A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit Bali with the kids for the fourth time (fifth for me) since we moved to Indonesia. There is something magical about that island that just draws us back and has a way to enchant us on every visit.
For the first time ever, I decided we would not plan our trip, at all and just play it by ear and do as we and the boys pleased as we felt like it. Yes, I know, this is so unlike me but it was the perfect attitude to have since half an hour into our flight there Evan got sick and let’s just say that I was grateful for the barf bag in the seat in front of us.
As soon as we got to the airport I was a bit concerned of how the ride to the hotel would be and was very happy to see it took us 15 minutes to get to the Holiday Inn! This was a first for me, since I was used to traveling an hour or even more (three when we went to Tulamben) to get to our resort. As soon as we got to the Holiday Inn we were greeted by friendly staff, a nice cold mixed juice and a cool backpack for each of the boys.
Since our room wasn’t ready when we got there, we were given a voucher for the in-house ice-cream shop. You can guess Evan and Josh were very excited about it. Daddy opted for a freshly brewed espresso and Evan had the difficult task of choosing a flavor out of the wide array of yummies available. As we
devoured enjoyed our treats we got a chance to relax by the pool and the boys started to explore the hotel. We were in for a good stay.
Soon after we got our ice-creams we were told our rooms were ready. We were staying in a family suite which consisted of two adjoining rooms and were so excited to see what it looked like. Our room was fantastic. Clean tropical lines with crisp linens made our room the perfect sanctuary for the next few days. A gorgeous terrace with a great seating area boasted lush tropical jungle views and the perfect place to let the kids run free. A TV and a DVD player were ready for us to stay-in and relax if we decided to. This was such a treat for us since we always have had to tune into kids shows every time we turn on the TV.
A door away was the boys’ room. They were so excited to see it, and so was I, finally, a place where kicks and midnight cries would not disturb our sleep. The kids’ room included two twin beds, a full bathroom with a great bathtub, fantastic decoration, a great storage area and an Xbox! The boys don’t really know how to play video games yet but the potential for some quiet time is certainly appealing. Evan and Josh were so happy with their room. Evan chose a bed right away and tuned into Disney Junior as soon as he got in his room.
Of course the boys were eager to go to the pool so as soon as we got in our room we changed into our swimming gear and headed over to the pool. The pool area had several big tropical huts with supersized beds. They became our favorite landing spot with a perfect view of the kiddy pool and a nice shade. The kiddy pool was the perfect size for the boys to wade. It was also covered by sunshades and I was happy to not have to reapply sunblock every thirty minutes. The big pool had a beach like area that gently led to the pool. This was Joshua’s favorite spot. We didn’t really try the pool bar but it was certainly very popular.
As we kept exploring the hotel, the boys were quick to discover the outdoor playground. It was centrally located in the middle of the hotel and protected from the sun by gorgeous greenery. Our room actually had a view of the playground so we could have stayed in our terrace while the boys played. I was so happy to stay in a hotel where I didn’t have to exhaust the boys, but they could do that all on their own.
In a building adjoining the playground the Kids’ Club opened its doors daily from early morning to the evening time. The kids club is included with the stay but as we checked the kids in we were told that they could supervise them for the day if we decided to (massage time, anyone?). Since the boys are still under 4 years old, we would have to pay Rp. 50,000 per hour for the babysitting service but kid 4 and older can stay there for free for as long as they want to. Evan and Josh looooved the kids club. They wanted to be there all day! The toys were fabulous and the activities were tons of fun. Every day they had different crafts and activities for the kids. The boys had a great time playing there and asked to go back all the time. Since it was getting close to Christmas a lot of the activities involved making ornaments with local materials. I was able to sit down and relax for a few minutes and read my book while the boys just bounced around and had a blast. Daddy was particularly happy to visit the kids club because they had several computers there. As he browsed the internet, I read my book, and the boys played. Now this my friends is what I call a relaxing vacation!
The restaurant at the Holiday Inn was very kid-friendly. They didn’t really have a specialty restaurant with a world-renowned French chef but the food was good and very affordable. The kids particularly enjoyed the kid’s menu which included all kids of kid-friendly food. They particularly enjoyed eating grilled corn which was available by the poolside every day. I enjoyed their home-made pizzas and salads and the hubby ate fish almost every day. Although we didn’t really try them, they had special themed buffets every night. From all you can eat pasta to Indonesian street foods the restaurant catered to every palate.
The beach by the Holiday Inn was nice. Since it was a public beach some vendors could come over and offer you their services or products, but this is nothing new to us. The boys enjoyed playing in the soft sand but we avoided going in the ocean due to the strong waves caused by the rainy season.
One of our favorite things about staying at the Holiday Inn was the amazing location. This is the first time we stay close to Kuta beach and not having to travel in a taxi for hours and spending tons of money just to go to the mall was a great perk. It took us about 10 minutes to get to Beach Walk where we had a wonderful lunch and were able to walk around and do a little shopping. On a different day we visited the newly opened Lippo mall and had a great time actually being able to walk to the mall vs. taking a taxi! Our last day in Bali was a fantastic one, we all walked to a small massage parlor a few meters away from the hotel. There, the friendly staff played with Joshua while Evan and daddy got a haircut and I got a foot and back massage.
This short trip was everything a vacation is supposed to be. We had fun and were even able to relax for a bit. A completely new concept for us. Staying at the Holiday Inn was a fantastic choice. This place is perfect for families with kids of all ages. We can’t wait to go back!
Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali
Jalan Wana Segara 33Tuban Bali , 80361 Indonesia