Location by location, popular tourist spots in Bali. 

Hey Bali Lovers, I get loads of private messages every day asking for advice and information about holidays tips to which I have an automated response pointing people to my app for most queries ( apologies as for years I have tried to provide personalised responses and just couldn’t keep up with the queries any longer). However a reoccurring theme regarding which area of Bali to stay in is repeated of late. So my little run down of popular locations includes: Kuta – head to Kuta if you are keen for market shopping, enjoy partying and socialising which includes loads of alcohol consumption, have your wits and common sense about you regarding personal safety and crime, enjoy shopping for all the International Brands at larger Shopping malls, love to socialise with the locals at the beach bars and are looking for larger hotels with all the mod cons or also ‘old school’ smaller Bali home stays for budget travellers. A plus side to Kuta is the close proximity to Waterbom Park and the Baby Turtle Sanctuary. 

Legian – Legian is not too far from the airport and is great again for market style shopping, some boutiques and nice casual dining options and is somewhat close to Waterbom Park. It is a softer option for the party crowd with several sports bars dotted around and is great if you enjoy casual sunset drinks on the beach. Legian is popular for budget and luxe travellers with a range of hotels to suit all travellers and sits beautifully in between Seminyak and Kuta. Families enjoy Legian due to having many popular beach side eateries great when travelling with kids. 

Seminyak- Seminyak is a definitely more upmarket and has considerably more boutiques and only small pockets of Market style shopping. The cafes, dining options and Bars are definitely more upmarket and fashionable and the style of accommodation is also more mid priced to luxury with a large blend of resorts and luxury villas available. 

Umalas/ Batu Belig / Berawa – are beautiful areas which are quickly becoming built up, yet have smaller style hotels with a blend of Villas as well. There are no market stalls or large shopping malls, however there are some excellent cafes and restaurants and some boutiques and they are much quieter than perhaps Seminyak, Legian and Kuta. These areas are great if your keen to explore both Seminyak and Canggu. 

Canggu – Canggu has become incredibly popular in recent years and attracts a lot of families and younger people. There are some great, cafes and smaller bars which have popped up and a small amount of boutiques. There aren’t any market stalls, shopping malls etc but there is awesome surf. Splash water park + Bounce and Strike Bowling Alley are big draw cards for families. 

Balian and Medewi- are fantastic little get away locations with no shopping, no sports bars, no night clubs. Casual budget accommodation and dining options are abundant and great surf and beautiful scenery is why people come here. 

Candidasa – A beautiful village vibe with small casual dining options. No shopping, nor night clubs and there are a few larger exclusive resorts but mainly smaller home stays and budget resorts. 

Sanur – still has that old school, quiet Bali vibe with budget and luxury accommodation, calmer beaches than other locations, so it’s good for those with small children. Sanur has some market shopping, yet no boutiques or large scale shopping malls and has some lovely casual eateries and is a very popular location for retirees. 

Nusa Dua- Has some of the islands most beautiful beaches and is mostly large scale upmarket resorts. There is one large shopping Centre although it has manly local crafts for sale and a food Hall type of thing. So not an area for much shopping or dining out other than what the resorts have on offer. Popular for Golf enthusiasts, families which like resorts which offer everything and those with higher budgets. 

Balangan – is a stunning beachside location and is mainly for surfers or those wanting to relax with very casual, local style eating options and boutique or very casual budget accommodation. It’s a favourite of mine as I enjoy the coastal tranquility. 

Bingin/ Padang Padang / Uluwatu – again another favourite of mine and is mainly for surfers / beach lovers and again families wanting to coastal vibes to relax. With stunning beaches (however loads of stairs need to be navigated to access them not for those who are elderly, unfit or may have special needs). There are a couple of boutiques and great coffee spots and cafes however no markets, nightclubs, large shopping malls etc. 

Ubud – remains a craft and yoga hub for those seeking beautiful scenery and a retreat perhaps. Ubud has some of the best markets on the Island for shopping and a range of boutiques and Tegallalang rice fields are a must for craft shopping and viewing. There is a huge variety of dining options as well. 

