Bali with Kids – The Ultimate Travel Guide

Updated August, 2014

Getting Started

Hotels in Bali for Families

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

And Five More Great Hotels

During high season (July, August, December and January) these 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

Kuta BeachMost 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.

In Seminyak good family-friendly food can be found at Warung Italia and Tuesday Night Pizza Club.

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.

Also very kid-friendly in the Tuban/Kuta area are the Bali Dynasty Resort and the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali.

In Seminyak, Mutiara Bali Boutique Resort & Villas are huge and great value for what you get. The W Retreat & Spa is right on the beach and pure luxury.

2. Jimbaran with Kids

Jimbaran Beach restaurants.
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

The rice paddies around Ubud.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 beach is very kid-friendly.
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 Bali Hyatt Hotel has impressive grounds, beautiful swimming pools and a faded luxury that perfectly suits the demands of traveling families.

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

The calm and secluded beach at Lovina.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.

In Nusa Dua the Nikko Resort Bali, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Grand Hyatt Bali, and The Westin Resort Bali are all great for families with wonderful pools. The Westin has the best kids’ club.

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.

Kids playing in the sand in Bali.

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.)

See Also

Photo credits and banner photo credit

89 questions and comments

  1. Kerry

    I’m looking for a 4 star hotel in Ubud. Could you suggest something for 2 adults and a child. We’ll be staying for 1 week or maybe 10 days. A swimming pool is a must. I need to book soon but having a difficult time picking one.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Jackie

    Could you possibly help with staying in a hotel in Kuta? I need a very nice hotel for a wedding party. There will be 2 families needing 2 rooms. Budget is around $200 to $300 for each room. We’ll be traveling in September. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. in Ubud

    Ubud has its own royal palace which fosters the arts and traditions, that find their expression in colourful temple cermonies and community events.Taman Indrakila A boutique hotel situated high above the Campuhan River Valley on the outskirts of the artistice and cultural community of Ubud.

    Reply
  4. Manager of the Hotel Orissa

    Hello, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  5. Stuwie

    Heading to Sanur in October and am trying to decide on a hotel for one group of 3 singles and a family of 3 (mine) with a 4 year old. Is there something that could work for both groups? Thx. And great site too. Kudos.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The Peneeda View is just an awesome value hotel. Very nice pool. If you’re willing to pay a bit more the Sanur Bali Hyatt is one of the nicest hotels on the island. Relaxed but very luxurious. (On my first trip to Bali as a backpacker I couldn’t afford to stay there but still spent a lot of time hanging around the pool and playing mini-golf.) Good luck.

      Reply
  6. Chris

    This isn’t easy. Having a hard time finding a good quality hotel in Jimbaran that doesn’t cost a fortune. Can you recommend a hotel for a family of 4. We have 5 kids ages 2 and 11. We do need a pool but are flexible besides that.

    We could swing to another town but have heard good things about Jimbaran from friends. What do you think we should do?

    Chris

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I love Puri Bambu in Jimbaran. Great value, beautiful pool with a swim-up bar, and very very friendly staff. It’s not right on the beach which is why it’s so cheap. Just a short walk takes you to the water though, and there are several delicious beach restaurants right there. It was a highlight of our trip.

      Reply
  7. Marga

    I m planning to come to Bali in June 2013. We want to try the seawalker. Is it safe for kids 9 years old?? Which hotel closest to the seawalker adventure??

    Reply
  8. Anne

    Seawalker is suitable for children whose age 9 years old up with minimum height 140 cm (child rate is applicable for 9-11 y/o)

    Reply
  9. Rickenda

    I am planing a 10 day trip to Bali in July 2013. Looking for a hotel that will cater for a family with teenagers (11 , 14 & 15 year). Most hotel have kids clubs but are for the younger ages. Do you know of a great resort/ hotel on the beach (swim-able beach) with a or-some swimming pool and activities and not full of retires?

    Reply
  10. Frankie

    Hi, we are looking to book a vacation in Bali for July 2013, and would like to treat ourselves for no bars utter luxury on this trip.
    Which of the top luxury Resorts do you think would be most enjoyable for a 5 year old ?
    Thank you for this great website !

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I love the Four Seasons in Jimbaran so would recommend that.

