Updated March, 2015
Kid-Friendly Hotels in Bali
Finding kid-friendly hotels in Bali is easy. Most hotels above the budget range have pools. The Balinese friendliness is legendary and it will make almost any hotel an attractive second-home to most families.
Booking hotels online will usually get you the best prices but good deals can also be found by just showing up at a hotel’s front desk and enquiring about rooms. (But book hotels well in advance for visits in July, August, September, December, and January.)
Breakfast is included at most hotels in Bali and will usually include platefuls of delicious local fruit.
The 10 Best Family Resorts on Bali
- Conrad Bali – Tanjung Benoa
Phone: +62 361 778788 • Reviews
- The Westin Resort Bali – Nusa Dua
Phone: +62 361 771906 • Reviews
- Grand Nikko Bali – Nusa Dua
Phone: +62 361 773377 • Reviews
- Bali Dynasty Resort – Kuta
Phone: +62 361 752403 • Reviews
- Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali – Kuta
Phone: +62 361 755577 • Reviews
- Hard Rock Hotel Bali – Kuta
Phone: +62 361 761869 • Reviews
- Padma Resort Bali – Legian
Phone: +62 361 752111 • Reviews
- InterContinental Bali Resort – Jimbaran
Phone: +62 361 701888 • Reviews
- Four Seasons Resort Bali – Jimbaran
Phone: +62 361 701010 • Reviews
- The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah – Ubud
Phone: +62 361 975685 • Reviews
And Five More Great Hotels
During high season (July, August, December and January) the above hotels can be fully booked. Here are several more hotels that are very also very family friendly.
When To Go to Bali
Bali has good weather year round so the climate shouldn’t be a huge factor in deciding when to go. The dry season runs from April to September and is generally the best time to visit Bali.
During the wet season (October to March) there tends to be one big downpour a day (often early afternoon) that quickly disappears leaving only large puddles on the ground and a fresh rain scent in the air.
Of greater importance for planning a trip is the high season months when vacationers arrive from Europe, Australia and Japan. July, August, December, and early January are the busiest times for the island and hotels can often be booked solid in the popular beach resorts — especially during the week of Christmas and New Years.
If you’re looking for the best months to visit Bali they would probably be May, June, and the 2nd-half of September. These months have best weather mixed with the fewest tourists.
The 5 Best Places in Bali for Kids and Families
I love Bali. It’s one of the best destinations for a family vacation. It has everything: good beaches, a rich culture, friendly people, great weather, and wonderful food.
1. Kuta with Kids
Most people start their vacation in Kuta — before setting out for the rest of island — or at least pass through Kuta on there way somewhere else. On the plus side there’s lots to do here and people rarely say they were bored in Kuta. The negatives include a lot of traffic, loads of touts and it’s packed with tourists.
No one goes to Kuta to see the “real Bali”, they go to Kuta to have fun, eat good food, shop at one of the many malls, and enjoy some of the nearby tourist attractions or tours.
Things To Do in Kuta
The beach is the center of activity for Kuta and there’s lots to do there — especially for older kids. Flying kites, surfing (lessons available for kids and adults), or just swimming and playing in the sand. The beach stretches from Tuban in the south (near the airport) north to Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. It makes for a great evening stroll. Walk one-way as far as you can (or until you stop at a restaurant) then saunter home – or take a taxi if you’ve gone a little too far.
Waterbom park is in the center of Kuta and lots of fun for families — water slides, swimming, games.
Shopping is also a very popular activity for tourists and Kuta is loaded with shops selling everything from clothes to cameras, and backpacks to beach towels.
Kid Friendly Restaurants in Kuta and Seminyak
TJ’s Mexican Bar & Restaurant, Papa’s Italian Family Restaurant, Splash Bistro (free use of the huge pool, part of the Hard Rock Hotel), Zanzibar (great pizzas on the beachfront) and Mozzarella (Italian). Discovery Mall in Tuban has a huge food court and several bakeries and treat shops.
Family Friendly Hotels in Kuta and Seminyak
All budgets are well represented in Kuta and outside of the high tourist seasons visitors should be able to get some good deals. (If you’re visiting in December, January, July, or August book your hotel well in advance.)
The Hard Rock Hotel – Waterslides, swimming pools, rock climbing facilities, and play areas. A 1 week stay here will be way too much for some — but it’s a fun choice for 2 or 3 nights.
Febris Hotel And Spa – One of the best budget hotels in Kuta for families. A big pool and good location near shopping and the beach. Large family rooms and free breakfast.
2. Jimbaran with Kids
A very relaxing place to stay if you’re looking to skip the crowds of Kuta but still would like to venture into town for some restaurants and shopping. Jimbaran is very close to the airport making it a good introduction to Bali if you’d like to spend your first day or two relaxing by the pool.
