best family villa in bali : the sea shanty, jimbaran
In my opinion, a relaxing holiday consists of yummy, nutritional food, no cooking or cleaning, contented kids and an idyllic location.
When we were planning our month-long holiday in Bali late last year we spent weeks (no exaggeration) looking for family-friendly villas. There are hundreds of villas in Bali dotted all over the island but finding suitable accommodation for children and toddlers proved tricky (near impossible). Thankfully, @littlebalilove led us to The Sea Shanty – a truly wonderful family-friendly villa that offered the perfect balance of luxury and practicality that we were after.
We spent seven nights at The Sea Shanty and it was, by far, the most relaxing part of our holiday. Located only 100metres from the very family-friendly Jimbaran Beach, it’s nestled down an alleyway away from the hub-bub of the local village. We didn’t have to worry about the kids’ safety at all – a made-to-measure pool fence was up when we arrived, it was impossible for Percy to escape and the three live-in staff were amazing with the kids.
Granted, there are aspects of a Bali holiday with children that are tricky, access to clean water being one of them. The sheer amount of plastic water bottles we consumed in our time there makes me cringe! But what really set The Sea Shanty apart was the kitchen – two fridges, one with filtered water + ice on tap, plus drawers of child-friendly plates, cups and cutlery meant we could have all the convenience of being “at home” while still immersing ourselves in tropical paradise.
It’s these little things that you may not consider when planning a holiday to Bali but let me tell you – they really do make all the difference (and they are so, so rare!). When you can have snacks on hand and water on tap you have happy, well-fed children which does, without doubt, make for a relaxing holiday.
Lina and Supri are the husband and wife team who manage the villa and they’re on hand 24/7 to make sure your stay is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Lina is a superb cook and she truly made my holiday with her fresh, nutritious and delectable food. Every morning she would ask us what we wanted to eat for lunch and dinner and she would then shop for all the (quality!) ingredients, cook it all to perfection and serve it on time (normal time, not Bali time).
Finding healthy kid-friendly meals in Bali is not easy so knowing that the kids could have vegie sticks + hommus, homemade fish + chips, delicious pizzas and satay chicken + vegetables kept them (and me!) happy. And as for Daniel and I – we feasted on some of the best Indonesian food we’ve ever had, including a Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Soup) and Fish Curry that I still think about.
We’re not the kind of tourists who go shopping or visiting theme parks. Instead, our holiday was about pure relaxation – days spent by the pool, reading books, movies come the afternoon and evening strolls on the beach and around the village. Daniel and I spent a few evenings out and it was such a relief to know that Lina and Supri could watch the kids while we enjoyed cocktails and pink sunsets at the nearby Sundara at the Four Seasons.
Designed and owned by an Australian couple (with three kids) The Sea Shanty is a spacious two-level villa that sleeps up to 12 guests. In true Balinese style, the entire villa opens up to the gardens so you’re surrounded by lush, tropical plants in every room. The two main bedrooms feature king beds and spacious (huge!), luxurious bathrooms with stone flooring, built-in wardrobes, lush bathrobes and showers in secluded gardens. Each room can be completely closed off from the elements and they both have air-con.
Children’s Room + Library
The children’s room features two sets of wooden bunks, a blackboard wall, an awesome collection of toys and books and a fun bathroom complete with bathtub and octopus mural. The fourth bedroom, also known as The Library, is perfect for movie watching and lazy afternoons reading. It also features a queen bed (or two singles) and an ensuite. Again, both these rooms can be closed off from outside (the beauty of floor-to-ceiling glass doors and thick white curtains) and have really effective air-con.
It’s important to note that The Sea Shanty is located next to a pre-school and opposite a primary school so the soundtrack in the morning is a little noisier than geckos and frogs. This didn’t bother us as our kids were up and about anyway and we felt it was a really great insight into local Bali life (they start school at 7am there). Jimbaran is also much quieter than places like Seminyak which, in my opinion, makes it absolutely perfect for young families.
Overall, The Sea Shanty offers an easy, personalised, relaxing holiday with plenty of parenting support. In my opinion, it absolutely trumps a resort stay (which we did and were promptly disappointed with!). You can find them over on Facebook – The Sea Shanty – and instagram – @seashantyjimbaran
If you have any questions about the villa, please ask away. I’m more than happy to help!
We enjoyed a week-long stay at The Sea Shanty in exchange for my photography. All opinions expressed here are my own.
So beautiful, Jodi. Thanks for sharing…
hi jodi. this place looks amazing. currently trying to find a villa for my family of 5. kids are 5 and under. just wondering if the size of this villa is really a bit too big for just 5?
Hi Bree, we found it perfect…spacious but not too huge. We mainly spent our days downstairs and ventured upstairs in the evenings. In this regard it was wonderful as the kids could wander around the ground level and we could see them from most vantage points. After spending time in resorts with limited space, the kids (and us!) really appreciated the room to move x