Novotel Bali Nusa Dua

Hello everyone!! Well we are back in Bali (Surprise surprise) we had only just gotten back and without realising it had already started planning our next trip there! Addicted is an understatement! Our family are obsessed with the low-key island life of Bali.

 

When booking our accomodation for the first half of our trip we really wanted to book something with the kids in mind. After searching through the internet and finding out it had won TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 2017 as one of the Best Hotel for Family in Indonesia we decided on Novotel Bali Nusa Dua, and goodness are we glad we did!

It’s no secret that Novotel are known worldwide for their incredible family friendly hospitality and Novotel Bali Nusa Dua are no exception with their motto being “Children are our customers for the same reasons as their parents, so we listen to them and serve them” is no exception. From stunning swimming pools to kids clubs, Novotel Bali Nusa Dua really does have it all.

Nusa Dua itself is a very  kid-friendly safe area which boasts some absolutley stunning white beaches with crystal clear sea water and vast tropical gardens, Nusa Dua literally means “two island”, the area is well-known as the area for the luxurious hotels and resorts, and is located in the south-eastern part of Bali. Novotel Bali Nusa Dua itself is actually located inside the ITDC (Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation) Complex, Nusa Dua, a 350 hectares secure-gated peninsula on the southern side of Bali.

From the moment we arrived at Novotel Bali Nusa Dua the kids felt more then welcome and we were extremely impressed. Not only were the kids happy but so were we! With absolutely stunning balinese design captured throughout the entire resort and incredible staff that are more than happy to help with anything you may need, we were off to a good start.

 

As soon as we had checked in the first item to check off the list (well for the kids anyway) were the pools! Surrounded by the vast tropical gardens and greenery bali is so famous for were the stunning big blue pools, the kids were SO excited! We spent most mornings by the pools watching the kids swim, it really was pure bliss.

When the kids weren’t eating, sleeping swimming or exploring the rest of Bali’s magic with us, they were at the kids club! The kids club is available for children aged 4-10 years old and is open from 8:30 till 17:30, Novotel Bali Nusa Dua also have other activities available for the little ones such as Balinese dance, Indonesian traditional games, swimming lessons, cooking class a playground and more..!

Now we are into my absolute favourite thing about Novotel Bali Nusa Dua and that is that kids get FREE breakfast!! Yep you read right, breakfast is absolutely free for any 2 kids under the age of 16. For my family food is very important and can ,are or break a holiday. My little ones aren’t too fussy but sometime can be a little iffy when it comes to trying new cuisines. Luckily for me the kids adored the Indonesian cuisines but if you aren’t so lucky you don’t have to stress as their are still plenty of western options available, seriously this place is incredible.

In conclusion our stay with Novotel Bali Nusa Dua was an extremely positive one. The kids were so sad to leave and keep asking when we are going back to see their “friends” (the staff members) from beautiful beaches to exotic cuisines this resort really does have it all. We cannot recommend it highly enough if you’re looking for a family friendly place to stay in Bali and as I said Nusa Dua is a very safe place to stay, and explore.

 

To explore this beautiful resort for yourself head to here

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Novotel Bali Nusa Dua but as always opinions are honest and my own.



Stay in Luxury – Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

 

Each week more than 16,000 Australians begin their journey to the small island of paradise, Bali.

Immersed in sun, beauty and enriched with culture when I think of ‘Bali’, lots of words come to mind; blissful health retreats, vibrant nightlife etc.

However, there is one aspect that didn’t come to mind when i thought of Bali, and that was it being a standard “family friendly” holiday, but boy was I wrong!

Although Bali does have has a reputation of being an adult’s paradise, I was pleasantly surprised to find that even when you have the kids in tow, it is an amazing place to visit.

As soon as we stepped off the plane we were greeted with a sense of belonging and an enriching welcome, that really only people who have travelled to Bali can truly understand.

After researching areas to stay, we settled upon Nusa Dua.

