Travelling to Bali with children: where to stay in South Bali
When my daughter was 18 months old and I was 4 months pregnant with my second daughter, my husband and I decided to go on one last long-haul trip before the new baby came. So we researched what places were relatively safe, had the right weather for that time of the year (July-August) and then picked the furthest and most exotic place we could find – the island of the Gods: Bali!
Bali is a great destination for families with beautiful beaches and plenty to do and see. The Balinese LOVE kids and show them a lot of affection. The Balinese believe that children are straight from God and the younger they are, the closer they are to God. This means that you are guaranteed that your children will be most welcome and will always find a waiter or someone in the hotel willing to entertain them or shower them with attention. Most of the time you will find that your children get more attention than you!
Most of the hotels are child-friendly and the bigger hotels even offer babysitting services, kid clubs and kid pools.
The majority of the tourist activity and large hotel chains are concentrated in South Bali in the following areas:
– Kuta: Bali’s main tourist hub on the west coast- a surfers’ paradise and filled with Western chain restaurants, bars, clubs and shopping malls.
– Legian: bordering Kuta, is a family destination with reasonably priced hotels and access to food and shopping without the party scene.
– Nusa Dua: a newer area with luxury resorts and clean, soft, sandy beaches.
– Semiyak: a town on the west coast just north of Kuta and Legian, it has luxury villa hotels and is popular with Europeans, ex-pats and is the current “it” destination.
– Sanur: on the east coast, home to the original resorts in the 1960s and now a quiet, serene beach destination.
– Jimbaran: a sleepy fishing village with upscale, secluded hotels (i.e. Ritz Carlton and 4 Seasons).
In South Bali we opted for Sanur: there was something about the quiet old charm that drew me to it and I’m so glad we picked it.
We stayed at La Taverna Boutique Hotel but there are also lots of bigger hotels such as the Mecure Resort Sanur and the Bali Hyatt.
The beach in Sanur is protected by a barrier reef so there are fe w waves and it’s perfect for kids.
There is also a walking path, perfect for leisurely strolls, which stretches between Sanur’s 5km of beach and low-rise buildings canopied with old trees. Sanur also offers a good selection of restaurants, small gift shops and markets. It is not the best spot for diving or surfing but you can easily take a short taxi ride to reach a better location.
If I ever go back to Bali, I would definitely stay in Sanur again. I can’t recommend it enough to independent travelers with young children!