      Great beach, superb service, super fun kids club, near to the fantastic beach-seafood huts of Jimbaran. Quiet but close to Kuta if you want to do some shopping or touristy things.

      Hope that helps.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  11. Priya

    Hi David
    Love ur website. We will be in Bali this August for 2 weeks with our kids (9 and 3). We are planning on splitting our time there between Seminyak and Ubud. I’ve booked rooms at the Dippan resort in Seminyak and Cendana in Ubud. Do you know anything about these places. Also, we will have a long flight from Washington DC to Singapore, staying there for a week before heading to Bali. I am concerned about water quality in Bali. Any advice for us?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Both are good choices. We only drink bottled water in Bali (widely available) and have never had any problems.

      Reply
  12. Karla

    Hi, looking at Bali for 7 days, Sept 12, Kuta about 2 days,
    need accomm. 2 parent adults, one young adult, one teen 14 and one child 6yrs old. Budget $100 – $150 a night. Clean, nice, tidy with a hint of luxury.

    Reply
  13. Veena Grandhi

    Hi David, We would like to visit Bali in December… 22 to 29th. I know its high season and want to book in advance. My kids are 17 and 21 and like fun and adventure. We were thinking about staying at one o the Westin/Sheraton properties since we have points. What do you think of them. Is there any all inclusive properties that you may recommend?

    Reply
  14. jennifer mikellides

    hi there. me and my family of 2 adults and 3 children [ 15,14,8] are planning our frst trip to bali in february. we have no idea where to stay but i would like somewhere that the kids will enjoy. would you have any suggestions please?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Jennifer. Not sure if you’re looking for a hotel or a place? In either case the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran is awesome and Jimbaran itself is one of my favorite beaches in Bali. Great seafood is cooked and eaten right on the beach every night. It’s so much fun. The swimming is nice too (most of the time – the waves can be rough on occasion).

      Reply
  15. Emma

    Hi. My family and I (2 and 6 yr old) will be going to Bali next April for a wedding in Seminyak. We will be staying for 11 nights and are trying to decide where to stay. We have a max of 6k for accommodation and would preferably like it cheaper but we do want it to be a holiday that combines luxury for us and fun for the kids, so being close to the beach is ideal. We are happy to stay a few days in Seminyak for the wedding and move to another hotel for the remainder of the trip as hotels outside Seminyak look better value. I am also wondering whether we would get a better deal if it was closer to to April? Any suggestions are welcome as i am drowning in a world of websites!

    Reply
  16. Molly

    David, your site truly rocks. Thank you!

    My best friend and I will be traveling with her 4 year old and an 8 year old. Seeking access to great food, spas, shopping, bars, lounges, etc. for the ladies and a kids club w/ activities for the kiddos. She is leaning towards staying in a 5 star in Seminyak, but we are flex. Any suggestions?

    (p.s. not meant as self-promotion, but I write a family friendly blog about Portland, OR: http://www.newfoodeden.wordpress.com in case you’re ever this way :))

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Seminyak is a great area – so can’t go wrong there. Definitely recommend getting away from the Kuta region to see the rest of the island though. Ubud makes a great base to see lots in central and northern Bali – and it’s a great spot in its own right. If you stay a little out of town it’s incredibly peaceful and quiet, but the towns close with lots of places to eat and explore. Most place have a pool too which is nice. I’d split my time between those 2 places. Hit Jimbaran at least one night to eat fresh seafood at restaurants spread along the beach.

      Good luck (and nice blog – well done).

      Reply
      1. Molly

        Thank you! We had a wonderful time in both Seminyak and Ubud. We got a lovely 2BR villa in Seminyak and day-tripped to Ubud. In hindsight, we should have spent at least 3 days in Ubud; it was paradise! And we took your advice and had a seafood dinner in Jimbaran following the Kecak fire dance in Uluwatu. Perfect. Thank you.

        Reply
  17. Sammy

    We are travelling to Bali in September with 3 boys ( 2, 4, 7) their first overseas trip. I would like either a room that has 5 beds (ok with a rollaway) or apartment. No need for kids club. I’m getting a little overwhelmed with numbers of options am also contemplating splitting time between 2 places?
    Where would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance :)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Sammy.

      Yes, it’s easier to find large suites at 5 star hotels – or by getting connecting rooms.

