Family trip to Bali – Kuta and Ubud

Family-friendly trip to Bali

A couple years ago we took a 2 week trip to Bali for a family wedding.  Although we’ve been to Thailand a few times, Bali was a new experience for us, and although it was less recent I thought I would share some of our experiences there as it turned out to be a brilliant holiday, and I would definitely recommend a visit if you ever have the chance!

We stayed in 3 different places.  The first was Kuta, as this is where our relatives and their wedding guests were staying.  The wedding itself was at the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, which was quite an extraordinarily beautiful venue!  We enjoyed spectacular views during the ceremony, drank mojitos and lychee martinis, and had a delicious seafood buffet beside the swimming pool, which was lit up by dozens of floating candles.  Simply magical.

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In Kuta we stayed at the incredibly family-friendly Holiday Inn Baruna Bali.

Now those of you who are not generally fans of this chain, I implore you to take a closer look as the Bali version is nothing like the ones you may have visited in England.  It has a lovely pool area with pool bar, delicious breakfast buffet, air-conditioned kids club, and a lovely spa where my daughter and I enjoyed a mother and daughter spa treatment!

As far as accommodation, this was set up perfectly for families and we wish all hotels would have a similar room layout, and the price was very decent as well.  We started off in a family room, which had a separate area containing a bunk bed for the kids and some video games.  This room had a sliding door which enabled it to feel like a completely separate room when required.  We later stayed in a junior suite which was also fantastic.  This suite actually was two separate rooms!

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View from our room at Holiday Inn Baruna Bali
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Sunset view from the beach at the hotel
Holiday Inn Baruna Bali at sunset
The resort at dusk

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View from the spa reception area
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Outside the spa

The second part of our trip was 5 days in Ubud.  This hilly region of central Bali is famous for its rice terraces, and although there are no beaches here it was a highlight of our trip.  We stayed in a set of small villas here that were set about a pool.  The accommodation was very rustic but charming.  We were a little concerned with the open pond area and had to keep an extremely close eye on our toddler.  We travelled by taxi every day to do small day trips, as we were not staying close enough to the town to walk, however the beautiful views in this rural setting made up for the need for transport.

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Swimming pool at the villas where we stayed in Ubud
Ubud town has many shops, restaurants and sights to see including the Monkey Forest
Ubud town has many shops, restaurants and sights to see including the Monkey Forest

We took a trip to the Luwak Coffee Plantation.  I was a little sceptical about this before we went, but I’m glad we made the trip as it was interesting to find out about the interesting way in which coffee is made here, basically out of civet cat poo!  The views of the rice terraces from here were also incredible.

Ubud Luwak Coffee Plantation, Bali

Ubud, Bali - the beautiful rice terraces

Luwak coffee beans, Ubud, Bali
Luwak Coffee Beans
Luwak Coffee Plantation, Ubud, Bali
Views at Luwak Coffee Plantation, Ubud

Skewers of meat, Ubud, Bali

Delicious dinner in central Ubud, Bali
The culinary fare at restaurants in Ubud is particularly amazing

Bali Bird Park

We also took a trip to Bali Bird Park, which was a wonderful day out.  We have many hilarious photos of our family members with colourful birds perched all over their limbs. www.balibirdpark.com

The third and final segment of our holiday was a luxury stay at the absolutely amazing 5-star Conrad Bali.  Please check out my review (link below) if you’re interested!

Pure Luxury at The Conrad, Nusa Dua, Bali

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Dining like a flower fairy at Petersham Cafe


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I had to do a quick post on this place.  A hidden gem in Petersham, it’s probably the most magical place to have a gourmet 3-course lunch.  Not the most obvious place to take the kids but possibly something for a special occasion. We ate in the cafe (which is rather a misnomer as it is actually a restaurant) for the first time recently and I loved it, especially the first half of the meal when my 1 year old was snoozing! It feels like dining in some sort of flower fairies glade, surrounded by gorgeous plants and fairy lights. And not to worry, there is also a delightful tea room so if you are not feeling up to a culinary journey you can always just stop for a coffee, slice of cake and they also have more casual lunch offerings.  “Work it off” afterwards with a peaceful stroll around the captivating shop and garden centre.

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Grilled cuttlefish starter – I went out on a limb, but it was worth it – SO delicious!
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Baked salmon and squid ink rice

Convinced yet?

