Cee Cee and families just back

Just back yesterday after 2 weeks doing Bali and Lombok with husband and 3 kids (9,11,12) Last time we went was 19 years ago when Kuta was a village and Legian the end of the road, my god how its changed! Flew Air Paradise, great, but a 2 hour trip through immigration when we arrived due to 2 Jumbos from Taiwan and Japan (thought there were no tourists) packed terminal, 3 tired kids and us the only ones not wearing SARS masks. Stayed 7 nights Dynasty (originally we had a family room, 1 large double and 3 singles for the first 2 nights but they had no outdoor area and were a long way from the pool so we asked to be changed. We were then moved to a smaller family room right next to the pool and had a kingsize and 2 singles and an ouitdoor patio area where we could sit and watch the kids in the pool. If you contact the hotel direct they have great deals on their suites which are also right next to the pool), great family place, rooms clean staff very friendly and in house prices very reasonable, although the woman at the tour desk did try to get away with charging us double (an extra $400!) for plane tickets to Lombok and after 3 hours of insisting and threatening to call Merpati ourselves she admitted she had "made a mistake" Half the hotel is currently closed but makes for a relaxing time with all the facilities still open.Used Wayan Merta as recommended by this forum to do the Kintamani etc trip and a driver called Bill who is based in the Dynasty car park and is a great, reliable and honest guy, for all the other trips. Flew to Lombok as both fast ferries were not running at that stage due to lack of tourists. Stayed at Holiday inn in Sengiggi and it was fantastic US$50 per room incl breakfasts, 2 of the best resataurants around and the staff were wonderful, not jaded and tourist weary as you often find in Bali. Hotel running at about 10%occupancy at the moment but definately 5 star service, the GM's wife is Australian and very friendly. Was reccommended a driver by the hotel (AU$50) and spent the day in the south seeing weavers, potters, carvers, sasak village and Kuta beach etc. Another day we got a boat from the hotel beach (AU$50 for the whole day) to the Gili's for snorkelling and we couldn't tear the kids away we did all 3 islands and fell in love with them all. Can recommend Bumbo restaurant in Sengiggi We very reluctantly left after 5 days and decided to splurge at the Grand Hyatt for 2 nights but were very disappointed. The kids chose it for the pools but the river pool, waterslide and half the main pool were closed for maintenance and 3 of the 4 breakfast areas were closed meaning queues of up to an hour or constatly returning to try again, on the last day we didn't get a table until 10.30am, with 3 hungry kids it wasn't fun. Our flight to Melb was at 1.15am so after having to check out a t 2pm and literally hang around for a few hours we arrived at the airport at 10.30pm to find our flight had been delayed until 1pm the next day! The airline bussed us off to The Bounty (YUK) and we were collected again at 10am the flight finally left at 2pm Everyone flying Air Paradise please note; although there are 5 of us we travel light with just 2 suitcases and one cabin bag. AP has a limit of 20ks per person but they don't tell you that no one case can exceed 32kgs. One of ours weighed 37 and the other 26 so they made us undo them both in the check in area and spend half an hour swapping things around to balance the weight between the 2 cases. Not a pretty sight after 2 weeks away!
So our trip is over and we all had a wonderful time, we will definately visit Lombok again, no interest in Bali anymore - its too commercial, would much prefer Phuket and there are too many places yet unseen for us to want to see all those surf shops again!