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Bali Island : Family Travel

To the point Account of our relaxing week on the island of Bali during our family world tour in 2020. Our hotels, activities, and good deals.

Our accommodations of the week

The Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa

A very nice hotel! Do not hesitate to consult our report.

An airy and very design lobby, overlooking the surroundings and overlooking the southern coast of Bali and the Indian Ocean. As soon as we arrived, we appreciated the calm and zen atmosphere that emerged!

While Jean-Maximilien was checking in, the children were playing and Alexandra quickly adopted the concierge on duty.

Semaine Bali Renaissance

She will offer them a welcome puzzle and will accompany us with Synthia for the presentation of our beautiful room.

Semaine Bali Renaissance

The main pool was beautiful.

Semaine Bali Renaissance

What about the second one, a little paradise on earth! Perfect water temperature, overflowing and with a view, few or no people, poufs to rest on the water and especially a calm and relaxing environment!

Semaine Bali Renaissance Pg

The Kids Club was on 2 floors. Original activities were offered such as pottery, costumes and traditional dance classes, water balloon games and even taking them to enjoy the pool (my only regret, it was a little dark inside). Alexandra had a hard time leaving, having loved Padma very much.

Offering a daycare service for 10$/hour for up to 2 children – our youngest being less than 4 years old, the age of free Kids Club – we took the opportunity to visit the south of the island with a driver for 4 hours.

In conclusion, we really liked this hotel.

Four points by Sheraton Bali - Kuta

Benefits

  • Friendly and polite staff.
  • A perfect hotel location in the center of Kuta with free underground parking available.
  • A nice open lobby, a restaurant offering a very complete breakfast and another pool on the roof of the hotel, much smaller but cozy with a bar attached.
  • Finally, the Kids Club was beautiful and well stocked with games, with a children’s pool right next door.

Disadvantages

  • The central pool on the first floor is interesting at first glance. However not the most practical: few deckchairs available on the central platform, and towels are given at the other end of the hotel in exchange for cards.
  • The rooms are facing each other and because of the proximity, you can see your neighbor if his curtains are not closed, especially if you are at the pool. Rather special.

Bali Element Hotel Ubud

When we arrived, the children were each given a stuffed animal, the hotel’s mascot. A nice attention that will immediately delight Alexandra. See our report here.

We had the nice surprise to see that a game room was also present at this hotel, having not seen this detail on the site. Small but functional.

Jean-Maximilien managed to get us a very nice suite (with his famous negotiation in the Marriott chat application). And despite the fact that we were 4 in the same bed (in a king but still tight), the pools, the atmosphere and the suite made us stay two nights.

Next hotel, the Westin in Ubud, a hotel that opened in early January 2020!

Discovery of the island of Bali

Visit the South of Bali Island

The distances are small but the streets are narrow. It took us 4 hours to have a look at the different beaches of the South and the temple, or at least the coasts of Uluwatu (the temple being closed).

Bali Uluwatu Temple Jean-Maximilien

The west coast is more frequented by surfers, the waves being intense and the coasts rocky.

In the south, Pandawa beach is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible beaches. The access is paying like many other beaches or temples.

Jean-Maximilien will have the opportunity to make beautiful shots with his drone.

We quickly realize that the southern part is in activity, is built at the rhythm of tourism. New resorts will be coming soon to some parts of the coast from what we could see!

The temples and statues are everywhere and I almost wanted to photograph everything because I was so impressed by the sculptures and the black volcanic rock.

Some places stand out, however. It is not uncommon to see garbage lying around on the lower side. It’s a shame, but it looks like an effort is being made.

We went to the highest statue erected in the country (and 17th in the world), Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Uluwatu.

Semaine Bali Uluwatu

A very recent park, inaugurated just in September 2018 and featuring 3 Hindu statues mainly, the tallest of which can be seen even from Kuta. Once at the bottom of the tallest statue, it doesn’t look so impressive.

The entrance is not given, but several performances are given every day. We did not have the chance to attend unfortunately, having to join the children, but it seems that they are worth the detour.

Semaine Bali Uluwatu

In conclusion, on the visit side, finally few things to see on the South. The interest of going there really lies in the fact of staying in a resort to rest.

Some streets are very lively such as towards the beach of Pantei Padang Padang, towards Uluwatu Beach.

Visit to Ubud - Car rental

After seeing the local driving, and weighing the pros and cons of taking the services of a driver / guide, we decided to finally rent a car(the current Amex offer helping!) as we like to be independent.

