The Grand Mirage is a resort we get lots of questions about. Is it too far from the hustle and bustle of Kuta & Legian? Are the all-inclusive packages worth the money? Is it dated or in need of upgrades? Well, my family and I (me, my husband and 2 kids, almost 4 and 8) went to stay for a weekend and are going to tell you all about it. Just as a side note, the resort’s brand new Family Wing is due to open very soon and I’ll add some details about that below.
Checking In & Our Room
I have to admit walking up the stairs to the lobby area of the Grand Mirage was a bit daunting. There were a lot of guests, drivers and staff, and it generally seemed a bit hectic. I think there was a wedding or large event about to happen as there were lots of people dressed to the nines, but the kids and I admired all the very fancy outfits while we waited to check in.
Once we were checked in, the kids were allowed to hop on the luggage trolley…the most exciting thing ever when you are a kid!
We we shown up to our room, a Family Ocean View which was on the 3rd floor and had a fabulous view over the pool and out to the beach and ocean. The room wasn’t the most modern we’ve stayed in but it was comfortable with a huge super king bed and a single as well. The bathroom was small but clean and the amenities were nicely laid out. We did have a couple of small issues with the room, but they were fixed quickly when we said something about the problems.
The balcony has 2 chairs and a small table and is really nice to hang out on in the morning if you wake up early or in the afternoon if the kids want a rest.
The Grand Mirage is extremely family friendly and has lots of things for little kids as well as tweens and teens. There were tons of Aussie, Indian and European families around the pool and on the beach when we went for a stroll around.
There are lots of shady and grassy areas leading to the beach, which was clean and had tons of loungers. The actual water in Tanjung Benoa isn’t the cleanest because of all the jet skis, speed boats and also seaweed, but the resort area’s sand was spotlessly clean. There were people in the water, but it just wasn’t for us. We stuck to the pool.
The pool is really the main focus of the outdoor area and is busy pretty much all day. We found on the first morning that a lot of people get their towels and claim their loungers before they have breakfast, so get out there quick to get a good spot…not that any spots are really bad.
There is a basketball hoop, waterfall and bridge over the pool, all ages seemed to love. There are also nice shallow and (very) deep areas and a pool bar that was buzzing when we got there in the afternoon. It looks like all inclusive is a fabulous deal if you like your afternoon cocktails and beers!
For the Kids
The kids headed straight for the little playground, which is really well situated close to the pool and the loungers so you can watch them and chill at the same time. There is also sand they can dig in that is much cooler than the hot sand on the beach. They went to check out the kids club and thought it was a bit small but it was colourful and cozy and the staff were very welcoming and the sign in/out process seemed legit.
The next day they went back and spent some time playing computer games and doing puzzles but my daughter who is 8 got bored pretty quickly and wanted to get back in the pool where she had made some friends. On the last morning she did go for bracelet making which she really enjoyed.
We also saw kids doing fruit carving and there are times scheduled for water aerobics, pool volleyball and beach soccer. Lots of kids were joining in and having a great time. The kids also found it really easy to make friends in the pool and kids clubs because there were tons of kids of all ages.
One thing we all loved was the games room which was brilliant when it got a bit drizzly on the second afternoon. There are pool tables, air hockey, ping pong, chess and video games. It was a great spot to wait out the rain and I beat my husband at pool as a bonus!
Eating at the Resort
The main restaurant (Grand Cafe) where breakfast is served looks out to the pool and there are also 2 restaurants, Jukung Grill and La Cascata on the grassy area next to the beach spilling onto the beach.
We didn’t try out the Bumbu Delhi or Chopsticks but they smelled great. We also watched from above while people had their dinner with a show on the Rama Stage in the central area of the hotel. It was the Kecak dance, which was great but definitely much more in an open air setting.
To be honest if you aren’t on an all inclusive package the food prices are extremely high. We weren’t willing to pay Rp145,000 for a pizza when there are many restaurants close by that are half the price. We did order room service one evening for the kids because we were too tired to go out, and found the quality and size of the portions was good. However, if we had eaten all our meals there we would have spent a small fortune.
Also be warned that the mini bar in room is very expensive: Rp40,000 for a large bottle of water which is no more than Rp8,000 in convenience stores.
Two of the fantastic extras we enjoyed were the Devdan Show in Nusa Dua and also Thalasso Spa.
I expected Devdan to be a bit cheesy but to be honest it was fabulous. The looks on the kids’ faces was a picture and they were absolutely rapt (until my son fell asleep, but it was late for him). I’ve written a whole post on the show because it was so great. Click here to read more about Devdan: DEVDAN SHOW REVIEW
Thalasso is a seawater therapy that is said to be fantastic for circulation and your skin. Thalasso Bali Spa is the only one of its kind in Bali and I was lucky enough to try out an hour’s treatment in their therapy pool.
At first the water is very hot (like climbing into soup) but you soon get used to it. The hour basically consists of a therapist instructing you to move around the pool to the various jets that massage different parts of your body. Some jets were gentle and others were almost too strong. There were also some near bikini losing incidents due to jet power, so be warned to wear a nice snug swimsuit or bikini.
I felt nice and relaxed after the treatment and after running that morning, my muscles felt really nice and massaged. This would be a fantastic therapy for people who don’t love to be touched and can’t really stand hands-on massages.
The New Family Paradise Wing
Due to open in late 2016, this new complex will offer 77 family-friendly rooms and suites, an indoor and outdoor playground, pool, water slide, kids club and restaurants. The kids’ recreation area will have water slides, water geyser, water fountains and water cannons.
The indoor playing arena will be complete with trampolines, a ball pit with slides and a fireman’s pole. In addition to the indoor recreation area, a new Kids Club will have a great line up of daily activities, video games and relaxation areas. There will also be an additional 3 restaurants with comprehensive kids dining options.
We can’t wait to check this new wing out and will let you know as soon as it’s open.
The Grand Mirage: Our Conclusion
We really enjoyed the space and amount of things to do at the Grand Mirage. There were tons of families to socialize with and activities going on around the resort. The large grassy space and the beach were also perfect for playing and lounging. We didn’t make any real connections with any staff members, but everyone seemed very efficient and kept public spaces very well tended and tidy.
The cons of this resort would be the prices for food and drinks if you aren’t on an all inclusive package. About 75% of guests are on packages though, so for them it’s not a worry. It can also be quite noisy in the evenings if there is a dance performance or wedding going on, but nothing went too late into the night.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store with the Family Paradise and will definitely keep you posted on it!