Things To Do in Jimbaran
The highlight of staying in Jimbaran is eating a fresh seafood dinner on the beach while the kids play in the sand around your table. Flying kites, digging for clams, and visiting the early morning fish market are all fun.
If you’re expecting a lot in Jimbaran you may be disappointed. Pack some toys and some beach gear and be prepared for a few days of lazing at the beach — or beside the pool — and eating some great food.
Family Friendly Hotels in Jimbaran
Three hotels stand out in Jimbaran.
In the luxury category nothing compares to the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. With a private beach, kids club program, and beautiful pools — all overlooking Jimbaran Bay — the Four Seasons is one of Bali’s best hotels. (The rooms are set upon the hill and thus require some steps.)
The InterContinental Bali Resort is also a great hotel set right on the beach. It doesn’t have the views of the Four Seasons but the property is on flat land and thus doesn’t require negotiating any hills.
A great budget hotel is the very friendly and well-run Puri Bambu. It has a great pool, free breakfast, and is just a short walk from the beach.
3. Ubud with Kids
Ubud is the arts and cultural hub of the island and makes a nice getaway from the busier beach resorts. It’s also cooler than the coast and provides a good base for exploring the central and northern parts of the island.
Many different venues have nightly showings of different Balinese songs, dances and traditional performances. Most of these venues are outdoors, kid-friendly and realizing. The shows feature theatrical performances, colorful faces and emphatic dancing so don’t be surprised if your kids are more engaged than the adults.
Things To Do in Ubud
Ubud is loaded with great restaurants with kid-friendly food and great desserts. Hanging out in cafes (Casa Luna is our favorite) sampling local food and sweet desserts is a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening. There are many great walks in the hills and rice paddies surrounding Ubud. Hanging by the pool is also fun and most Ubud hotels have pools so no need to worry about whether the kids will be able to swim.
Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a 10 minute walk from the town center. Buy bananas at the gate and feed the monkeys as you walk through the park. Many other great walks can be found all over the Ubud area — and mountain bikes are easy to rent as well.
The Elephant Safari Park is one of 2 places to ride an elephant in Bali. Trails lead out into the jungle and take about 30 minutes to wander around on an elephant. The park itself is about a 1 hour drive north of Ubud and has a decent restaurant.
Family Friendly Hotels in Ubud
I have 3 favorite hotels in Ubud. The first is the very central Puri Saraswati Bungalows. The great Cafe Lotus might as well be connected and sits beside the Lotus Pond at the Water Palace. The hotel has a small pool and very friendly staff.
A little removed from the bustle — but still only 5 minutes walk from the town square — is the tranquil Oka Wati Hotel. It’s very affordable with a nice pool.
And one of the best hotels in Bali, the incredible Chedi Club. Located outside of Ubud surrounded by rice paddies. (There’s a free shuttle into town.)
If you’re willing to be a little outside of Ubud then the Alam Sari Hotel Keliki is a wonderful hotel in a beautiful setting 5km north of the town. Family rooms (or a 3 bedroom villa) have lots of space.
4. Sanur with Kids
Sanur’s beach is the most kid-friendly on Bali. The water is protected by a reef and the gently sloping shore is lapped by calm waters (most of the time). A nice string of restaurants and shops sits a few hundred yards back from the beach and makes a nice destination for an evening walk.
Things To Do in Sanur
The beach — while not Bali’s absolute best — is calm and very kid-friendly.
The Bali Safari & Marine Park is great for families and less than an hour from Sanur. Ride an elephant or watch the animal feeding times. The park also has tigers, komodo dragons, monkeys, giraffes, and more.
Peek A Boo is an indoor playground in Sanur for kids up to 10 years old. Nice, new, and refreshingly cool.
Kid Friendly Restaurants in Sanur
The Beach Cafe is on the beach and has good kid-friendly food.
Family Friendly Hotels in Sanur
The Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites has 2 swimming pools, water slides, and a kids’ club. 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are huge and have fully equipped kitchens. There’s a free shuttle to the beach.
5. Lovina with Kids
Lovina is a place to go to relax and unwind. It doesn’t have the attractions of the beach resorts in the south, so come prepared with your own entertainment — books, kites, games, whatever you need.
The beach here — like Sanur — is protected by a reef and makes for a good swimming spot for small kids. But don’t be expecting the huge swaths of golden sand you saw in Kuta. The sand here is volcanic (dark black) and quite thin in spots.
