Bali : Family Travel | Milesopedia
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Bali Island : Family Travel

To the point Report of our stay on the island of Bali during our world tour family in 2020. Our hotels, activities, and temple visits.

Our accommodations in Bali

The Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa

Check out our report on the Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa; it was one of our favourites.

An airy design lobby overlooking the surroundings and the coast of Bali and the Indian Ocean. From the moment we arrived, we appreciated the relaxing atmosphere.

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The Kids Club was on two 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 four 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.

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 lovely open lobby, a restaurant is 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 attractive at first glance. However not the most practical: few deckchairs are 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 the neighbour across the pool, especially if you are in it. Rather special.

Bali Element Hotel Ubud

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

A game room was also present at this hotel. Not having seen this detail at the time of booking, it was a nice surprise. Small but functional.

Jean-Maximilien managed to get us a lovely suite (with his famous negotiation in the Marriott chat application). And even though 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.

The Westin in Ubud, Bali

Another hotel we visited was the Westin in Ubud, a hotel that opened in early January 2020 and transported you into the jungle.

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 look at the different beaches of the South and the temple, or at least the coasts of Uluwatu (the temple being closed).

Bali Uluwatu Jean-Maximilien

The west coast is more frequented by surfers, intense waves and rocky beaches. 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 of Bali is in activity, and is built at the pace of tourism. New resorts will be coming soon in some places on the coast, to follow!

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

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

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A very recent park, inaugurated just in September 2018 and featuring 3 Hindu statues, mainly the tallest, can be seen 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 offered 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.

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In conclusion, a few things interested us about the southern part of the island of Bali. The interest of going there really lies in the fact of staying in a resort to rest.

Some streets are vivacious such as the beach of Pantai Padang Padang, towards Uluwatu Beach.

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.

We returned to the airport to get the car, 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!

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With the kids, we were getting from one place to another and stopping when we wanted to was paramount. The heat and humidity being quite difficult to bear, we preferred to spare them the temple visits and winding roads and to take babysitters at the hotel from time to time.

Driving here is no small matter. Forget the straight and broad lines of Quebec. Driving on the left side of the road is not the problem: the countless scooters coming out of everywhere and the narrow streets require constant vigilance!

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The car is good. On the other hand, it is not always easy to find a place where as a scooter will always see and be able to circulate much more, in the villages or the lanes. Onetime, we did not know where to park or found ourselves blocked in the middle of the rice fields.

Ubud and surroundings

From Kuta, it takes about 1h30 to get to Ubud. Ubud is an effervescent city where tourists cross perpetually. But the city is much more interesting culturally than Kuta.

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

Along the way to Bali’s Element by Westin, 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 observe 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 the swings.

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

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

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

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

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

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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 pick a honest centre.

It was a stunning 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 to parties, go shopping, 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 everywhere on the island. Not all of them are referenced because there are too many. As you go down the alleys of different villages, behind the volcanic rock walls, beautiful Balinese family temples stand.

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 visit them all. But it is an absolute pleasure to walk through them.

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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 worship deities. The offerings consist of small baskets in which incense and flowers are placed in a defined order or baskets of fruit. Everything is precise. The inhabitants proudly wear their traditional clothes and are always smiling and peaceful.

Religious ceremonies occur regularly, and we were lucky enough to come across one.

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Bottom line

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

We came in the middle of the rainy season (and low tourist season) and didn’t see a drop!

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Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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