BALI

GRAND MIRAGE, Nusa Dua

Paul and I have visited Bali many times. My first visit was to Kuta when I was a teenager and as I have gotten older, I find myself moving further and further from the hustle and bustle. Now, it’s all about family friendly destinations, where the kids are in their element and the facilities make it effortless for the parents. We found it at The Grand Mirage, so much so we came back. This year we have booked a different room and the hotel has taken things to another level, considering all the little ‘one percents’ that make it the ultimate family holiday. Here’s all you need to know about the hotel.

 

LOCATION:
The Grand Mirage is located along the popular peninsula, Tanjung Benoa, in Nusa Dua. Its 30 mins from the airport and you can organise a transfer with the hotel and they have a car seat available too. At the hotel, one side is sand and ocean and the other side (where the lobby sits) is a busy road with markets, restaurants, supermarkets, spas, etc. You still have that Bali feel but without being overwhelmed. Straight across the road is a supermarket and a for all your coffee lovers, Starbucks. 

 

BEACH: The reality is, it’s not your typical ‘brochure beach’ but it’s still nice. Every night, hotel staff are down there, manicuring the beach and the paths. There are local fishing boats and of course water sports happening in this area, but they have roped off sections for swimming. Harvey loved playing in the sand, but we didn’t really spend a lot of time swimming in the ocean. The beach made a gorgeous morning walk and you can hire bikes with the hotel to ride along the path.

 

THE HOTEL: There are two parts to the Grand Mirage. The original hotel and the family wing. Let me explain. The original hotel has been here for some time and everything is well kept but its the older style with the terracotta roof. 100m along the beach is it’s brand new family wing. It was once another hotel which they purchased to extended the Mirage and create this unique family section. We stayed in the family wing but you can use any of the facilities of both hotels. It gives huge variety by visiting different pools and restaurants every day. 

 

THE ROOMS

There are numerous room options here but the two we have stayed in are; KIDS SUITE: has a room for the adults and another room for up to 3 kids. It’s had a bunk bed and a pull out in kids room. Both rooms have their own tv and bathroom. Harvey’s bathroom was so cute with a mini toilet and basin. I think the best part was that Harvey was able to spread out and play with toys or watch telly on his bean bag without us all feeling all squished in one room. We could also seperate the kids if one of them needed a sleep too. Both spaces were clean, comfy and felt brand new. JUNIOR SUITE: this time we are trying out a junior suite. It’s a different configuration and feels slightly bigger but are much the same.

 

The rooms are a true 4.5 star rating. Spotless.

 

KIDS CLUB:
Kids under 4 need supervision to attend the kids club, whether that be a nanny or a parent. Kids over 4 can be with the trusted and qualified staff. They have a room with activities, books and an indoor play centre and ball pit and then another large hang out room for the older kids with PlayStation, ping pong, pool and a mini cinema etc etc. I saw loads of older kids hanging in there and making friends. Clean, new and safe facilities. 

 

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS:
it is endless. From Magicians to Movie nights, balinese painting, flower arrangement lessons, sea shell collecting and boat making and racing, foam parties and trips to a local animal rescue centres, there is always something happening for the kids. And that’s just a few of them. Note that some activities have a small fee. 

For older kids and teens, they will love the rock climbing wall and the bigger games room over at the main wing. It has a few pool tables, table tennis, air hokey and even karaoke.

 

ALL INCLUSIVE:
If you are after an easy holiday where you don’t have to think ahead, get all inclusive. There is nothing worse than wasting an evening/money on a restaurant that nobody enjoyed. Holidays are short. Kids under 5 eat free when the parents are on AI. Staying in resort and eating from trusted restaurants meant no upset bellies.

 

FOOD:
8 food options across both hotels gave us so much food variety. 24/7 room service and unlimited mini bar meant we didn’t feel trapped if Chloe or Harvey needed a nap or we just couldn’t be bothered heading out. The buffet breakfast is a mix of western and Indonesian, with the ever so popular omelette station. They have the usual themed dinners under the moonlight and restaurant options including a Chinese and an Indian.

 

BABY FOOD:
FREE chunky puree to all guests, regardless of your package. This is a game changer. The quinoa, carrot and chicken was a hit with Chloe.

 

THE NEW NURSERY ROOM:
this isn’t a room to stay in but one that is available to use at any time and completely dedicated for young kids and parents. Microwave, steriliser, fridges. And if you check out and waiting for your transfer, there is a bed and two cost available. There is also two toilets and two showers. This sort of facility seperateS The Grand Mirage from the rest. 

 

SERVICE:
The Balinese are beautiful people and they genuinely adore children. Every where we turned, the staff were eager to joke around with Harvey and ogle at Chloe. The pool side staff know you by name and are constantly offering drinks. They just go out of their way to ensure you are happy. This service created a beautifully warm, inviting atmosphere.

 

RELAXATION:
When I was younger, I would get  street or beach massages every single day on my holiday. But now I have kids, hanging with them has become my priority. But we decided to get one pamper session this holiday and do it properly. The Thalasso Spa in the hotel grounds is amazing. Last year I had a treatment and used their thematic pool and this year I had an hour massage. It’s a luxury spa at a fraction of the cost. Now if you did want a cheaper option, you do still have beach massages under shaded shacks and the little spas out on the front street. It’s about $7 for an hour. 

 

WATER SPORTS:
on the beach of the hotel, Banana boats, jet ski’s, speed boat rides and an under water sea-walker are available. These activities are not for me but Paul made the most of every activity available in the all inclusive. Really, I went on holiday with three kids. *non motorised sports like kayaking and catamarans are unlimited, but jet skies and banana boat rides are 1 item per person per day, depending on your package. 

 

POOLS:
There is a large pool at the main hotel which we occasionally visited but we mainly stayed in the family wing which has a paddling pool section for the little ones and a big water slide at the other, deeper end. There is also a small playground, a big green grass area and the hotel literally steps onto the beach. But the highlight and probably the hotel’s best feature for kids was...

 

MINI WATER PARK:
it has 3 water slides, fountains and a big water bucket the splashes everyone from time to time. It was Harvey’s highlight. The water is knee deep at maximum and it’s well staffed for safety. 

 

In summary, the reason I love The Grand Mirage is that it’s so much fun for the kids and so easy. We didn’t need to think. We didn’t have to pack bags to go out every day or hire a car. Everything we needed to entertain Harvey and look after our baby Chloe was in the hotel grounds. We didn’t have to worry about food, cleaning or getting a big bill at the end. I’m sad to be leaving this place. It really is the ultimate for families.