Padma Ubud: A Bali Kids Guide Review

Padma Ubud: A Bali Kids Guide Review

The Padma Ubud may not get quite as much hype as its Legian sister, but this post might just sway you towards splitting your time between the two locations. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to heading further north than we live during of one of the rainiest weeks I’ve ever experienced in Bali, but I packed up the kids and my husband and headed out. The moment we arrived at the resort I was hooked and will tell you all about why.

Padma Ubud Pool Bali Kids Guide

Getting There and Checking In

The Padma Ubud is actually in Payangan, which is on the way to the central mountains of Bali and Kintamani. It’s about 40 minutes from Central Ubud and a good 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the Kuta/Legian area. I promise the drive is worth it though, as the scenery is beautiful and once you arrive at the resort you’ll understand why they chose a location so far from everywhere.

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The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and we got delicious lemongrass tea and apple juice for the kids, as well as warm towels. When we arrived I was surprised by how Balinese the buildings were in style. I definitely expected something a little more slick and modern, but the Balinese feel was beautifully tied in with modern wall features, a decorative tiled floor and fish ponds teeming with coy (always a hit with the kids).

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The Room

The Padma’s 149 rooms are arranged on 3 floors with views either of the gardens and jungle or over the swimming pool and river valley from the suites.

We were on the ground floor in a Premier Room, which had one king and one single bed. The room was a great size and with the sliding doors that could close off the huge bathroom it seemed even more open. A small terrace looking out into the gardens and jungle beyond was also a lovely feature making the room nice and bright.

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The bathroom was immaculate and had a large tub, glassed in shower and huge sink area. There was also a dressing area with a separate door, which again was a favorite feature for the kids as they could sneak up on whoever was in the bathroom. The size of the bathroom and the openness of the room meant we could all fit in and that the kids could have a bath while we were relaxing in the room or on the terrace without the worry of not being able to see them.

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Padma Ubud terrace bali kids guide

The Facilities

The rooms are beautiful at the Padma Ubud, but the real star of the show is the 89 metre long infinity pool. Yes…89 metres! It’s also heated, has a fabulous pool bar, a kids pool with a waterfall, a hidden pool with a waterfall below the main pool and a jacuzzi. The views are nothing short of breathtaking and the photo opportunities endless.

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Padma Ubud pool morning bali kids guide

Even when the skies were grey or it was getting cooler in the evening, it was deliciously warm in the pool. Getting out was chilly but luckily there is a fire pit to warm up next to in the evening. And it does get chilly at the resort in rainy season especially. We didn’t use the air conditioning in the room and outside wore jumpers when we were having dinner.

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Padma Ubud fire pit bali kids guide

Apart from the pool there is also a good gym with a male and female saunas and steam rooms and a spa that we checked out but didn’t have a treatment in this time. It was a wonderful grotto-like space that opened into bright airy rooms and a relaxing lounge area.

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Kids Club

The kids were dying to get to Wolly Kids Club so it was our first stop after leaving our things in our room. It’s tucked away at the far end of the pool, just behind the kids pool. There were only 2 other kids in the club when we arrived, and with 3 staff members we had no worry about supervision. We signed the kids in and filled in a form about allergies, etc. This always makes me feel confident that the resort takes the safety and health of the kids seriously.

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Then it was straight into playing for them. There was a great selection of toys, books and crafts for all ages, as well as a Playstation and TV for movies in the evening. There was also a schedule of crafts, games and other activities, but as our kids were the only ones in the kids club all day Saturday, they followed it loosely and just sort-of played what the kids wanted to.

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Padma Ubud kids club crafts bali kids guide

I absolutely couldn’t fault the staff in the kids club. They were attentive and engaged with the kids the whole time and communicated really naturally with them, making sure that they weren’t bored or over tired. And there are even bunk beds in a room at the back of the kids club if anyone does get a little in need of a nap.

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Padma Ubud kids club staff bali kids guide

Eating in the Resort

We all look forward to a resort buffet breakfast right? I know my kids definitely do, and this was one of the best we’ve had. First of all the selection of food was incredible and the views from the 4th floor restaurant are even more outstanding.

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But seriously, there was everything from smoothies in cute little flip top bottles, pancakes, hash browns, 2 types of bacon and things like meatloaf and roasted chicken…for breakfast. I had bagel with smoked salmon, which is a very rare treat.

