours.

Older kids will love the games room, which has xbox and playstations. There is also a big screen for movie time and interactive games. A pool table, ping-pong table, giant chess board, and mini boxing ring keep everyone busy. There are also daily activities like cooking classes, face painting, beach walks and crafts.

The mini waterpark is another big plus for the Grand Mirage. Kids under 15 can play there and there is a lifeguard watching from 10am-5pm, but we would recommend going along to keep an eye on them as well. Lola at 10 years old seems about the top end of kids that are interested in the waterpark. The bigger kids definitely love the slide in the main pool best.

I also noticed older kids activities like mini golf and movie nights on the beach. There are lots of posters around telling you what’s going on and the kids club staff are great for knowing what’s happening.

Eating

 

Just 2 days to eat our way through the 3 restaurants on the Family Paradise side as well as 5 more on the other, we had a big challenge. We started with Mahi-Mahi Poolside Resto where a really good Mediterranean-style lunch was had by all. Thumbs up for the falafel, wraps and hummus. They also make a mean Bloody Mary at the bar.

Our dinner wasn’t quite so inspiring unfortunately. We chose the Chinese restaurant Chopsticks and found it to be a bit of a let down. The food was ok, pretty standard Chinese takeaway fare, but it was the atmosphere that really fell short. The music was loud and totally random (think panpipes followed by Lady Gaga), the air conditioning was arctic, and it generally seemed like a Chinese tour bus stop rather than a resort restaurant.

Thankfully the resort was redeemed food-wise by an outstanding breakfast. Lunch was by the pool again and then we wanted to have dinner at La Cascata but it was full. The kids were hungry so we had pizza, spaghetti and BLTs in the room. The pizza was great but spag bol with no red sauce and cucumbers and fried egg in the BLT? Questionable.

To Do All Inclusive or Not?

 

The question I get most about the Grand Mirage is to do all inclusive or not. We’ve done it both ways now and, as terrible as I am at maths, I did some calculations while we were there. Bear in mind that when my husband is around we spend more and this time we were with my mum who eats like a bird.

So….breakfast is great and you can definitely fill up but the kids were always starving by lunchtime. Food is always a little on the expensive side at hotels so you can expect to spend around Rp400-500 thousand (approx. $40-50) on lunch without drinks or sweets. We found dinner to be about the same with added beers, so say around Rp500-600 thousand. Throw in a few drinks round the pool and you have a day of around Rp1 million plus a bit depending on how much you drink.

Gold all inclusive is $75 a day (half price for kids under 12 and free under 5). If you’re planning to do a lot of drinking and your family likes to eat all inclusive is great for you. We loved not having to think about how much each drink was or if the kids could have dessert or not.

You can add all inclusive days to your stay, so maybe if one day you want to go all out you can pay for that day. You can also go for the blue all-inclusive, which has a few more restrictions than the gold which is $65 a day.

A Little Round Up of the Grand Mirage Family Paradise

 

I think I know this resort pretty well now after 3 stays so here are my thoughts in Pros and Cons bullet point form. There are way more pros than cons to this resort for sure. We’d happily stay here on a holiday and definitely recommend it.

Pros:

– Excellent facilities

– Small and easy to navigate

– Clean rooms with really family-friendly layouts

– Well-trained staff (except for a few that couldn’t speak very much English and consistently got orders wrong)

– Lots if kids activities

– Wide choice of restaurants

– Choices of all-inclusive or not

Cons: 

– Really loud (bad) music by the pool

– Food (some great, some not great at all)

– Drain smell in the bathrooms (this is pretty normal in Tanjung Benoa)

– Internet was horribly slow (this mostly bothered me bacause I wanted to watch the England World Cup match and had to have my husband whatsapp me updates instead)

 

Try Something New at the Kids Summer Holiday Camp at Novotel Lombok

Try Something New at the Kids Summer Holiday Camp at Novotel Lombok

Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas

Lombok, Bali’s closest neighbor to the east, is best known for the ‘Gilis’, the three islands off of the northwest coast, but stay on the mainland and it’s a different world. Kuta Lombok bares little resemblance to Kuta Bali, as it is still a small coastal town with gorgeous stretches of white sand and glistening blue water. Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas opened their doors in 1997 and remains one of the only major resorts in the area. This means plenty of space, sea breezes and quiet you rarely find in Bali these days.