Lembongan- is incredibly laid back and mainly for surfers, divers and snorkelers with a great variety of accomodation, yet no shopping or nightlife at all. 

Gili’s – are stunning and for those who love to dive and snorkel and also those that love to party hard. 

I haven’t been to Bedugal, Lovina or Amed as I get super car sick so can’t really comment until one day when I travel around the entire island to find new discoveries and will report back. I hope that helps a little xxx

” A Day in Paradise” a day pass at the Grand Nikko in Nusa Dua.

The boys were pumped to spend ” A day in paradise” at the Grand Nikko in Nusa Dua. This place is about 30 minutes on the new Tol Road from Kuta and perhaps 40 from Seminyak. You pay 200 000 Rupiah per adult ( 1 child per adult free) to enjoy the resorts facilities for the day. We haven’t spent much time in large resorts so even the 15 story high lift with a window was an adventure. Set on one of the most pristine beaches this grand resort was built around 18 years ago however has been immaculately maintained. Included in the day pass you get to use their pool towels, the huge lagoon which includes a man made beach, specific wading pool for toddlers with crocodile slide, a super hot spa, a waterfall and the best bit is the superfast water slide. I had to road test it of course and yep it was fast and fun. The pass also includes 15% off food at The Shore Restaurant and 25% off the Mandara Day Spa. I booked in for a 50 minute Balinese massage and it was pure bliss. A little more than I normally pay ( about $65USD) however all the extras such as beautiful clean white sheets, quality oils and great technique was perfect. While I was enjoying a massage as part of the day pass the boys had 1 hour free access in the Jungle Camp Kids Clubs. Possibly one of the best on the island. With trampolines, climbing wall ( supervised with safety ropes in the mornings) play station, dress ups in traditional Balinese outfits, books, puzzles crafts, PlayStation and more the kids club is perfect to get the kids out of the midday sun. Then it was back to the pool are for about 100 more runs on the slide. We enjoyed a huge club sandwich and sate chicken for lunch by the pool with watermelon juice. We spent about 5 – 6 hours enjoying the resorts facilities and we can recommend it, particularly if you tend to stay in villas or are just looking for a fun day trip. There is actually some great surf breaks just out the front for the surfers in the family and some small beach warungs and massage ladies at the small public beach to the left of the hotel if you want to keep the costs down also. My boys were absolutely shattered on the drive back and both fell asleep which is pretty unheard of for these two active little guys. Here is the link, The Grand Nikko is in Nusa Dua, South Bali. 
http://grandnikkobali.com/news/2015/01/day-in-paradise/
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Pirates Bay ~ Nusa Dua

Arrrrrggg Me Mateys, set sail for the high seas and visit Pirates Bay Bali in Nusa Dua. It’s a great playground for the kids to get all Captain Jack Sparrow around. My boys love to run, swing, climb and play hide and seek in the huge tree houses and boat. It’s 50 000 rupiah to play or free if you have a drink or bite to eat at the cafe. Located in the BTCD area at Nusa Dua,(just to the right of the Melia Resort or the left from Opera Beach Club , and right near the public Mengiat beach) As listed in the Little Miss Bali App in the Kids Fun section 🙂 x

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Kayuputi Sunday Brunch ~ St Regis Resort, Nusa Dua.