      Here are some ideas for hotels that are nice, have some larger rooms, and aren’t super-expensive. (The last 2 are a bit out of the way but a short taxi ride to the beach – and taxis are cheap in Bali.)

      Good luck.

      Febris Hotel And Spa Bali
      Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites
      Hotel La Taverna – Sanur
      3V Kerobokan Villa –Kerobokan
      Harris Hotel & Residences Sunset Road – Kuta

      Reply
  18. eve

    Hi david,
    We are really wanting to take our boys 6,8 & 9 yrs to bali but am unsure where to stay.
    Mind you I’ve been 3 times and I’ve had all different stays( all of which were amazing) but I’m confused about accomidation with kids.
    This holiday is mainly for my sons to see bali but for me not to have to climb mountains to entertain them.
    Do they need any shots?
    Forgive my ignarance but its what I’ve heard.
    Thanks david

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      What about a mix of places.

      Start with the Hard Rock Hotel Bali in Kuta. Super fun for boys that age. (Not “the real Bali” of course, but would make a fun start to your trip.) It’s perfect for 2 or 3 nights – but much more and some people might tire of the atmosphere.

      Then go to Jimbaran. Awesome seafood restaurants along the beach. Nice vibe. Quiet and you can epxlore the Bukit Peninsula easily from there without having to contend with Kuta traffic. Puri Bambu is a great mid-range hotel. Nice pool and good location. You save money by not being right on the beach (though it’s a short walk).

      Finish up in Ubud. The Four Seasons Resort at Sayan is awesome. Beautiful setting out in the rice paddies. This will get you exploring little villages and seeing rural Bali at work in the fields.

      Check the CDC (and your doctor) for what shots you need. wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/indonesia.htm

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  19. Rachel

    Hello David,

    We are traveling to Bali in Feb, we have been twice before but traveling with our 15month old boy this time. We can’t decide where to stay?! Going for 9nights. We have been told Sanur is great for families but also really like seminyak for food & shopping. We would prefer a villa within a resort so we still get that resort feel, cocktails, room service etc.

    Can you suggest places in both areas please?

    Cheers Rachel

    Reply
  20. Alison

    Hello David,
    I am taking my 9 and 6 year old to Bali in May and have been told to stay at Hard Rock, Dynasty, Jayakarta or Kartika…confused which do you think would be best? Actually thinking of splitting between 2 hotels to ‘test’ them,
    Cheers Alison

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would split your time between the Hard Rock (which the kids will love) and the Kartika (still kid-friendly but much more tranquil and relaxing).

      Reply
  21. Dean

    Hello,

    We are travelling to Bali in May/June with our two children, 4 and 2 years olds. We stayed at Padma Legian last time (without the kids). We loved the quality of the , but not sure that the pools are suitable for our young children (not really kids pools)

    We are looking for somewhere around Legian/ Seminyak. Can you please suggest a few motels that have great kids pools?

    Thanks very much.

    Reply
  22. Kane

    Hi David
    We are going to Bali in July with our 18mth old and 4 yr old. We were thinking of going to ubud and sanur for two weeks. Do you suggest a good resort that is not too big and has a kids club? In the past we have been in some amazing resorts but it’s been too isolated and sometimes not easy to meet others. So we wanted to stay somewhere that’s more quaint and great for our kids to meet other kids and where we would feel comfortable putting them in a kids club with good activities.
    Any suggestions would be great.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The Bali Hyatt in Sanur has a kids’ club and is very central to restaurants and the main strip of shops. The pool is pretty much right on the beach and a nice setting for interacting and meeting people.

      Reply
  23. Alessandro

    Dear David,

    I have never been to Bali and I plan to go early May with my wife and 6 years old son. There seems to be so much choice for kids in Bali. What do you suggest for a 6 years old kid? He likes activities, pool and sea. I also saw that there is a club med there but it is not listed in your internet site. What do you think about? Thanks for your help. Alessandro

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If your main interests are a beach holiday then base yourself in Nusa Dua (or nearby). Its hotels have more of a resort feel – with great pools, kids clubs, and beach activities. They are somewhat isolated from central Bali and the cultural attractions you’ll find there. The Club Med is good, but think there are better choices. Good luck.

