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We had budget planning for our travel to Bali. But being there as a family we wanted to have a comfortable stay as well. Frankly speaking, as a parents to a toddler we look for luxury so that we could relax, parenting being a tiring job after all. As per our itinerary we had decided to stay at Nusa Dua after spending almost half of our time in Kuta. Nusa Dua is known to have an enclave of large 5-star resorts in southern part of Bali. Finding a good resort that could fit our budget looked difficult there. But our experience at Grand Whiz was more than just being comfortable as I reflect on the days we spent there.

Area

The resort is beautiful, staff is friendly and courteous, food was great (though for Vegetarians there is not much choice), rooms were clean and quite professionally equipped, but what stood out for us was its neat and beautiful landscaping and it’s proximity to Nikki beach (just 300 meters away). All the other resorts are high-end properties like Sofitel, Club Med and Nikki Beach Club itself and the area has a sense of class, exclusivity and is secluded from rest of Nusa Dua. A well-known area for international events, the hotel is the right place for business and leisure travelers to spend their stay in Bali with high quality of services. So, I can say that if you want some private time with family in the backdrop of a beautiful beach of Bali without losing much on pocket, Grand Whiz is a fantastic option.

Experience

For two days we just enjoyed and relaxed here with our daughter. Tenjung Benoa is just 15 min drive, where we enjoyed water sports (My post here). Hotel has its sunbed area at Nikki Beach and they provide umbrella, towels for Beach visit. And apart from just lazying on Nikki Beach (My post here) and the stroll along the coastline, we binged on the food, sit around the pool, and yes, how can I forget the Spa. Both Piyush and I were rejuvenated by the Balinese massage, famous for its relaxing techniques. And the best part is it was much cheaper than what it costs you in India. We suggest if you are traveling to this part of Bali and want to have a good stay option within your budget than Grand Whiz could be a great choice. 🙂

I would let the pictures do rest of the talking:

courtesy here

Dining at pool side was fun

courtesy here
 
Beautiful and well-maintained landscaping
 

Private area for the resorts

Walkable distance and well maintain road to Nikki Beach

Courtesy here

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This post is not sponsored and based on our real experience.

Check Hotel site here for bookings and details.

The four-star hotel can be reached only 20-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, 5 minutes from Bali International Convention Center.

For our real time travel photologues, follow us as SoulfulTravelers on Instagram

Click here for all posts on our Bali visit 2015.

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One of the highlight of Bali tour was the magnificent view of Mount and Lake Batur with the smoky Agung Volcano in the background. Although, it took almost 3 hours drive to reach there but we were pretty excited as it was the first time that we would see a Volcano (that too an active one!). On our way we noted the clean and well-built roads. People at Bali have good traffic sense and most importantly, traffic is almost null. As we approached the hilly area, all our excitement was washed away by rains and clouds that became a veil for the mountains making any view impossible for us. Since, it was lunch time, we decided to attend the lunch Buffet at Hotel Kintamani. Though, we were disappointed for not able to do the sightseeing, the variety of vegetarian dishes made us forget the pain for a while. We enjoyed the meal after a long time during our stay at Bali. And as our taste buds danced in joy, the weather took pity on us too and the clouds dispersed, revealing the magnificent Volcano in its full grandeur. In all, there are 3 big craters. The first historically documented eruption of Batur was in 1804, and it has been frequently active since then. The substantial lava field from the 1968 eruption is visible today when viewed from Kintamani, a town that stradles the southwest ridge of the greater caldera. The lake, Danau Batur, is the largest crater lake on the island of Bali and is a good source of fish.

