The Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran Bay Bali.

Ever had that thought on the way to the airport “I wish we could stay in paradise just another couple of days”

Well last night that was exactly my thought and thanks to the syncronicity of a Javanese volcano miles away, we’re staying a while longer. This time returning to an old favourite- the Ayana Hotel and Spa (formally the Ritz Carlton Resort) Jimbaran Bay Bali.

After a surprise notice at the airport, and a brief encounter with Jetstar’s complimentary “5 star hotel”, the Goodway Hotel in Nusa Dua– NOT!! Greatly in need of renovation this property is tired and well past it’s prime– our suite was spacious but mouldy, unclean (even the sheets were stained) and had insufficient beds (the absolute final straw). Given the onslaught of unexpected guests,we thought it quicker to move to another hotel than wait for another bed with tired and muddled children. And thanks to great travel insurance with our AMEX card, we had options.

The Ayana aptly named meaning ‘place of refuge’ in Sanskrit, is by contrast a very well maintained property with 8 swimming pools, various impressive restaurants and world class day spa and gym. Interconnecting Rooms are spacious and well appointed. This stay we are blessed with a palatial 2 bedroom villa ( 2001). This is heaven. It is huge, with several dining and enertainment areas, 2 rose petal filled baths, outdoor shower, its own sprawling lawn for the kids to run with day beds, and an infinity plunge pool. The villa is also close to the kids’ club, kids’ pool, restaurants and overlooks one of two the wedding chapels. This morning we awakened to singing birds, gently flowing water and a breathtaking views of the glistening Indian Ocean. I’m sitting by the kids pool watching the kids make friends and enjoy the supervised water slides, meanwhile the villas appointed butler is keeping us abreast of Jetstars latest news.

Breakfast served at Padi is sumptuous and vast- a feast that could last for hours! We ended up taking a “doggy bag” packed lovingly by the staff for the kids keeping them fed for hours. The Villa’s guests also have their own breakfast retreat at Dava which is also open for an elegant white table cloth dinner and live entertainment. There is no shortage of dining experiences at this resort. From cafe’s, Japanese Teppanyaki to dinner theatre experiences with a view, this resort has it all. The kids menus are particularly noteworthy with a vast choice and many healthy food options like homestyle chicken soup and grills with steamed vegetables.

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The kids club and children’s activity centre caters for 2-10 year olds and provides very flexible options at reasonable prices- check in for an hour, half or whole day or a short visit with a parent or babysitter. A wide range of activities to inspires all ages, and if nothing else the trampoline is a great hit. Children under 4 need to be accompanied by a parent of babysitter. We have used the baby sitting service and found the careers to be fun, kind, and responsible. In fact all the staff resort wide are wonderful with the children, paying them special attention and catering to their anticipated needs.

The Ayana’s spa complex is very impressive complete with cold plunge pool, steam and sauna rooms, aerobics and yoga studio, Aquatonic Seawater and HydroTherapy Pools, and an extensive range of treatments. The gym is excellent with onsite trainer to assist with weights and equipment. The only tip here is to bring cool training wear as the gym is warm.

Put simply, an outstanding family focused resort.

Ayana Resort and Spa at Google Maps:

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Luxurious Child friendly George V Four Seasons Hotel Paris Reviewed for Families

Outstanding luxury family friendly hotels provide great services and facilities that keep everyone happy, from the smallest to the wisest, grandparents too. Whilst luxury hotels are plentiful in Paris, yet finding one that caters well for children is not easy. Reputed to be one of the world’s best hotels, the Four Seasons George V is our top pick for the best luxury family friendly hotel in Paris. The George V is ideally located, a short stroll from the Champs Elysees in the 8th arrondissement and two metro train lines. Beautifully decorated public areas are adorned with prints, sculptures, marble and gold leaf with stunning flower arrangements- a feast of colour and interest for little eyes.

Children are greeted at check in with their own room keys and choice of special gift from a basket full of the most sought-after treasures, little ponies, Bakugan, toy cars etc. Car parking is hassle free with the efficient and friendly concierge.

The rooms are spacious and luxurious. Welcome baskets filled with pastry and fruit, and Bulgari toiletry baskets for adults and children fill the air with glorious scents. Roll-away beds with full mattresses and cribs are complimentary for children up to 12. Child sized robes, slippers and t-shirts truly make children feel special and for older kids the complimentary videos, and gaming units are a big hit. Other hotels take note!! One of our rooms 141 had its own extra large private terrace balcony– invaluable with young kids, from which we enjoyed wonderful breakfasts and were entertained observing the activity in the bustling streets.

The hotel staff are very friendly and obliging with no request too much trouble– even a late night dash to a pharmacy for kids medication. Strollers and wheelchairs are complementary. The concierge arranged tables for us at short notice in wonderful local restaurants and had recommendations for the best attractions for children– cruise on the Seine, magic museum in le Marais and parks. Unique to the George V, the back-of-the-house tour is a must with kids, showing the behind the scenes workings of the hotel. Our children joined the chefs in the hotels lively kitchen to bake little Florentines- and we had snacks for the next couple of days!

Kids love the warm indoor pool and for adults, the gym, exquisite day spa and business centre- all first class. Internet is available in the rooms for a daily fee and complimentary in the business centre. The hotel was full during our stay, yet we often felt like the only guests. When we saw other guests they were very friendly and chatted with the children.

Restaurant dining in Paris with kids can be a mixed experience, as kids are often not welcome- not so here. Well behaved children are welcomed for the early dinner seating in any of its several eateries including the 2 Michelin star George V restaurant. The food is excellent, with a range of great food choices for kids and an offer to prepare special orders like steamed veggies.

Check-out is simple, courteous and efficient. A small discrepancy in the bill was quickly amended without question. All in all, the George V Four Seasons Paris is a tremendous luxury hotel for families. We wouldn’t hesitate to check-in for months at a time. The kids can’t wait to go back- enjoying it as much as Disneyland! Heck, I think we may move in forever!

Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris in Google Maps:

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