Resorts with kids’ clubs/facilities offered
Hotel Padma Bali
Hotel Padma Bali is situated on Legian Beach, just outside of Kuta. Set amidst acres of landscaped, tropical gardens, the hotel offers a village-style hideaway with Balinese hospitality and world-standard facilities. The complimentary Padma Kiddies Club offers games and activities, leaving parents plenty of free time to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the island. There's also a children's menu and a child-minding service for around $20 a day.
Balihai Resort and Spa
Balihai Resort and Spa is a modern resort with a true Balinese flavour. The resort has a choice of accommodation including a special Kiddy Suite, just $US15 on top of the price of a superior room. These rooms are partitioned from the parents’ room and feature a 21" TV with Sony PlayStation and plenty of games, VCD or video player and a fun theme room with bunk beds. There's also the free Tutu Kiddy Club, open during the day for kids aged 4-12, and a babysitting service.
Bali Hilton International
Bali Hilton International, with its beautiful Balinese architecture and tropical garden setting, is an elegant, luxurious resort situated on magnificent Nusa Dua Beach. The Hilton offers excellent childcare facilities, the Wayan Made Kids Club and fun activities ranging from Balinese dancing to face painting to coconut leaf art. There's a great children's menu available and kids’ movies screened everyday at 12pm.
Bali Dynasty Resort
Bali Dynasty Resort is renowned as Bali's four-star family resort. It's located in Tuban, South Kuta, a short walk from beaches, shopping and nightlife. There are 312 rooms and suites including family rooms with attached "Kids Suites". There is also a separate kids’ pool and complimentary kids’ club that will introduce kids aged 4-12 to traditional Balinese games and crafts.
Hard Rock Hotel Bali
Hard Rock Hotel Bali is built in the heart of Bali's entertainment and shopping district, nestled on the shores of Kuta's famous surf beach. What sets the Hard Rock apart is Centrestage – which serves as a lobby, a bar, a rock museum and a live venue. There's no shortage of entertainment for the kids, with the supervised Li'l Rock Kids club offering fun activities and games including Lego building, Play Doh modelling, Balinese dancing and Treasure Hunts.
Intercontinental Resort Bali
Intercontinental Resort Bali is located on the white, sandy shores of Jimbaran Beach, with 425 luxurious guestrooms and two magnificent Presidential Suites set among 35 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The VIK (Very Important Kids) club is open between 9am and 7pm and lets kids discover a bit of Balinese culture with traditional dancing and dress-ups with local costumes.
Bintan Lagoon Resort
Bintan Lagoon Resort is located on the north coast of Bintan Island, another of Indonesia's popular holiday destinations. The resort features 416 hotel-style rooms, 57 villas, two 18-hole golf courses, seasports centre, leisure centre and the Aspara Spa featuring a number of luscious treatments and blissful relaxation programs. For kids, there's the Nutty Bunch Club for 4-12 year olds. Daily activities include mask making, pool games, origami, face-painting, cooking, bike rides and tennis.
Food and Drink
A highlight of any holiday in Bali is dining out – whether you go for sumptuous 5-star restaurants or are drawn in by the sweet, smoky smells of spicy meats being barbecued at a street stall. The typical fare in hotels and resorts is Indonesian- and Chinese-style food, like the perennial favourites of satay chicken and nasi goreng (Indonesian-style fried rice). You may have to inspect the menus of several restaurants before you find some genuine Balinese cuisine. You may be treated to a buffet feast of Babi Guling (roast suckling pig) and Bebek Betutu (duck smoked in an earthen oven and wrapped in banana leaves), accompanied by a host of colourful tropical fruits like banana, mango, rambutan, lychee, mangosteen, jack fruit and durian.
As Bali is a major tourist centre, International cuisine is easily found, with an assortment of fast food outlets, takeaways and Western-style eateries available.
Bali is a treasure trove of interesting souvenirs, beautiful gifts and terrific bargains. Open-air markets, open day and night, offer the best opportunities to shop for crafts and antiques, clothing and home wares at amazingly low prices. Some of the biggest and best markets can be found in Denpasar and Sanur, but shops and stalls can be found all over the island, especially near the main tourist hangouts. Unique souvenirs include handcrafted items like woodcarvings, stone carvings and iron and bronze works and Indonesian batik. You can get great bargains on fabrics, furniture, clothing and jewellery. Supermarkets, speciality stores and shopping centres are usually open 7 days a week between 9am and 9pm, with shorter hours on Sundays.