Pics are quite hazy owing to the fog and cloud, still we managed to get some beautiful shots:

Mount Batur looked like this when we reached there


So we decided to have yummy lunch as it rained 


And the clouds decided to leave



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On our Day 2 evening at Kuta, Bali was a planned dinner cruise in the evening. We enjoyed a tropical evening in Bali on the Sunset Dinner Cruise. As the sun went down we set off on a relaxing cruise around Benoa Harbour in South Bali aboard a luxury catarmaran. This Sunset Dinner Cruise was suitable for the whole family and so, there were other families too with kids (There was another Indian Family and a newly wed couple from India!). As we breathed in the cool night air on the top deck we were entertained by live musical entertainers. The band sang some romantic Bollywood numbers as well to our pleasant surprise. After listening to a melodious ‘teri galliyan’, Piyush requested them to sing ‘Na hai ye paana’ from “Jab We Met” and the guys from Bali sung it with full fervor. This was followed by a delicious international buffet dinner and they served us with specially cooked Veg food. Food was ok as we realized in South-east Asian Countries, you have not much choice as a Vegetarian. A pretty receptionist at one of our Hotels gave me a painful and sad look when I told her that I had never tasted non-veg before. I had to soothe her telling I am fine and happy to live without it but she was still very confused 🙂
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After Dinner, we just danced the night away at disco and enjoyed a live cabaret show with young performers giving a perfect show. Here are some pics:

All set for a romantic getaway

A serenic sunset

She was practicing striking the chords

An evening of beautiful performances

And here is the memorable performance for us by the musical band of the cruise:

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She loves them

During our activity day at Tanjung Benoa, we decided to go to the Turtle Island but only for our daughter as we had not heard great reviews about the place. The visit was expensive (90$ plus donation) considering that it is not well-maintained with only few animals looking like sad captives. Even the glass bottom boat that takes the passengers to and fro was pathetic. You hardly get to see fishes properly from the glass. Still, our girl had gala time, holding turtles and birds and even wrapping the snake around as she wanted to copy whatever Mommy was doing! Although, Turtle Island turned out to be a Fad, Pihu really enjoyed it as she saw the animals for the first time in such close proximity.

As parents of a 2 year old toddler, the visit was memorable for us forever but yes, for others I would suggest, have a good meal somewhere instead of wasting your money here.


I want to play with Birdie 🙂

Her daddy made friends with her Birdie

Oooh it’s beautiful!

Is that real Mommy?

I too wanna wear it like Mommy

I still can’t believe she didn’t cry at all!
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Having fun at Jet Ski

On our 4th day at Bali, we went to enjoy watersports at Tanjung Benoa with our 2 year old daughter. It’s a little crowded place but that adds to all the fun. 


We had to take activities on turns as our daughter was too young for the adventure rides. The operator and the staff were very helpful as they engaged our daughter. One guy dedicatedly took our pictures which was a very great gesture to us. We took the package and did Jet Ski, banana boat and parasailing. We loved the Jet Ski experience as it was our first time, driving on sea looks lot more fun than driving on road. We loved to have the pleasure of riding at high speed on sea and felt the fresh air caressing us. My suggestion is even if you feel scared of water, the also you must do Jet Ski in your lifetime, once. They have instructors who ride with you for your safety. There are lot many other activities and rates were decent. But given that only we adults were having all the fun, we decided to go to Turtle island on Glass bottom boat for our daughter who loved the animals there (My post on that here!). It was an active day for us and our daughter was also happy playing in sand 🙂

The place have all kinds of facilities – washrooms, lockers, changing rooms, snacks bar for the comfort of the tourists and unlike Kuta Beach there are not as many vendors to bother you every now and then and the beach is also quite clean. 

Perfect for families!


Once upon a time he was scared of depths 



She’s just testing ‘ is it safe for Mommy?’

Mommy going for another bumpy ride

Meanwhile the baby is busy building castles

Travel tip: Go and have fun at water sports 🙂

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http://balitourvacation.com/

We arrived at Kuta first in Bali late in the evening. With a toddler, it was difficult especially as we had connecting flights and the luggage lost saga. So the next day we skipped the day tour from our itinerary and simply relaxed at our hotel room watching Indonesian TV channels. Yes, we did that exactly to save ourselves from getting sick from exertions! That’s what travel should be about, right?? To chill out and not freaking out 🙂 By evening, we were feeling fresh and decided to take a stroll to Kuta Beach which was just a 15 minute walk from our hotel.

