Bali — known for its tropical jungles and serene black sand beaches as well as the hospitality of its people — this Indonesian paradise draws travellers from countries around the world.
But what if you only have a few days holiday or are only passing through as part of a bigger trip? Fear not, DDW has got you covered for your weekend in the Isle of the Gods.
So, you’ve just touched down in Denpasar? Head out to your hotel for the weekend — the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran. This lush resort offers beachside serenity on three miles of beaches. The breezy villas channel the atmosphere of an authentic Balinese village.
For the intrepid, book a Heli surfing expedition and head out with an expert guide to surf big waves with a few others around. The 45-minute Air Bali helicopter flight to Grajagan, also known as G-Land, offers incredible views of the island and its neighbours.
If you don’t surf, fear not — guests can explore the incredible natural park and its wildlife, including both the beach and jungle treks. Enjoy a lunch catered by a Four Seasons chef before heading back to the resort.
In the afternoon, learn how to make zero-waste, sustainable cocktails in the resort’s aromatic herb and cocktail garden. Speak to staff about Bali’s ancient, arak — Balinese rice win — traditions. Speaking of arak, the rice wine is seriously strong, think 70 per cent alcohol, but enjoyable.
For the evening, head out to Merah Putih. This Michelin starred restaurant offers family-style Indonesian food from a menu that changes often. For those wanting next-level Indonesian food that experiments with traditional spices and flavours, this is the place to dine.
After dinner, head over to Mirror, one of Bali’s premier nightclubs. World-class DJs coupled with incredible light shows are the theme of the evening. Dance the night away with Bali’s beauty before heading back to your resort.
After an actioned packed first day, wake up to the incredible views from your room and enjoy breakfast — your choice of Balinese or western — from the comfort of your room.
It’s time for some adventure in Bali’s interior. Arrange a car through the hotel to the jungle paradise of Ubud.
This isn’t the Bali you’ve seen in the brochures — although it is equally idyllic. Ubud is an area of emerald rice terraces and dense jungles.
First, head to the Tegallang rice terrace — famous for its scenic landscape. The traditional centuries-old cooperative irrigation system known as Subak has created some of the most beautiful landscapes in Southeast Asia.
From here, head to Puri Saren Agung — the royal Ubud Palace. This early 19th-century palace was built under Tjokorda Putu Kandel and has been well preserved by his heirs. The palace is known as one of the main sites to see traditional Balinese dance performances.
Bali is the only Hindu-majority Island in Indonesia and this can be seen in its impressive architecture reminiscent of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the temples of the Indian sub-continent — but also unique in its own right.
Moving on, Taman Saraswati Temple offers a deeper look into Bali’s religious culture. A beautiful water temple in Ubud town, it is easily accessible. Balinese temple architecture and a pond filled with numerous pink lotuses make for an incredible photo opportunity. As with all temples in Bali, you will be required to don a sash and sarong around your waist before entry.
Like Puri Saren Agung, traditional dance performances take place at the temple’s amphitheatre every evening.
At this point, you are probably looking for a late lunch, head to Bridges Bali — a fine dining restaurant with one of Bali’s most extensive wine lists. Dishes can be ordered A la Carte or off of the BBQ menu during the day. Executive chef Wayan Sukarta has done a phenomenal job of crafting a diverse and delicious menu.
The restaurant itself is set on seven levels over the river Wos and is as memorable architecturally as it is for its food. Although it has been closed temporarily due to Covid restrictions, the restaurant is expected to open soon as these relax.
Heading from Ubud back to the Four Seasons, a night in any of the restaurants or bars in the resort is a perfect way to end a day of adventuring around Bali’s interior.
Tomorrow, it’s your final day in Bali and you could use a bit of a break after two action-packed days of adventure.
Time to check out some of Bali’s amazing beaches. First up is Balangan Beach. This long stretch of sand is flanked by cliffs, giving the area an idyllic feel.
Local cafés sell cheap beer and snacks and plenty of beach loungers are available for rent. Surf if you know how or go swimming at high tide. Local surf gurus are here to instruct you if you’d like to learn.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for peace, you could head to Bias Tugal. The secluded spot is hidden away near Padang Bai and is only accessible down a 500-metre rocky path.
The current here can be very strong, so don’t swim out deeper than wading or playing in the waves.
Finally, Ungasan is possibly Bali’s prettiest beach. If you aren’t staying at Karma Kandra, you have to pay to play to go to this beach. It’s worth it.
The beach is situated at the bottom of a 150-metre cliff and the sand is fine and soft. Swim before lunch when the tide is low and you can frolic in the gentle waves. The current picks up later in the afternoon.
After spending the better part of the day at the beach, head back to your resort to relax and get ready for the evening. Your last night in Bali should be a big one.
Head to dinner at Koral Restaurant — Bali’s first aquarium themed restaurant which allows guests to observe marine life surrounding them as they dine.
Set menus created by chef Andrea Astone offer modern Asian cuisine with a twist. Dishes are based on Indonesian coastal flavours and are sourced from local ingredients.
The ambience and excellent cuisine make this a perfect restaurant for your last night in Bali.
From here, head out to the various nightclubs, or even back to Mirror, or back to your resort for a quiet night at the bar.
Bali is known for being lush and luxurious as well as for its serenity and its inviting people. Enter bliss from the moment you step off the plane to the moment you depart — enjoy your weekend in Bali.