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Chocolate pudding, summer berries and cream
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Does it have a spa and a kids club? Right! We’re going there – our first family holiday to Cyprus


If like me, you’re a parent in the UK, you may well be feeling what I’m feeling now.  Both slightly relieved that the kids are back to school soon, and yet a little wistful that the long summer break has come to an end.  And perhaps you’ll be dreaming just a little about future holidays, possibly even researching where to go already.  If that’s the case, I want to introduce you to a fantastic place we just visited, on our first family holiday abroad as a fivesome, on the off chance you’d like to go there one day.

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This is the view from our hotel room balcony at the Azia Resort and Spa , near Paphos in Cyprus.  I’m not even sure how I first found this hotel, but I was doing a lot of online holiday research when I stumbled upon it.  And I am so glad I did, as it really did have a little of everything we needed, and some additional luxuries that we…ahem…required.  Such as a jacuzzi on the balcony.  And a full breakfast buffet, with a nice man cooking omelettes to order every morning.  Did I mention it also boasts a world-class spa?

We arrived by night, and as it was only a 20 minute drive from Paphos airport to the hotel, we were really there in no time at all.

Kids club from age 2.5 years

We spent 10 nights at the hotel, with some lovely friends of ours and their two children. One of the biggest successes was discovering that our middle child was crazy about the kids club.  This was a pleasant surprise indeed.  And I think this was all down to the warm welcome and genuine wonderfulness (is that a word?) of the woman who ran the place.  You’re given a buzzer while the kids are at the club, which vibrates and flashes if you’re needed.  So you’re free to roam around the hotel grounds as you like…free as a bird…well except for the small but important matter of the one-year old, who kindly had a nap on a few occasions so we could enjoy a cool drink by the sea.

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Beautiful clifftop views of the sea from the hotel grounds

Swimming pool with pool bar, wonderful spa, beautiful beaches

Of course, it would be wrong to have you believe the kids spent all their time at kids club!  On the contrary, they had the time of their lives splashing and diving about in the child-friendly swimming pool, which has a separate yet adjacent shallow section for babies and toddlers.  There is a swim-up pool bar, and fresh towels to be used by the pool can be acquired for free from the spa when you need them, meaning there was no need to pack any.  The spa itself is wonderful, and I truly wished I could have had a treatment there every day!  Or at least more than one!  But mustn’t be greedy 😉 They do a 10-minute children’s massage as well, which was a highlight for our daughter.

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There is also a beach right by the hotel, which you can reach via a 120m-long path.  It does end with a lot of rocks, so be aware that you would not be able to push a buggy all the way down there.  We just parked our buggy on the rocks and brought the supplies that we needed down to the beach itself.  There was a lovely shallow stream here, which our little ones just loved messing around in for hours!  The sunset was amazing as well.

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Beach by the hotel

We also made a couple trips out to nearby beaches.  One was just a short stroll away.  Being August it was incredibly hot, so it was essential for us not to have to walk far!  There was a convenient path along the seafront that is completely buggy-friendly.  The other beach, Coral Bay, was a 15-minute bus ride away.  The sea here was beautiful, warm and with calmer waves than the beach near Azia.  The bus, which is air-conditioned, stops directly outside the hotel and costs 1.50 euros for adults and 75 cents for older children.  At the beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds here for hire, which cost 7.50 euros per umbrella, including 2 sunbeds.  There is also a lovely cafe here, where the children enjoyed enormous ice creams and there are toilet facilities including showers.

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Coral Bay Beach

There was no need for us to hire a car, but if we had wanted one it would have been simple to do, and there seemed to be many interesting places nearby to visit such as ancient Greek ruins.  I did venture to a rather splendid shopping centre by bus (under the pretext of buying nappies).

 

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Jacuzzi on the (very spacious) balcony

Food, drinks and entertainment

The food was very good as well, and there was a huge array of it at each mealtime.  There was a different theme each night.  One of my favourite dishes was coconut chicken with tropical rice, on “Jamaican night”.  Not quite Cypriot but delicious nonetheless!  I ate far too much!  The Cava bar was brilliant too for some pre-dinner drinks. And the kids enjoyed dancing at the baby disco, face-painting, and watching the evening entertainment including fire shows, stilt-walkers and acrobats.  A Michael Jackson impersonator was a surprise hit with our 3 year old!  He drew this the next day at kids club.

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Picture by our eldest, age 7
Picture by our eldest, age 7

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Stunning bougainvillea at the front of the hotel
Stunning bougainvillea at the front of the hotel
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Sunset view from the balcony

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All too soon it was time to leave!  Goodbye Cyprus…still missing you.

We booked our accommodation at Azia Resort and Spa through Booking.com UK.

This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase through the link I will get paid a small token amount at no additional cost to you.  Just to reassure you, I only give my honest opinions in reviews!





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