So we walked through the Balinese localities, and appreciated the peaceful and friendly locals there (who couldn’t stop themselves from waving to the little one) and the well-built roads without any potholes 🙂 . The Beach is surrounded by streets full of busting market selling cheap clothes and other stuffs, and eating and dining spaces with lots of seaFood and multicuisine restaurants. We went to the seaside. At night, there was not much to do except soaking the fresh air accompanied with the sounds of the sea. Day time (pic above) it sure has lot of activities going around specially surfing. We sat there for a while, soaking in the fresh air and at the end of our trip thanked ourselves for not spending much of our time at the Kuta Beach for the fact, that we didn’t like it! It looked crowded even after the sunset (I wondered the thickness of crowd during daytime) and it was not very clean owing to lot of tourists and vendors over there, something like our very own Juhu Beach. We are happy that we spent most of our time at Nusa Dua Beach (My post on that here!)

Still, the little time we spent there as a young family was worth it. Night time gives you a bit of privacy and my daughter loved the vastness of Ocean. While returning back, we decided to dine out at one of the Italian joint to have veg pasta and pizza. Was it good? It was amazing!! The whole street is full of life and made our day. Boys and girls from the cheaper eateries stand on the road holding trays full of delicacies for passerby to have a taste and choose their place to grab a meal. The bigger ones look posh and sultry with aquariums of sea-life at display for sea-food lovers. The street is always crowded with tourists from all over the world enjoying life’s rich tapestry.

All in all, the very first day on out on our first international family trip was enjoyable. Here are some pics:

When night embraces the ocean

Little one reacting to lime mojito

Would you like to have some? 😛

Aww..  Being a Veggie I found that yucky!!
My mouse relishing some cheese

Tip: Kuta beach is ruled out if you are looking for a serene calm family beach spot. Spend evening in the market instead especially if you are seaFood romantic!

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Without Baggage we felt to be in Space!!

As a family, I was glad we took this vacation to Bali this year in January even when our daughter was just 2 years 2 months old and believe me, it was absolutely, so much fun. In-spite of rough start, you see, baggage not arriving after a long international flight, and with a kid can certainly be a point of distress.
But I am glad, we did get our bags next day. I fear what all we had to buy if we had lost our baggage. God knows how expensive it would have been! Well you know what, it would have still been alright, that’s the reason I had taken travel insurance ahead of time. And it paid also! I think there is this stuff I need to tell our reader from this episode.

Now when our baggage did not turn up along with us, it was a moment of panic. After all we were travelling internationally, were tired and had a 2 year old infant with us. When we approached airlines staff – they were of no help and asked us to file a complaint so that they can try tracking our luggage. So I did and with a heavy heart, resorted to proceed to our hotel without our luggage that night. I knew that we were covered for both loss and delay of luggage so in my mind I made a point to lodge a claim whenever possible.

