For those who know me, I try to avoid traveling as much as possible. It’s simply too difficult and stressful to leave my haven (and household staff) in Jakarta and globe hop with three young kids. Last week however, we spontaneous decided to go to Bali during school holidays. We literally had 1.5 hours to pack and leave for the airport! I’m surprised we even pulled it off, considering my nanny wasn’t even there to help me!
Living in Jakarta, we are so lucky to be located right next to the tropical paradise of Bali. I previously wasn’t a huge fan of Bali because I had spent my last vacation there in hospital (not Bali related). This time around however, it was a perfect family getaway because we knew exactly how to do Bali with three young kids…keep it simple!
Our first night we stayed in The Hard Rock Bali in Kuta and contrary to the name and brand, it’s not a hardcore Rock n Roll hotel at all! It’s soft and fluffy and VERY kid friendly! We absolutely loved it there! The night we arrived we decided to take it easy and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. On our way back to our room, there was a live band playing so I got to feel like an adult on vacation for a while and the kids got to dance. This was a great start to our stay there!
We were so surprised by how accommodating this hotel is to young families. Having a family of 5, we usually have to book two hotel rooms but this hotel offered a ‘Loft Room’ which sleeps up to 6 (at a very affordable rate for KITAS and Indonesian citizens.) The next day, we hired a bungalow by the pool so that we were well shaded from the hot sun. Having a bungalow also allowed us to have a spot to hang in after we checked out of our room. We spent our morning swimming in their huge pool (kids water park, water slides, kids pool cafe, sandy beach pool).
The next part of our trip in a simple Airbnb villa. We chose a villa that was practical and had good reviews from other families. The location wasn’t important to us, because with three young kids (and no nanny) realistically, we knew that we weren’t going to have a chance to dine in any of the delicious and trendy restaurants in town. We just needed a villa that provided home cooked meals, transportation to various sites (our kids can only handle one outing per day, if that!) and access to a couple of good cafes. (Check out Watercress and Wild Hog with Chef Bruno… so yummy!)
Our villa was located in between Seminyak and Canggu. We did one day trip to Nusa Dua and visited a cool Pirate Ship restaurant opposite to the beach called ‘The Pirates Bay‘. Our hut was shaded and cool and allowed us direct beach access. The beach was calm and perfect for young kids.
The rest of our time in Bali was fairly relaxing (as much as it can be with all three children constantly yelling, whining, fighting and relentlessly torturing me for attention) by the pool and no nanny to help! I had one afternoon of massage and a body treatment; shopping and then a couple of quiet drinks and dinner on my own in Seminyak. I honestly didn’t want to return and cried for the old me that would have easily walked across the road to the lively pub, and continued partying for the rest of the night without a single worry in sight. But, my breasts were leaking with breastmilk so I reluctantly (seriously, I wanted to run away that night!) returned home to three well fed and fast asleep kids. Why are my kids always so well behaved for their father when I’m not around?!
Coming home to Jakarta was pleasant. I’m always happy to get back home but this Bali trip made me realize that we need to take serious advantage of living in Jakarta and seek more of the beautiful surroundings that Indonesia has to offer. I’m looking forward to our next Indonesian adventure! Please share your favourite Indonesian getaways.