Bali is my second home as I am half Balinese. My family and I try to go at least twice a year.  It really has something for everyone whether you are single – straight or gay,  young or old you will find a piece of Bali that is right for you. I think that Bali is especially great for families as children are very much cherished and loved in Balinese culture.  My children often tell me that they love the fact that Bali has no rules, they are completely free to be kids.

Here are some of my tips for a great holiday in Bali…

Seminyak is a great area that is trendy,  it has fantastic restaurants and shopping as well as being surrounded by the beach. Although it doesn’t have white sand it is great for swimming and surfing.  We enjoy Seminyak as there is a lot going on but sometimes it feels like I haven’t left Melbourne because I am always running into people I know drinking their skinny lattes (but I myself can’t go too long without good coffee).

Places to stay (for grown-ups)… Samaya, The Legian, Sentosa.  There are an abundance of extremely cool villas that you can hire privately which are about the same price as a hotel room.

Places to stay (for families)… The Sofitel is great as it is right on the beach, but I personally like to hire a private villa as they always have nice large bedrooms and a kitchen, which is handy for heating up bottles and feeding toddlers.  Also everything is separate so you don’t have to sit in the dark once your children have gone to sleep.

I like to stay at Cicada.  These are just like town houses you would find in Australia, very comfortable and spacious for children.  There are a total of eight in the complex. If you have young children you can always ask the staff to fence the pool which will be constructed in around half an hour.

Restaurants… You can have a meal from $5 a day or up to $80 depending on your budget. My favourite places are Sarong – it has the most amazing surroundings and the food is insane! Ku De Ta is great for sunset cocktails with fantastic music.  The food ranges from bar food to fine dining.  It is right on the beach and hosts some of the coolest parties you have ever been to. (Sunday is kids day and there is entertainment and a bbq to keep your little ones happy for hours while you can sit and enjoy a cocktail or two).  Trattoria is a great pizza/pasta restuarant and is nice and cheap.  For breakfast I love La Lucciola the setting on the beach is the best way to start your day. Also any of the local Balinese restaurants you see around are super cheap and tasty and they maintain the same standards as any other restaurant. For great coffee and lunch The Corner Store is one of my favourites.

Day spas…  They are a must in Bali!! Especially if you are travelling in the rainy season as there is not much else to do (except watching pirated dvds). These are my favs – Chill reflexology and Luxe Day Spa at Sentosa is the ultimate in relaxation.  Also any of the Balinese women on the beach offering massages will be great as they have been doing it forever, I like to bring my own oil though. (Tip: don’t pay any more that 60-80,000 Rup. for an hour) A lot of these women will also come to your villa if you want some privacy. (Please note: they DON’T provide happy endings)