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We had a fantastic Bali family holiday in November 2017 and the best part was we celebrated my birthday and my sister in laws birthday too! I asked in our closed Facebook group if anyone would be interested in a trip report of our holiday and a big YES came back! So here is a day to day account of our Bali holiday with kids.
You can find more detailed reviews of our Bali holiday including:
- Padma Ubud Resort
- Sea Shanty Jimbaran
- Grand Mirage Resort
- Finns Recreation Club Canggu
- Sundays Beach Club
- Sunday Brunch at Prego Nusa Dua
- Bike tour with Ubud Cycling Bike
- Waterbom Bali
- Our Bali Nanny Berta
- Our Bali Driver Made
Monday 20th November
Whenever we have an international flight we have to leave home in the Western District of Victoria, Australia 6 hours before we are due to depart. We decided this Bali holiday to just get up early and do the drive rather than stay near Melbourne airport. This meant I was woken up at 3:30am by Charlotte telling us we were off to Bali!! Every thing went smoothly through the airport, I love the self service check-in with Jetstar and the bag drop makes it easy and no need to fold up the Mountain Buggy Nano we travel with for Mason. Dare I say it but Mason was not too bad going through the airport! You can find my tips and other Mum’s tips on travelling with kids on the autism spectrum here.
We were once again able to take our Mountain Buggy Nano on the plane with us, my one tip is to always have it folded up in its bag when boarding. We sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes waiting to take off which is always fun! The flight went pretty well, we made sure the iPads were charged and any apps that needed wifi were deleted. This definitely saves on any melt downs! Even though we left Melbourne late, we landed on time to a wet Bali. Immigration line was longish but we made our way to line 3, to the left of all the lines, for families and the elderly so we probably saved 30 minutes on lining up time. Bags only took 5 minutes to come out and then we were straight out to meet our drive Made.
We were driving to the Padma Ubud so knew we had a long drive ahead of us so stopped on the way to get a SIM card for our phones and money exchanged.
From the time that we walked off the plane and then made it to the Padma was 3 hours. The drive was beautiful especially once we reached near the Padma. The kids were very excited to go for a swim straight away and our nanny Berta was waiting for us at reception. So lovely to see her again and it’s always great to have someone look after the kids after a long flight while we unpack. You can find our full review of the Padma Ubud Here.
The Padma Ubud was so beautiful and our room was a great size for the 4 of us. After a quick unpack we all changed into our bathers and headed to the pool. As I finally got around to check my phone I learnt of the very sad news that my Aunty had passed away. She had been sick with cancer but was still devastating to read and at that moment I desperately missed my family and wanted to give my Dad a big hug. It was also the 6 year anniversary of my Mum’s death so after a quick cry into my cocktail, I picked myself up and went for a swim with the kids. I knew that both my Mum and Aunty would want me to enjoy my holiday so that is what I was determined to do.
The kids had a quick play in the kids club and then we ordered room service for them while Jed and I enjoyed dinner at Putu Restaurant. Food was delicious and the moijito hit the spot! When we arrived back to the room the kids were asleep and an early night for us all!
Tuesday 21st November
Mason’s waking at a reasonable time has never been his strong point and it was a 5am wakeup! Lucky I love to get up early in Bali and enjoy the beautiful sunrise. Breakfast was amazing at the Padma, so many options and the view from breakfast was spectacular. They even made the kids hot chocolates in take away coffee cups so there was no spills.
We had organised with Bisma Cottages in Ubud to be picked up by their driver Darma to show us around Ubud and take us to look at Bisma. He took us to Tegallalang Rice Terraces and to the car park north of the main tourist look out. There was hardly anyone around but Mason may have managed to grab a few things from the ladies trying to sell us stuff!! Gorgeous views and a great opportunity of a family photo. We then drove into Ubud and down Jl Bisma to Bisma Cottages. Such a lovely spot and the 2 family sized cottages would have been perfect for our family of 4. Love the great value of this place and the pool was perfect for a cool off for the kids.