Ngurah Rai Airport, also referred to as Denpasar Airport is a busy international and domestic airport close to the tourist centres of Kuta, Ubud and the Balinese capital of Denpasar. There is a good variety of duty-free shops and places to eat, and a number of banks and money-exchange counters located at both terminals.
Transfers from airport
Ngurah Rai International Airport is about 2.5km south of Kuta. Most resorts have a meet and greet airport service but if you haven’t arranged this, getting out of the airport is simple and quick. You may rent a car from one of several car hire companies at the airport, or you can catch a taxi. In the arrivals hall you’ll see official taxi counters – these will charge you a fixed price. Or, you can walk across the airport car park and hail a metered cab.
Getting around for families
Bali has plenty of transport options available, so it’s not difficult to get around, day or night. The main forms of public transport for the Balinese are buses and mini-buses. These are cheap, plentiful and can take you every corner of the island, but they do tend to be fairly slow, stopping for every waving hand by the side of the road. Taxis can be hailed anywhere on the street in Bali. There are several taxi companies around – some are metered and some will require you to negotiate a fare before you head for your intended destination.
Self-driving is a great way for families to get around Bali, but exercise caution! Although the roads are fairly well maintained, they can be heavily congested during peak periods. Ceremonial precessions can sometimes overtake the whole road, so if you get stuck behind one, just sit back and enjoy the experience!
What to wear
Bali is hot and humid, so light, loose-fitting clothing is fine most of the time. If you plan on visiting the highlands, be sure to wear long pants and jackets. Be sure to have hats and sunscreen on hand to protect your family from the hot, tropical sun.
Bali has a high population density with around 3.4 million people.
Unlike most of Indonesia, Bali has resisted the advance of Islam that is now prevalent throughout most of the country, and has preserved its Hindu beliefs and customs, a fact which the Balinese people are extremely proud of. Hindu Bali is a unique branch of Hinduism, and its many rituals are highly dramatised and animated performances of music and dance and colourful processions. Theatre and dance are an integral part of Balinese culture. Performed to the unique sound of the gamelan orchestra, Balinese dance is dynamic and exciting, full of sharp turns and twirls and intricate co-ordination of finger, neck, shoulder and eye movements.
As always, take care to observe local customs and treat places and objects of religious significance with respect. Never receive or give something to someone with your left hand – this is offensive to the local people. Don't talk to local people with your hands on your hips or touch a person's head. Dress conservatively when visiting temples – women are expected to put on a sarong before entering temple grounds. These can often be rented or borrowed outside the temple.
The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, a language based on Malay with very simple grammar. Bahasa Bali and its dialects represent a far more complex and difficult language. In tourist areas, you'll have no difficulty communicating with the locals in English.
Indonesia is 2 hours behind Eastern Standard Time. For time zone information, click here.
The Indonesian currency is the rupiah. $1AU is equivalent to roughly 5000 rupiah. For up to date currency conversion, click here.
Major credit cards are accepted in supermarkets, department stores and tourist centres.
Tipping is not widespread in Indonesia. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service fee to the bill so don't feel obliged to tip. With taxis, it is usual to give the driver around 10% of the fare.
220 volts, 50 hertz AC using round, twin-prong slim plugs.
See your doctor at least six weeks before your trip to check which shots you should have, and whether you need to take precautions against malaria.
We would not recommend that you rely on fresh milk in Bali. Depending on where you are staying, some of the five-star properties may have milk supplies that you can trust, but it may be safest to avoid it. Long life is not necessarily the answer either as this may not be appropriate for infants.
We suggest you use a full cream powdered milk (brought from home) with bottled water. This also has the advantage of being readily accessible to you at all times and you can begin using it prior to your holiday so your baby can become accustomed to the taste. If you are still concerned, have a chat to your doctor and see what alternative to fresh milk he recommends.
Don't drink the water - don't even brush your teeth with it. Always have bottled water with you and make sure the seal is unbroken.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Australians require a visa that is current for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in the country. Seek advice from the nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to arrival.
HWK Family Travel Tips
Bargaining is a skill worth learning and practising if you plan to do any shopping in Bali, and kids can try their hand and it too. Friendly bargaining is expected at market stalls and makes the shopping experience fun for both the buyer and the seller. When you want to negotiate a price with a seller, have the absolute maximum you're willing to pay in your mind then ask the seller what the lowest price he's willing to offer is. Offer considerably less than this (between about two-thirds and half the price is OK!) then keep haggling until you reach a happy medium.
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