|A LONG OVERDUE FAMILY HOLIDAY
How Bali has created the ultimate family holiday for everyone
Due to economy demands and search for recognition, I realized that it had become more difficult for me to actually have a decent holiday. The last time we went away was our honeymoon and that was years ago. After the birth of our second child, we didn’t have the time or the energy to take our children on a well-deserved holiday.
So one day, after finishing all the pending projects on my desk, I took a little time online to ‘create’ a holiday for the family. I thought it would be nice to go to Bali, where we went for our honeymoon, thinking of how much fun it was and I believed that the children would have a blast too. Then the thought crossed my mind to take the children out of their pre-school for a couple of days and just go, relax, unwind, forget about our busy lives. My mind was set and I presented the idea to my wife. Within two weeks, we had packed our bags and found ourselves in the taxi heading for the airport. Next stop, Bali!
HEADING SOUTH OF PARADISE
Based on a friend’s recommendation, we chose to stay away from Kuta and opted to stay in Nusa Dua, south of Bali, at the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa. I remember coming here for a meeting and loved the view and the huge grounds. Also they have a Family Room that provides gimmicks and added benefits for the children.
After half an hour drive from the Bali airport, we arrived at our destination and the children immediately jumped out of the car and screamed with excitement as we walked hand in hand admiring the great view ahead of us – the Indian Ocean, spreading across the horizon. I don’t remember seeing the sky so blue, seemingly merging into the ocean. For this first impression, I have to give two thumbs up.
When we opened the door to our room, the children shrieked with joy as they saw the line of toys and two colorful bags hanging by the door containing a t-shirt and some bath amenities. By the TV counter were assorted toys, a board game, a mini dvd player, and the ultimate toy for my son, PlayStation 2 with a selection of games – which I checked and approved that they were child appropriate. Beside the king size bed was a bright orange daybed and on top of it, two elephant dolls – which the children can take home. I took a glance at my wife and she was smiling ear to ear seeing both our children making themselves at home – toys on the floor and playing in their own world.
THE FUN IS YET TO COME
After unpacking our bags, we went down to the swimming pool and the beach. My wife settled herself on one of the sun loungers with a book and the children and I played in the sand. One of the lifeguards approached me and reminded me that they have a kid’s club onsite and I might want to check it out. So I took my little monsters to Jungle Camp and mentioned my room number there. When you stay in the family room or suite, your children will have free access to the kid’s club and away I sent them. The Jungle Camp has an air conditioned indoor area with toys, children’s books, a second floor containing more toys and video games, while an outdoor area was built surrounding the natural setting with tree houses, a trampoline and a climbing wall.
Enough said, I told them to have fun and we will pick them up for lunch. The attendants there were very friendly and my children immediately took a liking to one of the attendants as they asked her to play with them. I knew they were in good hands.
PAMPERING THE BODY AND SOUL
As lunch was still hours away, I thought it was only perfect for a little pampering, so I took my wife to the spa, which is managed by Mandara Spa. After browsing through the spa menus, we decided to take the Spa Sampler treatment which includes a footbath, Balinese massage, aromatherapy floral bath and a choice of facial or foot massage. My wife took the facial and I took the foot massage. Around two hours later, we emerged feeling relaxed – I had not felt this good for ages.
After picking up the children from the Jungle Camp, which was not easy as they wanted to continue playing there, we headed down to The Shore, a beach front restaurant. We ordered salad and some pasta for ourselves while the children got something from a special kid’s menu that came in colorful plates, decorated with drawings of cartoon characters. Soon enough we were sated and the children were sleepy. So it was time for their nap and away we went to our little colorful haven.
THE FUN CONTINUES
The next day, after a night’s rest, we decided to explore the island a bit. Apparently Nikko Bali Resort and Spa has selected several excursion companies that met their standards of safety and security and they created a simple folder containing various activities for us to choose from. As we were overwhelmed with the vast selection, we sought advice from the tour desk manager who suggested several things for us to do. A camel safari ride was available onsite, but we decided to do that later as we can access it easily. So he chose two things for us to do, a visit to the safari park in Gianyar area or a fun splashing day at a water park. What’s great about it is that the hotel will book it for you and arrange the transportation as well, so convenient. We chose the safari as they also have an amusement park onsite and a water park as well.
After a long day of exploring, seeing animals, playing in the amusement park and a hearty lunch and loads of snacks in between, we arrived back at the hotel and retreated to our room. My wife drew a warm bubble bath for the children and let them play in the tub with the squeaky rubber ducks provided, while we watched some TV. We decided that we were too tired to go out for dinner so we ordered some room service – the menu was extensive and they also have kid’s menus available.
BACK TO REALITY
The next morning, we decided to do one last thing before we checked out. The camel safari ride, it was unique and who would have thought that you can ride a camel along the beach in Bali. My advice is to put on a strong sun block as the ride lasts for roughly half an hour and it is best to come prepared. The ride was exciting, the children had fun but unfortunately, we had to go.
Overall, our stay was great, we had a blast and it was a long over due family holiday we all needed. On the flight back home, I was exhausted but in a good way and knew that we had to come back real soon – before the children think they are too old to travel with their parents. And Bali still has loads of secrets and charms that we need to explore, as a couple, as a parent and as a family.