Next we headed to the newly opened Milk and Madu for lunch. The decor and building was awesome and Mason decided the pot plants looked like they needed a water so proceeded to pee in them! The pizza and smoothies were perfect for the kids and the perfectly brewed coffee just what I needed! I next had to pick up a Hungry in Bali book that I had won from Watercress on Monkey Forest Road. One thing to note of Monkey Forest Road is that is only one way. To get the short distance to Watercress we needed to go down Jl Hanoman then do the loop around. As I knew we were going to have to do this I stopped into Coco Supermarket where Jl Hanoman and Jl Monkey Forest join. This is a large supermarket and great to load up on snacks and milks.
It started pouring with rain at this time so we decided to head back to the Padma to meet Jed’s sister and her family. They had 3 kids aged 18mths, 5 years and 8 years old. The kids were very excited to see each other as they had been travelling around Australia. Lauren nearly gave me a big kiss for having the nannies waiting for their arrival. Berta had brought her friend Monica to help look after their kids and she was awesome too!! We had a great afternoon in the pool and the kids loved popping in and out of the kids club.
I escaped to enjoy a massage at the spa which was about $60aud for a hour. Not cheap but just what I needed! Once again we ordered room service for all the kids in our room and they enjoyed a movie while us 4 adults ventured to Puhu Restaurant for dinner. While we enjoyed the food and a few cocktails our phones started going off with messages. The Agung volcano that had been simmering away had finally erupted! We weren’t too far from the volcano but had no idea anything had happened. The only thing to be done was order another cocktail! Once the kids had dinner and were ready for bed, Monica took the 3 cousins back to their room and our kids were asleep once again.
Wednesday 22nd November
Another early morning wake up from Mason so I decided to take the opportunity to test out the jogging track at the Padma. Amazing views and so quiet! After another fantastic breakfast I decided to try out the morning yoga class. I don’t regularly do yoga but found the class catered for all levels. The most gorgeous views from the yoga bale. We were planning to go to the Bali Treetops but after working out it would take us 1:45 minutes to get there we decided not to. I thought that staying north of Ubud and closer to the Treetops would have made it quicker but I didn’t factor in the driving time. You nearly have to go all the way back into Ubud then drive north.
So instead we spent the day exploring the resort at the Padma and so much to do! We relaxed in the gorgeous pool, ate yummy food then joined in with the kids on the tour of the animal garden. This was a lot of fun for the kids feeding the ducks and the rabbits. Back for lunch by the pool, more time in the kids club then Charlotte, Ava and I explored the lobby, gift shop and ended up joining in on the free afternoon tea at Puhu Restaurant. They don’t include lattes in the afternoon tea but will make one for a charge of about $5aud. The girls had also booked themselves in for a kids massage at the spa and loved it.
We decided to escape feeding time at the zoo (dinnertime for the kids) and went downstairs to the Padma lounge for a cocktail before another adults only dinner. Tonight was an Indonesian buffet and the food was amazing. There was also a Balinese performance after dinner which was lovely to enjoy without the kids running around.
Thursday 23rd November
Today we went on a bike tour with Ubud Cycling Bike. Was so much fun and you can read our full review of day here. The day consisted of leaving the Padma Ubud at 7:45am and arriving back at the Padma at 2:30pm. The activities that were included in the bike tour were visiting a school, checking out a coffee plantation, seeing Mt Batur, a bike ride through the country side, being invited into a family compound and finished with lunch just outside of Ubud.
After we got back from the ride, hubby and I booked in a couples massage while Berta looked after the kids. We then had quite a few cocktails at the pool bar and finished with an early dinner at Putu Restaurant for our last night at Padma Ubud.
Friday 24th November
After our latest fantastic breakfast at the Padma Ubud we went for a walk as a family down to the river on the jogging track. Was such a beautiful walk and the kids loved walking through the ‘jungle’. When we got back it was time to pack for the 11am transfer to Jimbaran. Once we were ready I went for a look at the 2 bedroom Club rooms and the medical facilities on site. I was very impressed with the space of the Club rooms and it was great to see that they had a nurse and doctor available if any guest was to get sick or injured.
