An hour’s flight east of Bali is Sumba: an island of ancestral villages, tribal traditions and, on a forested fringe of long golden beach, Nihiwatu. Originally a surf resort, it reopened in 2014 under James McBride, formerly of The Carlyle in New York, and soon became known for its simple luxuries and eco approach. Its villas – the largest of which has its own pavilions, kitchen and library – have pointed thatched roofs that are typically Sumbanese, private infinity pools and bales set in gardens of banana and frangipani trees.
Butlers who attend to the villas are happy to reveal their animist culture to guests, whether that’s the symbols woven into local ikat cloth or the importance of the island’s spear-throwing festival. Experiences include riding ponies into the surf, nudging a paddleboard down-river, diving, and surfing one of the world’s most famous left-hand breaks. It’s a place in which, somewhere between the sea spray and lost-world traditions, it’s possible to lose yourself completely. telegraph.co.uk
To maintain a surfing experience unparalleled in the world, please note that we reserve surfing on our famous left-hand break wave to ten registered surfers, each charged at USD $100.00 per day. It is essential to reserve your slot (maximum 1 per room) at the time of confirmation to avoid disappointment (surf slots can only be reserved by accomplished surfers). Beginner surfers need not book a surf slot, surf lessons can be booked under the guidance of a Nihiwatu waterman. For beginners and intermediate surfers, there are also neighbouring waves that can be traveled to by boat, at additional charge.
The unique ’Nihi Oka Spa Safari‘ offers couples a full day experience journeying across Sumba’s dramatic west coast to nearby Nihi Oka valley. The day starts a 90-minute trek to the secluded valley and for those who wish, an open-air land safari vehicle can be arranged to drive you along the scenic route. On arrival, guests are shown to their own private bale, which offer expansive views of the coastline and crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. Guests have the option to join a one-hour group morning yoga session before a bush-cooked breakfast in the rustic Nihi Oka treehouse platform. Breakfast includes freshly pressed juices and healthful cuisine. After breakfast, couples can relax in their private bale for the day, which includes their own dedicated spa therapists. Any number of pre-selected treatments can be enjoyed amidst uninterrupted views of the sea and cascading rice paddy fields. Treatments include full body massage, cooling and rejuvenating wraps, body scrubs and foot reflexology – all using natural, local ingredients.