An all-inclusive holiday is something I’ve never done before and I’ve gotta be honest, it’s not the type of holiday that’s ever been on my wishlist. I’ve always thought they sounded a bit restrictive and I’m not really the kind of person to spend an entire day inside a resort. We like to get out and explore and see what’s around.
BUT I will give anything a try, and after looking at the websites for the two properties I was going to be staying at, The Grand Mirage Nusa Dua and the Samabe Villas on the cliffs at Nusa Dua I was already packing my bags. We spent 3 nights at each location, and they both were fantastic but also very different catering for different needs and different types of families.
The Grand Mirage Nusa Dua
Set on the southern part of Bali in the Nusa Dua resort area the Grand Mirage is right on the beach, and if you’ve been to Bali before but always stayed in Seminyak or Kuta or Legian the first thing you should know is that Nusa Dua has white sand, much nicer water, and if you want to sit on the beach you won’t get hassled to get your hair braided, your neck massaged or to buy a thousand sarongs.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom Junior Suite in the Family Paradise wing of the resort. The layout of this room is ideal for families of up to 5 with it’s seperate “kids room” area complete with single bed, trundle bed, day bed/couch, seperate kids bathroom and TV. They have their own little area away from Mum and Dad, but still in the same room. It was clean, new and nice!
The Grand Mirage, and in particular the Family Paradise Wing is MADE FOR KIDS! Swimming pools, water slides, mini water park, playground, rock climbing, pool table, ping pong, i-lounge gaming area and a really well organised kids club with daily planned activities and friendly qualified staff. There are plenty of food options available AND they have a Starbucks right outside…..and if you’ve been to Bali before you’ll know that a half decent coffee is sometimes harder than you’d like to find.
Scroll down to read more about why the Grand Mirage is ideal for families.
Samabe Villas Nusa Dua
OK so if the Grand Mirage is a holiday for kids…….Samabe Villas is a holiday for parents, especially if you have little kids under 5, or older kids older than about 12. This place is HEAVEN on a clifftop!
Perched on the cliffs of Nusa Dua Samabe Villas is spectacular to say the least. The grounds are huge and meticulously maintained. Think infinity pools with a view of the ocean, lying in hammocks, cocktails on the beach, in room massages and gorgeous dining areas. Get ready to make your Instagram friends very VERY jealous, you pretty much can’t take a bad photo here.
We stayed in an Ocean Front Family Suite and it was AH-MAZ-ING! Seperate living and bedroom area, balcony with outdoor seating with uninterrupted views of the ocean. Your own telescope (cause what’s a luxury holiday without some star gazing) Oh yes, and you’re own PRIVATE OCEAN VIEW PLUNGE POOL!
So how does the all inclusive deal work?
First of all it’s not MANDATORY. It’s something that is added on to your nightly rate if you want it. So if you read this review and decide you want to stay here but don’t want the all inclusive, that’s fine BUT I really would suggest taking a minute to do some sums and you’ll soon realise that if an easy, stress free holiday is what you’re after, the price of adding all inclusive is WELL AND TRULY WORTH IT! It really does take a lot of the stress out of a family holiday. No need to wander the streets looking for a family friendly restaurant or trying to find something to keep the kids entertained all day.
So what exactly does all inclusive mean you ask? Being a visual person I thought the below was the best way to answer this question.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and 24 hour room service – INCLUDED
Grand Mirage has SEVEN restaurants to choose from all located within the property everything from traditional Indonesian, to Italian, seafood, Chinese and Grand Cafe. There are lots of kid friendly options, and if all else fails you can always just grab a toasted sambo in your room! The flexible food options make it so much easier with kids, especially if they are fussy eaters.
Samabe Villas also offers a number of different locations for you to order a meal as well as room service and they also provide a daily afternoon tea down on the beach served up in a bird cage which was really cute.
*Hot Tip* Order the fish and chips from the Ring of Fire Pool Bar. Delicious!
If you’re kids have two bites of lunch and are then hungry again at 2pm, they can eat again, grab them a toasted sambo, fish and chips, fresh juice, satay sticks, whatever they want, it’s included! If they’re not hungry at dinner time and then you walk back to your hotel room and they’re suddenly “staaaarrrving” order them room service – it’s included!
Soft drinks, juice and “special Mummy and Daddy drinks” aka alcoholic beverages – INCLUDED. Your rooms mini bar is also included and filled daily.
Each resort offered a different Kids Club experience, but in both cases they were INCLUDED.
The Grand Mirage had pretty much EVERYTHING a kid would want on their holiday. Pool with twisty waterslide, waterpark, games room, rockclimbing, weekly foam party, organised kids club activities, bike hire, playground and a whole lot of space to run around and have fun. Seriously good fun for kids!
Bamboo Kids Club is located on the ground floor and is open and staffed from 9am – 5pm. From 5pm – 9pm you are still able to use the facilites but a parent or adult must be there to supervise. Mini Club is available for 4 -7 year olds, Kids Club for 8 -12 and Teens Club for 13 – 15.
If you have kids under 4 they can use the toddler room and other facilities as long as Mum or Dad or a babysitter are present.
Activities at Samabe’s Lumba Lumba Kids Club include games and quizzes, painting, origami, making necklaces and bracelets, napkin holding, hair braiding, nail art, face painting, Balinese dress up and more. A daily schedule is available so you can pick and choose which activities your kids will enjoy.
Once again each property offers something different. Both have free non motorised sports (kayak, windsurfer, stand up paddle boards etc) Grand Mirage also have free bike hire. Good idea to leave early or wait until late arvo when it’s not so hot!
Samabe Villas also offers a range of “Signature Activities”. If you choose the all inclusive package you can choose from a range of pretty special activities EACH DAY. These include options like in room massages, watching the Devdan Show at Bali Nusa Dua Theatre, Sea Walker adventure, Batik Painting, Balinese Costume photos, Sunset Tours and more.
Apart from the above, both properties also offer airport transfers INCLUDED as well as a daily laundry service INCLUDED. Yep, you can have your clothes washed by someone else! If that’s not a holiday from home I don’t know what is! Samabe all inclusive also includes a 24 personal butler.
Special Mention has to go to Snowball the Resident Duck at Samabe. If you ask my 5 year old this duck was the highlight of her entire holiday. She misses you Snowball!
So, which one do you choose?
Both the Grand Mirage and Samabe Villas are a fantastic choice for a family holiday in Bali, and the choice between the two really comes down to what type of holiday experience you’re after
Samabe Villas are located up on the cliffs at Nusa Dua so going for a stroll to the shops or ducking out for a quick, cheap massage isn’t as easy as it is at Grande Mirage BUT (and this is a big BUT) you get to look at this view all day long. Samabe is pure luxury. It’s relaxing, it’s peaceful and if you’re looking for a holiday with a baby or toddler, or an older child who would be happy to swim all day, get into the water sports at the beach, or relax in a hammock you’ll absolutely love it, but if you’re kids are a million miles and hour, it might not be the best choice for you.
If your kids are aged between 5 and 12 (ish) and they love to be outside, be active, be loud, run around, make new friends, swim all day…… then The Grand Mirage is the spot for you. You can’t beat the facilities for kids and the location is great because it’s right on the beach, but also walking distance to shops, restaurants and massages.
If you want to know more, or have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer them as best I can.
For more information on both visit their websites at
www.grandmirage.com and www.samabe.com
FYI, we stayed for free at the hotels mentioned above. No monetary payment was received for my comments and all opinions are my own.