I informed my insurance provider about my situation via my brother and they emailed procedure and forms. Given that I had not taken my laptop with me, I thought I will fill the forms when I return. Next day – our luggage did arrive – and in the joy, I just signed the paper the guy brought with him and took the luggage. 
Now, later when I went through the email in detail about the claim procedure, I realized I had not taken baggage delivery receipt from this person which was a required document. I thought I will ask for the same on my way back. And I tried that when we were checking in. However airlines was of no help, they took my email id with a promise that I will get the receipt via email. It never did on its own. I had to eventually raise a ticket and that got resolved in couple of days finally with the receipt being emailed to me. 
Fast forward, when I actually set out to file the claim, I realized I did not have everything I needed. I had preserved some baggage tags and I thought I had also preserved all boarding passes. But somehow I did not. Anyways, I filed the claim with all the documents I could muster and the insurance company took 14 working days to process. I had a cover of USD 100 for baggage delay and was expecting USD 300 as payment. However they approved only USD 100 citing the complaint was only for one luggage piece which was registered in one name and I also did not have any receipts for any emergency purchases. 
Yet they processed my claim. 
Lessons learnt – 
  1. Take travel insurance. Remember Murphy’s law, if anything can go wrong, it will. 
  2. Make sure each traveler’s luggage is registered separately when checking in. The baggage tag identifies the name of the traveler and for insurance claim (especially in case of loss), it will be important that the tags are unique per person traveling.
  3. Preserve all travel documents – boarding passes, baggage tags, receipts of any emergency purchase carefully until return.
  4. Claim early should you have to.
  5. When your baggage is delayed (potentially lost), make sure you file a report – this is known as PIR Passenger Incident Report in airlines/insurance terminology. Keep a copy and make sure it is correctly filled and signed/stamped by airlines. 
  6. Should you are lucky to get your baggage back, do take the baggage delivery receipt for records. Please note that there is cooling period – in my case it was 12 hours. This means that for delay of 11 hours they will not pay anything. For this reason it is advisable to take an insurance policy with as little cooling period as possible.

Do share anything useful I missed in comments for everyone’s benefit!

Who wouldn’t love to be here!!


The time we spent on Nikki Beach, Nusa Dua in Bali has become one of the most memorable time in my life I had with my husband and daughter till now.
This part of the world is completely untouched by regular crowds and so very clean, calm and peaceful. We stayed there for 2 days and 3 nights as we reached our Hotel Grand Whiz (My review here) at evening. After checking in and stretching a bit we headed to beach which is just a 5 min walk from the hotel. The whole area has 3-4 high end elite luxury resorts and the whole area is like privately owned property of these. The special attraction is the Nikki Beach Club.


Every hotel has a separate area and their own sun beds on the beach. We spent some time there in the background sound of ocean and enjoying with Pihu but decided against going in water that time as we were not carrying towels and stuff. People were generally relaxing or winding up. Families, solo, friends – all sorts. The beach looks really posh with colorful sunbeds and sitting area, resort lounges, Massage parlours, and of course Nikki Beach club. I was surprised to find we were the only Indians over there. Well, that made me don a Sarong rather boldly 😛

Day 1


We got ready and started for beach. As I said just a 3-5 min walk but it started raining so heavily that we were all soaked (Hotels provide umbrellas). 

Undeterred we waited in the sun bed. When it seemed that rain would stop we went in water to find it comfortably warm. We were still enjoying when the rain again got heavy and Pihu could no longer take it. So we called it off and returned back. Again there were very less people, may be because of rain and we began wondering now whether this beach has life or not but were proved all wrong the other day!

Day 2

We came early and thankfully the clouds were clear. There were plenty of beautiful people, families, single, young, old all having a lazy afternoon while enjoying the sun, service and the food. People were in their own world and nobody disturbed other. Unlike my experience at Juhu Beach, Mumbai, we had a gala time here as family. It didn’t occur to us even once that world human population has crossed Billions and we are literally strangulating Mother earth. The beach is so clean, classy and quiet except for the sea waves and the beach club songs that it feels like just another world. We didn’t go to Nikki beach club as we were more keen to enjoy the natural sea, but won’t mind going in future as it looked sporty enough. Putting sunscreen every now and then, going in the water, clicking pictures, relaxing in the sun and the shade. This was the real vacation, we both felt we had in a longtime. We were enlightened with what rejuvenation means exactly.

Note: The sand here is coarse with small pebbles and is not fine, so you need to be a bit careful especially with kids.

Here Nobody Bothers


The Sexy Nikki Beach Club


Away from all the noise

She loved this bench 🙂

Find the Peace




Road that made me stop and go nowhere




Tip: If you want to experience a top class beach club with vibrant atmosphere and cool tourists, then Nikki Beach, Nusa Dua has to be your choice of destination while at Bali. 

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Click here for all posts on our Bali visit 2015.