Gentle people, lots of culture and lovely beaches make Bali a fantastic place to explore.
The Oberoi is the Grand Dame of Balinese hotels. Built in the 70’s before there was any competing for land they therefore have huge gardens, direct beach access, individual villas and Pavilions dotted around the grounds and an elegant pool. And all of this within easy walking distance of the boutique shops and restaurants of uber cool Seminyak. For families wanting space and a hotel that works for children this is a great option.
Suitable for: Although this hotel does welcome children there are no specific child facilities but great for children who are happy with a beach and pool.Read more about this Hotel
The Gili Isles are stunning but have traditionally always been the destination of backpackers in search of blue waters and cheap beach shack hotels. So it is a joy to eventually get a few decent options to stay at in the Gilis for those of us who want the stunningly beautiful beaches of the Gilis without having to rough it. These beautiful 1, 2,3 and 4 bedroomed villas with their own pools and full kitchens, as well has hotel service, are the best place to stay in these stunning islands.
Suitable for: All ages are welcome. The Gilis are potentially in a malarial area so they are more suited to older children.Read more about this Hotel
A true hideaway, Waka Shorea is a bit like marmite you either love it or hate, we loved it but it definitely isn’t for everyone. On the North East tip of Bali along the far shore of Teluk Terima, in Bali’s only National Park it feels like another world compared to the bustling South. The camp itself is located on a peninsular reached only by boat ensuring its seclusion. It is very simple in style and low key but its location is hard to beat and for families wanting to escape big glossy hotels then the Shorea is a charming option.
Suitable for: Best for older children. The lodge has no specific child facilities and is therefore not ideal for very young children.Read more about this Hotel
The Chedi Club Ubud Designed by the owner for his family the Chedi Club is therefore very well laid out for families. Unlike many of the Ubud hotels, which are perched over looking the river, this hotel is south of the town and has huge lawned gardens surrounded by padi fields. The Sap villas have all the room you need and the food here is delicious!
Suitable for: All ages. The hotel has no specific child facilities.Read more about this Hotel
Set just of the famous Jimbaran beach these gorgeous 1 and 2 bedroomed villas, sister to the very trendy ones in Nusa Dua (not children allowed there sadly) work perfectly for families. They are designed in a modern Balinese style, very chic and well laid out. They have plenty of space around the pool for nippers to play on the grass and come with a proper kitchen as well as full hotel service.
Suitable for: Although this hotel does welcome children there are no specific child facilities but great for children who are happy with a beach and pool. You need to be aware that the villas pool are unfencedRead more about this Hotel
Unlike most of South East asia the best time to visit Bali is April to October.
As Bali is situated just below the equator, the climate is tropical. The average daily temperature is 29 °C (84 °F) and the water temperature is always around 28 °C (82 °F). The dry season lasts from April to November and the rainy season from December to March. But even during the rainy season it seldom rains continuously.
Bali is generally warm through out the year and as a rule there is never a bad time to visit. Rain, when is does come, is short sharp heavy downpours.
If you ask our children which is their favourite country they will say Bali. Admittedly it is quite a long way to get there but it is really worth the trip. If you are going this far then two weeks is really the shortest amount of time to stay. Our girls especially loved the gentleness of the Balinese people. So leaving them to have a Balinese dance lesson was always more their choice than ours. And that, for us, was the reason we so enjoyed Bali as a family destination. Unlike so many other countries around the world here you feel that everyone is friendly and on your side and if you need any help they are more than willing to lend a hand. As a result the babysitters were some of the best we have found.
The island is some wonderful beaches, plenty of culture and lots for families to do. You can get essentials like nappies but not as easily as more western orientated countries.
Flights: There are no direct flights into Bali. Singapore Airlines or BA have flights into Singapore from where you take a regional flight down to Bali.
Bali is a destination that has everything you might want all in a small area. For many people their entire experience of the island is the stunning beaches of the Nusa Dua enclave.
Perhaps the most popular part of the island to visit as it has some of the best beaches. It also has a reef which means that the water is calmer than on the other parts of the island. For some of the best hotels head to the gated Nusa Dua. This huge area is a mini Bali, hidden away from the rest of the island and gated to keep the hordes out! Here the lawns are perfectly manicured, the beaches pristine and ‘real’ Bali is kept at arms length. Which just means there aren’t hundreds of motor bikes and the litter is always picked up. For us it is the perfect place to start any Bali trip and you have a number of different hotel options dotted throughout the extensive area. Each hotel either fronts directly onto the beach or for hotels like the Amanusa they have their own beach club with private separated areas for their own guests. And the joy of Nusa Dua is that when you want to experience a bit of Bali culture and daily life you can get a very cheap taxi out of the gates and you are right there. There are also loads of good local restaurants around the outskirts of Nusa Dua if you want them. You will find the beaches outside Nusa Dua are a lot more crowded.