A kid-friendly area containing great beaches and huge pools (which for kids, is the most important aspect of a holiday of course). All resorts in this area are within the 4 and 5- star range, which is important when wanting a safe and relaxing vacation.

We stayed in the wonderful Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua. Promised to be fault-less luxury and believe me it was. Among vast tropical gardens, all within a kid-friendly and superb location it’s safe to say we were all very excited.

The kids even have there own garden to work in.

As soon as we stepped a foot into the lobby, this description was fulfilled.

The sheer opulence and utter extravagance, along with the intricate detailing captured us all. If luxury is important to you when looking for accommodation within Bali resorts, you cannot go wrong with the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua.

This resort is a dreamland, far removed from the frenzy of Kuta.

Pool Daze

 

Kids have there own pool area.

Another aspect I was slightly apprehensive about was whether Bali itself contained enough activities to keep little ones entertained. Although my two are happy to sit on a beach for endless hours, it is nice to have the options of other entertainment. I can now say with great confidence that Bali well and truly delivers with fun filled, whilst also delivering educational activities, for children of all ages.

From tennis, yoga, water-sports, all the way to monkey forests and beach bike rides. There is more than enough to keep everyone entertained and happy.

Archery is just one the family friendly activities.

And, if the activities outside of the resort weren’t enough, the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua offers a Children’s Learning Centre, filled with more than just the usual kids club. Here kids are taught Indonesian dance, language, cooking, and music. It’s safe to say I was beyond impressed with the experiences on offer.

Sofitel has its own beach.

I think almost every parent only has to say this word to their children once before they get excited, FOOD.

Food is such an important part of any family holiday. You want to be comfortable in knowing that this food is not only edible, but will cater also to the fussier palates (of little ones, and adults of course). The world’s best breakfast buffet (I know, big call) could well be at the Kwee Zeen. Filled with fresh fruit juice, made from handpicked fruits, and food that makes your mouth water as soon as you get a smell, this place is AH-MAZING.

The first day I enjoyed perfectly poached eggs on top of grainy toast with buttery mushrooms. Another day I attack the flaky, buttery, almond croissants.

Finally, on the third day I indulge in creamy Bircher muesli.

Not only is their amazing breakfast places on offer, but there is exquisite lunch and dinner restaurants also. The Beach Bar & amp; Grill, located beachside, is on offer for casual bites to eat. Dinner at Cut Catch Cucina is an elaborate affair. Filled with delicately seared scallops, fork-tender lamb and velvety mushroom risotto…my advice is to take to wearing flowy dresses.

You come to Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua to holiday at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua. Grab a bike and take a cycle around the grounds or beach walk, head over to the great shopping centre within walking distance,  The resort is huge, with fountains and pools almost everywhere. Along with a semi-private beach (I know, amazing). From the food, to accommodation, to the grounds, to the activities, everything was plush, comfortable and luxurious.

Sofitel Nusa Dua is a fabulous resort. Please do not be put off to travel to Bali.  Nusa Dua is a very safe place to stay, and play.

Made even happier by the wonderful people at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua.

 

To view hotel deals available now click on www.sofitelbalinusadua.com

 

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Sofitel Nusa Dua but as always opinions are honest and my own.

 

 



TravelShoot the best way to connect with local photographers around the world

As you all are probably aware (from all our Insta spam) we recently visited Dubai on a family holiday and had an absolute ball.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was the photo shoot we did with Travelshoot.

Travelshoot is a company full of photographers around the world. All you have to do is visit the website, choose your location, pick your favourite itinerary and book your shoot!

Travelshoot will then connect you with the best local photographer that fits your brief and then everything is taken
care of until the photo-shoot day! Then once the shoot has been finished you’ll receive a couple of sneak peaks within 48 hours and then the full album within 7 days.

Our experience with Travelshoot was amazing it was such an easy process from start to finish.

Dubai is such a breathtakingly beautiful place with so many stunning photo locations and this shoot was such a perfect way to keep the memories of our trip alive for years to come.

