We’re all for enjoying simple days beachside in Bali and love it when we can just be left alone to soak up the rays and dip in the thundering surf. Usually we’re partial to doing it on the cheap — think swim, sand and nasi goreng at Balangan for instance — but sometimes it’s worth splurging for a special day of beachside bliss. If you’ve got beach and lux on the mind, Finn’s Beach Club, also down on Bali’s Bukit, might fit the bill.
It’ll cost you 250,000 rupiah per adult in a so-called minimum consumption fee to access the club — in other words, that’s how much you’re obliged to spend at the restaurant down there. Kids are free, which is a nice touch. Book ahead to ensure you get one of the straight-on-the-sand deckchair style cushions. We arrived just after opening at 09:00 and stayed until close to 15:00, having to leave due to a private party being held here — they warned us when we booked.
On arrival you’ll be led to an inclinator, which gives a breathtaking view as you descend down the side of the cliff. You’ll still have a few dozen steps to actually get down to the sand.
What greets you at the bottom? Gorgeous yellow sand, turquoise waters, a thatched-roof restaurant and bar with views that couldn’t be better, and a deckchair — or rather, a deckchair cushion placed directly on the sand under umbrellas — with your name on it, metaphorically speaking, if you’ve made a booking.
We found the beachside service just a little inattentive on our visit — though it was perfect once we sat in the restaurant — and were a bit sad that the coffee machine didn’t work first thing in the morning (when do you need coffee most?), but otherwise, our day was flawless.
Towels and kids’ beach toys are provided, you can shower and use the bathroom, and if you have some crazy need to do any exercise, kayaks are on offer when conditions are right (they weren’t during our visit, with the tide high and a little rough).
Food isn’t too cheap, but it’s big on quality, so you are definitely getting what you pay for; anywhere else in the world you’d be paying quite a bit more. Think wood-fired pizzas, simple pastas and light fare, with a full bar and range of non-alcoholic drinks on offer as well. With three adults and two kids, we spent just a little more than 750,000 rupiah for our day there, which covered morning drinks, snacks and lunch.
The beach is private enough that you won’t be bothered by any roaming vendors selling cross-bows — the downside of this of course is that if you’re after a cheap sarong or you’ve forgotten your hat, you won’t be able to pick one up from the comfort of your lounger. No cheap massages either — we were in the mood for one but prices were what you’d expect to pay at a five-star resort, which of course is where you’re at (the club is attached to Semara Uluwatu).
At low tide the beach here — Nyang Nyang — can be a little tricky to swim on but the upside is great fossicking opportunities. Grab your kids and explore the little rockpools to hunt for critters and shells and seaweed and so on.
All in all, Finn’s is a really special spot and worth the expense if you’re in the mood to be spoiled in stunning surrounds; great for if you’ve got kids in tow as well.
Address: Jalan Villa Kandara; Ungasan
T: (0361) 848 2205
Coordinates (for GPS): 115º9'12.2" E, 8º50'46.38" S
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Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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