NIHIWATU Sumba Island #1 Hotel in the World
One of the best parts of traveling is the pre- planning. When you decide to book a flight ticket to go somewhere in the world and start looking for hotels and things to do at the destination. When I found out about Nihiwatu Resort on Sumba Island, I rapidly started to plan a month escape to Bali and from there jump to the Island to stay at the best hotel in the world. As a travel junkie, I started to read reviews and pictures about Nihiwatu. You can imagine my excitement to arrive. I was expecting a lot but it was far more amazing than I ever could have imagined!
I had spend two days in Bali and then flew to Sumba Island. When I arrived at the Bali airport to finally go to Nihiwatu, a hotel´s representative was there expecting me with a Nihiwatu Sign. He lead me to the checking-in counter, I did not have to wait in the line and the boarding pass was already printed for me with priority access.
When I landed in Tambolaka airport I was greeted by the friendly faces of airport representatives from Nihiwatu Resort. The driver was also waiting for me. I didn’t have to wait to pick up my luggage as is was already picked up by the staff before I even arrived to the baggage claim.
When I stepped into the luxury 4x4 car, the driver told me: “there is wifi in the car, water, magazines and on that bamboo baskets over there, are healthy treats like granola slice and banana bread wrapped in banana leaves. In about 1 hour we will arrive to the resort” You can imagine my face. Of course I rapidly opened the basket to take a bite.
Upon arrival, I was welcomed with a cold juice and a cool scented towel to refresh, following by a resort’s tour. I was brought to my villa where they had already dropped off my luggage and introduced me to my Butler, the incredible Yohan. Every guest is assigned their own Sumbanese butler smartly dressed in traditional attire and armed with a traditional sword and the most sincere smile. I don’t really like the word “butler” . Honestly, he was like a friend, just like the rest of the staff. We had a walkie-talkie I could use to reach him when needed.
Tagged “The Edge of Wildness” Nihiwatu is the kind of place where no one wears shoes.
If you have been following me for a while, you would probably know that I have 100% tropical blood. I dreamed of paradise and I found it. It may be located on the edge of the wildness, but they have a carefully selected range of everything and I really mean everything.
My villa, MENDAKA 3, Raja Mendaka complex -the best in Design Award winner at PURE 2015 Raja Mendaka is Chris Burch's estate, the owner of NIHIWATU. This is the most spectacular residence at the resort and takes prime position overlooking the famous Nihiwatu wave and coastline - comes with stunning ocean views and of Nihiwatu’s 2.5km beach, that I never got tired of. It had a private infinity pool and separate study room. Upstairs, the massive bedroom opened to a platform among the trees with an outdoor bathroom and a jungle shower with an ocean view. A balcony with a bathtub, black on the outside and gleaming golden on the inside. Just steping aside and taking a look out you see why Nihiwatu is so special. All the decoration is traditionally-thatched that authentically incorporates elements of local tribal culture while providing every luxury.
Nothing at Nihiwatu is merely anything. They think about every single little detail. Even if I explain every little detail here, it would still not be enough because you just have to experience it yourself. Neither thousand of pics nor words would ever describe what I felt like those days at this paradise. Believe me when I say that I am one of the luckiest person in the world.
Once I felt at home in my villa, they provided me the itinerary for my stay. They offer a range of activities from horseback riding on the beach at sunset, a half day Spa Safari to Nihioka, surf lessons, stand up paddle boards, beautiful excursion, daily yoga classes at the world-class yoga pavilion, visit to the Sumba Foundation and chocolate cooking classes at their chocolate factory among others. I am still amazed! To all these, you have to add the superb dinning offer in any of the 3 restaurants by Australian executive chef Ben McCrae using only fresh and organic products. It is a luxury of being delighted with fresh catch from the ocean everyday. You literally see the fisherman bringing the fresh catch from the beach into the kitchen.
Nihiwatu is a tropical-island luxury playground with a soul. Over 90% of the staff at the resort are local people. Local Villagers are invited to harvest their grass at the property and they provide seeds to grow products to sell back to the resort. The heart and soul of Nihiwatu will always be the Sumbanese. I would say that for me, that was the real and authentic luxury that you won’t find anywhere else. From Yohan, Martheen, Martha, Ikan, CJ, Antonella, Tari, Umar, Agustin, loraine to Barbara and many others.
I have spoken with many people about Nihiwatu and few of them knew about it. Only surfers are aware of this paradise because of the famous “Occy’s left”, one of the world’s most exclusive waves. Only ten surfers at a time are allowed to surf Nihi’s premier wave, directly in front of the resort and charged at $US100 a day. Exclusiveness at its best!
After 4 unforgettable days in Nihiwatu, I could say that I have never ever felt that way. Nihiwatu's family, you completely stole my heart.