Things To Do in Lovina
Besides the usual beach activities like swimming and snorkeling the big thing to do in Lovina is a dolphin tour. The tours go early in the morning and take tourists out into the ocean to catch a few brief glimpses of the area’s dolphins.
Lovina is also a great base to explore the natural beauty of northern Bali. Day trips are easily arranged to the areas best spots. The area sees far fewer tourists than the south so this is a great place to see the “real Bali”.
Family Friendly Hotels in Lovina
Seemingly made with kids in mind, the very friendly Rambutan Boutique Hotel has 2 swimming pools, a playground and a very family-friendly feel. The staff are great at responding to emails so drop them a line if you have questions about your visit.
The Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Bali
Sanur has the most kid-friendly beach in Bali. It’s protected by a reef that keeps the big waves far out from the shore. The beach is narrow in spots but this also provides more shade than you’ll get at the larger beaches. The town is quiet but still has lots of shopping and dining.
Nusa Dua is where you’ll find the big resorts, a huge mall, and a lovely stretch of beaches. The disadvantage is that you’re far from the cultural attractions of central and northern Bali. But if you’re only looking for a beach vacation, beautiful resorts, and kids’ clubs then Nusa Dua is perfect.
Kuta Beach is good for older kids and anyone learning to surf as there are many places that will rent boards and provide lessons. Kuta has the most activity of any beach town on Bali so recommended for kids who might get bored sitting around the pool.
Padangbai is my favorite chill-out town on Bali. It has 2 beautiful beaches a short walk from the village. This is the type of place where you want to hang out for a week or more. The Padang Bai Beach Resort has a beautiful pool (one of the only ones in town) and super-friendly staff.
Getting Around Bali with Kids
Taxi and hired car are the easiest and most popular way for tourists to get around Bali. They’re cheap and plentiful. They will not have car seats so if you need one you’ll need to bring your own. The catch is that few cars have seat belts in the rear seats and car seats are not supposed to be put in the front seat. So what do you do? Either search hard for a car with working rear seat belts or hold your child in your arms and live like a local. It’s a tough call with no easy answer.
For taxis in the Kuta and south Bali area use Bluebird Taxi (Phone: 701 111). For hired car and driver ask at your hotel or walk out on the street with a look like you’re going somewhere (you’ll be asked by someone within a few moments).
Bemos (basically a pickup truck with seats in the back) used to play a prominent role in local transportation but their use has fallen off with the widespread ownership of motorcycles. Rides can be long, slow, and torturous. At the same time they can be a lot of fun and offer a taste of a local custom that is disappearing. Experience it while you can if you’re so inclined. Buses are even rarer and their use almost never required unless you’re on a tight budget and going all the way across the island.
Renting a car in Bali is easy. Driving in Bali is not. Driving in Bali is, in a word, crazy. If you don’t have experience driving in a developing country then be prepared to be shocked and shaken. Hiring a car and driver will only cost an extra $5 to $15 per day and that’s what I highly recommend doing. If you do rent a car you officially require an International Drivers Permit but you’ll be able to rent a car without one. The difference comes when you get a traffic ticket (or get in an accident). Be prepared for paying extra fines and payouts. Few tourists rent a car for the duration of a trip but instead get one for a day or two as needed. Rental cars will run from $20 to $50 depending on the vehicle. The cheapest and most common rental is a Suzuki jeep. Avis and Hertz both have outlets in Bali.
Kid Friendly Restaurants
I find Balinese food to be fairly accommodating for young kids. Generally not very spicy with lots of rice, noodles and familiar foods — albeit mixed in an unusual manner. Fruit is a regular addition to any meal — so don’t hesitate to ask for a plate of fruit whether you’re eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. Western food like pizza, hamburgers, and pasta are widely available at touristy restaurants and hotels.
Travel Insurance for Bali
What you want covered in a location like Bali is emergency evacuation coverage so be sure the policy you buy has this covered.
World Nomads is the travel insurance I use and they do cover emergency evacuation (but read the fine print to be certain). They’ve been around for years and are recommended by everyone from the New York Times to Lonely Planet travel guides.
How To Book Hotels in Bali
Booking.com/Bali is my favorite way to book hotels. They have the best rates and there is free cancelation for most rooms so you can book multiple hotels, plan your trip, and cancel the ones you change your mind about.
In the off-season (anytime outside of July, August, December, and January) it’s easy to travel around Bali without reservations and simply show up at a hotel and ask what’s available. If your first choice happens to be fully booked then jump back in the taxi and head to another spot (or simply walk around the town popping your head into any place that looks interesting). Obviously, this method will not appeal to some but it’s a fun way to keep your plans as flexible as possible. (This used to be how I found all my hotels. Admittedly the older I get the more booking online seems like the best use of my time.)