I do like to day dream and I kind of imagine this place is what heaven might be like. Kayuputi at the The St. Regis Bali Resort is just perfect in every sense and I could not have asked for a better place to celebrate my 40th Birthday. This 4 time Wine Spectator Award winning fine dining restaurant offers the most wondrous brunch your mind can imagine. Every Sunday serving Asian inspired haute cuisine with an opulent yet inviting atmosphere. This sea side Brunch includes complimentary aperitif and champagne or juice in the bar from 11 – 12 noon. The actual brunch runs from 12 – 3. For 1.100 000Rup Per person and Beverage packages from 995.00 per person inclusive of champagne, world class premium wines, cocktails digestives and cigars ( it’s worth it) . Seating is limited and a reservation is a must. Approximately 20 courses of the most visually exquisite and tastebud pleasing dishes are presented at your table. You can order off of the sensational al la cart menu also. Don’t be put off if you have not heard of or can’t pronounce half of the menu, I couldn’t either, however I can reassure you it was all amazing. Pace yourself as you may just explode if you try the lot. I loved it when the manager greeted us and provided a rundown of how this brunch works, I apologised for my husband who was enjoying the “huge, pumping, swell and would join us soon” Harold commented “his loss “as the staff handed me the most delicious champagne ever and I thought to myself, this is not your average brunch buffet no no no. Harold explained we can just wave anything away that we didn’t want as it was offered at our table, however my eager gang was willing to try the lot. These angels in white (highly professional wait people) just subtly appear in front of you, with some of the courses being prepared at the table with a theatrical like visual display. The caviar, the tuna, the beef was all sublime, however my favourite part was ‘The Bounty” a coconut sorbet with dark chocolate. I was totally spoilt with a huge bunch of stunning roses and also totally embarrassed as all the staff sang to “Happy Birthday” to me. Even the toilets are stunning in this place and I did take my phone in to sneak a shot of the waterfall just for you guys. Oh and I almost forget to mention your children aged 4 and up can be safely minded in the Child Learning Centre for the duration of this experience. Start Saving now as this experience is a MUST DO if you are in Bali. http://www.kayuputirestaurant.com/sunday-brunch.
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St Regis Resort, Nusa Dua.

You know you are going to like a place when they greet you at the front security by name and hand you a frangipani on a stick. By now you guys will know I generally prefer small villas and my own privacy however when an opportunity comes up like this, I will say YES PLEASE. The The St. Regis Bali Resort felt like it was almost designed and created for just for me. A perfect balance of understated luxury and class, matched with the most welcoming and friendly warmth. A grand hotel which has managed to create this perfect sense of serenity yet totally embraces children. My boys were totally won over with their pack on arrival which included hats, t-shirts, baby turtles, colour pencils. We were transported in the golf buggy of course by our personal butler Agus to our 2 bedroom Lagoon villa, which is spacious, beautiful and like a very luxurious, home away from home. These villas have everything you need including oodles of complimentary items such as hats, beach bags, sparkling and still water and the most extensive bathroom amenity range you could ever imagine. As we ran around, mouths open in awe to find out way out to our private deck personal pool and day bed, we followed the deck down and the boys jumped into the huge secret salt water lagoon in the middle of the resort. This lagoon is just dreamy, to float swim, lounge, walk, explore, sun bake and play. Pool guys paddle around in their boats and as the palm trees offer you the choice of sunshine or shade. After exploring the lagoon, the pool spa, the waterfalls, the kids pool, the beach, the hammock garden, we managed to get back to the Children’s Learning Centre. This place is amazing for 4 years and up, structured activities to engage and teach the children about culture, craft music, cooking and more. Whilst kids are being well cared for you can indulge in the high quality day spa, sit on the sun lounge by the Indian Ocean and sip a baby coconut, or read a magazine in one of the day beds protected by heavenly, billowing white curtains. As the moon begins to rise, every evening you venture to the lobby area to enjoy the drumming and fire dance, it was sensational and the boys LOVED it. Its the little touches that St Regis provides like when the butler inquires would the boys like complimentary milk or hot chocolate with their cookies before bed, and to see them sipping their night time treat like it happens all the time brought huge smiles to our faces. I can not recommend this place highly enough to the luxury traveller either honeymooning, as a couple or travelling as a family. With some of the islands most highly regarded restaurants within the grounds ( more posts coming soon) you are not deprived for choice. With a range of rooms available, it is the perfect place to indulge,relax and create some wonderful memories.http://www.stregisbali.com/ DSC_0097DSC_0113DSC_0157IMG_2264IMG_2296IMG_2289IMG_2324DSC_0071

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