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Everyone knows it can get expensive to eat in resorts so I was prepared for seriously expensive food. Fortunately it really wasn’t as expensive as some resorts we’ve stayed at in south Bali and the portion sizes, especially kids meals, were very generous. We at in the room one night due to an event in the poolside restaurant, but ate there on the second night.

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We ate dinner in the resort twice and also had a few happy hour drinks (2 for 1 or 4 small bintangs for the price of 3). The kids got activity sheets and some colouring pencils and had their usual fish/chicken fingers and chips and we also had a mixed satay and pizza that were both delicious. Kids meals are around Rp75,000 and full meals from Rp100,000 for pizzas to Rp200,000 for flashier steaks etc.

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Another great thing about the resort is their afternoon tea. Starting from 2.30pm a selection of snacks, sandwiches, tea and coffee are served in the restaurant. It keeps the kids going a little longer so you don’t have to eat dinner too early.

The Resort Area

As you can see from the pictures, the Padma Ubud resort area is absolutely stunning. I thought one of the most beautiful things about it was the pathways that run about 1.5km around the resort. A winding pathway descends into the river valley so you can really see the Balinese jungle up close. Walking in the morning was lovely and there are even a couple of bamboo bales to sit in and rest or for yoga practice. We saw lots of beautiful butterflies, moths, birds and the sound of the cicadas in the evening was really wonderful.

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Padma Ubud gardens bali kids guide

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Paradise at The Padma Ubud

We weren’t surprised at how lovely the Padma was, but we were so impressed with the staff and personal service we received.There was a definite family-vibe about the employees of the resort and we even got to see one of the girls from the kids club get a fully-clothed dunking in the pool for her birthday. The care everyone showed with the kids and just being interested and friendly with us was above and beyond what we’ve experienced at many other hotels and resorts.

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I’m not sure how I would have felt about the stay if the rain had continued for the whole weekend, but I talked to other guests who said the rain and grey skies hadn’t really bothered them too much because the scenery was so lush and the pool was so warm.

You get a real feel of Bali at Padma Ubud that you don’t get when you stay in resorts in south Bali. The beauty of the scenery and the way the land has been used for getting close to nature has been extremely well designed and means you can really see a whole different side of Bali.

For travelers who want a bit of both scenes the Padma offers a Beach and Mountain package, which I would highly recommend!

Padma Ubud pool bar bali kids guide

To find out more about the Padma Resorts in Bali visit: www.padmahotels.com

It’s Halloween Everyday at Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak!

It’s Halloween Everyday at Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak!

We know it’s not quite Halloween yet, but having a couple of Halloween-loving kids and friends we thought a trip to Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak was an absolute must! They are booked solid now until Halloween (and are busy year round) so we celebrated a couple of weeks early!

The Basics

There are now 2 sessions at Frankensteins; the family session opening at 4.30pm and a later adult show for guests 14 years and up. This starts with drinks at Time Warp Lab bar just next door and get’s pretty rowdy I hear.

The family session keeps all the shows and language clean and isn’t too scary for smaller kids. We went with four kids 1, 4, 8 & 9 and none of them were scared at all. The only thing that bothered them a little was the special gory makeup, but they got used to it after they got up close and watched it being done.

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When you arrive at the Lab there is tons to see. You get a table and can sign up for face painting straight away. Normal face paint is Rp50,000 and the gory Hollywood makeup is Rp100,000. It’s a total bargain because the artists are seriously amazing!

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The Food

There was so much going on and so many things to look at, it took us ages to order food. The kids were all dying for drinks in the IV bags, so we got those first and they slurped down enough sugar to sink a ship. Luckily this helped them keep going until the shows were over.

All the adults had burgers, which all came with the nice touch of being stabbed through with knives. As if they weren’t dead enough…

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The kids menu was good too, with sliders, chicken nuggets, spaghetti and all the good things kids like to eat. All the kids meals also come with ice cream. The food isn’t the cheapest or the healthiest, but the portions were massive and everyone was happy and stuffed.

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The Entertainment

Around 5.30pm the Disney villains come out for a meet and greet and then do a cabaret show around 6.30. The kids loved this and were really excited to get photos with Maleficent, Cruella Deville and all the other villians. The dancers were great and really stayed in character; especially Maleficent who stood around giving everyone the evil eye.

