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Our First Holiday as a Family of Five!

C and I were talking about how we hadn’t been on a holiday in a long time, and our last one was in March 2016 to Penang for my babymoon. We’ve flown a couple of times with the twins, but only to Jakarta and Singapore, so we figured it would be safer to go on holiday to a nearby destination, as we didn’t think spending many hours on a plane with the babies was a good idea.

Since N’s first holiday was to Bali, we decided to “follow tradition” and booked a trip to Bali over a long weekend. The flight would be about 2 hours from Jakarta, so it seemed pretty doable. We stayed at Westin Nusa Dua and a small villa called Uma Sapna in Seminyak previously, but we wanted to try a different hotel this time round.

Chilling at the new Terminal 3 in Jakarta

We had to take a bus to the plane! N asked if the bus was going to Bali. Hahaha.

Doing what he does best on the plane

With three kids in tow, we kept our holiday really simple. The plan was to find a nice hotel with access to the beach, and just chill. The only item on our to-do list that required us to leave the hotel was to visit the Bali Safari. C wanted to check out the nearby fish market as well, so we figured that we could hire a taxi if we felt up to it on one of the days. C was the one in charge of doing all the research and bookings as usual, so he picked the InterContinental Bali Resort in Jimbaran, since the pools there looked good, and it was supposed to be child-friendly.

I emailed the hotel to request for an earlier check-in time, since we were taking an early morning flight to Bali, but we were given the standard “noted but subject to availability” reply. I also asked for two cots and an extra bed for the kids, but was told that the room was too small, and they could either give us two cots, or one cot and an extra bed. I had no intention of getting kicked by N throughout our stay, so I opted for the latter, but when we got there, we saw that the room was pretty spacious, and asked for the extra cot.

There were plenty of cabs available outside the airport when we arrived, so we hopped into one, since it was cheaper than using the hotel’s airport transfer service. The hotel isn’t that far away from the airport, and we arrived slightly before lunch-time. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t available yet, so we left our bags at the reception, and headed for lunch at the poolside restaurant, Jimbaran Gardens. The food was pretty good, so we ate there a couple more times during our stay. The only drawback was the heat, which was inevitable, since it’s an outdoor restaurant. (If you’re there with babies who need to have their diapers changed (like us), there’s a toilet near the main lobby which has a changing table inside. Just ask the staff for directions.)

The sight that greeted us at the hotel

Enjoying his complimentary drink

Love the view!

N’s lunch

My lunch (and Meimei in the background)

The hotel reminded me of some ancient ruins, not that it was in bad condition, but because of the architecture.

C booked the Club Intercontinental Room, which is slightly larger, and we thought it was the perfect size for all five of us. I didn’t manage to take nice photos of the room, but I’m sure you can find some on TripAdvisor if you want to see more apart from the ones on the website.

Babies in one cot

KorKor “visiting” them

Meimei “visiting” Didi

Chilling on the balcony

I particularly love this photo of the three of them on the bed, because it totally captures their personalities. Meimei is Little Miss TamChiak, trying to eat the flower, N is the cheeky KorKor who tries his best to protect the babies, and Didi is the clueless one, totally oblivious to the flower tucked behind his ear.

Balinese babies

The pools at Intercontinental Bali were the main attraction for us, and the babies took their first dips in the pool there. C brought his camera to take some photos of the kids in the pool that day, which was a good thing because Didi freaked out on the second day. There are pools of various depths, and the babies could actually walk around on their own (with their floats of course) in the shallowest pool.

Babies’ first swim

The hotel also has a well-maintained outdoor playground, and N liked playing there quite a bit. It’s pretty near the beach, and I found it quite therapeutic to just stand there and watch the waves rolling in. N got a little scared by the strong waves, and refused to go into the sea, but he was happy enough playing with the sand, and looking for seashells.

At the outdoor playground

At the beach

Our stay at Intercontinental Bali was really enjoyable, as the staff we encountered were all very pleasant and helpful. What marred our stay was the hordes of Chinese tourists we encountered each morning at breakfast, who treated the twins like a zoo exhibit, asking us tons of questions while we were trying to eat, taking photos of the babies, and even standing there to watch them eat their breakfast. I felt rather uncomfortable with all the attention, especially when one couple asked us how much the Singapore government gave us for having babies. Seriously!

Anyway, I’ll write about our visit to the Jimbaran Fish Market and the Bali Safari Marine Park in my next post, so look out for that!

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