Dazza and family back from Bali

Hi all

Just got back from ten days at Paradise Plaza Suites in Sanur with our two boys aged 3 and 9. This JBR is directed more at info for those travelling with kids in this age group.

We chose the Paradise Suites as we needed a second bedroom for the kids. Staff were great. Kids club was great. Pools were great. Rooms were very large however were very sparsely furnished and like much of the hotel in need of refurbishment. 9 yo lacerated his heel on a cracked tile while playing in the kids club and needed stitches. Couldnt swim for five days. Restuarant at the hotel was okay.
The biggest issue was the distance the hotel was from everything with a taxi needed each time you needed to leave. The Plaza Hotel (sister hotel up the road) is located in the business area and has much easier access to restuarants and has some great cafes and restuarants as well as KFC and Dinkum Donuts for when the kids really get sick of indon food.
The distance from everything really did become an issue and in the end we seemed to spend half the time in a cab. Though I liked the suites from a family perspective I doubt I would stay again due to its remoteness and need for refurb.

Once again this is from my experience with a 9yo and 3yo who are generally good and well behaved. We found that the balinese were wonderful with our kids and were really taken with the 3yo. However when at the markets hawkers kept grabbing them and trying to drag them (and us) to the stalls. This scared the 3yo. I found the hawkers much worse than my last time without kids and it was not enjoyable at all. In the end like most we just tried to ignore them (disrespectful IMO) however after some time we noticed a change in the 9yo being disrespectful to a lot of people. I suppose it is a bit hard for a 9yo to understand that its okay to be rude to some (ignoring them) and not others. Went to Waterbom Park and it was really good. WOuld have gone rafting except for 9yo stitches. Went to elephant park which was good.

Once we had given the markets a miss we found Discovery Mall across from Waterbom Park and this was a real saviour for us. It is airconditioned, no hawkers and lots of wonderful balinese people. Downstairs is a supermarket where you can buy everything that you need including fruit and vegetables, meat and cereal etc. A great eatery with chinese, indon, balinese foods and a bakery.
Upstairs are a lot of boutique shops that sell original gear not knockoffs and we found the prices very good. (by oz standards). We found that the balinese here were really the image that we wanted our children to come away with not that of the hawkers. They were not sucking up to us but very polite and the 3yo felt safe if not a little overawed by all the attention.
Centro is a large dept store upstairs and we bought a lot of quality clothes (oshkosh, polo etc) at very good prices (compared to oz).
I believe that you only get what you pay for so was happy paying more here than less for garbage at the markets.
There is a kidszone games area up stairs and a small eatery. There are two resturaunts one downstairs and another in Centro called Cafe Celsius that has wonderful views over the beach to Java and has fantastic food and great prices.
Starbucks coffee and a sizzle bento are also downstairs.

Only use bali taxi (blue taxi) we never had a problem or hassle with them. We used an owner driver for larger trips and paid about 200,000rp for about 6 hours going from sanur to ubud and surrounds. His name is Nyoman Ramawijaya and is contactable on 081338 439991 and email balicoin@hotmail.com. Highly recommended!.

DVD's - Helgie supplied DVD at 10000rp each and supplied DVD player for 160000rp week. (do search for contact details)

We found bali Okay for travel with kids. The balinese (non market types) were wonderful and really loved interaction with them. The constant harassment whenever we went out was a real burden as you needed to protect them from getting grabbed and harassed with the result that the 3 yo baulked at getting into a cab as he knew we were going out and he would be harassed. If I were to take the kids again I would get a family suite (or one bedroom with fold out beds for kids in lounge area)at a hotel with a good pool in Kuta as close as possible to waterbom park and discovery mall. Get a child carer asap that the kids are comfortable with so that you can visit the markets and temples etc leaving the kids to swim etc while you do it. I would go to the supermarket at discovery mall and do a shop for breakfast stuff the kids are used to back here and a lot of fruit and veg.

We put the kids on a raspberry cordial diet for a week before and while they were there and had no stomach complaints at all. Great stuff!.