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Our extended family holiday to Bali in 2015 was so much fun!! Our family including Charlotte, Mason, Jed and I started our holiday at Holiday Inn Benoa before being met in Seminyak by the rest of my extended family including my 3 sisters and their partners, my Dad and his partner and nephew Harry who was 12 mths. Here is the first part of our fun 2 week holiday to Bali.
Monday June 1st
Well what a day! Up at 3am and left our home by 4am to drive to the airport. My Dad was very kind to drive us the 3 hrs to the airport and Mason had a sleep but not Charlotte, she was too excited! It was just the kids, Charlotte 4.5 yrs and Mason 1.5 yrs, and I on the flight as Jed was still at work, lucky bugger! Hit horrendous traffic once we got to the airport and then I remembered it was 7am on a Monday morning, should have left earlier! Anyway all good checked in 1.25 hrs before the flight left but didn’t leave much time to get to gate 18 which of course is the longest one to walk to!! Loved having my Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller to wheel Mason around and Virgin Airlines quite happily let me take it on the plane.
Charlotte walking through Melbourne Airport
We sat on the plane for 30 mins which was frustrating as everyone was on board, good old Tulla again! Mason was busy busy for the first hour but then quite ratty so I rocked him to sleep and he slept 2 hrs, bonus!! The rest of the flight he was busy again but there was quite a few spare seats around us so was ok.
We made it on the plane, now for some sleep Maso!!
Slept for 2 hrs, thank goodness!
We had a rather entertaining last hour as a lady was quite drunk and the hosties put her up the back seat. She proceeded to cry, swear, spit water everywhere and was rather emotional! We were very close to landing when she got out of her seat and proceeded to fall into the aisle. She was handed over to the Indonesians when we arrived!
We have arrived!! I think 6 hrs with 2 kids by myself is definitely my limit!!
Breezed through VOA, handed over $50aud each with no change given back and immigration was great as no one in front of us as we dawdled off the plane. Mighty impressed with the new airport, so much better than the old one. Free wifi in the airport so was able to let Jed know we had landed. Bags picked up and out to the waiting Holiday Inn transfer. It did cost $25usd but was so worth it!
Mason pretty impressed with all the motorbikes!!
Arrived at the Holiday Inn Benoa and the lobby was amazing. Thank goodness our nanny for the day Debbie was waiting for us as the kids were just a little bit tired and feral!! Hubby Jed is a platinum IHG member so we were upgraded to an ocean view room, number 322, and were booked to move to a family interconnecting room when Jed arrived the next day. The room was gorgeous and bed huge. Plenty of space to set up the BABYBJORN Travel Cot, one of my favourite things to travel with. Portacots are allowed on the plane for free and I can also fit the monitor and a few other bits and pieces in there. One of my other musts for travelling with kids is a USB stick with their favourite movies or shows on it. Most TVs you can plug it straight into the back of it and you aren’t relying on the hotel to have a good channel range.
Spacious bathrooms, note there is no bath in most rooms except for the kids suites
The hotel is gorgeous with the pools and water slide getting an immediate tick of approval from the kids. Ordered some food, as I hadn’t eaten since the plane, and sat back and relaxed while Debbie swam with the kids. One thing I did notice when pushing the stroller around the hotel was there are quite a few stairs scattered about. Often we would need to take a less direct route with the stroller but as the hotel wasn’t huge it was fine for us.
Charlotte declared this is the best place ever!!
Kids pool area was great especially for Masons age
Looking up the beach to the Royal Santrian
Beach in front of the Holiday Inn at low tide
View of Pasar Market Cafe where breakfast is also served
Charlotte insisted trying out the kids club which they both loved and did not want to leave!! It is located right next to the pools and restaurant which is great to have easy access to it.
View from outside the Kids Club so was easy to see if the kids were happy which they always were!!
We had an early dinner at the hotel restaurant which was reasonable priced and the kids eat free! Had a good nasi goreng and a bintang of course with the kids loving their fish and chips.
It had been a long day for this crazy boy!!!
All in bed by 7pm with not a peep from Maso! Charlotte and I were off to the land of nod but not before some silly selfies in bed, we were on holidays woohoo!!!
Tuesday June 2nd
Today started at 5am as young Mason decided to start his day! Charlotte was a bit grumpy to have to start her day too but nothing a play on the iPad didn’t fix. Watched the gorgeous sunrise from our room and then it was off to breakfast.
Beautiful sunrise from our balcony
Breakfast started at 6:30am thank goodness and was amazing. Great coffee, kids happy with pancakes and eggs benedict for me.
Kids are happy, mum is happy!!
