We are just back from a 2 week Bali holiday. We
had an absolute ball and I would say to anyone that is hesitant - please
don't be GO BACK - the balinese need tourism to improve. You won't regret
I have been to bali 8 times - beginning in 1987
- my husband Paul and I had 2 trips before Ben came onto the scene and this
was Ben's third trip.
This was by far the most enjoyable trip we have
had - Ben was at a great age - 7 1/2 - confident swimmer now - and so
inquisitive about everything - which was great - he learnt a lot on this
holiday. We did things a little differently this time only pre paid for our
first 5 nights and then organised the next 8 ourselves.
MELASTI BEACH RESORT - We stayed here for our
first 5 nights in an old suite room. The resort itself is set in lovely
grounds - 2 pools, beach front restaurant and a spa which I used twice -
heaven. The rooms themselves are very large and spacious with a separate
lounge area as you enter which is partitioned off - this is where Ben slept
- they were clean and comfortable and for what you pay in a package deal -
NUSA LEMBONGAN - We spent 2 nights on lembongan
at Coconuts Beach Resort - we thoroughly enjoyed this - total relaxation and
it was great for Ben to walk around the village itself - we saw all sorts of
sights - chickens being beheaded or plucked - all the general village day to
day activities which was great. The resort itself was lovely - but if you
do stay there try to get a bungalow lower down - it is a bit of a climb to
the higher ones - and in the heat not much fun. We had air cond - and no
matter what anyone says - you need it - especially with a child. The only
downside was salt water shower - which left you feeling only semi clean -
but for a couple of days who cares. We ate at the restaurant there - purely
because you really had to without a major walk - food was fine - nothing
spectacular - but quite OK. We snorkelled - swam, read, walked and generally
relaxed. Highly recommend this for probably no more than 2 nights.
We then returned to Melasti Beach Resort for 2
nights while we sussed out other accommodation. We paid from memory $55 US
dollars a night, which with the current conversion rates was reasonable
We then went on the hunt looking at other hotels
- we looked at Bali Holiday Resort seminyak - yuk - old, run down. Pelangi
hotel - very nice, a new hotel and I must say the rooms there were very
nice. Then we looked at Kumala Pantai - beautiful this is where we ended
up. Even though Pelangi was nice - Kumala Pantai had much nicer garden
areas and when you sat on your balcony you were overlooking lush gardens.
We also had a look at Resort Tunjung Legian - this was lovely - very
impressed - but from what I could see totally empty and we did want to stay
somewhere - with some other bodies around. But it was great family accomm.
We chose a junior suite at Kumala Pantai and it
cost us around $98 australian a night with full breakfast.(Obviously you
would get this probably a lot cheaper through a travel agent in a package
deal). The suite consisted of a room with a king size bed - desk and a
table and 2 chairs, a huge bathroom - all marble with separate shower which
was a nice change as well as a shower over the bath - interconnecting door
led to a room with beautiful 3 piece lounge suite and dining setting with 4
chairs - coffee and tea making facilities - this is where Bens bed went.
One thing that was a big plus with Kumala compared to Melasti was a cartoon
channel - by the end of the day when kids are tired they do like to plonk in
front of the TV for a while and Melasti only had pretty ordinary channels -
the only one worth watching for ben was HBO movie channel.
Everything was great at Kumala - beds were ultra
comfortable - pillows beautiful - for a change. Spotlessly clean - no
complaints. Breakfast was really much the same as Melasti - eggs anyway -
although the omelettes were 100% nicer at Kumala - toast - fruit - noodles -
bacon - pancakes etc etc. We will definitely stay here again. Their
superior rooms are as described but obviously without the extra lounge
room. They also had I think what was called a presidential suite here which
I tried to look at but was apparently occupied - I don't actually think it
was I think the guy couldn't be bothered - but never mind. This is twice
the size of the junior suite - we spoke to a couple with 3 kids who had
stayed in it and they were very happy.
MELASTI BEACH RESORT SPA - You must go if you
are staying nearby. I had a two hour treatment - full body scrub - massage
- was then covered in yoghurt from head to two and ended with a bath full of
flower petals - was absolutely magnificent for around $23 australian. You
can't beat that.
BALI BIRD PARK - This is a MUST - it is
absolutely fantastic. We went feeling a little apprehensive of what we
would find. It really was a great day out. The most exotic birds you have
ever seen. Spotless facilities - toilets etc. We had lunch at the
restaurant which is a little expensive for Bali but we shared a couple of
dishes and the food was beautiful. Ben loved going here - it really was
very well maintained and better than anything I have seen in Oz.
ORPHANAGES - We visited 2 with gifts one in
Denpasar , which I wouldn't return to - I actually was rather disappointed
as the man who ran it was more interested in pestering me for money than
appreciating what I had taken which was a large bag full of goodies textas,
books, haircips, etc. Also I had purchased around 10 bags of shopping at
Denpasar supermarket - toiletries - food etc. The name of this orphanage
was Tunas Bangsa.
The second orphanage we visited was Giri Asih in
the village of Negara. This was a 3 hour trip to get there - a bit of a
long haul around windy roads but well worth it. The children 97 in all were
beautiful, happy children - they had very little and appreciated so much
what we took them. I had a huge suitcase of goodies and again shopping from
the supermarket with necessities - if anyone is thinking of an orphange even
though it is a long haul to get there this one is WELL worth it. Thre was a
gorgeous 9 month old baby - it was hard to say goodbye to him.
RESTAURANTS - Our favourites at Legian were
Tekor Cafe, Zanzibar, Cafe Warna. We did not have a "bad" meal for the
whole 2 weeks. The only one I could class as pretty ordinary was at Into
National restaurant - which surprisingly I had read good reviews on - maybe
we struck an off night. On our last few nights we found a restaurant in
Legian Padma Club - this was magnificent - a little more upmarket - but
still cheap in our terms - beautiful service and food. None of us got bali
belly - slight upset tummies at times - but that is more due to change of
diet and heaps of fruit and fruit juice. I found an addition in Bali mango
and banana juice - beautiful. Funny how my waistline didn't appreciate all
the wonderful eating and drinking. Have to work on that now !!
SHOPPING - We did the usual DVDS at 15,000 each
- music cds 15,000 each watches around $5 australian and sunnies $5
australian - we did buy quite a lot of clothes for Ben at Matahari and Kuta
Kidz. I also got myself a few pairs of shoes at Matahari around $8 each -
great value and very good quality. As we have been to bali quite a few
times we don't get too carried away with the shopping side of things.
We headed off with the intention of getting a
babysitter a few times - but Ben was always happy to go out with us and
loved to try different restaurants just like us - so we ended up not having
a babysitter at all. As we woke up most mornings at 6-6.30 we were all
quite happy to go to bed no later than 10pm. Party poopers!!
All in all we really had a fantastic trip. Bali
is a wonderful place to take children. The balinese adore them - and Ben
loved every minute of it - the beach, the pool, sightseeing and meeting new
people. We look forward to a trip again next year !!