What does every little girl turning 8 want for their birthday? Time away from their 3 year-old brother of course! My daughter Lola, sweet thing that she is, decided she wanted some serious momma time this year, so off we headed for an overnight stay in Canggu Bali, the island’s most happening neighborhood.
Thanks to Lani and Ayu at Gu Guide, we were both totally spoiled with a weekend of excellent food, a large helping of ice-cream and some serious spa time.
First stop in the Gu was Milk & Madu, on Jl. Paintai Berawa for lunch. This great semi-open restaurant with a lovely garden and plenty of space for kids, was buzzing with the Sunday crowd of families and friends when we arrived. But because it’s so big and open, it was still very chilled and not overcrowded.
They have an excellent selection for Kid’s, including faves like fish & chips, spaghetti and fluffy pancakes. Lola, connoisseur of fish & chips, said this was one of the best she has ever had.
Round 1 of Birthday celebrations started with a slice of delicious carrot cake and us singing Happy Birthday embarrassingly loudly. Thanks Lani (for the cake and embarrassing singing)
Then off we went to check out our digs for the night, The Calmtree Bungalows, down a peaceful little lane off Jl. Batu Bolong.
Calmtree Bungalows is made up of 8 traditional wooden bungalows with thatched roofs set around swimming pool and lush garden. We were in a family bungalow with a king bed downstairs and 2 singles upstairs. It was rustic, but really comfortable and a wonderful change from modern resort rooms.
Parents with toddlers, this probably isn’t the bungalow for you, but for older children or if you have a baby still sleeping with you, one of the smaller bungalows would be great.
There is a nice seating area outside and a big open bathroom. Rooms are fan cooled and have mosquito nets, and even in the heat of February, we had an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. And the staff were out-of-this world; sweet and helpful and really chatty with me and Lola.
Dinner was ice-cream at Creamery, which I decided was ok because it was a special occasion. Creamery is an absolutely must-do in Canggu with kids (or without).
This decadent ice cream is made right in front of your eyes with billows of liquid nitrogen, plenty of cream and all the fantastic toppings you can imagine. Lani brought some of her crew along, who knew exactly what they wanted and dug in!
Lola made it about half way through her cookie monster, full of cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, but she did manage to squeeze down about half of my lemon-lime sorbet; one of the best I’ve ever had! We also loved the colorful murals…totally instagrammable! Next time we’re going for the red velvet ice cream sandwich, which, by the looks of other customers orders, seemed like the most popular thing on the menu.
In the morning we went for a lazy swim and devoured an enormous breakfast of pancakes for Lola (with ice-cream would you believe), yogurt, fruit and and muesli for me and a freshly squeezed orange juice. The perfect start to a day of beach, shopping and spa!
After breakfast we headed down to Batu Bolong beach and spent some time watching the surfers. There were tons of people learning to surf in the smaller waves, including some older kids. Next time, we’ll have to have a go ourselves!
Then it was shopping time! Blak on Jl. Batu Bolong, was our first stop. Blak is an awesome store with clothes for kids, and specifically tweens. It’s not easy to find tween clothes, so Lola absolutely loved all the cool, not kiddy outfits. They also have a selection of toys, homewares and are soon to have a little café/sweet shop upstairs.
Rocking a new outfit, well half of us, we strolled over to Betelnut, where they have a healthy and super tasty kids menu for yet more food. Lola’s choice of a cheeseburger was packed with lots of secret veggies, so I was a happy momma.
The service was notably amazing too. Our food arrived in less than 10 minutes, which was perfect because we had a serious pampering appointment to get to!
Full up and ready for a nap we rolled ourselves to Goldust Beauty Lounge, where we were treated like queens. Goldust is a fantastic spot for a momma-daughter date or a moment away from the kiddos.
We sunk into the big comfy chairs and allowed ourselves to be pampered with seriously excellent mani/pedis and a special hair treatment for my golden child. Goldust’s upstairs space has a homely comfort to it with the wooden floors, plush rug and dim lighting. It’s also great because there isn’t through traffic like there is in some spas. It’s almost like having a spa treatment in your own living room….except way tidier and quieter than my living room.
We’ve decided that Canggu is kind-of like visiting a different more hipster country, when you’re bumpkins from Ubud, but we had a fabulous time. Lani and Ayu, thanks so much! Can’t wait to descend from the hills next month for another chapter of Bali Kids Guide in The Gu!