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Uncovering the best family holidays

Bali, Indonesia

InterContinental Bali: Swimming Pools, Pasta PLUS Hammock Tips From The World’s Leading Expert

“Look Mum, it’s pasta.”

Caius continued to crank the machine with all his might and like magic, out wiggled long, flat, silky pieces of pasta. He beamed with pride, a wide smile fixed on his face that could not even be wiped off with industrial-strength cleaning solution.

Oh, and the pasta was incredibly delicious, if I do say so myself. 

When InterContinental Bali Resort asked us to stay at their beachside resort on the shores of Jimbaran Bay we gladly accepted. Josh had read reviews from loyal guests who had been returning to the resort for 10 years and we were curious how this particular resort cultivated such fierce loyalty considering the vast selection of hotels in Bali. 

 

Club Extras

We booked into a Club Room, which meant certain extra privileges were included. If you want a hassle-free holiday when staying at the InterContinental Bali Resort, I can certainly recommend upgrading to the club option.

Club guests receive a private check-in, unlimited access to the kids club, exclusive access to the private Club Pool (with complimentary drinks), use of the Inspiration Space (library/business lounge), unlimited visits to Club InterContinental Lounge (complimentary drinks all day and afternoon tea), a choice of five different breakfast venues within the resort and complimentary cocktails between 5 and 7pm in the Club Lounge. Kids are not allowed to be in the Club Lounge during the cocktail time, but parents don’t have to worry because drinks are still available by the Club Pool or at the Sunset Lounge. 

Club Pool at sunset.
Club Lounge
Cocktails at the Sunset Lounge overlooking Jimbaran Bay.

 

Our Room

We enjoyed a club suite with a super king bed. It was a huge bed! I mean, I barely noticed my 205cm husband laying next to me. He could have been in another time zone for all I knew. On the opposite end of the room was a day bed. My kids are getting too big now to share a single bed so we asked for a roll-out to be delivered to the room. At first we were told that they were unable to do that, but after insisting, it was promptly delivered and the kids were much more comfortable. 

In hindsight we found out there are other club rooms available with 2 queen size beds, which would have been more fitting for our family of 4. They also offer 2 bedroom suites for families if you need even more space, so make sure you understand what type of room you are selecting when booking.

The room was large and even with the roll-out bed it was comfortable to walk around in. Check out our walk-through video: 

 

Resort Complex

The resort had (at least) 3 swimming pools to choose from. My favourite during breakfast was the main pool where Josh and I could enjoy a leisurely buffet at Jimbaran Gardens while the kids splashed and swam in the nearby pool. 

Main swimming pool
Dedicated kids buffet at Jimbaran Gardens with play area.
Jimbaran Gardens at dusk.

Our second favourite was the Club pool, which encouraged adults to not bring children and provided beautiful little cabana beds with views of the ocean. On several occasions we escaped here after dropping the kids off at the kids club (called “Planet Trekkers”). 

Chillin’ at the Club Pool.

The kids club was not only well organised but well equipped. They laid out a full schedule including dance lessons, fishing trips, crafts and playtime. Outside the main room a kid-friendly wading pool beckoned youngsters, as well as a playground with trampoline, swing set and basketball court. Our kids absolutely adored every minute there and often asked us if they could go back. 

There was also the Balinese Bath Pool which was well-suited for younger kids and families. Our kids had such a ball in the main pool, I couldn’t coax them out to try this one as well.

In an effort to re-create a classic tropical holiday postcard moment, Josh and I sought out one of the hammocks scattered around the resort’s tropical gardens. If you’ve ever tried getting in (or out) of a hammock you’ll know that it’s easier said than done. Take a look at Josh’s humorous attempt:

 

Eating at the InterContinental

One evening Josh was out capturing the Jimbaran sunset so the kids and I went to the Sunset Bar for dinner. The prices are not your typical cheap Bali prices so expect to be astonished, but the servings were large and the food delicious. Both kids enjoyed large bowls of tomato soup (they could have easily shared 1), while I sipped my free cocktails during Club cocktail hour

On the beach, within walking distance, is located the famous Jimbaran seafood restaurants. If you are looking for something affordable then I suggest taking a short walk down there. 

Jimbaran Beach

But if you are looking for something unexpected in tropical Bali, somewhere that gives you a tantalising taste of Europe, then look no further than the Bella Cucina Italian restaurant. With ocean vistas that could rival any restaurant on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and a head chef from the motherland itself, this restaurant is serving up some of the best food on the island. 

On top of that, the kids loved it. As we sat down to order from the menu we were interrupted by the headwaiter as he invited us inside to try our hand at making our own pasta at the “chef’s table”. Our kids cherish any opportunity to make a legitimate mess (in this case, with flour). Add to that kneading fresh dough and cranking it through the pasta machine, and they were in an Italian food paradise. 

After a lot of fun with the chef, they chose their sauce and we left the cooks to their business. The results were delicious - fresh pasta generously lathered in a tangy tomato sauce. I could feel the drool collecting in my mouth, and determined to have a taste, but I was abruptly shunned as both kids chowed down with enthusiasm. 

The Chef’s Table

So instead Josh and I tried a couple of the other dishes.

Straccietti – sautéed green asparagus, gorgonzola and cream sauce
Porcini end herbs crusted beef tenderloin – string baked potato, buttery carrot batonette, madeira and porto wine reduction

The kids’ energy levels were waning as the darkness set in so we ordered our desserts to be delivered to our room and headed back to put the kids to sleep.

Our waiter delivered a coconut cake, said to be the star of the menu, and a Sicilian cannoli. He was right. The simple yet moist coconut cake tickled my tastebuds and left me craving more. Trying to out-do the cannoli we experienced in Sicily may be an impossible mission, but this one was pretty good too. 

 

The Verdict

There was still so much about the resort I didn’t mention, from the tennis courts to the beauty salon to the spa, kids playground and the boutique shops. 

Artwork in the centre of the resort lobby.

If you’re looking for a luxurious all-inclusive holiday experience that delivers front-row seats (or hammocks) for Bali’s spectacular sunsets, then this resort ticks all the boxes. The breakfast buffet at Jimbaran Gardens is worth coming here alone, even if you’re not staying at the hotel. But combine the relaxing atmosphere, lush surroundings and easy access to one of Bali’s most loved beaches, and I can now see why so many guests keep coming back year after year. Or maybe they’re just trying to perfect their hammock technique!

Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages on
This looks perfect. I am not a huge fan of Bali but if I could go and stay here then I'm all in. Serious case of wanderlust for something luxurious and relaxing like this today. *sigh*
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