Piper is always good when it comes to getting photos taken and often says things like “Mummy can you take my photo here so I can look at it later” and often they are the ones that turn out the best, but I was a little concerned going into this shoot as to how she would go with a new photographer and a foreign location but as always she proved me wrong and was an absolute star during the shoot and even drawing quite the crowd of onlookers
who also wanted to snap her photo saying how gorgeous she was.

 

The photographer we had on the day was so friendly and incredible with Piper candidly capturing all her smiles and
expressions perfectly. The final photographs that we received were breathtaking and exactly what we were after.

If your looking for a way to capture your holiday you can’t go wrong with Travelshoot.

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with TravelShoot but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



Best Family Hotel in Manly Sydney – Novotel Manly Pacific

Looking for a fabulous staycation hotel by the beach?

Travelling with little ones can be very tough, especially on long haul flights. Luckily
for all of us within Australia, we are able to reach places that are both family friendly
and luxurious (I know right, sounds almost impossible), within just a few short hours.

 

The Novotel Manly Pacific is one of these amazing places – Superbly located beachside in beautiful Manly in Sydney it’s just minutes’ walk to all that this wonderful area has to offer.

Space to sit and relax in the foyer watching the world go by.

 

As well as being right on the water and just a short walk to some unique shopping and cafes it offers easy access to the ferry terminal so it’s just a short trip across the harbour to Circular Quay and the heart of Sydney.

The Novotel Manly Pacific ticks ALL the boxes.

 

Located along Marine Parade is the lovely Fairy Bower rockpool it’s one of a number of historic pools cut and blasted along the New South wales coast.

 

When searching for kid-friendly accommodation, it’s a given that the Novotel brand is worth checking out. Each hotel aims to provide families with a comfortable and child-focused stay.

The spacious layout of the 213 luxurious rooms includes a mini bar, workspace, television and floor-to- ceiling windows as you just can’t go past the exquisite views over looking iconic Manly beach.

 

Manly Beach is situated among the northern beaches of Sydney.

 

Manly surf school runs classes for kids and adults daily.

Although it is important that rooms contain comfy furniture and space, when travelling as a family it is the little family-friendly touches that make stays homelier. The Novotel Manly Pacific contains so many of these, in the bathroom, there is an all-important bathtub, and essential when travelling with little ones.

But, family-friendly doesn’t just end with the room, a digital games table and arts and craft table keeps kids entertained during check-in and check-out.

Plus sand toys, buckets and spades, boogie boards, beach chairs, umbrellas are all available FREE to borrow in the reception area, just as long as you rinse and return. For me this is the best thing a hotel near the beach can offer, to not have to pack and lug the beach toys or worse still tell the kids you couldn’t fit them in the suitcase can make or break a beach trip for us.

Free beach toys are available to borrow.

 

Like all Novotel family friendly accommodation the family promise is upheld, where kids under 16 years stay and eat breakfast for FREE (one of a parent’s favourite words) for two children who share a room with their parents or grandparents.  The kids menu offers meal options that are both affordable, and healthy. The breakfast buffet
selection located at the Zali Restaurant includes an ‘Eggs Any Style’ station, as well as a pancake machine. Both of which, of course, are major hits with the kids.

Filled with kid-friendliness aspects from beginning to end, as well as its location being perfectly ideal for a beautiful family getaway.

Pool with a stunning beach view.

 

If you are looking for a fabulous staycation hotel by the beach, that offers both a luxurious and relaxing feel, as well as being 100% kid-friendly then Novotel Manly Pacific is most definitely for you and your family.

You can check out prices and availability HERE  Novotel Manly Pacific

 

 

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Novotel Manly Pacific but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach – Phuket Paradise

I have had so many questions on where we stayed in Phuket recently and I have no hesitation in recommending the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach

They have all the bases covered for an active holiday, regardless of weather conditions.

Just how Marriott has managed to keep the personal touch in such large grounds is a mystery, yet also a welcome surprise.