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There is a bit of a lull after the show and the kids got a bit restless while the band played their first session. We all really wanted to see the Dancing Dead Thriller show though so we used all our sugar power to stay. Once the mummies (zombies/dead of some sort) started coming out and we took some photos with them, the kids were all hyped up again.

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What’s great is that kids at Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak can sit on the floor right in front of the stage and get up close to the dancers. The whole lab isn’t huge, so you can see the stage from anywhere, but it makes it really child friendly if they can feel like the show is really for them. The show was fantastic and the costumes, makeup and dancers are brilliant. You can see from the pictures they really get into their characters but at the same time they don’t try to terrify the kids.

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See Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak in our directory.

Roundup of Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak

Basically book the family session now if you have kids and like to have fun! It may not be ‘Bali’ at all, but we had a great time and it’s something really different. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it’s family fun and would be awesome for special occasions like Birthdays. My kids would love to go again and it’s definitely something I would be willing to do a second time as well. Book well in advance and make sure you let them know if you’re going for a special occasion. A must-do in Bali for sure!!

Also, if you have a bit of goth in you get yourself in the gift shop attached to the restaurant. Great for a look around and they have some really cool souvenirs too.

Find out more about Frankensteins Laboratory Seminyak or Book Now: http://www.frankensteins-laboratory.com/

You Can’t Get More Central than Four Points by Sheraton Kuta

You Can’t Get More Central than Four Points by Sheraton Kuta

Smack-bang in the middle of Kuta down a street where 2 cars can just about scrape by each other is the fantastic Four Points by Sheraton Kuta. We checked in for just one night to try out their fabulous new kids club!four-points-by-sheraton-kuta-review-bali-kids-guideThe hotel is modern and funky with lots of little touches like old suitcases in reception and wood and stone features that were really impressive. There were also Balinese style decor details like the carved frames around the lifts, coloured Balinese offering boxes on shelves and floor tiles made in East Bali. This mix of modern and Balinese really impressed us.

Our Room

We didn’t check in until around 8pm, and our son was already asleep, and we were all so tired it didn’t much matter where our room was, but when we looked outside on our balcony, we realized we had a fantastic spot. We could step off our terrace into the kids pool, which was really shallow, and the kids club was right on the other side of the pool!

The room was clean and comfortable with all the amenities we needed for a shower and a good nights’ sleep.

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The kids were straight in the pool in the morning after breakfast and were dying to get in the kids club, which usually opens at 10am but they had fogged for mosquitoes that morning so had to wait until 11am. Speaking of mosquitoes, there were quite a few, but we did have our patio doors open a lot.

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The Hotel Facilities

Unfortunately the rooftop pool was under renovation while we were there, but we still went up to check out Kuta from above. It’s pretty crazy to see all the hotels, bars and even family compounds crammed in down there. Because it’s so central in Kuta it wasn’t the quietest hotel we had ever stayed in, but we definitely weren’t expecting total silence. I can imagine when the rooftop pool and bar is open it’s an amazing hangout spot for kids and adults.

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The main lagoon pool was really lovely, had bridges to swim under, which the kids loved, and a small bar on the central island. There isn’t too much room for loungers, but it seemed like either everyone was either still in bed on Sunday morning or they had gone down to the beach to sunbathe. The jacuzzi in the central pool was lovely and relaxing as well.

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Food

Breakfast was served in The Eatery, a cafe overlooking the central swimming pool, and was a standard but tasty buffet breakfast. There was plenty of selection of cooked and cold foods, and the decor of the cafe was really trendy; like a cool cafe you might find in Seminyak. It was madness when we first got there because there was a large group eating, but when they cleared out if was really peaceful and the staff were chatty and sweet with the kids.

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There is also a small cafe in the lobby of the hotel with sandwiches, coffee and cakes. We didn’t have a chance to eat there, but the prices seemed good, and again it was a trendy little spot like a cafe you’d find somewhere in Seminyak.

Right out in front of the hotel is the Best Brew, their ‘urban beer garden’ that is great for people watching and enjoying the Kuta vibe. They specialize in bbq and have a 2 for 1 happy hour every afternoon. It was still buzzing when we arrived around 8pm, so a great place to hang out and socialize.