Getting the car was no easy task. We returned to the airport, where we had to wait for an AVIS agent. This one led us to our car parked in the parking lot: a Toyota Avanza, a car we know well since we had the same one in South Africa!

Semaine Bali Voiture

With the children, being able to go from one place to another and stop when we wanted to, was essential. The heat and humidity being quite difficult to bear, we preferred to spare them the visits of temples and winding roads, especially since they would not have been more interested in that.

We have used babysitters recommended by the hotels several times and everything has always gone well.

Driving here is no small matter. Forget the straight and wide lines of Quebec. Driving on the left side of the road is not the hardest thing to control: it is rather the countless scooters that come out of everywhere and the narrow streets, which require constant vigilance!

Semaine Bali Voiture

The car is good. On the other hand, it is not always easy to find a place whereas a scooter will always find and be able to circulate much more, in the villages or the lanes.

It happened for example that we did not find or simply got stuck in the rice fields.

Ubud and surroundings

From Kuta, it takes about 1h30 to get there. Ubud is an active city, effervescent where tourists cross perpetually, a little like Kuta finally. But the city is much more interesting culturally.

We appreciated more the atmosphere which reigned there, the small restaurants, the small stores opened on the outside.

Along the Element by Westin route, artisans display their work in their workshops or roadside stores: wood, stone or glass sculptures, fabric stores, dresses or even crochet swings. It is to be lost but fabulous to see this work. I would have brought back a lot of things if it had been possible.

Further up, we arrive at the rice fields of Tegallalang for example. Many Instagrammers come here to find the perfect photo on swings.

The attraction is so popular that, as we continue along the road, craftsmen were working on new benches, seats and swings to satisfy the tourists. Many attractions of this type have opened, nothing related to Bali.

We preferred to get lost in the jungle or to look for the rice fields less popular with tourists.

Semaine Bali Rizière

The monkey forest is a must-see. The forest is a jungle in fact, pleasant and shaded by place, where we find (besides monkeys) of numerous statues.

The monkeys walk around, climb, jump from vine to vine and come to you easily, always with the idea of taking something from you.

The children were not very reassured but still enjoyed watching them.

Semaine Bali Foret Singes

And by chance Marie Hélène, a Quebecer on a trip around the world, recognized us and called us! A beautiful meeting in the middle of the forest! She travels alone and schedules her trips as we do, according to her desires. Have a good trip if you read us and enjoy discovering Cambodia!

The
bird park
is on the road to Ubud. When choosing an attraction for children, we wanted to choose this one over a safari or a zoo.

It was a beautiful discovery. Species that we had never seen before, a Komodo, and even owls!

The park has the advantage of a shaded restaurant with a defined play area for children, perfect for a break.

Kuta

A word about Kuta, one of the big beach resorts. People go there to party, store, get a massage or watch the sunset on the beach. There was a crowd as we passed. We are in low season, imagine in high!

Not necessarily the kind of city where one likes to stay for a long time. For those who know Phuket, it looks like Patong.

Our son was amazed to see the last rays of sunlight disappear into the ocean…

The temples in Bali

There are really everywhere on the island. Not all of them are referenced because there are too many. In fact, as we walked through the alleys of different villages, we could see behind the volcanic rock walls, magnificent family temples.

Of course we can’t photograph everything and they are locals who certainly don’t want to be photographed, but we had a great time getting lost in these little streets.

The temples being numerous, we visited some of them. It’s a bit like in Thailand or Cambodia, there are so many that you can’t see them all. But it is a real pleasure to walk through them.

Semaine Bali Temple

The Tirta Empul temple is one of the most known, the faithful meet there for a ceremony of purification and to carry out their offerings and rituals.

The Balinese live to the rhythm of prayers, rituals and offerings to their deities that they worship. The offerings consist of small baskets in which incense and flowers are placed in a defined order or baskets of fruit. Everything is like a millimeter. The inhabitants proudly wear their traditional clothes and are always smiling and peaceful.

Religious ceremonies take place regularly, we were lucky enough to come across one!

Semaine Bali Cérmonie

Bottom line

It is easy to understand why so many people come here for yoga retreats! The Balinese are very friendly, willing to help you, and love to converse, ask where you are from, what you have seen on the island or will soon see.

We are happy because we still have a few days to enjoy on Bali: we came in the middle of the rainy season (and low tourist season) and we have not seen a drop!

The following week, we will be in… Australia!

Semaine Bali Uluwatu
Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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