travel

Bali: Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa

Anantara Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Anantara Bali
Pool or ocean?

Earlier this month, we went on our very first family-only trip. As in the five of us. We had not attempted one yet, always having at least my MIL along, and it was on my insistence that we go on this trip alone. It was fantastic family quality time, with just us and the kids, no other distractions (or people to distract). We are not super parents, so it was achievement unlocked! My cousin’s wife was just telling us about how she brought her 3 kids on a skiing trip to Korea ALL BY HERSELF this holiday; her kids are between 7-14 years old, so I shall set a similar achievement target for the future. I think a no-itinerary beach holiday which is relaxing is not a bad place to start training, right?

Anantara Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Anantara Bali
The view from our room

This trip, we stayed at the Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, and it’s our third trip to Bali this year. It was also our third time staying in the Uluwatu area. This YEAR. Sounds a bit OCD but it was by coincidence, since the first time was in a villa with 6 other couples, villa not chosen by me; and second time for a stunning wedding by the Uluwatu coast, also no choice, had to stay nearby. Uluwatu is really quite ulu (which means “remote” in Malay), but we’re the sort of family who loves the beach and can stay in a resort for a week without going anywhere, so it was fine with us! And for all the remoteness of Uluwatu, you get amazingly stunning views. Like breathtaking views. But I am going to avoid Uluwatu for a while, probably.

Beautiful scenery at Uluwatu
Beautiful scenery at Uluwatu

The ocean view rooms at this resort are HUGE, and at 85sqm, that’s almost the size of my entire home (95sqm, sob sob!). The kids loved the huge huge sofa, and we were able to turn that into a sleeping area for the older 2 kids, which was as large as a King bed. We also had a baby cot, so I had plenty of space in the bed for myself! Currently it is rainy season in Bali, but there were still plenty of spots of sunshine, and although it was annoying, but the kids were also happy to play in the room. We enjoyed watching movies in the room, and they provided some kind of building blocks, which the kids loved putting into the various boxes in the room and playing with them. There are bathtubs in the balcony for you to soak and savour the view, but as it’s a cosy resort with all the rooms are trying to capitialise on the view, I wouldn’t do it in my birthday suit. Similarly, we had a room on the upper floor, which I think has more privacy that the pool suites or even 2 bedroom suites because you could look into many of them!

Anantara Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Anantara Bali
This was what the boys comfortably slept on.

There is a mini-theatre which I think isn’t well patronized and they offered to run a movie for us whenever we wanted although they did display the regular movie times. There is one organised activity each day (pottery, towel art, etc), but we were happy swimming in the pool or going to the beach at low tide.

On our first day we took the shuttle from the hotel to Padang Padang beach, stopping to have brunch at Blue Heaven first (great food!). My kids loved the beach, and even though it is choking with seaweed, they had so much fun playing in the water and with the sand and catching hermit crabs (I’m good at that!). Our little girl also surprised us by insisting on going swimming in the sea. Yes, she INSISTED. What?! Thank goodness the husband brought her.

On our second day, we took the hotel lift down to the beach (only operational during low tide), and walked across to Padang Padang beach. It wasn’t an easy stroll because you have to navigate around some rocks, walking in the water a little, and the beach and water are choking with seaweed, so a pair of booties for everyone would have been good (that morning the hotel hadn’t set up their beach station which offers booties and drinks), but we really enjoyed the little adventure. That day we took the hotel shuttle back after lunch at Blue Heaven again (I hear The Mango Tree Cafe in the area is also very good). It started pouring during lunch after a quick call to the hotel they were kind enough to arrange for the driver to pick us up at Blue Haven instead of the beach pick up point 100m away. The shuttle drivers were also happy to stop at a little store for 5 minutes on the way back for us to grab some snacks.

Anantara Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Anantara Bali
View of the pool at dusk.

What we didn’t like about the resort was all those steps from the main building to the pool side – especially when I was often carrying a 13kg baby. At least it was a good workout for me! But the steps are an inevitable because it is perched on the cliff, so I wouldn’t bring a pram or wheelchair around the resort. It is a very small resort, so I felt a little sorry if there were any couples who were there hoping for some peace and quiet, because life is anything but when you have young kids!

