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Fun, all-inclusive family getaways at Meliá Bali

Bali's Nusa Dua is a great destination for families. Carolynne Dear checked in at the luxurious Meliá Bali for an all-inclusive break

Meliá Bali

The beachside resort is lots of fun for families

Nusa Dua on Bali’s southern tip is a sprawling development of luxury hotels, golf courses and shopping malls. It’s a smooth 40 km drive from Bali’s main airport thanks to the recently constructed toll road that connects this southern peninsula with South Kuta and the airport.

If you’re travelling as a family, Nusa Dua is an ideal location for young children. A string of luxury hotels snake along the coastline, linked by a paved walkway with the beach on one side and manicured hotel lawns and sparkling pools on the other.

Meliá Bali was one of the first hotels to open in this notable resort enclave, boasting spacious gardens, meandering water features, lagoon pools and stunning Balinese architecture. The gardens are a haven for native birds and butterflies and feel a million miles away from the crowds of Kuta.

The property offers a range of room types, from pretty garden view rooms to two-storey family suites with separate twin rooms for children and relaxing views over the gardens.

If you want to elevate your stay, you can opt to book with The Level, which comes with additional benefits such as private check-in and check-out, a separate breakfast area as well as access to the main breakfast buffet and a separate lagoon pool, plus complimentary cocktails and afternoon tea.

Meliá Bali

Time for a siesta by the pool at The Level

During my recent stay, I enjoyed a generously sized lagoon access room which is available as part of The Level package. The huge king-size bed was complemented by a pull-out double sofa bed at the far end of the room. Patio doors opened onto a small terrace with loungers and table and direct access to an inviting lagoon pool, tucked away from the main resort pool. It turned out to be the perfect post-lunch retreat after a busy morning exploring the resort and beach.

There are heaps of activities to keep guests busy at the resort, young and old alike. Grown ups can take advantage of the resort activities, or simply relax at the YHI Spa or grab a lounger on the pool deck or beach while youngsters dive into the kids’ club. The ever-changing daily kids’ programme includes activities like balloon twisting, painting, mini yoga, Balinese crafts, treasure hunts, kite flying and fish feeding. Older kids can take part in the Junior programme, with stand-up paddle board lessons, pool games, soccer matches and water polo. Both the kids and junior programmes run seven days a week and the kids’ club is available from 9am until the evening, usually concluding with a movie night at 6.30pm, enabling parents to enjoy a meal together. Babysitting and nannies are also available but need to be booked a day in advance.

Further resort activities for all guests run to yoga, pilates, canoeing, basketball, squash, padel tennis, tennis, Muay Thai boxing and futsal. 

My days at Meliá Bali began with a huge buffet breakfast. The options were endless at the main buffet, which also offered a supervised kids’ colouring area for littlies looking for action after finishing their meal. As a parent who has limped my way through many a buffet meal desperately trying to entertain bored toddlers who had had their fill as I attempted to finish my own meal, facilities such as these are a godsend.

Meliá Bali

Beautiful breakfasts at Sorrento restaurant

If you have children aged over 12, a booking with The Level offers exclusive use of a separate breakfast dining space, Sorrento, overlooking the gardens. There’s an elevated buffet offering as well as an a la carte menu with hot and cold options. It’s a serene start to the day tucking into granola, fruit and eggs while watching the peacocks through the floor to ceiling windows peck majestically in the lush gardens outside. 

Fast broken, head out into the sunshine and to the huge lagoon pool with its multitude of bridges and alcoves. The Meliá team also organises pool activities to keep kids on their toes while mum and dad relax.

If you’ve booked with The Level, there’s a separate pool with glamorous cabanas and day beds and plenty of coconut water served by friendly staff. Children must be 12 years and over to use this pool and we certainly enjoyed a break from the busier main pool.

Bicycles, some with baby seats, are available to take advantage of the many bike paths scattered around Nusa Dua. The area is completely flat, making it an easy pedal along the beachfront or to Bali Collective, an open-air shopping mall with heaps of homeware, souvenir and surf shops as well as a couple of useful pharmacies and coffee shops.

Meliá Bali

Kids' movie night under the stars

There’s a wide variety of restaurants for lunch and evening dining at Meliá. I enjoyed fresh fish at Sateria Beachside Restaurant overlooking the incoming tide on my first night. There’s teppanyaki fun at Sakura, the resort’s Japanese restaurant, which also offers a tatami room for families to enjoy private dining. Lotus Asian Restaurant was a delicious introduction to Balinese cuisine which you can enjoy while watching a live Balinese dance show. While I was dining, the children in the restaurant were absolutely entranced by the costumes and movement and were invited afterwards for photos with the friendly cast. 

For a relaxing family holiday with plenty to keep the kids entertained, Meliá Bali ticks a lot of boxes. Importantly for parents, Meliá's busy kids' programme enables parents to relax as well as enjoy precious family moments. The hotel's rooms are spacious with everything you could need for an easy sunshine holiday. The property also offers an all-inclusive option, which, along with meals, includes snacks at the pool area, afternoon tea, an hour’s free use of snorkelling gear, a kayak or paddleboard per person each day, an hour of yoga classes and 25% discount at the YHI Spa. The all-inclusive package is available to guests staying in the same room, with a 50% discount for children aged two to 11 years and free for children under one year old. 

Asia Family Traveller was a guest of Melia Bali.

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