Nihi Sumba Island is the perfect eco luxury escape for surfers looking for an uncrowded, pristine break, for couples looking for a romantic getaway, for families or friends looking to experience a wilderness adventure with all the luxuries of a five-star resort, or for anyone just wanting to get away from it all. Located on Sumba Island, in East Indonesia, just a short one hour flight from Bali, Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) was voted the #1 hotel in the world (in all categories!) by Travel & Leisure 2016 and 2017. After spending a few days here it is easy to see that this honor is well deserved.
It’s a bit of trek to get to Nihi Sumba Island, but once you arrive, you are never going to want to leave. The resort is located on “The Edge of Wilderness,” away from crowded tourist destinations, in a remote area of Sumba Island, known for its excellent surfing, beautiful palm tree forests rich with wildlife, picturesque white sand beaches, and pristine turquoise water. In addition to surfing, there are many activities available such as SUP, jet skiing, snorkeling, yoga, fishing, hiking, and even a “spa safari.” Island exploration includes hidden waterfall hikes, scenic views of farmed rice paddies, local villages and artisans, freshly harvested coconuts, and picnic lunches. Nihi Sumba Island is also home to a professional equestrian center that offers sunset beach rides, mountain excursions, horsemanship, and riding lessons.
NIHI SUMBA ISLAND VILLAS
Nihi is an eco-friendly luxury resort, offering 28 individually designed decorated villas, beautifully designed with traditional Indonesian thatched roofs. Each villa has a private pool and an ocean view overlooking the resorts private surf break. Each villa is individually decorated and furnished, offering all the amenities of a five-star resort, and so much more. I particularly loved the expansive indoor/outdoor bathrooms and the handcrafted, in-room cocktail bar.
Upon arrival you will be assigned a butler who will take care of any and every request. My butler, Asnat, went above and beyond to make me feel like royalty as she organized every detail with a big, genuine smile. As expected, the staff at Nihi, most of whom are local Sumbanese people, will provide you with exemplary service during your stay.
SURFING AT NIHI SUMBA ISLAND
I am an avid surfer and surf instructor, so having the opportunity to be hosted at this amazing resort for three days was one of the top highlights of my surfing career thus far. Nihi has its own private surf break just for guests! And they only allow 10 surfers per surf session, which ensures the break never gets crowded.
There are also several other advanced breaks nearby, which can be reached by boat from the hotel, so you can choose where you want to surf each day. If you are new to surfing, on the other hand, or would like to fine tune your skills, an experienced surf instructor will take you out for beginning, intermediate, or advanced surf lessons. If you are looking for the most luxurious surfer’s paradise in the world you’ve definitely found it at Nihi Sumba Island!
DINING AT NIHI
The dining experience at Nihi Sumba Island is also top notch. Three meals per day, prepared by award-winning Australian chef Ben McCrae, are included in the price of your stay. All vegetables are grown on property in the organic vegitable garden. In the morning you’ll enjoy egg dishes (fresh from the on-site chicken farm) and fresh squeezed-juices, at Ombak, overlooking the surf break. At night, Ombak serves up mouth-watering Indonesian cuisine. For lunch, you’ll head to Nio Beach Club, to enjoy delicious food and cocktails with your feet in the sand, at the water’s edge. Private in-villa dining is also available upon request.
GIVING BACK TO THE SUMBA ISLAND COMMUNITY
One of the coolest aspects of Nihi is that it is an eco resort dedicated to preserving the natural environment of Sumba Island and the Sumbanese culture. The resort has become the biggest employer on the island, and gives back to the local communities. A portion of profits are donated to support Sumbanese schools, and hospitals through the Sumba Foundation. Guests are introduced to the Foundation’s efforts and subsequently, many become benefactors. Over the last sixteen years, the Sumba Foundation has set up four medical clinics, a Malaria training center, and has developed over 100 water wells and water stations. The Foundation currently feeds young children in a malnutrition program, has refurbished and supported 15 primary schools, and provides lunch for over 1,000 school children twice a week.
I hope that you are inspired to visit Nihi Sumba Island on your next trip to Indonesia. If you have tips for travel in Indonesia I would love to hear them and if you have further questions about the hotel, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below.
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Book Your Stay At Nihi Sumba Island
Nihi Sumba Island – Sumba Island is located in eastern Indonesia. It is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands and is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Sumba Island has an area of 4,270 square miles, and the population was estimated to be around 760,000 in 2015. Read more on Travel + Leisure.
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