The Movenpick Jimbaran opened in January 2017 and has been getting some pretty top notch reviews. We went for a weekend to see what it has to offer and find out how family friendly the resort really is.
Getting to the Resort & Checking In
The Mövenpick Resort Jimbaran is located just on the south side of Jimbaran’s main strip, on the very start of the road that leads to Uluwatu. This means it’s a really quick 15 minute drive from the airport, or around 30 minutes (with the allowance for a bit of traffic) to Kuta. We drove from Ubud and it was an incredibly quick 1 hour, but it was a public holiday, so I think we were just really lucky. Normally it would be more like 1.5 hours.
Checking in was also really easy, although the lobby can be busy, the staff were really friendly and efficient. The kids also got really cute Mövenpick stuffed turtles, so even on check in they already felt spoiled.
The view from the lobby was gorgeous! This is only a small section of the pool, but once we has a peek at the design and the look of the grounds and the floating beanbags, we were ready to get in our swimmers!
I thought we were booked into a Family Room, but I found they were all booked up so we got ground floor poolside rooms that were interconnected instead. This was a big treat for us and the kids, and they loved having their own space where they felt really special.
The rooms are really spacious at 34sqm and with two rooms, the openness of the glass bathrooms, and the sliding doors out to a little seating area, the space felt giant.
The thing that really made me fall in love with this setup was the little touches for the kids. There were towel animals on their beds, rubber duckies and kids Johnson’s amenities in the bathroom, and even kid sized bath robes and slippers. Even the sink is lower in the bathroom so they don’t have to struggle to reach the taps. The designers had obviously put plenty of thought into what families need when they stay in a hotel, and this isn’t something you find at every family friendly resort.
As for the ‘adult’ room, the bed was enormous and super-comfy, we got a lovely welcome basket of fruit and the bathroom was clean, spacious and well stocked with everything we needed amenity-wise. We never closed the connecting doors because our 4-year-old son isn’t really used to closed doors, but there was enough space that we could definitely chill in the evenings without waking them up. It’s also great that you can sit outside and have a drink without walking past sleeping kids.
The only thing I would say about these rooms is that you feel a little exposed because they are so close to the pool. My whole family basically wanders around in my undies whenever possible, so the curtains had to be closed a lot of the time. If you are used to wearing clothes this is no problem obviously 😉
I did get a chance to take some photos of the Junior Suite, which is also suitable for a family of 4. This room has a King bed with 1 sofa bed, 1 sofa and a cot also fits easily. The views from the balcony were lovely and the bathroom had plenty of space for a family.
The resort is really conveniently attached to a small shopping arcade called Samasta. It’s hard to tell where the resort ends and the arcade begins as some rooms and the rooftop bar are actually above shops and restaurants. However, once you’re in the resort it still feels very much like a separate entity and not totally open to non-guests in the arcade.
The pool is really made up of a number of separate areas that stretch across the whole of the resort. Starting from outside the kids club and gym there is a shallow kids water play area and playground, next to a deeper pool with lots of shady seating areas and a open wooden roof over the top. Connected by a small channel is a pool with a sandy bottom and small beach area and the pool bar. Cross another channel and you’re in yet another pool with the mini waterpark at the far end. Cabanas, deckchairs and beanbags surround all the pools. We also loved the above water nets that you could hang out in.
There is also a small gym next to the kids club, a ping-pong table in a covered area by the pool and 2 restaurants, which I’ll write more about in the food section.
The kids facilities at Mövenpick Jimbaran were some of the best we’ve seen in all of Bali. When the kids walked into Meera Kids Club they immediately wanted to explore everything. The nautical theme, with a huge ship facade is really impressive it’s nice that the gaming area, indoor playground and movie room are all separated. There are also spaces for crafts, board games and extras like dance classes.
There is a limit of 4 hours a day for kids being left in the kids club, although paid activities like crafts, treasure hunts and pool parties aren’t included in this time. The 4 hours can also be spread out through the day, they don’t have to be 4 consecutive hours.
One of the most unique spaces in the kids club is the restaurant area that is designed just for kids. It’s in between the kids club and Anarasa restaurant and is a godsend for parents who want a little time to eat together. The only downside to this is there are very few tables for 2 in the restaurant, so you might be across a crowded buffett restaurant or even outside, so your kids can’t necessarily see you. There are staff and you have to sign the kids in, but I found we wanted to keep checking on them to make sure they were eating etc.