We said farewell to the beautiful staff at the Padma Ubud and our driver picked us up for the trip down to Sea Shanty Villa in Jimbaran. We didn’t have a transfer included in our stay but Lauren’s family did. The drive took 1:45 so I made sure we had some pastries from breakfast with us in the van. Arriving at the Sea Shanty we were so happy with the space and the villa was gorgeous. It was only a short walk to the beach and I do love staying in villas so the first thing I did was unpack. You can check out our full review of our stay here.
Our nannies Berta and Monica arrived to help with the kids and Lina the live in maid ordered some pizza for lunch. After lunch Jed, Charlotte, Ava and I headed over to Sheraton Kuta to check out Play at Sheraton that I had previously organised. The Sheraton was extra central and right next to Beachwalk Mall so perfect if you want to do some shopping. I checked out the rooms and they were a good size with nice views over the garden and Kuta beach. Charlotte was desperate to get to the Lego store again so both girls bought a small Lego as they are probably a bit more expensive than Australia!
We finished off with icecream at XOXO and found the ATMs in the carpark to get some cash out. I usually use the Mandiri ATMs as I sometimes have problems with the my card working in the other sorts of ATMs. While we were in Kuta, Berta sent some photos of Mason playing at the Balinese kinder next to our villa. Takeaway Thai from Kat’s Kitchen was delicious for dinner.
Saturday 25th November
Today was my birthday! I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday in Bali so I was so happy to wake up in the beautiful villa. We made our way downstairs and the kids were straight into the pool while Lina made me a pot of brewed coffee. Breakfast was next and oh my goodness the porridge and everything was so good. I was so spoilt to be in such a lovely spot and Lina was looking after us so well. She organised us a driver to take us to Sundays Beach Club where we planned to spend the morning with the kids. I have writen up a full review of our day at Sundays and you can find it here. It took us 25 minutes to drive to Sundays from the Sea Shanty Jimbaran.
We left Sundays just after lunch as the kids were starting to get a bit tired! On arriving back to the villa we had organised for Berta and Monica to come and swim with the kids while us adults relaxed. I headed out for a massage at Green Massage on Jl Uluwatu not far from the villa. It was cheap but not ultra relaxing as the drums starting up in the bar next door! I then met Jed at La Brassiere restaurant just around the corner from the villa for birthday beers. This soon became our go to place near the villa.
We then headed back to the villa where us adults got ready to go out. We started with drinks at Above Eleven Bar at the Movenpick but unfortunatley the sunset wasn’t out that night. The cocktails were good but around Australian prices. We then got in a taxi to Cuca Restaurant where I had made a dinner reservation for us. We had been to Cuca back in 2016 for Jed’s birthday and we loved it. We were once again spoilt with yummy food and then we were lucky enough to be invited into the kitchen to meet the head chef Terry Chee.
Sunday 26th November
Woken to a beautiful Bali morning by Mason at 5:30am I decided it was a great time to go for a run along Jimbaran Beach. I loved how easy it was to get to the beach from the Sea Shanty Villa and sunrise is such a gorgeous time of the morning in Bali. It became apparent that not many planes were flying though as airlines were starting to cancel flights due to the volcano. They soon started flying though so all looked ok.
It was a quiet morning in the villa with the girls getting their hair braided by the girls at Green Massage Spa. It was perfect that they could come to the villa making it so much easier and Charlotte’s longer hair cost $30aud and Ava’s shorter hair $20aud. They did a fantastic job and saved me siting in a spa for a couple of hours while they had it done! During the time that the braiding was happening I headed out for a coffee at the Chocolate Café at Jimbaran Corner which was just a short walk from the villa.
We had a booking at Prego Restaurant at the Westin Hotel in Nusa Dua for their Sunday Brunch. It was a 20 minute drive across from the villa and easy traffic. We had so much fun at the Sunday Brunch and highly recommend it as the most kid friendly Sunday Brunch in Bali. The staff were so friendly and even stopped and clapped when the kids dropped anything! You can find our full review here of our day. I also had a look through one of the family rooms at the Westin Resort. We spent 3.5 hrs there and then headed to The Grand Mirage Resort in Tanjung Benoa.
