Bali Dynasty Resort South Kuta Beach Accommodation Review and Bali Travel Tips

Bali is one of those quintessential holiday destinations, especially for Australians, looking to escape winter and relax pool side.  The Bali Dynasty ended up being a fantastic holiday location - largely due to the activities which I have written about here.
We recently stayed at the Bali Dynasty Resort on South Kuta beach.  Overall the accommodation was really modern and comfortable.  All of the family suites were booked so we needed to book interconnecting rooms which worked well.  The rooms have a bathroom each, comfortable beds, minibar, TV with multiple pay TV channels in English and are connected by a lockable internal door.  Importantly (at least to me since I have kids who think sun = play) the rooms had really good quality block out curtains which were expertly installed and let next to no light through (they are super stylish too, really wish I could get some like these installed at home). 
A full buffet breakfast was included in the package we booked, which was hosted in the H2O restaurant by the pool each day.  The buffet included a wide range of food for all different tastes. There was a traditional Balinese option of rice and curried meats, which was a tad too adventurous for the kids first thing.  So they stuck to the eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, waffles and pancakes.  There was also pastries, cereals, fruit and an assortment of juices available.  All of the food was freshly prepared and really tasty.

Of an evening the H2O restaurant hosts theme night buffet dinners.
I would definitely recommend the Malam Bali night which is on Fridays.  There was a range of traditional Balinese foods which were so delicious.  Even the desserts were all traditional, and it was great to expose the children to foods from a different culture.  There is also a traditional Balinese dance which starts at 7:30 pm and was excellent and particularly enthralling the kids.


A family favorite for dinner ended up being room service.  There prices were pretty reasonable as far as room service goes, there was no tray charge, and the orders were really quickly delivered to the room.  The pizza and banana splits in particular were really good.  There was no option for cocktails to be delivered though.


For lunch one day we headed to the nearby Irish pub Gracie Kelly for a stout with a Steak and Guinness pie.  The interiors were really nicely done and the kids were won over by the pool table and electronic darts upstairs.  The menu was a mix of traditional Irish dishes and a few traditional Bali ones as well including a well priced kids menu.  It is definitely a place to check out. 

There are several other excellent restaurants, bars and cafes on site.  We also tried the Golden Lotus Chinese restaurant for Sunday Lunch Buffet which was so divine and super popular.  We were all wishing we were staying for in Bali for longer at end of end of the meal, so we could visit again soon.  It was truly superb. 



Overall it was a really pleasant stay.  The resort motto is 'Make Friends for Life', and they certainly have a following guests and staff that apply this literally.  Many of the staff have worked at the resort for a decade or more, and there were guests we spoke to who had been coming to the Bali Dynasty Resort annually, one lady has been visiting for over 27 years!  The facilities and activities (which I have written about here) are fantastic, especially for families of young children.  It really was a haven to just relax and unwind with everything we could wish for in the one place.  If wanting to book I found the best prices and deals were with the resort directly, and you can get in contact with them here https://bdr.pphotels.com/

Bali Travel Tips

I thought I would pop down just some of the important points that I found I needed to know but didn't bother to look up before going, so thought someone else might find them handy!!

There are some great sites around with information on visiting Bali including;
https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/destinations/bali-nusa-tenggara/bali

http://www.bali-indonesia.com/information/bali-fast-facts.htm

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/travel-tips-and-articles/essential-bali-travel-tips-what-to-know-before-you-go

https://www.escape.com.au/destinations/asia/bali/the-9-rules-you-need-to-know-before-you-visit-bali/news-story/43ea946f28ca2855f9a8ebe462d66b0f

Tourist Visa in Bali

For Australians (and many other nations) there is no need for a visa if you are visiting as a tourist only and are staying less than 30 days.  This Indonesian Tourism site has more information.
https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/general-information/visa-immigration

Customs in Bali

You will be given a customs declaration form on the flight and only one form needs to be filled in per family.  There is a question about how many accompanied vs unaccompanied bags that you have.  All of the bags that you have, including the checked in luggage are considered accompanied luggage.   Unaccompanied luggage means that you have luggage traveling on a different flight.

