There is no other combination of volcanoes, lakes, rice fields and beaches that is both magical and serene than Bali.
Nusa Dua is a gated enclave that is popular with families. The beaches in Nusa Dua are of the lightest blue with sand that just stretches for miles. The beach is calm to swim and wonderful for young kids but if you have older kids who want to surf, then Seminyak or Tanjong Benoa are a better bet.
Most of the 5 star hotels have private beaches so it is also much less crowded, noticeably absent are the beach vendors who throng every sandy strip they can find in most other areas of Bali. Nusa Dua is a perfect choice if you want to have a relaxed do-nothing kind of holiday, tucked away from the crowds. Most hotels have fantastic kids clubs and activities to keep the young ones busy with multiple choices of luxury pools.
As Nusa Dua is a gated community, we felt very safe. We were there over a very busy holiday weekend but the crowds were contained because only residents of the enclave could enter.
The downside is obvious – you get a sanitised version of Bali and the kids think that Bali is a paradise with touristy shops in Bali Galleria. It is indeed a paradise but they will miss on an actual market or the local stores. For such flavour, you really need to go to Ubud.
There is some semblance of local food at the strip in Pantai Menggiat. We also booked one dinner at Bumbu Bali and were rewarded with authentically spiced local fare.
One thing that Nusa Dua lacks is the legendary Balinese sunsets you enjoy in Seminyak or Kuta. However, take a 45 minute drive to the shore temple of Uluwatu and not only do you get rewarded with stunning sunset, there is also the kecak performance that is really atmospheric.
Now that our children are a bit older (6 and 8), they were ready for the hour long kecak fire performance, a combination of dance and drama. The children are big fans of the story of Hanuman , the loyal Monkey God from Hindu mythology who is depicted differently in different parts of Asia. The kecak is another re-telling of Hanuman’s story. As the hypnotic chanting of the kecak dancers filled the evening, brave Hanuman battled with the evil Ravana, framed by the deepening orange sky. A truly a magical experience.
Don’t forget a water bottle and hat because it can get very crowded and hot with the sun setting directly . Do also be careful with glasses and bags because the monkey friends along the way are always looking for new bounty!
To stay in a private Villa or Resort? Private beach makes all the difference.
Kids club or no? The clubs are well-oiled machinery and some are already included in the price you pay.
Beach activities: Very basic, for proper surfing go to Tanjong Benoa.
Food: Bumbu Bali serves authentic local fare, slightly on the pricey side.