Anantara Uluwatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Anantara Bali
Having fun in the pool

I don’t remember there being any kids club, but they do have baby chairs and no baby cutlery, which is fine because I hate those anyway. They do have a kids menu, and the food at the resort was very good, we enjoyed everything! The staff here were all very attentive and friendly, my eldest said they were “1000% friendly”! We had a late flight out, so they kindly let us have a shower room, where the younger 2 napped and puked and peed on the bed WHOOOPS!! Thank God they had somewhere to nap though. They even gave each of the kids a parting gift of M&Ms (no thanks), and a traditional wood flute-noisemaker thing. Impressed!

It is a lovely resort, and although I might not be back at Uluwatu for a while, it really made me change my mind about such an ulu area. If you might want a little more privacy and action, I hear the C151 villas next door are very nice, and they apparently operate jetski/powerboat transfers to Seminyak!
P.s. I saw this setup at Blue Heaven. Does the Indonesian Santa Claus use mouse-deer instead of rein-deer?? So funny!!
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6 thoughts on “Bali: Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa

  1. Quite refreshing pictures in the midst of the snow here 🙂
    More seriously, happy to hear you enjoyed your family holiday!

    There really are pros both to travel with a(n extra) nanny/ company for parents too and to travel just as a family and be able to focus just on us, here and now. For me, in the midst of a busy daily life, it often seems important to have time just for the family though.

    But I have to say that I’ve done a few trips with my kids that others are all like “you alone with your kids?!”, and I find that it hasn’t been hard work (as I sometimes even have expected myself) but mostly great fun. Somehow kids seems to “rise to the situation”, maybe they know you are on your own and they need to help out, maybe they are excited about the new things we’ve been about to do or the people we’d eventually see, I don’t know, but it has always gone well and I have had fun with my children too! Maybe this is my way to say that I don’t think you need to be a super mum to do those things, as long as you and the kids are a team, it might be quite fun?!

    PS Another thing I’ve noticed: when there is a mother travelling alone with two small children, there super helpful people around; they bring you a tray at a cafe, carry a stroller up the stairs and so on before you even notice. Have you experienced that too?
    I just hope that I’ll notice those small opportunities to help when my hands are not full, just to repay the kind acts that have meant a lot to me!

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    1. Huomenta! I can’t imagine how cold it must be for you right now 😉 Wait till you see my next post on Penang!! Lol

      I have to totally agree with you on kids rising to the occasion, I’ve observed that with my kids too, perhaps they like to take on more responsibility?

      And I think that over here we aren’t as child-friendly, although I do get people helping me a little (or at least being friendly, smiling and asking me about the kids), I think we still have some way to go. The other day *I* was carrying a stroller up a short flight of stairs and *I* had to give way to three 20-something year olds -.- hurmph!

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      1. Funny that you say people aren’t that child friendly over there, because the people (both staff and fellow travellers) at Changi airport have been always very helpful when travelling with kids! And I always found people very polite over there 🙂 But maybe the child friendly things appear in different ways in different countries? Or you just remember the extreme bits, good or bad?

        We have a lovely winter wonderland, wouldn’t change that for now. But if it lasts for 3 months, I will be whinging…

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  2. You have been to Bali 3 times in 2014? You haveme so jealous! I haven’t step on Bali soil before. And I saw your Club med Bali in related post below. OK, I know who to ask on my virgin Bali trip alright. This place looks fun. May I know if Bali has good activities for the kiddos? Which month is good to go?

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    1. Ok I miscalculated…Mummy brain! Actually it was only twice in 2014, but we are going again this weekend (without kids!) 😀 From around Oct-Feb something like that is the rainy season, so some days the weather isn’t so great, but in-between the rain and clouds there is plenty of hot sun still! Some of the other mummies have been and stayed at the Safari Park, I think I also read they have a forest adventure thing too. We like to stay away from the touristy areas and crowded beaches like Kuta, especially when you have kids. Many resorts have kids clubs and beaches to keep them occupied, but do note that not every beach is safe for swimming.

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