We had been invited to stay at the Grand Mirage so we packed an overnight bag while Lauren’s family headed back to the Sea Shanty Villa. We were greeted by the manager and taken to the check in lounge where we tried to not let Mason destroy the room! Ahh the joys of travelling with kids but the welcome beer helped ;-)
We were then driven the short distance to the Grand Mirage Family Wing and the kids were very excited to see all the kids facilities. The room was perfect for our family and then it was bathers on and off to the water park. We were so impressed with all the kids activities and you can find the full review of our stay at the Grand Mirage here. One tip I do have is take mosquito repellent, we tried to have dinner at Cascata by the sea and we were eaten alive!
We went back to the room, put the kids to bed and I wentto the supermarket across the road to see what they had available. I couldn’t resist heading to Bumbu Bali to get some takeaway chicken satay skewers, always so yum! On arriving back to the room the news starting flooding through, there was ash on the ground at Bali airport so it was being closed! Hmm it was not ideal but nothing we could do about it. We weren’t due to fly out until Friday so we just had to wait and see what was going to happen. My major concern was the ash in the air for the kids and the hotel were nice enough to provide masks to be used.
Monday 27th November
The next morning we had an early breakfast and went to the main wing for a swim. After spending the morning trying out all the kids facilities we caught a taxi back to the Sea Shanty Villa in Jimbaran.
It was another birthday with Jed’s sister Lauren celebrating. We had a casual day lazing by the pool and then had Evermotion Photography come to take family photos. Wrangling kids for photos is always fun but the local Bali photographers Budi and Toris were amazingly patient!
After the fun/chaos of the photos we left our gorgeous nannies Berta and Monica to look after the kids for dinner and bath time as Lina had made a delicious dinner for them all. We took a taxi up the hill to Fat Chow Temple Hill and can highly recommend this place. Would be great with the kids too and the food plus drinks were so good!
Tuesday 28th November
I woke to news that there was probably more than likely ash in the tourist areas so made the decision not to go to Waterbom. Ahh so hard when you are the one organising everything but I just couldn’t be sure so didn’t want to risk it. Worked out well though as we enjoyed relaxing at the villa for the day.
I also went for a walk and had one of my favourite drinks at Noh by Pison Cafe, an avocado espresso. I know sounds so weird but is delicious! I had spotted this café next to the Movenpick Jimbaran and Pison Cafe in Jl Petititenget is one of my favourite cafes in Bali so had to try it out. There are so many restaurants, a supermarket and the House of Trap near the Movenpick that looked like fun with the kids!
I had a look around the Movenpick lobby then they were nice enough to show me through a Family Pool View room and pool area. Looked amazing with kids and I chatted to the manager about us maybe needing a place to stay if our flights were cancelled as the airport was still closed. I was impressed by the safety aspects of the loft room as you can see in the photos.
We were also shown around the amazing kids club and it had something for every age! It is open from 9am-8pm and kids aged 4-12 yrs are welcome to join in without an adult. Kids aged 3 yrs and under are welcome with a parent, outside nanny or you can hire a hotel nanny for 90,00rp/child/hour. If you would like to check the Movenpick out why not join in for Sunday brunch and the kids can access the kids club. Also the first 4 hrs per day are free and after that there is a cost of 65,000rp/child/hour.
After I arrived back and enjoyed a nap, us girls headed to the local Nails Department where we enjoyed a manicure and pedicure. A mani/pedi combi for Lauren and I was about $30aud and for the girls it cost $14aud. It was then time for a visit to the Chocolate café where the girls enjoyed a chocolate milkshake. Another quiet night with dinner at La Brassiere.
Wednesday 29th November
So I made the decision that the ash cloud had started shifting away from Kuta so much to the kids delight we headed to Waterbom waterpark in Kuta. We decided on buying tickets from an operator on the way to Waterbom and to be honest I think this was more expensive by $10 per family. Not by much but we should have just waited until the gate as the line up wasn’t long. Straight to book a gazebo which we always get each time we visit Waterbom. This was Charlotte’s 5th time and you can find all our tips on a day out at Waterbom here. We also had Berta and Monica come with us which always makes for a more relaxing day! The older kids really enjoyed it as the girls were so tall they could go on most rides.