      Reply
  24. Lisa

    Hi David,
    Thanks for all your great hints for Bali holidays. Can I ask for some guidance. I will be travelling with my 3 1/2 year old son and my mum(a very fit 65 year old). My mum has never been so is interested in seeing a bit more of bali than just a resort. I would like a good kids club so we can have some down time from a very active 3 year old. We would probably not drive anywhere ourselves so would rely on local taxis etc. We are thinking of going at the start of June for about 10 days. Any ideas as I have now looked at Sanur/Nusa dua/Seminyak and Legian and have totally confused myself with all the choices.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Check out the Bali Dynasty or the Padma in the Kuta/Legian area or the Bali Hyatt in Sanur. All have good kids club (though the quality of kids’ clubs is often dependent on the quantity and character of the other kids – and June is a quiet time so the clubs could be on the subdued side). Nusa Dua is great for family-friendly hotels but is not great for seeing the rest of the island (especially with kids) as it’s a long way from there to central Bali. Of those 3 hotels, the Hyatt in Sanur will have the best location for exploring the rest of the island. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  25. Alessandro

    Dear David, thank you again for all your hints on Bali. Your blog is so helpful to travel with kids. While Nusa Dua looks wonderful, as you say the location is a bit far from the rest of Bali if we want to go a little bit north. What do you think about Jimbaran? Is it good for kids? Between Sanur and Jimbaran, what is the best beach between the two locations? My son likes to swim in the sea and Sanur’s sea looks a little bit….rocky. Maybe then Jimbaran can be a good option to travel north for some daily trip. What do you think about the intercontinental? I read that they have a good kids club. Thanks again for your help. Alessandro

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The beach in Jimbaran is nicer. The swimming in Sanur is more kid-friendly (calm and shallow water that is protected by a reef). The water in Jimbaran can be pretty rough at times. The food on the beach is way better in Jimbaran. But more food and shopping in the “town” of Sanur than in Jimbaran. Jimbaran is better for doing shopping at the big malls that are around Kuta. Sanur is better for seeing the sights of central and north Bali. So lots of trade-offs.

      The Intercontinental is great. Awesome pool. Nice location with some beach restaurants nearby that are wonderful.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  26. Jay

    Hi David,

    Thanks for this great article.

    I’m currently in Senur with my 2 very young children on my own and am finding it very touristy and expensive. Can you recommend a less touristy area and possibly hotel in the south near a nice beach and fruit market that might be good for us? We are here for over a month so I just need to keep accommodation costs down to a minimum.

    Thank you so much in advance, really appreciate any ideas you may have.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I really like Padangbai. The Padang Bai Beach Bungalows are nice and one of the few (only?) that has a pool. But walk along the beach-front road and there are several good-value hotels. Very quiet here but a beautiful spot with interesting stuff a short drive in just about any direction. Good beaches a short walk away – though the water is not as calm as Sanur.

      Reply
  27. Kate

    Hi,
    I would like to find a hotel/resort that would fit 2 adults, and 4 children aged 1,4,5 & 7. I really like the Bali Dynasty but they said they dont have rooms to fit 6 people in and we would need to hire two rooms which ends up quite costly.
    This will be my 4th time to Bali and last time I took all the kids to a private villa in Seminyak but hoping a hotel with a kids club would be able to fit us in. hoping to go before xmas in their low season. What do you suggest as im getting no where with my researching online

    Reply
  28. Vicky

    Hi, I would like some help. We are traveling to Bali in Dec. I have kids and want a hotel on a safe bathing beach. Would you recommend Nusa Dua and Jimbaran beaches for swimming at that time of year?. Would you have a preferred hotel at each if we were looking for moderate/luxury?.
    Also how long would it take to drive between the two resorts. Thanks for any help you can give.
    Vicky

    Reply
  29. Cindy

    Hi David,
    I would like to know which part of Bali is more suitable for a 2 years old child.Kuta? Jimbaran or Nusa Dua.

    Can you please recommend some child friendly hotel at this 3 places.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  30. Sarah

    Hello! Let me start by saying “great site!”
    We are 2 families, one with a 1yr old and one with a 2.5yr old, looking for accommodation somewhere where: the dad’s can go for a surf, preferably 2 bedrooms in each booking OR a 4 bedroom for 1 booking, a great pool that the adultss can enjoy along with the kids.
    Would love to hear your suggestions.
    Cheers :)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It would depend when you’re visiting.

