Style Sea-kissed sanctuary
Setting Jet-black sand, jade green rice paddies
On the wild less-visited southwest coast, Bali boutique hotel Alila Villas Soori takes family holidays to new heights. Architecturally accomplished and sublimely minimalist villas – ranging in size from one to ten bedrooms – each have their own pool and courtyard overlooking the cerulean Indian Ocean. The natural setting between verdant rice paddies and shimmering black-sand beach has been enhanced by lush gardens and reflective ponds. Add a slick spa, cool kids activities and switched-on service from personal hosts, including the delightfully named Leisure Concierge, and you’re in vacation paradise.
Need to know
Rooms 48 pool villas.
Facilities WiFi throughout, library, spa, gym, bicycles, gift shop. In rooms: personal host service, flatscreen TV, preloaded Apple TV, iPod dock, Spa Alila toiletries, minibar, espresso machine.
In the know
Sleeping The three-bedroom villas work best for families. If you like to play and stay with friends who have kids, the resort also has a five- and 10-bedroom villa. For smaller groups, some of the one-bedroom Beach Pool Villas have adjoining second bedrooms. The resort doesn’t add extra beds to rooms, but can make up the villa’s sofa as a single child’s bed for kids under 12 years old (ideal if you’re staying in a one-bedroom villa).
Activities All ages can participate in Balinese dancing lessons to get into the local groove. Rafting, horseback riding, surfing and cycling are on offer for older children as well. Many of the customised Journeys by Alila programmes, focussed on cultural activities, are suitable for youngsters, but the Leisure Concierge and personal butlers are the best sources of advice for this type of family activity.
Splashing Rooms in the villas open directly to the pools, so toddlers will need close supervision. Let them frolic in your private pool or head to the beachside infinity pool, which has four submerged day-beds at the shallow end.
Feasting Choose between dining alfresco or undercover at Cotta, which serves an innovative selection of Western fare, from eggs Benedict on crab cakes at breakfast to succulent rib-eye mignon and portobello mushroom and truffle-scented risotto, as well as authentic local favourites such as bebek menyatnyat, a creamy duck curry. Just steps off the sand of Kelating Beach is the resort’s more casual offering Coast, where fresh seafood is cooked simply over charcoal on the Izakaya grill. Whenever the restaurants are open, kids are welcome and can select from a special menu. Staff members from the kitchen are happy to warm up milk or baby food upon request.
No need to pack Baby cots are free, but book them in advance.
Time-out Spa treatments don’t have to be an extravagance, as US$200 a day buys you unlimited sessions at Spa Alila during your stay. The classic Balinese Massage is hard to beat, or splash out on the luxurious Journey to You, a full day’s pampering from yoga at sunrise to massage under the stars. Smith members are treated to a 90-minute spa treatment for each adult, and babysitting costs around US$16 an hour, with two hours’ notice. For spa-sussed Junior Smiths, there’s a kids’ treatment menu, too.
To book a child-friendly Smith stay visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so sign up today to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world.