Starting this year, Novotel Lombok and Rinjani Indah School will be running a Summer Holiday Camp for kids aged 4-12 years old. If you’re looking for a place to relax and explore, but also have the kids entertained and stimulated, this could be the perfect place.

Summer Holiday Camp Fun at Novotel Lombok

The Summer Holiday Camp will run Monday – Friday with a half day on Saturdays from the 18th of June – 27th of July 2018. The program will be held on the grounds of the Novotel Lombok but will be fully supervised by qualified teachers from Rinjani Indah School.

Kids will be stimulated with fun learning activities both inside and outside, games, water play, sports, arts and crafts and plenty more. Kids will get a healthy and delicious lunch (full day) to keep their energy up for all the exciting things they’ll be doing during the day.

Fees are paid on a half or full day basis, Rp200,000 and Rp350,000 respectively. This means you can enjoy the summer camp whenever for a few days or the whole month. However, spaces are limited so get in touch with Novotel Lombok as soon as possible by email or phone +62 (0)370 6153 333 to reserve your spot.

Why Choose a Villa in Bali for Your Family Holiday?

Why Choose a Villa in Bali for Your Family Holiday?

You’ve been saving for the perfect family trip to Bali and want your villa in Bali everything to be just right, so making the right choice when booking your villa in Bali can be daunting. You’ve seen pictures of fabulous luxury villas, but how do you make sure you make the right choice and get exactly what you see in the pictures? And how do you choose from all the villa options out there?

Elite Havens is here to help with their professional villa specialists who will get you exactly what you want for your Bali holiday. Whether you’re looking for bunk beds, kids playrooms, a shallow pool or any other family-friendly facilities, they will make a personalized selection just for your family.

Why Choose a Private Villa in Bali?

You may think a resort is the only way to go, but the option of a private villa is great for a family. Think about having your own space, with no worry about disturbing other guests. Little kids can nap in their own room while you’re enjoying the pool or reading a book in the sun. And bedtime doesn’t mean you being stuck in the room, giving you some adult time in the evenings.

Your main concern is most likely finding somewhere your kids can have space to play and splash in the pool safely…and you can still relax and enjoy your holiday. Book the right villa and you can enjoy this freedom without worry. This is where Elite Havens comes in.

What Elite Havens Offers

 

Elite Havens is the premier luxury villa rental company in Bali and are the official owner representatives for all the villas they offer. All villas are short-term rental properties and each one is staffed with managers, butlers, and cooks. You won’t have to worry about a thing, as your personal concierge will arrange everything from transportation, kids items, activities, island tours and nannies for your whole trip or if you just want an evening out.

Many of the villas are already set up for families with baby cots, high chairs, a good supply of DVDs, books, games and pool toys. Elite Havens can also arrange for a pool fence to be installed for your arrival and will make sure any children’s items you need which are not included in the villa are ready for you (at extra cost). You can read more about renting baby and child equipment here: Children’s Hire Items

But Won’t My Kids Get Bored?

 

Some parents worry that without a kids club or other kids around their kids will get bored. Kids clubs are great, and might be the right choice for you, but usually a villa’s new environment and private pool are more than enough to keep little ones entertained.

Older kids will love having their own space and independence in beautiful surroundings. If you have pre-teens or teenagers, Elite Havens’ Instagram worthy properties make the perfect backdrop for holiday photos.

Picking the Right Villa for Your Family

All of Elite Havens’ villas are stunning, but some of the villas have kids rooms, bunk beds, media rooms and other features that might suit your family. Your kids will never forget how special their stay was in a villa that welcomes them to feel at home and have fun.

If you’d like to find out more about the most family-friendly villas Elite Havens has to offer follow this link: Bali Family Villas

All images in this article are property of Elite Havens villas. 

Discovering Maya Sanur with Kids

Discovering Maya Sanur with Kids

Maya hotels might be better known for their long-established Ubud resort, but their Sanur location should definitely be on your radar as well. This architectural masterpiece is probably the most unique hotel in Sanur and thanks to the management there, we got to check out how the interior matches up to its fabulous exterior.

 Getting to the Resort

& Checking In

  Sanur is a seaside town around 30 minutes from Bali’s international airport. It’s a more laid-back, ex-pat kind of vibe than Kuta and Legian, and has white sand beaches for miles. Here at Bali Kids Guide, we love Sanur for loads of reasons, but especially because it’s really easy to get around on foot and its nice and family-friendly. Maya Sanur stretches from Sanur’s main street Jalan Danau Tamblingan all the way down to the beach. From the outside it looks incredibly impressive with its sloping grass-covered roofs and stone walls. However, I would never have guessed what lies behind the trendy looking restaurants at the front if I didn’t know it was a hotel. When we arrived we were shown to the lobby, where an amazing art installation, modern furniture and a mad mix of building materials all meld together into a pretty amazing sight. The lobby was extremely quiet and I was a bit worried that I was in for a weekend of shushing, but no one seemed to mind Marlow shooting his Hotwheels across the shiny floor. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived so we went straight to Reef Restaurant for lunch…more on that later.

Our Room

  We stayed in a Deluxe Garden View Room, which was on the 3rd floor close to reception. The room was plenty big enough for all 4 of us, and has a nice little day bed that was made up for Lola (10). Marlow (5) still sneaks into our bed, so he usually sleeps in the big bed with my husband and I when we stay in hotels. At some point we’ll have to reconfigure, but for now it works out perfectly. The room had a nice mix of modern and Asian antique-style decor. We loved the Chinese dog/dragons by the bath with lights in them. The mix of old, new, textures, wood, stone and textiles seems like it would be all wrong, but somehow it works perfectly. It ends up being somewhere between super-sleek and easily lived in. The bathroom is fitted with a huge bathtub, a shower with a stone seat in it, which the kids loved, and double sinks. There were all the amenities we needed and fluffy towels and stylish robes (kids and adult sizes) that the kids took to swanning around the hotel in. They are getting a little too comfortable in hotel life I think! There is a nice selection of tea and coffee and much to my surprise, a very reasonably-priced mini bar. Rp15,000 for a Coke or Rp35,000 for a can of Bintang isn’t the same price as the shop next door, but it’s much less than we’ve seen at other hotels. I like when I don’t feel like I’m being bled dry by a hotel. There are other rooms to choose from as well – most noticeably the Deluxe Lagoon Access with fantastic little daybed/pods on their balconies next to the pool that runs down the centre of the hotel. Deluxe Lagoon View Rooms are above these, and there are also Beachfront Pool Suites. If I had to say anything negative at all about our room, I would say the garden view isn’t really a view at all. We didn’t spend much time at all in our room, so it wasn’t a problem at all, but if we were staying longer it would probably be nice to have a view.

The Hotel Grounds

The Maya Sanur is not a huge sprawling resort. In fact it is on quite a narrow strip of land running from street to beach, but somehow it seems huge. There is something about the different levels and styles of landscaping and building that make the hotel really interesting to walk through. It’s like lots of different concepts under one roof with very 3 different restaurants, 2 pools and the lagoon, Tree Bar right on the beach and the spa and wellness area. There isn’t really a centerpiece at the Maya like you might find at larger resorts, but every area has its own personality and atmosphere. Saying this, the whole resort is very chilled out and there is a lot of reading by the pool, floating in the pool and sipping cocktails on daybeds by the pool going on. One of our very favorite things about the resort was the rooftop garden. It’s pretty amazing to be able to walk down the roof of the hotel you’re staying in. And even better to roll your stuffed animal down it (kids and parents enjoyed this). The views are gorgeous and it gives you a whole different perspective on Sanur.

Outside the Hotel

Sanur is relatively small compared to Kuta or Seminyak. It’s really easy to get around on foot, by bicycle or even bemo (local trasnport vans). There are also taxis around pretty much all the time. The main street and the beach pathway run parallel to each other and both have lots of restaurants, cafes, shops and market stalls along them. If you’re a huge shopper Sanur might not be for you, but for casual browsers it’s great. Sanur is also easy when it comes to super markets, pharmacies, money changers and other necessities. The beach is literally a few steps from the hotel grounds down a few stairs. It’s not the widest part of the beach, but it’s quiet and the waves are very calm. It’s ideal for small kids because the reef that protects the beach here and keeps it warm and shallow. My kids will play for hours on Sanur beach, and I have no worries about them running back and forth to the water to fill their buckets. Sunrise is also spectacular in Sanur as it faces to the east. I wasn’t up for sunrise when we stayed but luckily my husband loves to get up early and take photographs.

Eating

  We started our stay at Maya Sanur with lunch at Reef Restaurant. This is a lovely setting at the front of the hotel with indoor and semi-outdoor tables set over the pool that runs alongside the restaurant. The style is very relaxed and like a upscale cafe. I was surprised to find they also have a great kids menu with colouring pages and even a free scoop of ice cream when you finish colouring! You can’t go wrong with keeping the kids busy and free ice cream can you? Happy Hour starts at 5 at Tree Bar on the beachfront, and I took full advantage of the 50% off cocktails. They were delicious but not so strong so I actually managed to try 4 different ones. There are also virgin cocktails for the kids and delicious cassava chips and peanuts for the table. After a late lunch and snacks at happy hour, we weren’t too worried about dinner…so on to breakfast. A buffet breakfast is served at Reef or you can also choose a la carte at Graze at the front of the hotel. The kids always go for the buffet option, so we went back to Reef. At this point after a day of great service and excellent food I expected nothing less than an amazing breakfast, and it definitely delivered. Everything was fresh, beautifully laid out and there was tons of choice. It’s not the mammoth buffet you get at some resorts, but the quality was definitely better than pretty much anywhere else we’ve been.

Spa at Maya

If there is one thing Lola and I love to do together it’s getting a spa treatment. This is one of the few times we can get away from Marlow and just have some girly time together…even if we both fall asleep. The Spa at Maya was a beautiful place to chill out and have a relaxing massage and they were wonderful with Lola, who is pretty tickly. The rooms are simple but bright and have big baths, a private toilet, changing area and shower. We got to choose our oils, and Lola somehow managed to get it up her nose as you can see in the picture. We had Balinese massages, which is a light massage with long flowing strokes. This is a great massage if you just want to relax and not be pummelled to hard. If you want something a little more specific to particular aches and pains, it’s probably best to try something else. I can imagine getting this massage before bed would be amazing as well! Spa at Maya also does beauty treatments like manicures, pedicures and facials. I can only imagine they are as high quality as the massage.

My Roundup of the Maya Sanur

I’m not sure how much more great stuff I can say about the Maya Sanur without sounding over-the-top, but we really did 100% love this hotel. Even without a kids club I felt so incredibly relaxed I really wished we were staying longer. The staff we incredibly professional and lovely with it, the food was great, rooms were cozy and the outdoor areas are stunning. Sanur is one of my favorite places in Bali because it’s so laid back and a little old school, so the location of the hotel was also 5* for me. I understand other families might want more shopping, excitement and screaming in the pool, but I think it’s nice to have a little downtime as well. We’re happy with a day bed by the pool, good cocktails and a beautiful view. And Maya Sanur ticks all those boxes. Find out more about Maya Sanur

Tijili Benoa

Tijili Benoa

I came across Tijili Benoa on Instagram and thought immediately that it looked really cool and funky. I’m constantly searching for new hotels in Bali that might be interesting to families and this one seemed to fit the bill. So why haven’t I ever heard of it? you may ask. Well, I wondered the same thing, so I did what any self-respecting blogger mum would do…I took the whole family to check it out!

Getting to the Resort

& Checking In

 

Tijili Benoa is located just above Nusa Dua on the Bukit peninsula around 30 minutes drive from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. The overwater toll road that runs from the airport to Tanjung Benoa has made this area easily accessible and faster to get to Kuta, Seminyak and other places for day trip. We drove from Ubud on a Friday afternoon, which was pretty smooth sailing thanks to the toll road.

We checked in at around 3pm and had a quick look around. Our first impressions were that it was a really cool little hotel. The lobby is really bright and funky and there are tons of cool design touches. We loved all the green walls and cool characters decorating the building and public spaces. Once we’d had a peek at everything we were roasting and headed for the pool to cool off.

Our Rooms

There are 270 rooms at the Tijili Benoa, which seems like a lot, but somehow it feels like a much smaller hotel. We had Interconnecting Deluxe Courtyard rooms perfect for our family of 4. You could even get a 3rd child in with no problem.

The rooms are bright and have lots of interior touches like the wall art, colourful tabletops and chairs. The galss doors of these ground floor rooms open out onto the hotel courtyard where there is a small playground. This was nice for the kids to be able to run outside a little while I was on my laptop.

The rooms were clean, but there is a little wear and tear on them. I noticed some holes in the curtains and a bit of mould. It didn’t smell mouldy in the room at all, but I think the curtains must be a little damp from the condensation on the large windows.

I was impressed with the quality of the amenities and also that the soap and shampoo in the showers are refillable. It’s one of my pet peeves when hotels don’t use refillable bottles, so this was really nice to see.

The Layout of the Resort

Tijili has rooms on multiple levels around a main courtyard. There is a large pool in the courtyard surrounded by grass and palm trees and a kids water play area at the side. Ground floor poolside rooms are available and there are chairs outside so you could watch the kids from outside your room.

The 2nd pool is on the 6th floor next to the gym and spa. It’s a beautiful spot but there are only a few chairs and one beanbag so it’s really better for couples or singles. There is a bar on the roof as well so an evening swim with a cold drink would be really lovely.

Tijili Benoa has two restaurant, Kakatua on the ground floor looking out to the courtyard, and Bamboo Restaurant on the beachfront. Kakatua is really stylish and modern where Bamboo is much more natural and beachy. I really liked the look of both restaurants and the kids loved all the big wall paintings of birds and bright coloured furniture.

Kids Facilities

Apart from the kids water play area there is also a kids club. The hotel recently moved it from the ground floor by the little playground to the 3rd floor above the lobby. It would have been nice to have the outside play area attached, but my kids really liked it anyway.

The room is really nice and bright with plenty of colourful toys, kids beanbags and a tv for watching cartoons and movies. We were really impressed with the quality of the toys and books and also the cleanliness of the kids club. Sometimes at bigger resorts things can be a bit rough around the edges, but this was pristine!

There was only one staff member but she was full of energy and all the kids seemed to immediately take to her. She really played with them and seemed like she was having fun.

My daughter Lola is 10 so doesn’t last long in kids clubs, but she was happy to be there for half an hour or so at a time. Marlow is 5 and would have stayed there all day playing lego and watching cartoons.

Eating

We only stayed one night but somehow we managed to fit in a number of meals. We arrived hungry and had a chicken burger with french fries by the pool, which went down a treat. Everything was really fresh and tasty and a pretty good size as well.

At night we went down to the beach for their Friday night BBQ. An acoustic band was playing and the atmosphere was really nice. Eating on the beach is also awesome when your kids don’t want to sit down and eat, or decide to spill everything. The selection was pork or chicken satay, pork ribs, or fish, which pretty much covered what everyone eats. The side dishes were a mix of salad, indonesian style noodles and rice. Dessert was a mix of fruit and Indonesian sweets that always go down well with the little ones.

The only thing I would say about the bbq was that we had to send fish back because it was pretty raw and I questioned the cook on some of the chicken. We all ate and were 100% fine, but it’s something to watch out for (wherever you are).

Breakfast was served at Bamboo Restaurant as well, although large groups are served in Kakatua. This is really nice because fighting tour groups for food is not fun first thing in the morning. The selection of fruit, cereal, toast, pasteries etc. was really good, and waffles, pancakes and eggs were cooked to order. The kids got waffles which were the best we’ve ever had in Bali!

 

A Roundup of Tijili Benoa

 

It can be difficult after only one night to make a judgement about a hotel, but in this case I think we got a pretty good feel for our accommodation. Tijili is definitely modern and funky, has great outdoor spaces, comfortable rooms and lovely staff. We loved the pools and the beachfront, and were really happy with the size of our rooms.

I think the atmosphere is the point that people might either love or hate. Some guests might love the quietness and the fact that there aren’t a million families around the pool, but others might say that hanging out with other families and finding new friends is the best part of the holiday. The majority of guests are Chinese and Indonesians, so the hotel is quiet during the day while groups are out on tours. We loved this, and if you’re going to be out a lot this is the perfect spot. If you plan to stay, eat and play inside your resort Tijili is probably not for you.

I think we’ll probably visit Tijili again for short breaks and would love to also check out the Seminyak property. For a great base, or if you just want a few days to chill, it’s a fantastic value-for-money hotel.

If you have any questions about Tijili Benoa, leave us a comment or get in touch on Facebook or Instagram

You can also check out the Tijili website for special offers and more info