So is there really a villa out there that can legitimately claim to be the “Best Villa for Families in Bali”? Does really such a villa exist?
Every family is unique, and villas in Bali also differ enormously, and so while it is pretty unlikely that one villa meets every family’s idea of the perfect holiday, there are definitely things that families with kids should look out for when choosing a villa in Bali.
Location, Location, Location
Bali is great for a family holiday because it has so many different things to do, so first off you need to decide what’s most important to you as a family, as basing yourself close to the things that your family enjoy most will make your holiday that much better.
For an action packed holiday with the convenience of everything just a short walk away then the location you want is Seminyak/Legian. Teach the kids to surf, go to the waterpark (Bali has our favourite waterpark anywhere – namely WaterBom) or go to the beach. Rainy day? Then kids soft play areas, bowling and trampolining are all on your doorstep.
Still want easy access to all the above, but want to combine it with laid back surf vibe, great café culture, then Canggu and Batu Bolong is just a few minutes drive away or a nice 15 to 20 minute walk along the beach.
Alternatively to the South of the airport, and still with easy access to Seminyak/Legian, sits Jimbaran and the Bukit area, with its huge variety of different beaches including shallow calm beaches like Nusa Dua ideal for little ones; Balangan beach with its great rock pools to explore at low tide; and Jimbaran with sea-food BBQ restaurants right on the beach. Add in great cliff top views and some of the most spectacular bars and restaurants in Bali and Jimbaran and the Bukit is an increasingly popular location for all types of guests including families.
Or do you want the kids to experience the amazing culture and traditions of Bali? Be wowed by fire- dance performances? Enjoy nature walks, zoos, elephant parks and monkey filled temples? Explore palaces, and enjoy great views, restaurants and scenery, or do some white-water rafting for the more adventurous, then definitely Ubud is the place to base yourselves.
Alternatively, do you still want culture and great views, but want to add calm white sand beaches, ideal for little kids to sit and paddle, with great snorkelling and diving for older kids, and boat trips and even real submarine trips, all topped off with laid back beach bars and restaurants then it is Candidasa and East Bali.
Finally if you just want a big spacious villa to spend lots of quality family time in, with lawns and gardens for the kids to run around and explore, amazing beachfront views with crashing waves, and still able to reach all of the above locations with just a 30 minute drive, then I really recommend villas in Tegal Besar Beach.
Family Friendly Service
So you have decided on location – what now?
Well personal service is actually what makes a villa stay so much more special than a hotel, especially with a family to look after.
But not every villa is the same. When we first stayed in villas, we often found ourselves in villas that were superficially great to look at, but had nothing to eat, and almost no staff, except for non-English speaking housekeeping service.
While there are still many villas like this in Bali, nowadays, in addition to a basic housekeeping service, for often very little extra money, it is possible to find villas that have an in-villa cook/chef included without extra charge and/or a driver and car. Many have an English speaking manager, who can help you to choose what you want to do, and help organise it for you. Best of all some villas now offer free childminding, including all of the villas on websites such as balifamily.villas
To get the most from your family holiday, check what services are included in the rate of the villa you are considering, as a few extra dollars for great family-friendly extra services, can make a big difference to the fun and enjoyment of your holiday in Bali.
Facilities for the Kids
Similarly it is always worth checking what family-friendly facilities or equipment are included, or available at your chosen villa.
Most villas should include at least one good quality cot bed with suitable bedding and high chair.
But after that it can be a bit of a lottery.
The most family friendly villas will have really thought about providing useful extra things for families, such as safe plastic cutlery, plates and bowls for babies, booster seats for toilets and chairs, and even car seats. In addition some will have a great selection of toys, books and games.
On the electronic side of things, check the internet speed. Recently fibre-optic connections have been rolled out in some parts of Bali, and that means 20Mb/s, but if your villa is not connected to fibre-optic, internet speeds can be very slow and unreliable in Bali – very frustrating if your kids are youtube addicts!
Similarly with Satellite TV, some villas will have full international channels in different languages andfilm libraries and access to NetFlix, and others having little more than local Indonesian channels.
Villas in Bali can be very beautiful, but can also be hazardous for toddlers. Many is the time we go to a villa and discover that little ponds/water features have been put around every corner, or that balconies/fences are built like climbing frames for little ones, often right next to steep drops.
Things are getting better though, and now some villas in Bali actually come with a pool fence included in the price (see for example Villa Rene, Villa Leana or Villa Champa) and also have stair gates and other safety facilities for kids. Similarly dangerous balcony railings are being replaced with safety glass (such as at villas like Villa Kalisha) or child-safe fencing with the supports running vertically, not horizontally.
If this is an important consideration for you then, it is worth seeking out villas that include this, although for most villas it is also possible to rent a pool fence for the duration of your stay, but that of course does add to the cost.
We laugh sometimes when we walk into a beautiful villa, only to discover that the kids rooms are across a courtyard or pool area, lovely in the sunshine, but not a lot of fun when torrential rain is cascading down and it is 3am and your child is sick, so check the layout of your villa works for you and your kids.
The best villas will provide easy access to bottled water (better in a dispenser), fridge/freezer, microwave and cooking facilities and for guests, which is important if you need to prepare a feed in the middle of the night, so worth checking if you need this.
Also look out for things like baby monitors (some villas will provide these); steps provided for kids to be able to reach sinks; baths for babies/infants etc.
At the end of the day Bali is just a fantastic location to have a family holiday, but what really makes it great for families is the people in Bali. We have lost count of the number of times that our kids have been invited to join in a dance performance (in front of hundreds of people) or been picked up by waitresses in a restaurant who then spent most of our lunch playing with the kids. With everything
else Bali has to offer, you really cannot go wrong if you plan a family villa holiday to Bali.
So take the plunge. Get out of the chain hotel, and experience all Bali has to offer in a far more personal and intimate way by renting your own personal villa for your family. You will not regret it.