      The surfing is best on the west coast of the island from April to September (making Jimbaran a good base for the surf spots along the west coast of the Bukit).
      The surfing is best on the east coast from October to March (making Nusa Dua, Sanur, or Padangbai a good spot).

      Reply
  31. DIna Zaitman

    Hi David.

    we are 3 ladies (me, Mum and sister) and my little bubba who is 1 years old. we are travelling to Bali in November 2013. I’m a bit worried about bub as I’ve never taken her to Bali before. Not sure where is best to stay. Nusa Dua, Seminyak or Ubud. We are only going for a week so prefer a less hectic trip but do want to go out a bit to eat out or shop. Not alot though. I am not keen on the madness of Kuta and i heard its not easy with prams.

    Thinking a nice 3 bedroom villa in Seminyak could be good if it was baby friendly (pool fence, babysitters, cot etc) and close to Oberoi street which i heard was a good position.

    We then changed our minds and though one of the big resorts in Nusa Dua could work better as its easier with bub. I will probably be spending quite a bit of time in the room when bub sleeps so I want a nice room!

    I’ve been to Ubud and love it but not sure if it will be actually harder with a baby. Any recommendations of places to stay in Ubud?

    Our budget is about $450 a night.

    Help!!!!
    I was looking at Hyatt in Nusa Dua, Ulin Villas in Seminyak but really not sure. Any recommendations of family friendly villas or hotels that have big room.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Dina. I get what you’re saying and I think you’ve got a good understanding of the trade-offs. You just have to make a decision :)

      Nusa Dua will be easier. Ubud will be the most interesting. Seminyak is somewhere in the middle.

      Read the best family hotels in Bali for lots of suggestions.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  32. Nick

    Hi All!

    You could also have your child’s birthday (or un-birthday) party while you are in Bali! My Balinese wife has a wonderful children’s party business and all you’d need to do is turn up and have maximum fun!

    Please check out her website here: http://BaliKidsParty.com

    Thanks,
    ~Nick

    Reply
  33. Nate

    Hello! We want to bring our 4 girls aged 10, 9, 6 and 6 to Bali for the first time this January. Target about 7-8 days total. Looking for both a great beach and easy access to authentic local cultural sites. Ready to pay extra for comfort. What would you advise? Thank you!

    Reply
  34. Aparna Rao

    Excellent Site. Made our Bali trip planning super efficient.

    We will be visiting Bali in Jan. Traveling with a 4yr old and ageing parents. Planning to stay at two places – first few days at Courtyard by Marriott and then Pandawa Villas at Ubud. Any thoughts about these places ?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      These are both great properties and really compliment each other well. You’re getting both sides of Bali – the beautiful beaches of Nusa Dua and the rice paddies and rural feel of the Ubud area. Have fun!

      Reply
  35. Selma

    Hi there, I was wondering if there was any accomodation that would cater to 4 families (8 Adults & 6 Children) where each family could have seperate rooms /villas (2 or 3 bedroom) yet there was a common area in between, ideally with a pool, which we could use as a place to gather & spend time together? Any sugestions would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I can’t recommend anything specifically but search the villa rentals in Seminyak for multiple listings under the same owner or rental company. These will usually be at the same property and will likely be good candidates for neighboring units. Good luck.

      Reply
  36. Cam

    heya,
    whats your pick for area to stay thats close to a nice beach, close to shops and restaurants, but not crazy busy for 2 couples and their 2 x 1.5 year olds.
    cheers!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sanur has a good kid-friendly vibe without be too busy. The beach is protected by a reef and very calm – although not as idyllic as other beaches on Bali.

      Reply
  37. Cheralee

    Hi David
    We are looking at heading to Bali in July for 10 days
    2 families, 5 kids…..11,9,5,5,2 years.
    Considering we have a 2 year old with us I am trying to work out the best area to stay in.
    Don’t want a villa with private pool for obvious reasons!
    Were thinking of Seminyak but wondering if there is a nicer place where we can still see the best of Bali and relax by the beach as well?
    Also concerned about the kids getting Bali Belly, any tips on avoiding it?
    Appreciate your time….thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Seminyak is a great area with a family-friendly vibe. The beach is not as calm as Sanur but the area is more interesting. It’s still fairly easy to get to the rest of Bali for day trips. I’d highly recommend getting up to Ubud area to explore – maybe even do an “extended daytrip” where you leave your bags in Seminyak and pack a few small overnight bags and stay at a cool hotel or guesthouse in the rice paddies. Very cool. Avoiding stomach bugs has always been easy for us so not sure what to offer. Maybe my biggest tip is don’t worry. Stuff happens, you’ll be fine regardless what happens – enjoy your trip and don’t allow any meals to be spoiled by worrying and fretting. Cheers.

