4 Ways to Spend 5 Days in Bali Using 100,000 Marriott Points
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Bali is probably one of my favorite parts of the world. It is rich with culture, activities and beautiful beaches. It is also extremely inexpensive using cash or points. When you start looking at chain hotels like those under the Marriott umbrella, you'll find that your points go much further than somewhere like Hawaii or the Maldives. Of course, you still have to get to Bali and it's a long haul from anywhere in the US and is about a five-hour flight from Hong Kong. While flying an entire family to Bali isn't the easiest, there are many airlines that fly in and out of Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). (Here are the best ways to get to Bali using miles and points.)
But once you figure out flights, it's worth the jaunt as many hotels across the island cost just 25,000 points a night (or less). Factor in getting a fifth award night free with Marriott, you are looking at spending just 100,000 Marriott points for your five-night stay.
Here is what the current Marriott Bonvoy award chart looks like. As you can see, the standard award cost for a Category 4 Marriott property is 25,000 points a night. For now, Marriott has not yet set a date for off-peak and peak pricing.
If you're starting to think about where 100,000 Marriott points will take your family, here are my suggestions for four of the best family-friendly properties on Bali.
1. Stay at Jimbaran Beach
Jimbaran is probably my favorite beach area in all of Bali. It is not as touristy as Kuta nor mainstream like Nusa Dua. It is beautiful and authentic. It is your traditional fisherman's village and that means if you are a seafood lover, you'll be in for a treat. For dinner, you can eat right on the beach with your toes in the sand and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Yes, it can have a romantic setting to it, but it is also low key and casual — perfect for families.
While there aren't too many hotels in Jimbaran, fortunately, you'll be able to use your Marriott Bonvoy points at the Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran. Despite it being right on the beach in a great location, it is only a Category 4 property. At 25,000 points a night and your fifth night free, you can stay five nights for just 100,000 points.
The property is only a few minutes’ walk to Jimbaran Beach, which means you can have the best of both worlds — a secluded beach and an amazing kid-friendly hotel. With the saltwater pool and the complimentary J Kids Club, families are sure to enjoy this property. The one downside of the property is that if you are looking to use your points for a free night stay, you can book either one king bed or two double beds. Some families might find sharing a double bed to be a deal breaker. With that being said, the rooms are quite large at over 600 square feet.
2. Make Nusa Dua Your Home Base
Nusa Dua is an extremely popular area for tourists. The hotels are gated, and you'll find a property representing most hotel chains. When I stayed there, I didn't necessarily feel like I was in a foreign country until I left the property and ventured outside. For those looking to redeem their points, Marriott fortunately has a large presence in Nusa Dua, where you can pick one of four properties: Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens, Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua Resort, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, and The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali. While the Westin and The Laguna are luxurious and extremely family-friendly, your points will not go quite as far, as they both are Category 5 properties.
However, if you are looking to maximize your points earned from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, you might want to consider either the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua Resort and the Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens. These two properties are actually right next to each other and share amenities. While neither are directly on the beach, you are only a 10-minute walk away, or you can take the hotel shuttle.
Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens is actually one of Marriott's Vacation Club properties, although you can still use your points when space is available. The hotel offers not just your regular guest rooms, but also one- and two-bedroom apartments. The best thing about this property is that you can actually book the multi-room apartments on points for just 26,500 points a night, which is pretty amazing. The apartments are large and offer kitchenettes, perfect for a family. The amenities on-site are pretty sparse, although you can use the amenities of the Marriott Courtyard right next door. The one perk of this property is the lagoon pool with a lazy river. Note that on peak dates, regular guest rooms require double the amount of points.
The Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua is where you will find more of the amenities for your family. There is everything from a luxury on-site spa, a restaurant, kids club and many daily activities. The kids club is complimentary for children ages 4–11 and provides hourly activities between 8am and 8pm. There are also many resort activities, ranging from exercise classes to games to cultural experiences. And best of all, most of them are free.
3. Head to the Action in Kuta
Kuta is probably my least desired area in Bali, as it is filled with backpackers and crowds. But I know many people love to be where the action is. There is a shopping town that’s walking distance to the beach, so if you find a property here that suits your needs, you'll have everything at your disposal.
There are many Marriott properties here, although most either require more points than I'd want to spend or the accommodations only allow for two guests. Fortunately, there is one property that could work: the Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta. This Category 3 property could actually stretch your stay for seven nights for just 105,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
While this is not a luxurious property, there is a kids club and multiple pools, and you are just a few minutes’ walk to the beach. For those looking to go on daily excursions, this property could serve as a great home base.
4. Relax in Ubud
Ubud is a fully different experience than staying near the beach towns. You are inland, surrounded by rice patties and just absolutely beautiful scenery. Up until a few years ago, there were no opportunities to use your hotel points in Ubud, but you'll now find a variety of chains, including Marriott, for a free night stay.
In Ubud you can stay at the Element by Westin Bali Ubud, which is a Category 3 property. This means it is just 17,500 points a night. There is also the Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali costing just 25,000 points a night, but unfortunately, there are no rooms you can book on points that will accommodate a whole family.
The one downside of the Element is that when you book with points, your only choices are one king bed or two twin beds — neither being ideal when traveling with a family. This property is just seven minutes away from the center of Ubud (which is common for many properties in the area) and accessible via a shuttle or complimentary bike rides. After a long day of exploration, you can also relax in the hotel pool. In the center of Ubud, you'll find the Monkey Forest, which is a favorite among kids and adults. There are many art galleries, restaurants and spas as well. It is a fun place to walk around and explore. Outside of the center, you'll find many family-friendly activities, such as white-water rafting, cycling and hiking tours, cooking classes, temples, jungle swings, ATV tours and more.
Do not let the long flight times discourage you from visiting Bali, as it can be a spectacular vacation destination for families. Bali offers a plethora of beaches, outdoor activities and cultural experiences across the island and it's easy to book a hotel using points. After one visit, you — and your kids — will want to return again and again.
Continue your Bali trip planning:
- Best Ways to Get to Bali Using Miles and Points
- What I Loved About Bali and Why I Need to Go Back
- Bali Set to Impose Tourism Tax
- 10 Things No One Tells You About Bali