Located on a secluded stretch of Tri-Tang Beach it’s close to the excitement of Patong close by, but the serene surroundings make it seem a world away.

Take advantage of the Phuket weather and relax by one of the three outdoor pools, while the kids  enjoy some time at the kids club with an all day activity program available from 8am to 8pm.

I can’t speak highly enough of all the staff, they were all fantastic and so very welcoming, the whole resort is just so beautifully set out and clean.

Of course you get all the little extras that 5 star offers like slippers and bathrobes and the cute towel animals on your bed every day but the main thing is being able to walk straight into the pool from your room. It is such a nice touch to wake up, open the curtains and step into the pool for an early swim before heading over to a huge breakfast at one of the two buffets available.

The private beach was right on our doorstep and if that’s not enough beach for you the hotel has a free bus that leaves 4 times a day that can drop you down to Patong for some local shopping and lots and lots of food plus more beach!

Below are a couple of real highlights that you can do with out even leaving the hotel.

Indulge At The Thai Pantry

Dinning at the Thai Pantry at the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach is a must do! You must order the chicken and pork satay, papaya salad and vegetable rolls topped off with some fresh mango juice. Good value for top class cooking in an elegant restaurant, service was so friendly and professional we ate here on the first night staying at the hotel and knew straight away that another visit would be needed before we left.

Learn To Cook

While in Phuket, there is no better place to learn to cook world-renowned Thai food, what an awesome experience it was to learn to cook three dishes, all of which were simple to make, and exploded with taste.

The Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach classes provide a fascinating insight into Thai life, beliefs and culture through learning about its food, cooking and culinary myths, we learnt about the exotic herbs and spices used in everyday dishes.
Classes are part demonstration, part hands-on and are held in the Pantry restaurant at the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach a couple of times a week. We had a blast, the staff were amazing teachers and very patient with me (someone with pretty lousy cooking skills) but the best bit is getting to eat the lavish feast you have prepared at the end.

Visit The Butterflies

It is always fascinating to learn how nature works her magic turning the caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. If you want to see lots of butterflies, this is the place to come. There are also a large numbers of insects and other creepy crawlies and educational displays. We had an enjoyable hour getting hands on and learning from our guide Katy. Located in the heart of the Marriott Merlin Beach it’s available for in-house guests and made for a great educational experience for us and the kids.

It’s a great resort that I highly recommend for families with children, the best thing is the kids are asking when we’re going back and I’m ready to go anytime.

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Marriott but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.

 

 



Amazing Thailand – Our top 6 to do while in Phuket

Phuket guarantees an unfading vacation memory for parents and children, being one of the most family-friendly destinations with a wealth of attractions and activities for all ages to enjoy. This joins the wonderfully friendly people and culture which are present for the parents.

With so much to see and do in Phuket and so many great Thailand Deals available right now its the perfect time to take the family.

 

Here are just a few of the things that we got up too.

 

1. Visit A Temple

 

Wats – or Buddhist temples – are among the most important symbols of Thailand, partly because the majority of Thais are Buddhist and partly because they are so beautiful. In Phuket alone, there are 29 Buddhist temples spread around the island. They have been extending a warm welcome to visitors for over a century, locals come to pray and westerners come to learn something about Buddhism. The temples are open from seven in the morning till five in the afternoon and are a great way to get a feel for the country and mix with the locals. I would suggest visiting Wat Chalong, it’s the biggest and most important temple said to shelter relics from Budda plus it’s surrounded by local markets complete with roaming chickens, dogs and cats so there is something interesting for everyone to see at every turn.

2. Get Up Close With Some Monkeys

 

We just took a drive to see if we could find some local monkeys – The best place to start is “Monkey Hill” (real name is Khao To Sae) on the north side of Phuket Town – it’s the hill with the aerials / radio masts on top, easy to spot from much of the south of the island, being around 270m above sea level. There are lots of monkeys here, mostly they are found near the top of the hill. Local people come up to feed them, it’s not really a tourist attraction but we had a great time wandering around and checking out the monkey’s but I do suggest you don’t try and feed them yourself they did get quite aggressive with Piper when they found out she didn’t have any food for them, if you have small children I suggest even observing them from inside the safety of your own car.