This is the southern most tip of Bali and famed for its dramatic cliffs and beautiful uninterrupted sea views. The pace of life around here is a be less frenetic than 20 minutes north as they don’t really have their own beaches so people tend to stay away. But if beaches aren’t important and stunning views and a bit of peace and quiet are then this is the place. Just 25 minutes from the airport and you can always head to Jimbaran for dinner if you want a change of scene. The new Banyan Tree or the Alilia Villas are the place to stay here. The Banyan Tree has even cut a road down the cliff to give beach lovers a bit of what they want.
This is just south of the airport and 20 minutes west of Nusa Dua. The bay is where the local Balinese go for the beach (as they can’t get into Nusa Dua very easily) For some of the best local fish restaurants this is the place to head. It is worth noting that in the late afternoon and on weekends this bay can get very busy.
Bypass Kuta and head straight to the more upmarket glamorous Seminyak next door. Here the hotels are better, the shops are small and boutique and the bars are great hang out spots in the evening. This is the perfect place to end any visit to Bali, by which time you have had plenty of time to relax on the Bali beaches elsewhere and you want to do a little gentle shopping to fill up and spare luggage space! The beach here is long and wide and famed for its surf. Not so great to swim in as the currents can be very strong and the waves huge but it is great to see.
The ‘Highlands’ of Bali. Well not quite as you are only 45 minutes north of Denpassar and you can’t yet see the Volcanos of the north. But it is certainly uphill from the south and the temperature can be more pleasant. This is a great place to escape the hussle and bussle and get to see some real Balinese culture. Explore the jungles around the town of Ubud. Go trekking though the rice padis and see the way farmers have been working for centuries (back breaking stuff planting rice but fascinating to watch). You can also raft the rivers or riding on the Samatian Elephants in the elephant rescue centre. Ubud is the centre of arts in Bali so there is a great deal of art shops and workshops to visit. Ubud is also a good staging post for a trip up to the north coast.
The north coast
This is the relatively undiscovered side to Bali and where you find the Bali ex-pats head if they want a holiday. To get there is a beautiful 3 hour drive from Ubud straight over the mountains which form the middle of Bali. This gives you a chance to visit this stunning region with its dramatic jungle covered hillsides and mountain lakes. From here you head down to the driest part of the island in the North-West. Here the volcanic sand beaches have gentle waves as they are sheltered by the island. This is also the best part of Bali to dive which clear blue waters and an abundance of fish. The best diving is off shore and in particular around the National Park. The island of ?? is just off shore and has white sandy beaches and great snorkelling.
The Gilly Isles
These little droplets of perfection in the ?? sea just 15 minutes from Lombok are simply stunning. Many people think of Bali as having great beaches, which in fact it doesn’t. Outside of Nusa Dua the waters are rough and the beaches uninviting. But all this changes on the 3 small coral island of the Gilis. This is the tropical beach paradise that is more Maldives than Indonesia. The white sandy beaches slink down to calm cystal clear blue waters, No wonder then that for years this has been ‘the place’ for backpackers to head to. The hotels that have sprung up have therefore always been small, low key cheap beach shacks, the lack of reliable electricity and supply of freshwater stopping any luxury hotels opeing. But with a bit of ingenuity, large generators to ensure 24 hr power and freshwater bough over from Lombok daily there are now some lovely options to stay at for anyone wanting the Gilis but in comfort! It is worth noting that Lombok is classed as a malarial area and therefore so are the Gillis.
Food and Drink
Bali is a country where the food is varied and interesting and you will most certainly eat well in most places. In the main centres you will find more variety than in the quieter off-the-beaten track areas. The main international hotels will all do good simple Kids Menus
Although most of the Bali is Muslim alcohol is readily available in most towns. Beer tends to be the best value whilst wine is quiet expensive. Bali does have a couple of its own vineyards from which you get more reasonably priced wine.
Please find below a range of activities available in Bali.
We know it is often difficult, with the huge number of hotels out there, to know which one to go for, which combines with which and what sort of costs they are going to be. Here we have put together a few of our favourite options to give you a starting point. Any of these options can be changed, tweeked or added to so please do ask. The prices are per person and include international flights and private transfers. As the rates at all hotels change a great deal from their High Seasons (i.e the most popular times of the year to be there) to their Low Seasons (they often have great discounts at this time) we have based the 'From' costs on a good time of year to be in the country, the dates are included in the text at the bottom. Please do call us for a quote based on your dates.