As you get off the flight and head for immigration control there is an area to the right which is for children under 5 years of age, passengers over 60 years of age or disabled passengers. If this doesn't apply head to the queues on the left hand side.

Airport and Transfers

After clearing customs the path to the exit is a meandering one past ATMs and currency exchange then tours, transfers and sim cards.  At the very end of that is the exit and the area for meeting pre booked transfers.  You will see a LOT of drivers and hotel staff holding up name signs as they wait for guests who booked an airport pick-up.  We organised a pick up through Bali Dynasy and it went seamlessly well.

There is no public transport available at Bali so it won't be an option.  There are taxis available though, and there is Grab which is the Uber equivalent for Bali (but you will need mobile data on your phone for this).

Phone and Internet

There are a couple of internet kiosks available on your way out of the airport with staff available to help set up your phone or device with very reasonably priced plans.

We didn't end up using a sim card.  We just turned our phones on for global roaming but turned off mobile data.  The resort has WiFi which is actually really fast (I have stayed in lots of hotels where the complimentary WiFi isn't even fast enough to check email!).  There were three complimentary devices per room, so between the two rooms we were fine.  There were a couple of nights that it was flaky but only for an hour or so but overall it was fantastic.

Plugs

Bali uses the European style two-pronged plugs.  You will need to pack a converter.

The Bali Water

The tap water in Bali can not be consumed, so just ensure that all water that you drink and use to brush your teeth is bottled or filtered.  The Bali Dynasty provided 1.5L of bottled water in each room daily.  Having said that we did cringe at the amount of plastic bottles that we went through - we never use disposable plastic water bottles at home, but there was no option for filtered water in the resort sadly.

Travel Health

See your local travel doctor for advice on what vaccinations you need depending on what area of Bali you are going to and time frames.  For our family we decided on getting Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines in addition to the regular scheduled vaccines.  The kids were a little concerned about rabies, but we were informed that as long as we avoided contact with animals and sought medical treatment at a hospital within 24 hours of any bites that would be a sensible course of action.

Pack sunscreen and lots of it - we got burnt even with extreme caution.  Most Aussies here are at various levels of burn ranging from pink to glowing infra-red.

Money and Tipping in Bali

The money is Indonesia Rupiah.  As a rough guide IDR 10,000 = AUD $1  So the numbers got pretty confusing with all the zeros involved. 

When booking hotels and services check that all taxes are included in the price.  Some places will quote one price, then when you proceed to book add an additional 20% in taxes to the cost.  They didn't do this at the Bali Dynasty - all costs including taxes were included in the total amount.

Tipping isn't compulsory in Bali, it isn't an expected custom.  However many workers across Bali are paid low wages.  A small tip can go a long way for them and you just might make someone’s day (or week if you are generous) by tipping them.

The Language in Bali

The local language is Balinese.  Thank you is 'Suksma' (sooks-ma).  Hello is 'Om Suastiastu' (om soo-as-ti-astu) which you say with hands together in front of your chest as if in prayer.  It translates to 'peace and greetings from God'.  Many of the locals are very proficient in English. 

Religion in Bali

Bali is a multi-religious county consisting of Christian, Muslim and Buddhist minorities with is a lot of tolerance and respect of all religions.  The predominant religion is Balinese Hinduism called Agama Hindu Dharma.  It is not a dogmatic religion, but more of a spiritual lifestyle, that involves a lot of temple days and daily offerings. 

There are temples and niches everywhere filled with offerings of little baskets filled with flowers and incense and sometimes even food or cigarettes.  These are offerings of thanks to the father god in the sky which are placed on the high niches and to the mother god of the earth which are placed on the ground.  If visiting a temple there are different rules for different temples so just ask for guidance.

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