Escape Haven founder JANINE COTTLE loves exploring her adopted home of Bali with her husband, Trent, and their daughters Indii, 5 and Lullah, 3. She shares some of her expat secrets.
Out & About, "Tips for a Bali Family Holoday".
When did you move to Bali and why?
I moved to Bali in 2008 to follow my dream of setting up a luxury women's wellness retreat. I had recently left the corporate world after suffering from burnout. My goal was to create a tranquil luxurious sanctuary for busy women to get away from it all and fill their cup. I especially love hosting mums — it is always so wonderful to be able to nurture and pamper mums who spend so much of their time nurturing others, and to witness the effect the retreat week has on their sleep, health, stress levels and overall vitality. I always say one week is all it takes for women to rediscover the best version of themselves. We have three retreat locations in Canggu and my role is ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ — making sure that our team and guests are all thriving.
"In Bali, kids are revered. They are indulged and treated like mini gods! Childcare is very affordable and high quality"
What makes Bali a great destination for families?
In Bali, kids are revered. They are indulged and treated like mini gods! Childcare is very affordable and high quality. That makes it easy for families to travel here and for parents to enjoy some guilt-free adult time knowing that the kids are living their best lives and are in safe hands.
Where would you recommend staying?
When is the best time to visit?
If you like drier weather, April to October is best. If you prefer less crowds and better deals, then November to March is a great time to come. Perhaps avoid the Christmas and New Year period, which is understandably busier.
Any other tips for families visiting Bali?
Take your time and don’t try to rush around to fit everything in. Bali traffic can be quite busy, and you don't need unnecessary stress on your holiday! It can also take time to adjust to the heat and humidity. Adopting a ‘less is more’ mentality will mean that you feel relaxed and leave feeling like you've had a real break. Maybe make a plan for a few key things you want to do, and then allow lots of time for relaxing by the pool, eating good food and seeing how the day unfolds. Bali isn't very pram-friendly, so my suggestion is to avoid the oversize baggage and leave them at home! It’s easy to book a driver and a nanny before you come too. I recommend Bali Super Nannies. For drivers, Big Gusti is very trusted and speaks excellent English – you can contact him via WhatsApp +62 812 3927 711.