The first stop on our Bali holiday was Nusa Dua – a resort area to the South East of the airport. We were excited to visit a different part of Bali and start our fun holiday at the Grand Mirage Resort where we would be spending our first few days.
Nusa Dua is an easy ride from the airport which was made even easier by our included transfer. I always get a kick out of arriving at an airport to see my name on a sign, probably because it just about never happens. We were soon on our way and getting our first glimpses of the Nusa Dua area.
This is when I realised I had made assumptions about this area that were just wrong. I thought the whole area was a gated off enclave of resorts. This is true in the Southern Nusa Dua area. However, to the North of this is the Tanjung Benoa area which still has the big resorts and nice beaches but also has lots of shops, restaurants and local people. I was happy to find out that this is where the Grand Mirage Resort is located, surrounded by restaurants, shops, massage parlours, etc while still having plenty of its own space.
From the time we arrived until the time we had to depart, we were well taken care of. There were a multitude of facilities and activities to keep us entertained. We had the all inclusive package (this is optional) which made things so easy. The majority of activities were included as were all drinks and food including room service.
On arrival I faced a tough decision – what to do first. Thankfully, many people helped me out on Facebook, and I started with a cocktail at the pool bar. This was definitely a nice way to start our holiday and S loved having her non alcoholic version with me.
After easing ourselves in to our stay, we were kept very busy. We had four restaurants to try – an Italian, Chinese, a grill by the beach and a 24 hour cafe. We enjoyed room service breakfasts which were such an easy way to start the day. My kids wake up ravenously hungry and it can be hard to get us all up and dressed and out without them screaming down the hotel. In fact, we have often had to feed the kids before heading to an included buffet breakfast in the past with our own food which is quite annoying.
In contrast to the buffet style food we received on our last all inclusive experience, the food here was fantastic. A lot of care seemed to go into the dishes and they were fabulous. We had no problems eating where and when we wanted.
We ate dinner on the first night by the resort’s open air stage while watching kecak dancing. I have been to one of these shows in Ubud before and not really enjoyed it, but this one was great. The kids got into it and went up on the stage with them a few times. S also loved the outfits. Afterwards, the kids put on their own show on the stage for us and a few other guests which was super cute. It was also a bit alarming just how much of Frozen that S can recite.
There are activities run throughout the day across the resort. The kids club also has their own list of activities. The kids loved hanging out there, drawing pictures, making jewellery and playing with monster trucks (you can guess which kid loved that). Kids club is only for 3+, but we were able to hang out there with Z.
They also loved the playground and the swimming pool areas – which were superb. Plenty of space for everyone in the pool and they also had lots of pool toys to play with, such as hoops and balls, rafts and swimming noodles for the kids.
There are plenty of adult and family activities as well. I went on an ocean kayaking tour which was lots of fun (as well as a bit of a work out). There are also water and land sports, cultural sessions and a great leisure room perfect for teens with table tennis, air hockey, pool tables, play stations, karaoke (in a private room) and many other things. For beach lovers, there is a decent stretch of beach here with plenty of chairs and lounges.
Our time here passed quickly and easily. We ventured out a bit to check out the surrounds, but we were happy to take a break and enjoy everything the Grand Mirage Resort had to offer.
On the grounds of the Grand Mirage, there is also the Thalasso Bali which is an amazing day spa. I have been to many day spas around the world, but I have never seen one quite like this. The care and attention put into the design of the 16 unique treatment rooms is amazing. I wish I had known about it on our last visit as they had one room especially for pregnant women. They also have packages designed for children.
We hired a babysitter for Z through the resort and spend some time checking out Thalasso Bali. S had her nails done while J and I used the aquamedic pool. When we booked it, I thought it would be like a spa pool with lots of jets and we would just lounge around. It was much more than this.
Basically, the aquamedic pool is a large, seawater pool with massage stations and exercise bars. We were in there for an hour going around different stations doing different actions and having different points massaged by streaming jets of water. It was awesome and I had the best massage of my life, although I wouldn’t say it was that relaxing as often the jets were quite full on. This is not just a spa pool but a proper treatment. My aching back from our recent move felt a lot better afterwards. It is also reputed to reduce cellulite and improve muscle tone, flexibility and circulation. It is now my favourite way to exercise!
We stayed in a deluxe ocean view room. It was easily large enough for all of us even with an extra bed added. The bed already existing in the room was so large that I think we could have all slept in it even without the extra bed.
It had standard hotel room features with some chairs, desk, cupboard, luggage space and a mini bar (contents included for all inclusive guests), as well as a big bathroom. All rooms come with a balcony.
If you want a larger room, there are lots of other options. I checked out an ocean view suite which was just beautiful and included a large living area as well. There are also two bedroom suites.
The kids loved this resort and were very sad when we left. They especially loved the pools, the kids club and the show. The baby sitter was great.
We had a fabulous stay here and found it perfect for a family. It was so easy to relax or be as active as we wanted with plenty to do and experience. It has the benefit of being a large resort with plenty of facilities, but even though we were there at a peak time and it was full, there really did not seem to be that many people around – just enough to give it atmosphere.
For this reason, I think if you are after a resort stay with enough to do that you don’t need to leave the resort, then this place is great. However, if you want a nice base from which you can still go exploring, then this is also a good choice. It is also a great price especially for families with preschoolers, as kids up to 5 are free which makes this place incredibly good value. We found in Legian we were having to pay 50% extra for any kid over 2!
My only complaint is the internet. It only worked intermittently and was a bit frustrating for me. However, that is because I work online. If you are a casual user then it is just fine.
We liked the location. There were enough other options around if we got bored of the resort (which we didn’t) without all the hassle that comes with areas such as Legian. The beach is much better as well. The ocean is nice and calm here, so perfect for kids. Despite being rainy season, we didn’t actually see the rain apart from when we checked in.
All in all, we had a fabulous time and wish we had stayed for longer, especially as we have been so disappointed on our onward travel to Legian. The Grand Mirage is great for families, couples, friends, anyone really. It is excellent value and lots of fun!
Read our complete guide to planning your Bali family holiday.
We were guests of the Grand Mirage Resort and Thalasso Bali. As always, my views are my own.
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