We spent most of the day there and then headed back to Jimbaran. I was determined to get to Sundara Beach Club for a sunset cocktail but no one else was interested so off I went by myself! There wasn’t really a sunset and it was so strange seeing no planes flying in and out of the airport. The cocktails were delicious and it was happy hour so even better! Just as I was about to leave the first plane took off from the airport, the Bali airport was back open!
Thursday 30th November
We had been invited to enjoy a day out at Finn’s Recreation Club in Canggu so our family had organised our driver Made Mangku to take us for the day. You can find our full review of our day at Finns Bali here. As we turned down Batu Belig I quietly told Made that a stop would be needed at Watercress café so I could grab a coffee. Many groans were heard in the car but there is no stopping me and my morning coffee!!
We arrived at Finn’s, met Berta who was joining us for the day and got our pass for the day. Then much to the kids excitement were transferred to the Strike Bowling in a golf buggy. It’s not far, just across the road, but the kids loved the ride. We all measured our feet up, were allocated a lane and it was time to bowl. I loved that they provided the guided bowling for the younger kids making it something for the whole family. Mason’s attention span is never great so half way through the game we went downstairs to have a look at the Cubby House Kids Club and start his time at Bounce. The time for each session at Bounce starts on the hour so it’s probably worth coordinating that in with your day.
The kids loved Bounce! Coming from a small country town we don’t have a Bounce near us so they thought it was a lot of fun. They were quite hot after running around so it was a perfect time to head back over to Splash for a cool down. This was our second time at Splash and we always find it great with younger kids. It is a lot easier to keep an eye on them than at Waterbom and even though there is less slides it always seems to be a lot quieter so no waiting times. We ordered lunch and even though the prices aren’t that cheap the food was good.
Once we were nearly ready to go I messaged our driver Made to let him know we were ready to go and he was waiting for us at the entrance. I had organised with Jen from Garden Early Learning Centre for the kids to come over and have a play in the kids club. We love it here and I am definitely staying in Canggu next trip as there is so much to do. The Sprout Café next door is perfect for a coffee and food while the kids have fun painting and drawing. Also ran into Rachel one of the Instagram Mum’s I’m friends with and it was lovely to have a chat with her.
Next we were off to The Joglo for a milkshake for the kids and a play in the playground. Awesome spot with the kids and highly recommend.
We said our last goodbyes to Berta which is always sad as she helps us out so much! It was a quiet trip home as everyone was exhausted and we also said our goodbyes to Made.
After arriving back at the villa I went with the girls to catch the sunset at Jimbaran Beach and enjoy a corn cob from one of the beach vendors. We had been pretty unlucky this trip with sunsets but going in the wet season had been the cause for this. Dinner for the kids back at the villa by the gorgeous Lina and then Jed and I headed out to La Brassiere for our last Bali dinner for the trip. We just find it so hard after big days to take the kids out for dinner so that’s why we love a villa with a chef to make them dinner. It suits us just fine and we get to spend some time together without the kids.
Friday 1st December
Ahh fly out day! I always dread this day but it was different to previous holidays as we actually didn’t know if we were going to make it out. Mt Agung was still playing havoc and the week had been tense especially for Jed as he needed to get home for work. Lauren’s family were on the early morning Perth flight out so it was goodbyes to them and relaxing time by the pool for our family. We had loved our stay so much at the Sea Shanty and it was so hard to say goodbye to Lina and Supri who over the week had looked after us so well and were beautiful people.
It was only a 20 minute drive to the airport and as we checked in to our Jetstar flight we got word that they were cancelling the night flight out. It was so up in the air if we were going to get out that I didn’t believe it until we were taking off! We had such a fantastic Bali family holiday and loved that we had split our time between the resort and villa. It always keeps the whole family happy.
I hope you enjoyed the details of our Bali trip in 2017. We had such a fun time and found staying in a villa and hotel worked really well when travelling in a group. If you would like to join our Facebook group for even more help on planning your Bali family holiday, you can find it here.
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