Bar/fly: Finn's Beach Club, Bali

By Shandelle Battersby

Shandelle Battersby enjoys the people watching and the setting sun in Canggu.

As well as offering a good range of cocktails, Finn's bar is a prime spot to watch the sunset. Image / NZ Herald graphic
As well as offering a good range of cocktails, Finn's bar is a prime spot to watch the sunset. Image / NZ Herald graphic

On one day bed, a local Indonesian celebrity is being interviewed by a small crew while her heavily tattooed entourage watches on.

On another, one of the topless Aussie blokes who has been drinking in the sun all afternoon tries to pole dance on a beach umbrella to the chilled-out house music the DJ has been chugging out, track after track.

Perched on the edge of the infinity pool, a drunk blonde girl in a tiny bikini and fluoro trucker cap is holding court with a beefy fellow in board shorts. Her arm movements have been getting more unwieldy in the half-hour or so we've been watching on, fascinated.

A dad walks on his tip-toes in the pool towards his partner and two small children holding flutes of sparkling wine high above his head from the swim-up bar.

Welcome to Finn's Beach Club in Bali's Berawa Beach, Canggu, the best people-watching in town.

Finn's is the newest player in Berawa, opening at the beginning of June after relocating from Uluwatu. The bamboo venue looms over the beach, in the dark resembling a well-lit cruise ship thanks to its prow-like shape jutting out towards the water. It's luxurious, but welcoming.

Canggu is the next up-and-coming area of this part of Bali, about 10km north of Seminyak, and about 15km north of Kuta. Bewara's surf break is considered one of the best in the country.

Finn's design, with its thatched roof and open walls is definite beach-hut vibe, with several different zones including day beds around the pretty pool (which has underwater speakers) and swim-up bar; bean bags and loungers down on the sand; a restaurant area; a bar on the second storey; and a Surf Bar overlooking the water. You're in prime position to watch the sun sink into the sea.

Inside, late on a Friday afternoon there are families, George FM-esque posers, the aforementioned groups of Ocker blokes, regular people like us and a million staff.

Despite this, things are chaotic. People are moving around all the time, and it's hard for the staff to keep track. But it's early days and systems are still being put in place. Security is tight - bags are checked and cars are fully inspected using mirrors.

A minimum spend of about $25 per person secures you a single day bed from 9am-5pm and a towel. Drinks are not too badly priced - a cocktail will set you back about $10 - and there's a decent food menu, with yummy woodfired pizzas costing about the same.

Our hotel is right next door but Finn's soundsystem has been so cleverly designed that you can barely hear a beat.

If house music's not your thing, along the beach itself there are a number of makeshift bars, with bean bags and other kinds of seating. One, just a few minutes down from Finn's, has a live reggae band and drinks at two-thirds the price.

And if that doesn't float your boat either, head up the road to BoB, Bistro on Berawa, where your soundtrack will consist of whatever AFL or NRL game is beaming in live from 'Straya. If you prefer rock or pop, you're pretty much out of luck.

But if you can handle the hordes, Finn's is definitely the place on this beach to be.


Getting there: Air New Zealand flies seasonally - between May and October - non-stop to Bali from Auckland with two return flights weekly.

Further information: Finn's Beach Club is open daily 9am-midnight.

- NZ Herald

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