Rang Hill

Also on the north side of Phuket Town, Rang Hill is quite popular as a viewpoint, we found a great place to eat with the locals and got some fresh air and exercise. We found monkeys a-plenty playing in the trees which was great to watch while we dined, again worth the visit and an experience we will never forget.

3. Check Out The Magnificent Beaches

 

Few islands can boast such an abundance of sandy beaches and clear waters as Phuket. The winding coastal roads along the west coast of this 540-square-km island offer stunning views and easy access to some of the world’s finest beaches.

Whether you want to sample the frenetic pace of Patong or find solitude on a remote stretch of sand in the north, Phuket’s beaches have it all for the sun seeker. Remember the sunscreen and bring bottled water for a fun day in the sun.

4. Visit The Protected Turtle Sanctuary

 

The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation is actually part of the wider JW Marriott Resort in Phuket and sits on Mai Khao Beach. The foundation was started in order to protect the nesting turtles in the area as well as to promote clean seas and beaches on the island.

The foundation is located within the grounds of the JW Marriott Resort in Phuket, but you do not have to be a guest of the hotel in order to visit. There are information sessions held daily here from Monday to Friday at 11:00 to 12:00. At one of the sessions, you will be able to learn all about how the foundation started as well as hear the story of the turtle population in Phuket. The emphasis here is on educating the public on how to sustain the delicate ecosystems that the turtles live in and promote their protection. There is also a feeding session where you will get the chance to see some of the resident turtles who live at the foundation and who have disabilities which mean that they would not thrive in the wild. The sessions are free to hotel guests and the general public, although donations are appreciated and all proceeds go towards to wellbeing of the turtles.

5. Learn To Cook

 

While in Phuket, there is no better place to learn to cook world-renowned Thai food, what an awesome experience it was to learn to cook three dishes, all of which were simple to make, and exploded with taste.

The classes provide a fascinating insight into Thai life, beliefs and culture through learning about its food, cooking and culinary myths, we learnt about the exotic herbs and spices used in everyday dishes. Classes are part demonstration, part hands-on and are held all over Thailand in many different hotel and restaurants. We had a blast, the staff were amazing teachers and very patient with me (someone with pretty lousy cooking skills) but the best bit is getting to eat the lavish feast you have prepared at the end.

6. Visit The Day Spa

 

A visit to a Day Spa is a must while in Thailand it’s the perfect place in which to unwind. You will find them everywhere throughout Phuket set away from the crowds, the luxurious treatments they offer in a serene space give guests a sense of calm, tranquillity and rejuvenation. Enjoy a post flight pick me up or treat yourself to a signature treatment, you will find it all and I can class myself as an expert as I was sure to do my research on this one having three Thai massages in 7 days stay.

 

Have you been to Thailand? Or are ready to book? Book a Tour

We would love you to share your experiences with our readers, so please leave a comment below and share with other.

Any questions on our trip just let us know and we will be happy to help you out.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Melbourne’s LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

We recently had the opportunity to attend the Legoland Discovery Centre Melbourne we are BIG Lego fans having just been to Legoland in Malaysia so we were keen to test it out.

The Legoland Discovery Centre is the ultimate indoor Lego playground located in Chadstone Shopping centre which was a huge plus for me as I figured if I tired out the kids with lego, mumma would have a couple of hours to get her shop on in peace.

 

Plus our hot tip! 

If you’re planning a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre or even the shop, you will notice that a lot of the workers there have nametags with minifigures attached to them. Just like Legoland Theme Parks, you’re allowed to initiate a minifigure trade with them! If you see a minifigure that you’d like, all you have to do is ask them to trade it with your own minifigure! This is a great fun activity that kids can do, especially if you have a lot of surplus or loose minifigures lying about at home, so be sure to bring a small bag of minifigures with you when you visit!

