When it comes to traveling, my preference is to always be on the go, exploring new places, finding great new eateries and never really stopping (the way I live my everyday life really), but on our most recent trip I decided (with many requests from Shane) to step out of my norm and book a resort, deciding on the Melia, Bali, so that we could slow the pace down, completely unwind and let the kids chill out for a little while.
If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this part of our trip, staying at the Melia, Bali. After spending 10 days in beautiful AirBNBs in Canggu and Seminyak, and eating food that rarely hit the $3 mark, I was sure that a resort would feel overcrowded and over-priced.
Getting to the Melia Resort, Bali
We flew direct from Gold Coast through to Denpasar, booking our flights pretty much as soon as we heard that the new Virgin Australia Gold Coast – Bali route had launched. It was an easy flight, and although a little squeezy in a 737 plane, we were happy with the price (around AUD$450 return) and it was worth it for a fun getaway.
We were staying in Seminyak before heading to Nusa Dua, so we just asked our driver to pick us up and drive us over. We checked out of our AirBNB at 10am, and then headed into Legian to meet with my cousin for lunch, before heading down to Nusa Dua (around a 40 minute drive – the trip cost us around AUD$40).
We arrived at Melia, Bali, and were greeted with lush greenery and an authentically Balinese resort, and a welcome drink as we checked in. At home I love crisp white, minimalism and clean lines, but when traveling there’s great comfort in staying in hotels and resorts that feel authentic to the country and the people (like Melia in Bali, Kaanapali Beach Hotel in Maui and the Outrigger in Fiji).
Melia, Bali: All-inclusive packages, for everything you need
The Melia offers all-inclusive packages, to help guests settle in and enjoy everything, as often as they like. There’s five restaurants to choose from each night, including an ever-changing themed buffet, 24-hour room service, snacks in the pool area, and complimentary yoga classes. Kids under 1 are free, and kids aged 2 to 11 get the package for 50% off.
I weighed this up a lot, deciding whether it would work for our family. I’ve mentioned before, but it makes sense to mention here again, we don’t drink (only a few times a year) and my family eats like sparrows. Breakfast was included during our stay, so we headed down for eggs on toast each morning, and a plate of fresh fruit (the breakfast buffet is a-mah-zing), and then we either ordered food by the pool, or headed to the little Warungs (Indonesian restaurant) next door for an affordable meal of garlic prawns, or more traditional meals like Nasi Goreng. (There’s also affordable massages, hair braiding, little stalls, and even laundry).
A five minute walk from Melia is a huge shopping area called Bali Collection, where you’ll find shopping, but also a range of restaurants, from Italian, to Japanese, and lots of Indonesian offerings too.
I don’t regret not getting the all-inclusive package, it worked out well for us, and we loved making friends with the owners of the Warungs and giving money to support their families, and trying out the places at the Bali Collection. We also ordered Go Jek, where they bring food to the hotel for you. If Melia had options to opt in and out of the package, instead of it being from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, then I would have tried it. It would definitely work for families who want to just completely relax, who wanted to drink, or had hungry teens that wanted to get their money worth.
The rooms at Melia, Bali
Our room was located in the further-est corner from the pool and beach, which meant it was peaceful and quiet, but also a hike (especially when a dose of Bali belly kicked in – if you know, you know!). We had inter-connecting rooms with balconies, which were ideal and roomy. The bed is up there are one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in. When I was weighing up where to stay, I heard a few people say that the rooms were old, but I didn’t find that at all. The style isn’t modern and clean-line, it’s more traditional Balinese, and I really loved that.
For families there are also family suites with a bedroom upstairs. On the lower level, there are also rooms with direct access to a pool that flow around the resort (dreamy! We got a bit of room envy when we spotted that offering!).
Family time in the pool
Our days were spent relaxing. We went for a walk each morning, then cooled off in the pool, ate breakfast and then went back to the pool, and then took a dip in the ocean. It was a hard life, I tell you 🤪. The main pool is large, and busy. While there are loads of poolside chairs, they do get snapped up pretty quickly. There are also cabanas dotted around the resort, which are also complimentary and available to everyone, on a first in, first served basis (they generally get snapped up by about 7am).
Each day there were activities for the kids in the pool, which the girls loved getting involved in and making friends. There was aqua aerobics and games like volleyball and basketball. There’s also a kids club, where they often hosted movie nights outside with popcorn, and treats.
We need to talk about The Level
Shortly after checking in, I started hearing about ‘The Level’ which felt like an exclusive club we weren’t in, and didn’t know the password to. Seriously though, it’s an exclusive and superior service offering for returning guests, or guests who’ve paid more to access it.
During our stay we noticed seating reserved for The Level, as well as a private pool for those guests as well. There’s also an exclusive lounge with air-conditioning for private cocktails, afternoon tea service, a private beach area, and also a private breakfast service (separate from the buffet).
Most of The Level offerings are for 12 year olds and older, so it didn’t make sense for us to consider it – plus we were not looking at spending any more money than we needed to, but the private pool did look serene, and ideal for travelers who weren’t traveling with kids.
Falling in love with Nusa Dua
When traveling to Bali, I’ve always stayed put in areas like Seminyak and Canggu, and just enjoyed my time there. Staying in Nusa Dua, the biggest change I noticed were the beaches. They were clean, stunning and ever-so-inviting. I loved the pace, and just thought it was so beautiful. Just outside the resort there’s a beautiful beach, which is gorgeous at high tide. There’s even a swing and hammock that make for some fun Instagram moments (take your photo at high tide for the best photo!).
While I wasn’t expecting to love our stay at Melia more than our other Bali experiences, it was hard not to fall in love. Turns out I like a slower pace, and so does the whole family. For me the resort and surrounds was the highlight, I loved the greenery and how serene it felt every time we walked to and from our room. It was also so large, and vast, that it never felt over-crowded or too… people-y (even at full capacity). It was a beautiful stay, with loads of lovely moments. We’d definitely return, and can’t wait to get back, lie around in a cabana and head next door for those delicious garlic prawns.
We paid for our own stay at Melia and throughout Bali, as well as our flights to and from Indonesia.