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Bali is a great budget destination for toddler friendly holidays. In fact Bali is a great destination for all sorts of holidays – but in this post I am going to focus on how you can have a fantastic holiday with your children under 5 years of age.
This is part of my toddler friendly holidays series – be sure to check out the other destinations.
Sanur is a great spot for families and is perfect for toddler friendly holidays. It is still has that rustic Bali feel but on a much smaller and quieter scale then chaotic Kuta. You can take the little ones out with the pram (although sometimes a bit bumpy) without the worry of crowded streets. There is also a lovely beach path which is dotted with restaurants and markets. The area is filled with families as opposed to Kuta with tourists looking for nightlife and action (I love Kuta by the way!!!).
Mercure Resort – Sanur
We have stayed at the Mercure Resort in Sanur. This hotel is a great value hotel and in my opinion perfect for a holiday with a baby or toddlers. The accommodation is spread out across 2 hectares of gorgeous gardens, perfect for little ones to play in. If possible get a room on the ground floor so your room opens right out to the garden. Even better get a room close to the pool - great for walking back and forth during the day. Whilst the Mercure is slightly out of the heart of Sanur, it is still an easy walk to the main area or cheap taxi ride. Click here to book a room at the Mercure Resort for your toddler friendly holidays.
Things to See
You can easily access other parts of Bali from Sanur. We regularly took a taxi to Kuta for a bit more action. We also hired a driver on 2 days and visited various sites around Bali.
I highly recommend the driver we had Ketut Sudarta. Get in touch with him before you leave home and he will help you put an itinerary together. He can even pick you up from the airport. Ketut runs a very professional business and comes highly recommended by Australian tourists. He can also provide child seats too which is great – which is a great bonus for toddler friendly holidays. Ketut can assist you with ideas of where you might like to you, however I always recommend doing your own research on TripAdvisor or Pinterest to see what interests you. You can then provide him this list and he will work out an itinerary based on this information.
If you want to hire Ketut as your driver when you are in Bali, click here for his website. Whilst we were in Bali we had Ketut take us to the following locations:
- Tanah Lot – temple built on a spectacular rock formation in the sea. Tourists flock here to see the stunning sunsets.
Tanah Lot Temple
- Dreamland Beach – whilst mainly a surfers beach – I love the vibe here! The beach is absolutely stunning, its bit of a walk to get here but well worth it. Our little one did it with ease. Have some lunch at one of the cafes and stare at that view whilst soaking up the cool vibe.
- Nusa Dua Beach – gorgeous tourist beach surrounded by upmarket world-class hotels.
- Mount Batu – go check out an active volcano
- Tegalalang Rice Terraces – go check out this postcard view that Bali is famous for.
- Tea House – visit one of the many tea houses around Bali high in the mountains for fabulous views and tea.
- Jimbaran Bay – famous for its seafood dinners right on the beach, eat delicious seafood whilst being serenaded by one of the many buskers and enjoy the sunset.
- Uluwatu Temple – another gorgeous temple situated high on the cliffs overlooking the sea.
Another great destination for kids is the Ubud Monkey Forest. We decided against going here as Myla is a little scared of animals and we thought the monkeys jumping around would freak her out. If your little ones are more courageous than mine – they will love watching the monkeys.
I’d also recommend a visit to the Bali Bombing Memorial site. 202 people were killed in this terror attack in 2004 including 88 Australians. It is a lovely memorial site and I recommend going there to remember the victims.
Other than that I recommend you spending a big chunk of your time playing in the pool with the kids, drinking cocktails at the pool bars, massages on the beach, browsing through the markets and having fantastic meals at the wonderful restaurants. For perfect toddler friendly holidays I recommend not to pack too much in. Leave at least a day or two between each travel and sightseeing day to give your little one some down time.
Babysitting / Nanny
I’d also recommend hiring a nanny or babysitter for a few nights, heck if you have the money hire
one everyday. Babysitters are around $5 AUD per hour and so are quite affordable allowing you to have a perfect mix of family time and some adult time with your partner. You can find recommendations for babysitters in the Bali forums on TripAdvisor. Babysitters usually have their own Facebook page so you can check out a few before you leave home. You can sometimes arrange a babysitter with the hotel also. I usually spend a few hours with the babysitter and my child before leaving them alone.
Other locations in Bali
Other locations in Bali you might want to consider staying at include Legian, Seminyak or Nusa Dua. In fact I’d even recommend Kuta if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle. Where you stay really depends upon the sort of holiday you are looking for. I think Sanur offers a great place for families.
I have also stayed at Legian (2008), before I had Myla and I also recommend this as a great family location. On that trip I stayed at the Jayakarta Hotel. This is a great value for money hotel and has a lovely pool area. It’s in a great location on the beach and has restaurants and shops right outside. It is also a short taxi drive to Kuta. Click on the link here if you wish to book your stay at the Jayakarta Hotel.
I’m not sure I’d recommend Nusa Dua to stay in. Don’t get me wrong it’s absolutely gorgeous, but to me it just feels fake. The area is quite upmarket with flash shopping malls and golf course. Just doesn’t feel like Bali to me. I’d recommend a day visit though.
We are off to Bali in 2017 and we are splitting our time between Kuta and Seminyak . I actually don’t mind the craziness of Kuta which is why we will stay there for a few nights. I have chosen the Holiday Inn as its kids club comes highly recommended. I won’t go into the details here as the focus of this post is on kids under 5. But stayed tuned for my review on this hotel next year. In the meantime if you are keen on booking or checking out this hotel, click here.
In 2017 we will also stay in Seminyak at Star villa. Villas are another great option for families with babies or toddlers is a villa. Villas are usually around the same price as a hotel room, but of course offer way more space and privacy. Although you will usually need to compromise on the location and or course you don’t wake up to those amazing buffet breakfasts that the hotels and resorts provide.
My only concern with villas and small children is the safety aspect. Generally these Villas come with pools and no fences – so this would worry me a little with a toddler. You can hire fencing, but to be honest I think for peace of mind I’d stay in a hotel.
If you are interested in checking out Star Villa or booking it for your next trip, click here. Doesn’t it look amazing!!!!
UPDATE: Unfortunately we are not going to make it to Seminyak this trip so we have had to cancel the Star Villa. The management for Star Villa were amazing, refunding our deposit immediately. So whilst I have not been in the villa myself I still highly recommend booking here – they are lovely.
If you are keen on checking out my other destinations for toddler friendly holidays click one of the below links:
Phuket – Thailand
Koh Samui – Thailand
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