Your itinerary for the perfect weekend in Bali

Some of the best things to see and do on the Island of the Gods.

Tourists on the Mason Adventures Tour
  • Delle Chan
  • November 2019

It’s no secret that Bali has plenty to offer travellers: from atmospheric temples to alluring beaches, lively clubs to laid-back cafes. But with so many things to do and places to see, just how do you decide what to carve out time for? Draw some inspiration from our two-day itinerary, which outlines how to spend the ideal weekend in paradise.

Day One

Penida pool
One of the hotel’s three pools, the Penida pool is right by the beach.

First up, check into the five-star Novotel Bali Benoa, which is a quick 20-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport (traffic permitting, of course). With its affordable rates, you can enjoy all the trappings of a luxury hotel without breaking the bank. Opt for one of the elegant Balinese-style guestrooms, which feature mod cons like satellite TVs and coffee machines. Alternatively, plump for one of the villas, which are surrounded by tropical greenery and come complete with private pools and Jacuzzis.

Tropical terrace
The hotel’s opulent Tropical Terrace room features a private garden and terrace.

With three restaurants and bars, a spa, a fitness centre and a tennis court on site, you’ll be hard-pressed to leave the hotel grounds. But there’s plenty to do in and around the area as well: for one, the hotel is located on the Tanjung Benoa peninsula, which is renowned for its water sports activities. Try your hand at water skiing or scuba diving, or take to the skies on a parasailing adventure.

If you prefer the idea of lazing by the water, head to Finns Beach Club — a striking bamboo structure that occupies over 150m of prime beachfront in the hip district of Canggu. Soak up the sun on a daybed, and admire the surfers carving up the waves. Or take a dip in one of the four pools, two of which feature swim-up bars. With six restaurants on offer, there’s plenty of good food to be had as well — from prawn tempura and spicy tuna makis at Sushi Bar to wood-fired pizzas and steak sandwiches at Bondi Bakehouse.

Person snapping a picture of the FINNS sign
Finns Beach Club was specifically designed to give every guest a guaranteed sunset view.

When the sun goes down, Finns’ dancefloor heats up, with revellers taking advantage of happy hour (7pm to 9pm) and grooving to tunes courtesy of live DJs and vocalists. For an endorphin rush of a different kind, the club also conducts night surf sessions, with enormous flood lights illuminating the beach.

Finns Beach Club
Just about every inch of the beach club was built from sustainable materials like bamboo, sand and stones.

Novotel Bali Benoa
Address: 70 Jln Pratama, Tanjung Benoa, Benoa
Tel: +62 361 772239

Finns Beach Club
Address: Jln Pantai Berawa, Canggu
Tel: +62 361 8446327

Day Two

Get up bright and early for a tropical hike with family-owned tour operator Mason Adventures. During the scenic trek through the Balinese highlands, expert guides will regale you with tales about Balinese history and culture. While there, be sure to check out Pura Gunung Raung, a majestic temple adorned with intricate rock sculptures.

Tourists walking at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Stops include the ancient Hindu village of Taro, where you’ll discover verdant jungles, emerald rice fields and more.

The tour’s last stop is the Mason Gourmet Chocolate Factory, where you can stock up on bean-to-bar confections crafted by skilled artisans. The assorted pralines, truffles and bars on offer are made of organic cacao beans ethically sourced from throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Mason Gourmet Chocolate Factory
The tour, which lasts for around three to four hours, concludes with a visit to the Mason Gourmet Chocolate Factory in the Taro village.

After the trek, head south to Ubud, widely considered to be Bali’s spiritual capital. It’s worth just ambling along the streets and taking in the sights and sounds: think colourful art markets and quaint roadside stalls. The Ubud Monkey Forest, which is home to over 600 long-tailed macaques, is a highlight — however, the critters can be crafty, so be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings!

For dinner, treat yourself to a meal at Padi Fine Dining, an upscale restaurant helmed by Indonesian celeb chef Mandif Warokka. It specialises in pescatarian and vegetarian cuisine, with inventive dishes like prawn cucumber roulade with smoked yoghurt; crusted tuna loin with olive powder and lemon vinaigrette; and beetroot tartare with jicama and homemade cream. However, there are carnivorous options to be had as well; for instance, the chef’s degustation menu features plates like lamb loin with sun-dried tomato chutney.

Green pea tart at Padi Fine Dining
Green Peas Tart and Charcoal Churros — a standout amuse-bouche from Padi Fine Dining

The restaurant’s beverage list is of note, too, with creative cocktails aplenty. Try the Padi Moon River, a heady mix of tequila, dill, egg white, lime juice, icing sugar and bianco vermouth. Or go for the Chocolate Boulevardier, a rich bourbon-based drink containing milk chocolate — a suitably sweet ending to the perfect weekend in Bali.

Interior of Padi Fine Dining
The restaurant is located within Desa Visesa, a luxury resort in the heart of Ubud.

Mason Adventures
Address: Adventure House, Jln By Pass Ngurah Rai, Pesanggaran
Tel: +62 361 721480

Padi Fine Dining
Address: Jln Suweta, Ubud
Tel: +62 361 2091788