The Kids Club

Our stay was really centered around the new kids club, which is definitely the highlight of the hotel for families. The first thing we noticed was that of all it was large, airy and light, unlike some stuffy little kids clubs you find in Bali. It was obviously really well planned out and gave the kids tons of different areas to play in.

The Ikea-esque design is modern and fun with fantastic wall paintings, a raised (netted) climbing area with a slide into a ball pit, and nice wooden play shop and kitchen areas. The floor is covered in soft astroturf and padded material, so it’s nice and safe and soft.

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There were also creative stations for drawing and painting as well as puzzles and games for younger kids. A small rest area and nice clean toilets were also available within the kids club. When we were there no specific activities were happening, but there is a full schedule online you can take a look at. It includes pizza and sundae making and plenty of crafts, as well as Indonesian language intro classes, Balinese dance and Balinese costume photo sessions.

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The kids club is open 10am-5pm 7 days a week and takes kids from 3 to 12 years old. There was only one staff member there when we were there, and I did question this as I’ve never been to a kids club where there was less than 2 staff members at all times. However, she said there were more staff available if it became busier.

For older kids there were video games and plenty of kids movies if they just needed to chill for a while. My kids really didn’t want to leave and said it was one of the best kids clubs they’d been to.

See Four Points by Sheraton Bali in our directory.

Final Thought on Four Points by Sheraton Kuta

If you love the hustle and bustle of Kuta, want to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, the beach and plenty of nightlife you’ll love the location of Four Points by Sheraton Kuta. You can literally step out of a beautiful hotel and into the craziness of Kuta and then step back into the calm of the hotel to chill out. If you’re looking for an authentic Balinese experience, quiet streets and tropical scenery, this probably isn’t the spot for you.

We really enjoyed a night there and the kids would have stayed in the kids club forever. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and the hotel was luxurious but casual at the same time. All in all the prices are pretty great for what you get and I would definitely stay again.

Tanjung Benoa’s Grand Mirage Resort: A Bali Kids Guide Review

Tanjung Benoa’s Grand Mirage Resort: A Bali Kids Guide Review

The Grand Mirage is a resort we get lots of questions about. Is it too far from the hustle and bustle of Kuta & Legian? Are the all-inclusive packages worth the money? Is it dated or in need of upgrades? Well, my family and I (me, my husband and 2 kids, almost 4 and 8) went to stay for a weekend and are going to tell you all about it. Just as a side note, the resort’s brand new Family Wing is due to open very soon and I’ll add some details about that below.

Checking In & Our Room

I have to admit walking up the stairs to the lobby area of the Grand Mirage was a bit daunting. There were a lot of guests, drivers and staff, and it generally seemed a bit hectic. I think there was a wedding or large event about to happen as there were lots of people dressed to the nines, but the kids and I admired all the very fancy outfits while we waited to check in.

Once we were checked in, the kids were allowed to hop on the luggage trolley…the most exciting thing ever when you are a kid!

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We we shown up to our room, a Family Ocean View which was on the 3rd floor and had a fabulous view over the pool and out to the beach and ocean. The room wasn’t the most modern we’ve stayed in but it was comfortable with a huge super king bed and a single as well. The bathroom was small but clean and the amenities were nicely laid out. We did have a couple of small issues with the room, but they were fixed quickly when we said something about the problems.

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The balcony has 2 chairs and a small table and is really nice to hang out on in the morning if you wake up early or in the afternoon if the kids want a rest.

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The Resort

The Grand Mirage is extremely family friendly and has lots of things for little kids as well as tweens and teens. There were tons of Aussie, Indian and European families around the pool and on the beach when we went for a stroll around.

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There are lots of shady and grassy areas leading to the beach, which was clean and had tons of loungers. The actual water in Tanjung Benoa isn’t the cleanest because of all the jet skis, speed boats and also seaweed, but the resort area’s sand was spotlessly clean. There were people in the water, but it just wasn’t for us. We stuck to the pool.

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The pool is really the main focus of the outdoor area and is busy pretty much all day. We found on the first morning that a lot of people get their towels and claim their loungers before they have breakfast, so get out there quick to get a good spot…not that any spots are really bad.

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There is a basketball hoop, waterfall and bridge over the pool, all ages seemed to love. There are also nice shallow and (very) deep areas and a pool bar that was buzzing when we got there in the afternoon. It looks like all inclusive is a fabulous deal if you like your afternoon cocktails and beers!