Outside the the kids club is a kids water play area with sprinklers, shallow water and places to run in and out of the water. There is also a nice non-slip play area where the kids can climb, slide and run around without the worry that they’ll break their necks running dripping wet. There are also beanbags around this area so parents can watch the kids while they play.
Our son can’t swim yet, so the mini water park wasn’t his favorite, but there were tons of kids playing there and our daughter loved the slides. There are chairs and cabanas around this area as well so you can watch the kids playing. There are also lifeguards on duty all around the pools from 8am until 8pm.
Eating in and Around the Resort
There is one main restaurant and 2 restaurant/bars within the Movenpick Jimbaran (as well as a cafe outside the resort and a lobby lounge). Anarasa is a huge indoor/outdoor restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel where breakfast is served. And when it comes to a hotel breakfast buffet this one is seriously impressive. I felt like the healthy selections at The Movenpick Jimbaran were way more plentiful than many resorts we’ve stayed at, and the quality of the food was really high.
There was a very European feel, with grainy Swiss breads, fabulous pastries and a wonderful selection of juices, yogurts, muesli, and nuts and seeds. Of course there was also the usual eggs, pancakes, sausages, bacon, waffles and all the great chocolate sauces, whipped cream, sprinkles…all the stuff the kids love because they don’t get it often at home. The kids area also had (very popular) waffles on sticks, fruit kebabs, donuts and a selection of kid-friendly breakfasts.
Anarasa serves lunch and dinner too, but you also have the choice of JeJaLa pool bar and grill, Above Eleven Bali rooftop bar and restaurant, Movenpick Cafe in Samasta shopping centre and Katha Lounge and Library for afternoon tea or drinks.
We had drinks at JeJaLa one evening and at Above Eleven the next. Both served up nice strong cocktails, beer at a good price and kids juices, smoothies and soft drinks. We thought Above Eleven might be a bit fancy for the kids, but in fact there were lots of other families up there admiring the view.
The food wasn’t cheap, but the setting is gorgeous, so it was really worth going up for a while. If I were to go again it would probably be for a nice meal for 2 though.
Yet another excellent thing about the resort is the fact that there are lots of restaurants, cafes and a small supermarket right outside the hotel in Samasta shopping centre. We ate at BaseBase, which was great Indonesian food and really cheap, and had treats at Gaya Gelato and Pat Bing Soo, a Korean dessert that is now our new favorite. There is also a fish restauarant, Wahaha Ribs, and a few other cafes and bars. I also noticed an Italian restaurant across the road.
Jimbaran Bay, which is famous for its seafood on the beach, is just a few minutes away (there’s a hotel shuttle) and the Four Season’s famous Sundara pool club and restaurant is just a 5 minute walk down the road. So basically, there is tons of choice in the area.
While at the resort my daughter and I did a yoga class in the morning (Rp175,000++ per person). It was a nice way to start the morning, and as we both practice yoga, our teacher Puspa did a nice strong practice with us. The class was at 8am so it did start to get a bit noisy around the pool about half way through, but apart from that was great.
We also did a Balinese cooking class (Rp240,000++ per person) with Chef Komang where we made our own satay, sambal and tum (meat and spices cooked in banana leaves), urap (veggies and coconut spices), and then got to eat it all for lunch. Even though we live in Bali and make this kind of food often, it was still fun and the kids loved it.
The one thing we were a bit disappointed by was the Chocolate Hour in the lobby, which is every day from 4-5pm. It was pretty underwhelming and the kids ended up grabbing a couple of chocolate buttons and heading back to the pool.
Our Overall View of The Movenpick Jimbaran
We were really excited to stay at the Movenpick knowing what we had lined up and we weren’t disappointed in the slightest. In fact the resort was far beyond my expectation in just about every respect. The family-friendly atmosphere didn’t dull the style or class of the resort, and the staff were eager to help, friendly without being over-the-top, and the area is much closer and more connected to plenty of entertainment, food, shopping and the beach than you might think.
The only thing we heard a few people complaining about was the lack of sun loungers and seating around the pool in general. A lot of people get their towels before breakfast and leave them on chairs so they are full by 9am. However, the management has been in touch and let me know that they have already bought more chairs and are adding them around the pool area. Overall, it was a fabulous stay and value-for-money-wise you really can’t go wrong!
Take a look at the resort and find great deals on their WEBSITE