At 8am our nanny for the day Tati arrived and she was lovely. So helpful and Mason was so tired from his early wake up that he had a nap and Tati stayed with him in the room while Charlotte and I went to the pool area. Fell in love with this hotel, great staff and pools are gorgeous. We don’t usually stay in hotels preferring villas, but I can definitely see as the kids get older hotels may be a good option.
Lovely beach area in front of hotel
Lots of water sport activities out the front of the hotel
Swim swim then Charlotte was off to the kids club. It is great and really close to the pools so easy to get to and they will give you a phone if you want to leave the hotel. Tati bought Mason down for a swim and a bite to eat which the kids devoured.
At 2pm it was time to change rooms to interconnecting rooms, 325 and 327, which was just across the hallway so easy as. Love the space and the rooms have balconies overlooking the inner pool area.
Main bedroom of the interconnecting rooms
View from our balcony over the inner pool
Loved the artwork around the hotel for sale
I also took the time to have a look through one of Kids Adventure Suites. My oh my these are fantastic!! There was 2 seperate bedrooms, a living area and a bathroom for each room. The kids bathroom had a bath and was full of kids products. I enquired about an upgrade from the interconnecting room and for $100usd it could have been ours. We were settled in our room at that stage so didn’t bother but I will definitely book one next time we stay.
Living area with its own balcony
Parents bedroom with its own balcony
Time for more naps while we waited for Jed to arrive. He had a crap time in the airport with lineups then the bags from his flight not coming up on the board. Eventually caught a taxi, cost about $21aud, and got to the hotel at 5pm. Daddy hugs all around and straight down to the pool.
Dinner at hotel again which was yummy and once Charlotte finished her food she was straight back to the kids club which is just next door. Early night and so happy we are all together.
Wednesday 3rd June
Today began much the same as the day before with a 5am wake up from Mr Mason! Lucky I love early mornings in Bali so the 2 of us got dressed and left Charlotte and Jed to sleep. Went for a gorgeous sunrise walk and headed right along the beach path and walked as far as Club Med. It was so lovely watching the sun rise and Mason loved having chats with the people we walked past. The beach path is fantastic for strollers and would be perfect to bring the scooters for the older kids. Check out this guide here for scooters for the whole family.
Burning some energy before breakfast
Checked out Club Med, very nice!!
Back to pick up the others for breakfast and we both ordered eggs benedict which was delicious. Mason was nearly falling asleep at breakfast, as you do when you wake so early, so I put him down for a nap and relaxed in the room.
Charlotte and Jed tested out all the pools, so much more fun with Dad who can throw you about! Had lunch at Nudi bar at the hotel where they have tapas style food, such a great place to chill out.
Nudi Bar, great for drinks in the pool too!!
Tati arrived at 2pm so her and the kids all went to the kids club and Jed headed off for a massage at Jari Menari which is about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. He had the 45 minute back massage and said it was intense but just what he needed! It cost $35 aud which is not cheap by Bali standards but he was happy to pay it. I had a relax at the beach then a swim in the inner pool where I thought what the hell lets have a cocktail! Lucky me it was 2 for 1! Jed came back and we chilled out at the bar like adults without kids!!
Charlotte finally decided she wanted to leave the kids club, after 3.5hrs, and we then got ready for dinner at Bumbu 1. Mason didn’t really have an afternoon nap so was over tired once we got there so it was a quick order of chicken satay for the kids and then Tati took the them back to the hotel. Jed and I ordered the rijsttafel and oh my gosh so yummy! Loved the pork in the sweet sauce and the satays were amazing. Dessert was Jeds favourite especially the Balinese cakes. All up for 2 bintangs, 1 chicken satay, 1 bali punch, 1 banana smoothie and the Balinese Rijsttafel the bill came to about $100aud. Was so full I could have rolled out of there but headed back to sleeping children and an early bedtime.
Charlotte ready for her chicken sticks
Bumbu 1, beautiful Indonesian restaurant
Balinese Dessert Platter, so yummy!!
Thursday 4th June
Surprise surprise a 5am wake up again!! Really need to reset this boy’s body clock. He managed to wake Charlotte up by 6am so off to breakky at 6:30am for us. Was very windy so sat inside and once again loved the buffet! Went for a walk along the beach path this time to the left and walked past the Conrad Hotel.
On the beach in front of the Conrad Hotel
Beach path in front of the Conrad Hotel
Beach path was great for walking along with the kids
The poolside rooms looked lovely but not that private
Back to the pool for a swim and then it was time for a nap for Mason, us to pack up and Charlotte have a last play at the kids club. Checked out at 12pm and the driver picked us up from Artisane Villa and spa.
Off to the next adventure but sad to leave the Holiday Inn
Charlotte checking out the motorbikes on the new bypass road
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