  

 

The opening hours are the same as the shopping centre, and you’ll need a ticket or an annual pass to enter the Discovery Centre.

Single tickets are $37.50 for adults and kids, although there are Concession Tickets priced at $27.50.

If you live in Melbourne and plan on visiting the Discovery Centre regularly, it might be more economical to buy an annual pass ($81 for individuals & $77 each for families which have a maximum cap of 2 adults) which grants you unlimited access to the centre all-year round.

Legoland Discovery Centre features two Lego rides, five themed Lego build and play zones, build classes from the Centre’s Master Model Builder, a 4D cinema, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, Melbourne’s top landmarks recreated in LEGO® bricks in MINILAND, plus more.

It’s ideal for families with children aged 3-10 and took us about 3 hours to really see everything, this is the perfect place for the kids to let there imaginations run wild in a world of colour and creativity!

The centre is first discovery centre in southern hemisphere for Lego, joining a global network of Lego Discovery Centres, including nine in North America, four in Europe and two in Japan.

Not to be confused with traditional Legoland Theme Parks, Leogland Discovery Centres are essentially mini versions of LEGOLAND, usually containing a mix of indoor, outdoor and interactive attractions.

The multi-million dollar attraction is filled with more than 2 million Lego bricks and 13 family friendly attractions, making it the ultimate indoor LEGO playground.

 

 

Adults MUST be accompanied by a child (up to 17 years old) to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

● Trading hours vary from 9.30am – 7pm

1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone Shopping Centre  Chadstone Victoria Australia | View Map Link opens new page

*This post was written in collaboration with above mentioned attractions but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



Green Eggs and Ham Character Breakfast Review – Carnival Cruise Lines

Ever wondered what green eggs and ham taste like?

Well we know!

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Delicious !!!!

We have just returned from a 9 day Carnival Cruise from Sydney Australia to Noumea and surrounding islands and while sailing we reserved a seat at the most fun meal at sea- The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with Dr. Sess and Friends.

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We rose early on the last sea day on board to join The Cat In The Hat in the main dining room, which had been  transformed for the occasion, into a colourful and magical world with bright polka dot linens, silly centerpieces, an ice sculpture and more!

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Green eggs and ham for breakfast!? You bet

Our breakfast feast was quite delicious. The menu includes Trufulla Tree Pancakes, stacked mini red & white pancakes that resembled the Cat’s hat, Dr. Seuss parfait, moose juice and goose juice, and of course, green eggs and ham. The menu was a feast for the eyes and tummy, Plus if red pancakes and green scrambled eggs aren’t your thing don’t worry as a more ‘traditional’ breakfast is also available if you’re not game enough.

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The whimsical Dr. Seuss characters roam the dining room while you eat and will come and interact with the kids and they make sure they visit with every table. The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 & Thing 2, as well as Sam I Am all make appearances throughout breakfast and are available for family photos plus you are allowed to take pictures with your own camera so you have the bonus of not having to pay extra for professional pictures.

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The Green Eggs and Ham breakfast is offered the last sea day of each cruise and will be held in the main dining room its open to families as well as the young-at-heart.

This brunch is priced additional to all the other dinning options that are included in your cruise price but it is fantastic value at only $10 per person.

It is similar to other character dining that we have been lucky enough to experience at many of the Disney character dinning spots at US theme parks (which are way more expensive)

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The wait staff on Carnival are over the top friendly and really go above and beyond to make your trip memorable.   This breakfast is no exception! The Staff dresses up in costume and even don blue wigs plus perform a fun routine for guests which my kids loved.

The Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast on the Carnival was more than a meal, it was an experience and in my opinion well worth the price.

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Thanks for all the questions I have been receiving regarding our cruise and cruising with toddlers, I know a lot of you are wanting to book and I promise I’m working on a blog post that will hopefully answer a few of your questions and help in your planning, keep an eye out very soon.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo