COOL FOR ALL THE GANG

How to take the tribe to Bali

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BALI FOR FAMILIES - JENNY HEWETT

Not all is­land des­ti­na­tions appeal to fam­i­lies just as much as they do to back­pack­ers and honey­moon­ers. But Bali is the ul­ti­mate all-rounder. With its kid-friendly re­sorts and beaches, af­ford­able eats and adventure-lov­ing land­scape, the In­done­sian is­land of­fers an en­tic­ing es­cape that should prob­a­bly come with its own dis­claimer.

Why? Be­cause it’s guar­an­teed your kids will make you prom­ise to take them back. Here’s what you need to know be­fore tak­ing your tribe to Bali.

WHAT ARE THE BEST AR­EAS FOR FAM­I­LIES?

Some neigh­bour­hoods in Bali cater to fam­i­lies more than oth­ers, but it’s re­ally a mat­ter of pref­er­ence. Things to con­sider be­fore book­ing are how much you’ll be do­ing and whether you want to get around on foot or in a car. Most ar­eas are within an hour to two hours of each other, de­pend­ing on traf­fic. Here are some guide­lines.

JIMBARAN

A short drive from the air­port, this low-key fish­ing vil­lage is ideal for fam­i­lies with tots who want to chill by the beach with­out trav­el­ling far. A hand­ful of luxe re­sorts hug the calm bay, but more af­ford­able villa stays are also an op­tion. The Bukit Penin­sula, with its fam­ily-friendly Balan­gan Beach, is a 25-minute drive away.

NUSA DUA

Flop-and-drop re­sorts with ev­ery­thing from kids’ clubs to wa­ter­slides en­sure you won’t want to leave this up­scale beach­side area in Bali’s south. If pool time, room ser­vice and water­front sun­sets are high on your agenda, you’ll have no re­grets tuck­ing your tribe into bed here.

SEMINYAK

Bet­ter known for shop­ping, beach clubs, nightlife and qual­ity eats, this buzzy hub doesn’t im­me­di­ately stand out as a place for fam­i­lies. But in­ter­gen­er­a­tional hol­i­day­mak­ers are well catered to in Seminyak, with an enor­mous range of pri­vate vil­las of­fer­ing plenty of space to stay and play, as well as babysit­ting ser­vices.

UBUD

Be­yond be­ing Bali’s cul­tural and cre­ative heart, Ubud is a nat­u­ral won­der­land, with ev­ery­thing from white­wa­ter raft­ing to quad-bik­ing and rice pad­die treks on of­fer for en­er­getic fam­i­lies. More cul­ti­vated kids will ap­pre­ci­ate the wa­ter tem­ples and gal­leries, while the Sa­cred Mon­key For­est is uni­ver­sally loved.

NUSA LEMBONGAN

Bali’s south­east­ern is­lands are ideal for ad­ven­tur­ous clans. With af­ford­able beach­front ac­com­mo­da­tion, a slow, rus­tic vibe and snorkelling, surf­ing, div­ing and is­land hop­ping all on of­fer, there’s lit­tle chance of hear­ing “I’m bored”.

CANGGU

This hip surf­ing com­mu­nity be­yond Seminyak ap­peals to both teens and lit­tle kids, with beach play, surf­ing, a water­park, mar­kets and plenty of kidBali’s friendly cafes. It’s not as easy to get around on foot and taxis are hard to come by, so bud­get for a pri­vate driver.

ULUWATU

The Bukit Penin­sula isn’t for most fam­i­lies, but for teens who love the wa­ter, it’s heaven on earth. Smaller waves and surf schools can be found at Bin­gin Beach (note that it’s ac­cessed via hun­dreds of stairs) while Uluwatu is home to the Pura Luhur tem­ple and nightly Ke­cak fire dance.

SANUR

With its clean, white sand and gen­tle shores, this peace­ful beach town on south­east wel­comes fam­i­lies who want to es­cape crowds. There’s a range of more af­ford­able stays and a hand­ful of lux­ury re­sorts.

WHAT ABOUT AC­COM­MO­DA­TION?

Your ac­com­mo­da­tion dol­lars stretch much fur­ther in Bali and there’s a huge range of ho­tels, re­sorts and home­s­tays to suit all bud­gets. At the more rea­son­able end of the scale, Book­ing.com is a good way to find highly rated and lo­cally owned three­and four-star stays, which typ­i­cally in­clude break­fast, Wi-Fi, a pool and pleas­ant ser­vice.

At the luxe end, pala­tial re­sorts in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Seminyak and Sanur are renowned for their kids’ clubs, where lit­tle ones can dab­ble in sea tur­tle preser­va­tion pro­grams and Lego-build­ing. A num­ber also of­fer com­pli­men­tary ac­cess and free meals. Prices at top tier re­sorts are steeper than else­where, and that’s be­fore taxes.

Most of Bali’s self-con­tained vil­las come with a kitchen, pool and full­time staff, and of­fer space, pri­vacy and a home away from home. Check out Airbnb for the most pop­u­lar “su­per­host” prop­er­ties in Bali and re­fine your search to in­clude villa size, lo­ca­tion and fam­ily ameni­ties such as high chairs and cribs. Al­ter­na­tively, find vil­las to rent on sites such as vil­la­concierge.com or min­istry­ofvil­las.com.

Safety tip: Be aware most villa pools in Bali are not fenced. If trav­el­ling with tots, con­tact Bali Villa Pool Fence (balipoolfence.com), which can as­sess and erect a makeshift fence at your ac­com­mo­da­tion be­fore you ar­rive. De­spite this pre­cau­tion, it’s rec­om­mended to watch your kids around the pool at all times.

HOW DO WE GET AROUND?

If you have a young fam­ily, pri­vate lo­cal trans­port is the best way to make day trips. Ba­li­nese driver Jana Kusuma is friendly, pro­fes­sional and re­li­able, and has ex­pe­ri­ence tour­ing with fam­i­lies. He charges from $50 for a full day. Book him via bal­i­tour­driver.com.

To hire car seats and boost­ers for ba­bies, check out bal­ibaby­hire.com.

BEST KIDS’ EATS?

Most in­ter­na­tional din­ing venues in Bali have kids’ menus, but there are plenty of spots that go above and be­yond. In Canggu, kids eat free at the tapas-themed La Finca, while all-day Aussie-owned Milk & Madu Cafe in Ber­awa of­fers arts and crafts ev­ery day, 7am to 3pm, and monthly themed par­ties with prizes for best dressed.

Nearby, The Joglo restau­rant has a large playground and runs weekly ac­tiv­ity classes for kids, in­clud­ing cook­ing work­shops.

For kids that go gaga for cute, cud­dly things, both the In­done­sianthemed Dan­de­lion Cafe in Canggu and Maha Restau­rant in Ubud have res­i­dent bun­nies hop­ping around the ta­bles.

For gore-lov­ing teens and tweens, the hor­ror-themed Franken­stein’s Lab­o­ra­tory in Seminyak puts on a fun night of un­ex­pected frights, spooky en­ter­tain­ment and spe­cial ef­fects make-up.

FOR KIDS THAT GO GAGA FOR CUTE, CUD­DLY THINGS, BUN­NIES HOP AROUND THE TA­BLES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.