      Reply
  38. Vera

    Hi David, what an awesome guide that you’ve put together here. I’m planning a 5D4N trip for late March with my husband and our 28-month-old daughter, and 2 other adults. I’m thinking of splitting our home base into 2.. maybe 2 days at a private villa and 3 days at a family friendly resort, or the other way round. But there are too many choices! I’m having a hard time deciding even which part of Bali we should stay in. Seminyak, Ubud, Sanur, Kuta, Jimbaran? Which 2 areas would you recommend for a family with a toddler? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I love Ubud and would recommend it – but of course there’s no beach. Sanur and Seminyak are both great (Sanur has the more kid-friendly beach, Seminyak has a more lively vibe). Do 2 of those depending on your tastes.

      Reply
  39. caroline

    Hello, I am staying in Sanur for 7 nights in May with my husband and a 2 year old. Can not decide between Paneeda View and Besakih beach resort. Can you recommend one over the other, both seem to be about the same price, on beach and close to shops and amenities.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Both are great mid-range hotels, near a nice stretch of beach, with restaurants and shops of Sanur within an easy walk. The Besakih has a nicer beach and pool. The Peneeda has larger rooms and more character.

      Reply
  40. Auguste

    Hi David,

    We’ll be having our 1st Bali trip for 5 nights in August, 4 adults + 2 kids (1 and 3 y/o). Will stay 3D2N at Mara River Safari Lodge before we leave, but having problem to decide where to stay for the first 3 nights.

    Our preference is having an affordable villa (moderate charges), hope to get a villa within walking distance to beach and busy streets with lots of shops/restaurants around (we’re not driving).

    What’s the option would you recommend? Thanks alot! :-)

    Reply
  41. Philippa

    Hi there, I have enjoyed reading through all the info about Bali. We will be travelling to Bali in December with two 17 year old boys. I think the Hard Rock Hotel looks awesome for facilities for the boys, but probably a bit too expensive for a weeks stay, where else would you recommend for teens? Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Try Febri’s Hotel. It’s much cheaper, has some large rooms, and a great pool. It’s close to the Kuta water park, shopping, the beach, and things to do. Good luck.

      Reply
  42. kristel

    Hi
    I noticed you haven’t mentioned the Canggu area. There is so much to enjoy out that way. The Equestrian centre has a playground, sandpit & swimming pool. There is a new kids shop called Bermain near Canggu club with lots of unique toys and art classes. Plus Kaki Lima & Old mans on the beach have lovely grassed areas and yummy kids menus…just to name a few.
    Cheers :)

    Reply
  43. Mark

    Hi just wondering what you think is the best place to stay with a 3 year old. I’m very undecided as I want to have fun with our daughter with out getting bored my self if that makes sense?
    Cheers.

    Reply
  44. Hotel for New Year's Eve

    Hi, I’m heading over with my husband and 2 kids 3 and 5 and at the moment I have booked to stay at the Ramada in Legian for 6 nights because it’s on the beach and I’ve heard there are lots of fireworks. Is this a good choice with the kids?
    Also staying 5 nights at the Puri Dewa Bharata!
    I’m hoping I’ve chosen the right places it was getting all too confusing with so much choice any help would be appreciated thanks heaps Nadene

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      They are very different hotels but good mid-range/budget choices. The Ramada has a great location in Legian and near the beach and places to eat but lacks character. The Puri Dewa in Seminyak has a more traditional Bali feel and much more character but is not as centrally located so you’ll be walking a bit to get to restaurants and the beach. Just don’t be expecting five star amenities and attention to detail and you’ll be happy with both.

      Reply
  45. Ubud hotel suitable for 18mth

    We (husband, 18mth old and I) are heading to Bali tomorrow, just read your suggestion to do an “extended stay” in Ubud so to best experience it, you mentioned a cool hotel or guest house! Can you recommend a couple for us to look at for an overnight stay please?

    Reply

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