Family Travel

I'm Bringing the Whole Damn Family to Bali

by Maryann Bryant-Rubio
Tanah Lot with a coastal view. All photos courtesy of Marryann Bryant-Rubio.

Google exec Maryann Bryant-Rubio had three generations to please in one far-away holiday. Everyone left happy after a week in Bali.


Find a holiday destination suitable for a baby and a toddler, their parents, and their grandparents, with sites, good vegetarian food, weather, and lots of beaches.


Easy! A villa in Bali near Seminyak, rented through Bali Villa Worldwide. It will set you back a little more than the price of a five-star hotel room on the beach nearby, but give you much more.

"Villa" in this context means a five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house with an exquisite garden, a pool, a pool house with a bar, a driver, a concierge service, a cook, and two housekeepers who doubled as our daughter's playmates at her insistence.

Located in the village of Canggu, it's a ten-minute walk from the beach and a ten-minute drive from the nightlife in Seminyak, a town that's a mishmash of local stores and eateries, "Western-style" restaurants, boutique guesthouses and spas, and a few top-notch hotels.

If a villa isn't right or if you want a day spa and yoga al fresco, stay at Desa Sani, a charming ashram/boutique hotel.

Tanah Lot

The scenic Tanah Lot, which translates as "land in the sea."


Visit the unbelievably picturesque temple on a tiny rock island at Tanah Lot. You'll have to navigate the mini-market set up to ensnare you on the way.

Check out the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, known locally as Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana. A hit with adults (gorgeous hand-carved temples) and kids (monkeys!).

Go to Jari Menari Spa for a "dancing fingers" massage.

Monkeys in Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Monkeys and sculptures at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.


Shopping for knickknacks in Ubud, the spiritual center of Bali that is full of ashrams and Westerners finding themselves through yoga. (Thank you, Eat, Pray, Love.)

Batur Lake in Kantamani

Breakfast with a view of Batur Lake.


Join Halo Bike Tour for a ride around the countryside and nearby villages with homemade lunch. Breakfast on the side of Batur Mountain in Kintamani village was a bonus.


Jalan Seminyak #64, Seminyak; +62-361-847-5802
Local prints on flirty dresses with cute accessories.

Jalan Raya Basangkasa #101 X, Seminyak; +62-361-735-427

Beautiful woven bags, baskets, trays, and other essentials for the perfectly accessorized home. 

Lucy's Batik
Jalan Raya Basangkasa #88, Seminyak; +62-361-795-1275
Including adorable palm-sized animals that can be used as Christmas tree ornaments or toys for your favorite niece/nephew.

Ganesha Bookshop in Biku/ Biku Restaurant
Jalan Petitenget 888, Kerobokan; +62-361-970-320 / +62-361-857-0888
A second-hand bookshop that also serves a pretty great brunch.

Maryann Kongovi's Beautiful Family

A portrait of the author and her gorgeous family.

Embun's Garden

The picturesque garden at Embun.


Jalan Subak Sari 77, Br. Tegal Gundul, Canggu; +62-361-210-5080
An organic restaurant set in a beautiful garden with a thatched roof to shelter you from the sky. Delicious.

Ku de Ta
Jalan Oberoi #9, Seminyak; +62-361-736-969
A great spot for daytime cocktails and beach snacks. While at night the decor and clientele suggest an upscale locale for the well-heeled (they serve a fantastic dark and stormy complete with a frozen orange), by day the staff will look on with amusement if your child should decide to take a dip in the fountain in the courtyard.

Potato Head Beach Club
Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak; +62-361-473-7979
Despite the name, it's not only an architectural wonder (the facade is a patchwork of hundreds of antique Indonesian shutters), but also a solid place to get a good cocktail, day or night. The pool is nice too.


Sign up for concierge yoga with Wayan Marcus Wistika, a teacher from the famous Yoga Barn in Ubud. Email or call +62-361-900-3513


Bali Guide

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.