Thanks to the conference that C attended at the beginning of our Bali holiday, we got to stay at the Westin, located along the beautiful beach at Nusa Dua.
We arrived at the hotel later than expected on Saturday night, after our check-in luggage took ages to appear, and what seemed like a long taxi ride to me. We were all exhausted, and it really helped that the staff at the Westin made checking in such a breeze. An ice-cold drink of Lemongrass Honey was served to the adults, while Noah was greeted warmly and given a Westin Kids’ Club pack. The staff at the Westin really impressed us throughout our short stay, and I think I learnt the most about the Balinese way of life through my conversations with them.
The Westin lobby, as seen from the fourth floor
The Lush Outdoors
It was nice to be so close to the beach, and the sand was so clean and fine! Almost all the lounge chairs and daybeds were occupied throughout the day, and it’s the perfect place to be if all you want is to chill by the beach. There’s also a pathway connecting the various hotels along the beach, which also leads to the nearby Bali Collection mall. We took a few walks along this very pretty stretch, and even though the weather there was crazily hot, we enjoyed looking at the really calm ocean. It seemed more like a lagoon, and if you have young children who enjoy playing in open waters, Nusa Dua is a great choice. Many of the hotels were hosting beach weddings too, with rather similar set-ups, all of which looked really romantic and dreamy.
The Pretty Path
We were impressed with how big the Westin was, and were told that it had 300+ rooms, and a huge convention centre. To be honest, I thought our room was a tad small, but most people were clearly there to spend time at the pools and beach, rather than to be cooped up in their rooms, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. There was hardly any space for us to walk around in the room once they brought the cot in, and we joked about putting him in the bathroom instead, since it was as big as the bedroom itself.
Noah’s preferred playing area
Let me out!
They have a Westin Kids’ Club, for children aged 4 to 12, and there were numerous activities to keep them occupied. Details can be found here. I checked out the Fishing activity and was just in time to witness one of them catching a huge (by kids’ standards) fish! The kids were all really excited and I thought it was a nice way for them to spend their holidays.
Kids’ Club Fishing
Westin Kids’ Club Pack for older kids
Westin Kids’ Club Pack for the little ones
Initially, my plan was to bring Noah down to the pool daily while C attended the conference, but that plan fell through when Noah woke up with a runny nose on Monday. A staff member kindly informed me that there was a toddlers’ playroom, for kids aged 0 to 3, and that became my favourite place in the hotel for the next few days. Noah had fun playing there, while I chatted with the staff and nannies present. One of the nannies told me that she had been babysitting for this particular family for the past five years! They stay at the Westin annually, and will email her beforehand to make the necessary arrangements with her. She proudly told me that she has seen the elder girl grow up, and from what I observed of her interactions with the two little ones, she clearly knew their characteristics very well. I also learnt that many of the Westin staff have worked there for many years, and because many of the hotel guests return each year for holidays, they do form lasting relationships with them. I like that it seems more than just a job to these people, and that they display a genuine interest in the guests. Many of the staff there knew Noah by name, and whenever we passed them, they would stop whatever they were doing to interact with him.
Lots of fun in the Toddlers’ Playroom
We also indulged in a massage at the Westin, but gone are the days when we can go for a massage together. The spa does offer packages which include a babysitter, which I thought was rather thoughtful. However, we didn’t want to spend money on hiring a babysitter for Noah, so we took turns instead. We picked evening slots, and I went for mine first, as I’m the one who puts Noah to bed. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep on the table and woke myself up with my snoring! Guess I was really tired from looking after a sick baby. While waiting for my hot chocolate to be served after the massage, I checked my phone and saw an SOS message from C, telling me to ‘come back quick!’ so I rushed back to our room, expecting total chaos, but noooooo…. the baby was happily playing on the bed with C. It was a good thing the massage therapist was kind enough to send the hot chocolate to our room, or I would have been more upset with C for ruining my post-massage calmness. She stayed for a chat, telling me all about her grandson, and giving me advice on how to care for Noah as well.
All in all, I thought that the Westin was a great place for families with young children, who are looking for a relaxing beach holiday. The breakfast buffet spread is extensive, with a separate section for children, and you can order drinks and food while you chill by the pool. It’s not cheap to do that, of course, but as the hotel isn’t exactly very near other restaurants, your options are limited. When we decided to head into Seminyak for dinner, it took us more than an hour to get there, because of the horrible traffic. We also ended up ordering room service on a few occasions because it was just more convenient.
I’m sure we wouldn’t mind going back again when Noah is older, and if we just want to relax instead of sightsee or shop. The huge slide in the swimming pool looks really fun for kids, and I think it would be nice to be able to park the children at Kids’ Club for a few hours every now and then. I really liked the friendly staff, and hopefully, they’ll still be there when we return!