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For the Kids

The kids headed straight for the little playground, which is really well situated close to the pool and the loungers so you can watch them and chill at the same time. There is also sand they can dig in that is much cooler than the hot sand on the beach. They went to check out the kids club and thought it was a bit small but it was colourful and cozy and the staff were very welcoming and the sign in/out process seemed legit.

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The next day they went back and spent some time playing computer games and doing puzzles but my daughter who is 8 got bored pretty quickly and wanted to get back in the pool where she had made some friends. On the last morning she did go for bracelet making which she really enjoyed.

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We also saw kids doing fruit carving and there are times scheduled for water aerobics, pool volleyball and beach soccer. Lots of kids were joining in and having a great time. The kids also found it really easy to make friends in the pool and kids clubs because there were tons of kids of all ages.

One thing we all loved was the games room which was brilliant when it got a bit drizzly on the second afternoon. There are pool tables, air hockey, ping pong, chess and video games. It was a great spot to wait out the rain and I beat my husband at pool as a bonus!

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Eating at the Resort

The main restaurant (Grand Cafe) where breakfast is served looks out to the pool and there are also 2 restaurants, Jukung Grill and La Cascata on the grassy area next to the beach spilling onto the beach.

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We didn’t try out the Bumbu Delhi or Chopsticks but they smelled great. We also watched from above while people had their dinner with a show on the Rama Stage in the central area of the hotel. It was the Kecak dance, which was great but definitely much more in an open air setting.

To be honest if you aren’t on an all inclusive package the food prices are extremely high. We weren’t willing to pay Rp145,000 for a pizza when there are many restaurants close by that are half the price. We did order room service one evening for the kids because we were too tired to go out, and found the quality and size of the portions was good. However, if we had eaten all our meals there we would have spent a small fortune.

Also be warned that the mini bar in room is very expensive: Rp40,000 for a large bottle of water which is no more than Rp8,000 in convenience stores.

Extras

Two of the fantastic extras we enjoyed were the Devdan Show in Nusa Dua and also Thalasso Spa.

I expected Devdan to be a bit cheesy but to be honest it was fabulous. The looks on the kids’ faces was a picture and they were absolutely rapt (until my son fell asleep, but it was late for him). I’ve written a whole post on the show because it was so great. Click here to read more about Devdan: DEVDAN SHOW REVIEW

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Thalasso is a seawater therapy that is said to be fantastic for circulation and your skin. Thalasso Bali Spa is the only one of its kind in Bali and I was lucky enough to try out an hour’s treatment in their therapy pool.

At first the water is very hot (like climbing into soup) but you soon get used to it. The hour basically consists of a therapist instructing you to move around the pool to the various jets that massage different parts of your body. Some jets were gentle and others were almost too strong. There were also some near bikini losing incidents due to jet power, so be warned to wear a nice snug swimsuit or bikini.

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I felt nice and relaxed after the treatment and after running that morning, my muscles felt really nice and massaged. This would be a fantastic therapy for people who don’t love to be touched and can’t really stand hands-on massages.

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The New Family Paradise Wing

Due to open in late 2016, this new complex will offer 77 family-friendly rooms and suites, an indoor and outdoor playground, pool, water slide, kids club and restaurants. The kids’ recreation area will have water slides, water geyser, water fountains and water cannons.

The indoor playing arena will be complete with trampolines, a ball pit with slides and a fireman’s pole. In addition to the indoor recreation area, a new Kids Club will have a great line up of daily activities, video games and relaxation areas. There will also be an additional 3 restaurants with comprehensive kids dining options.

We can’t wait to check this new wing out and will let you know as soon as it’s open.

The Grand Mirage: Our Conclusion

We really enjoyed the space and amount of things to do at the Grand Mirage. There were tons of families to socialize with and activities going on around the resort. The large grassy space and the beach were also perfect for playing and lounging. We didn’t make any real connections with any staff members, but everyone seemed very efficient and kept public spaces very well tended and tidy.

The cons of this resort would be the prices for food and drinks if you aren’t on an all inclusive package. About 75% of guests are on packages though, so for them it’s not a worry. It can also be quite noisy in the evenings if there is a dance performance or wedding going on, but nothing went too late into the night.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store with the Family Paradise and will definitely keep you posted on it!

Devdan Show: Learn About the Treasures of Indonesia

Under the same management as the Grand Mirage Resort, Nusa Dua Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in Bali. We went on the first night of our stay at the Grand Mirage to check out Devdan Show: Treasures of the Archipelago, a show about the wonders Indonesia has to offer. I have to admit after 10+ years living in Bali I was not expecting to enjoy what I assumed was a tourist spectacle, but I was excited to go to see a live show in an actual theatre setting. I was also really looking forward the my kids’ reactions to the show. The show starts with a couple of funny skits and with monkeys and tourists but soon gets into a full blown extravaganza of dance, amazing costumes, lighting and effects.

 

Starting with Bali there are spectacular scenes of Balinese ceremonies, a selection of dances and an amazing Kecak dance with fire and all.

Narrated by a young boy and girl, who also dance in the Devdan Show, the performance is very accessible to younger kids and my son (4) was asking all the time “where are the boy and girl now?”. They pull symbols from different parts of Indonesia out of a treasure chest, which leads to the next scenes.

There are some incredible aerial acrobatics and moments where your heart is in your throat with the feats they perform. There are also magic tricks scattered throughout the show, which the kids thought were amazing.

Devdan show covers Bali, Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua, with dances and costumes from each place. There are also some hip-hop fusion dances thrown in that my daughter (8) really loved.

 

My son fell asleep about an hour into Devdan Show as it had been a big day and that was around 8.30pm, but before that he was totally enthralled. My daughter talked about it all the way back to the hotel and seemed really hyped up by it. My husband, who is Balinese, and I were really impressed by the quality of the show and the dancers and said we would definitely be recommending it to visitors.

If you stay at the Grand Mirage or Samabe Villas & Suites you get a guest price, but there are also great deals on the show to be found with tour guides and on websites like Scoopon and Groupon. Even if you aren’t staying in the area, head down for dinner in Nusa Dua and see this show! You won’t regret it!!

To read our full review of the Grand Mirage Resort click here: GRAND MIRAGE REVIEW

Novotel Nusa Dua Review for You!

Novotel Nusa Dua Review for You!

In the last weekend of my mum’s visit to Bali we decided to get away and see a bit of the island away from our usual Ubud hangouts. Reviewing the Novotel Nusa Dua was the perfect opportunity for a relaxing last weekend, so off we went, myself, my mum and the kids (Lola 8 & Marlow 3), leaving behind my husband this time for a relaxing weekend of his own at home.

Our Room

We checked in on a Friday afternoon with the sun shining and a huge blue pool beckoning us in for a dip. Our room was a 2 bedroom suite, which we were all pretty pleased with. We really weren’t expecting such a massive living room and kitchen area or the balcony that ran the width of the room. The larger bedroom had a king bed and a large bathroom with a bath and glassed in shower and the smaller bedroom 2 single beds and a bathroom with shower just next door in the hallway. Both had flatscreen TVs, and large wardrobes and there was a safe in the larger bedroom that we easily fit 2 laptops in.

Take a Virtual Tour our Room:

I really liked the way the bedrooms were split by a hallway. It give both you and the kids a bit of privacy and independence (although in this case I was in with my son and my daughter slept in the smaller room with her grandmother).

There are lots of eco features that we loved like the a/c turns off if the balcony doors are open and the water is heated by harnessing the electricity from the a/c. However, the downside to this is that you have to run the water for up to 10 minutes for it to warm up. That’s a lot of wasted water in Bali where there is a ground water shortage.

The amenities were pretty good, with all the basics you need for showers and baths, but we did find there was never enough bottled water and no conditioner, which you definitely need after a day in the pool or sea. The resort also has 2 and 3 bedroom suites that have private swimming pools. Fabulous if you are a larger family or group traveling together.

The Resort

The resort is made up of blocks surrounding lovely courtyards that run around 3 sides of the central courtyard/pool/restaurant area. We were lucky to have an inward facing room with a beautiful view over the gardens and pool, but on the other side there would just be a view of the smaller inner courtyard.

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The pool is lovely with 2 levels and little islands that you can hang out around. There is plenty of shade and shallower areas for kids. There is also a kids paddling pool next to the kids club but it’s basically just for splashing in as there are no toys or play features.

