Beautiful Bali. The name alone conjuring images of exotic climes. Of precisely what though, I wasn’t really sure. Although I’ve travelled around a fair bit, the sights and culture on the islands of Indonesia were completely unknown to me before my visit last November. I’ve travelled around Thailand and hoped it might offer beaches, sights and food akin to what I was used to there. But, as always, venturing into the unknown is as exciting as ever. We chose to stay at Club Med‘s Nusa Dua resort.
Hotel: Club Med, Bali
Location: Nusa Dua
Address: PO Box 7, Lot 6, Nusa Dua, 80361, Bali, Indonesia
Phone: Club Med UK on 020 3733 7637
Nearest airport: Denpasar international, around 30 minutes by road – Club Med packages include return flights and transfers from and to the airport, if booking a transfer package
Rates: Visit the website for the latest deals – Club Med always have great offers, especially for families
Website: Club Med, Bali
Pool? Large main, family orientated pool, children’s pool in kids’ club and adult-only Zen pool
Wi-Fi? Yes, in room and in communal areas
Perfect for: Club Med’s reputation for being fantastic for families is much-deserved, but we also discovered what a haven it is for couples, and would be a fun place for a group of friends, too.
FashCatherine credentials: The Zen pool – the perfect name! If you are looking for tranquility, you won’t find a more idyllic place in such a tropical location. The wide range of fantastic activities (from trapeze to paddle boarding) means there is never a dull moment. Also, the rustic charm of the beach juxtaposed with the elegant furnishings of the hotel is magical. Truly a wonderful place.
TIP: Bali is prone to volcanic activity, as is nearby Lombok. This is unpredictable, but is worth baring in mind when thinking about travel insurance and time of year to visit. Activity can cause the airport to close.
The Indonesian island of Bali is situated next to the smaller island of Lombok, and the string of smaller-still Gilli Islands. We stayed in the southern most tip of Bali, a gated area of luxurious hotels, at the Club Med all-inclusive resort. After 14 hours of travelling from London, via Kuala Lumpur, we took a taxi from the airport, which took around 30 minutes. As we arrived, cheery music was blasting and staff were dancing around to ‘welcome’ us. I wasn’t totally convinced by this, but put my grumpiness down to jetlag and enjoyed the refreshments they gave us, with a smile. Hey, we had arrived in paradise – what better reason to sing and dance around?
Above – The view into the Club Med Bali resort, from reception
The Kintamani Bar within Club Med Bali’s beautiful grounds
“‘Modern day, luxury all-inclusive resorts are tremendous, not tacky'”
Staff at Club Med resorts are known as ‘GOs’, and guests, ‘GMs’. This is a four-star resort, and yes, although you do still have to wear a colourful wristband, here, for most of the time it just feels like you are staying in a luxury resort, with the added bonus of getting away without paying for meals and drinks. The ‘GOs’ and entertainment are ever-present, if you want to get involved with them and their endless supply of activities, but if you don’t, you can easily go a whole week without. But you should try – I was surprised how much I enjoyed dancing round the pool, especially when the manager Eric was on the mic!
There is a world of cultural activities waiting for you outside of the Club Med resort. Don’t miss my article: 12 of the best things to do in Bali, for first-timers
The main pool area
The resort is big, (big enough to find solitude, if you want to) bold and beautiful, with a refined edge. The main pool, near reception, is half covered with a tall shade, so families can swim with small children (or adults averse to the hot Bali sun). Around the pool, there are comfy beds and lounge-inducing sofabeds. This area is also where the main restaurant, the stage, auditorium and Kintamani bar, are.
“The first Mini Club (kids club) at Club Med opened in 1967, and the resorts have been gaining and maintaining a superb reputation for them ever since.” Don’t miss… My review of why Club Med Bali is so wonderful for families, on Junior
Fresh food, served as standard, at the Agung restaurant
Every meal at the huge main Agung restaurant is served buffet style, with stands from all over the world offering guests a wide choice. Most stands are hosted by a chef who will whip you up something fresh to order, too. Like the Indonesian stand, often had Nasi Goreng, or something similar. Although this restaurant is perfectly enjoyable, with a crazy amount of choice, if you fancy something a little smarter, you can book into the gourmet restaurant, The Deck, for dinner. You can also just turn up there for breakfast and lunch.
Above – The Deck restaurant, outside area
Dinner delights at Agung, in the evening
The picturesque walk to our room
There are 339 rooms at Club Med Bali, all within one to three storey blocks. Our ‘Club’ level room was a fair walk from reception, near the tennis and badminton courts. The rooms are large, and lots have been recently renovated. Ours had a huge double bed, and a single bed, which we used to store luggage on. You can upgrade to a Deluxe level room, or even a suite. And interconnecting rooms are available. In any standard of room, you may, like us, wake up to find a gekko on the ceiling above you. They are harmless, and will run away (or into next doors room) if you go near them.
Above – A Club room with balcony
The Zen pool
Just add beer and peanuts…
The best thing about the location of our room was the proximity to the adult-only Zen pool. Yes, this is as good as it sounds. From our palm plant-surrounded patio, looking over a big lawn, you could just about see the Zen pool area. Surrounded by manicured lawns, this elegant pool is a haven of tranquility, and we whiled away many hours here, armed with peanuts bought from the local store, just down the road (peanuts are SO good in Bali), and a never ending supply of Bintang beer from the attentive bar staff.
The beach at Club Med Bali
The beach is private to the hotel, meaning it is always quite peaceful. There are cool beach huts along the front, perfect for some reflecting time, or watching the surfers out at sea. Bali is one of the top places in the world for surfing.
Paddleboarding and kayaking are included for guests at Club Med Bali
Activities at Club Med Bali are endless, and you might, like us, struggle to find the time to leave the resort to head further afield and discover more of Bali (which, you absolutely should!). While we were there, we tried paddle boarding, kayaking, golf (on the site’s course, which also offers lessons for adults and children), badminton, tennis, snorkelling, trapeze and boules, as well as lots, and lots of swimming… phew! This was among plenty of lounging by the Zen pool, working our way through the cocktail menu, and
sunning ourselves falling asleep on the sun beds.
Although we only had seven days in Bali, we took day trips to Lembongan Island and Waterbom water park, both arranged through the hotel, as well as a day sightseeing with a local guide to temples and sunset beach bars. Safe to say, Club Med Bali is a fantastic base from which to explore Bali’s great cultural riches.
You can read about my favourite things to see and do in Bali, in my roundup article, here.
Test your nerve and try out the trapeze with the trained GOs – every afternoon
You can sign up for Indonesian cooking classes at Club Med
If you are looking for a luxurious break in Bali, with your family or as a couple, I would highly recommend booking up with Club Med. It offers some eye-catching deals on its all-inclusive packages, and is able to help you not only have a great time while you are at the hotel, but enable you to explore the Indonesian island, with ease.
Incredible Bali sunsets from the main pool at Club Med –
Read more about Club Med Bali and book, online
Read my article: 12 of the best things to do in Bali, Indonesia, for first-timers
Fancy travelling East? Read our articles about Thailand on FashCatherine…
- 10 reasons to visit Thailand – written by a single female traveller
- Top ten things to take with you to Thailand
- Looking for luxury in Bangkok? It has to be The Peninsula [REVIEW]
- Visiting Bangkok with a family? Try Amari Residences, Bangkok [REVIEW]
The stay reviewed in this article, in November 2015, was supported by Club Med.