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The pool is surrounded with loungers and sun beds. Some are covered and some aren’t so you can choose how much sun you want to get. Behind the pool is the main restaurant and to the side the bar where you can also eat.

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The Area

The Novotel is not a beachfront resort but runs a shuttle every 15 minutes to their beach club. The beach in Nusa Dua is definitely beautiful but unfortunately when we were there the tide was all the way in and the red flags were up so we couldn’t swim. We found that the beach club was also a little bare, with little to keep the kids entertained because the sand was so hot they couldn’t leave the shade of the umbrellas. We only stayed a few minutes and went back to the pool, but the late afternoon and evening are probably much more comfortable there.

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There is also a shuttle to Bali Collection for shopping and eating and to Bali Golf Club, which is just next door. Like most resorts in Nusa Dua, there are few places to walk to, so if you want to go anywhere you need a shuttle or driver.

Eating and Drinking

There are 4 food and drink options at the Novotel; The Square Restaurant, Blue Bar and Pause Cafe and then 2.28 Beach Club close by. The first evening we just moved from our loungers at the pool, where we had been enjoying swimming and 2 for 1 happy hour drinks, to the bar as everyone was hungry before it was really dinner time. The menu had a little of everything and the prices weren’t too bad at all. We had some pretty enormous hamburgers for Rp80,000 and the kids had a good selection on the menu as well. Chicken nuggets (Rp60,000) were handmade and really tasty and the chicken and vegetable soup was delicious and only about Rp45,000!

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Breakfast is a bit of a free-for-all. It’s a busy hotel with a lot of families so the buffet can get a bit overwhelming, but both days we chose a table by the pool where it was a bit quieter. novotel-nusa-dua-bali-kids-guide-8

The selection was good and the kids loved the heart-shaped waffles, fruit, and endless bacon and sausages. There was also a good Asian selection. The one thing that was a bit strange to me was there was a great bread selection, but you were only allowed to toast basic ready-cut squares in the toaster.

The second night we planned to go to the themed bbq (Rp245,000 per person/kids 0-4 free & 5-12 half price), but ended up ordering room service because we were all so tired from such a big day. Kids had pasta and said it was delish. We also grabbed dessert from Pause Cafe where they make all their own cakes and pastries and you can grab a coffee. The strawberry tart was yum!

Kids Activities

The first afternoon the kids were invited to join a cooking class held every Friday at 4pm. Marlow watched a bit but Lola was really excited and had a great time making sweet breads in the kitchen of Pause Cafe. They went in the kids club for a bit afterwards but it was a bit disorganized and they weren’t sure about it.

novotel-nusa-dua-bali-kids-guide-9 novotel-nusa-dua-bali-kids-guide-10 novotel-nusa-dua-bali-kids-guide-11 I was also a bit hesitant because there didn’t seem to be a solid registration and signing in and signing out process happening. There are 2 different levels (ages ranges) in the kids club but they don’t seem to separate them as far as I could see. I saw other parents also looking perplexed at the door, wondering how to sign their kids in. There are a lot of families there, nannies in and out and a number of staff, so it could get a bit hectic at times. The staff did seem great with the kids and knew everyone by name, I just wondered how easy it would be for a child to slip through the cracks.

novotel-nusa-dua-bali-kids-guide-12 One fabulous thing about the resort is the small playground behind the kids club. It was one of Marlow’s favorite things and he asked to play there again and again.

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Extras

We booked in for spa treatments at In Balance Spa, and this was one of the highlights of our stay. My mum had a bamboo massage while I went with the kids for their Prince and Princess treatments. This included a foot bath, massage with chocolate oil, a chocolate body scrub and chocolate ice cream served while they were in a huge jacuzzi bubble bath!

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I though Marlow wouldn’t stay still through the whole thing but he loved it! They felt truly spoiled and it was brilliant watching them enjoy it so much. You can also book kids in for hair braiding, nail treatments and other packages.

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Our Summary of Novotel Nusa Dua

The Novotel Nusa Dua is a great family resort with lots of kids around to make friends with and plenty to keep everyone busy. The food was good and drinks were really cheap during happy hours. The rooms and pool area were really lovely and there was plenty of sun and shade. For families who prefer being poolside to the beach I would definitely recommend the Novotel Nusa Dua, but if a great beach location is a priority it would not be ideal.

See Novotel Nusa Dua in our directory.