The epitome of impeccably designed barefoot, sustainable luxury on a culturally unique and stunning island
The island of Sumba has a wild and poignant beauty all its own, as palpable in the thundering surf that crashes on its breathtaking beaches as it is in the megalithic tribal culture that survives here. Yet it's just an hour from Bali. The Nihiwatu Estate, which made its debut in 2012 (though the original hotel had been here for nearly two decades before that) celebrates this intensity and manages to do so in the context of a full service, eco-minded boutique villa resort that doesn’t stint on luxury. 12 impeccably presented residences nestle on a hillside above the Indian Ocean and one of the best surf breaks in the entire country. A visit to Nihiwatu is a heady mix of culture, waterborne activities, diving, surfing, spa and wellness offerings, gourmet cuisine and above all sustainable, barefoot luxury.
Nihiwatu’s villa residences and suites betray primitivist leanings in their décor, with lots of native stone sculpture, traditional ikat weaving and rough hewn wood sculptures and fittings, the overall feel is of understated opulence. Four posters are fitted with soft down bedding and internal AC, there are plunge pools, sliding mirror doors, polished timber floors and plush furnishings. Additional amenities include an enchanting spa & wellness haven, beach bar and a grandiose restaurant pavilion and general gathering ground for guests.
Nihiwatu enjoys legendary status amongst surfers, thanks to the perfect barrelling left hander that breaks on its shore. But it’s also the gateway to a host of cultural adventures thanks to the close ties it maintains with local communities through its charitable foundation. Other diversions include horse trekking, diving, canoeing, paddle boarding and even yoga under a waterfall. Earthy and rarefied all at the same time.
Nihiwatu has a global reputation as an eco-minded and socially responsible tourism business. The resort was built using recycled materials while power is provided by biodiesel fuel. All food is organic and locally grown. Down at the beach, a turtle hatchery provides a safe haven for endangered leatherback turtles. Co-founded by Nihiwatu, the local Sumba Foundation continues to assist tens of thousands of local people, easing the burden of poverty by improving health, education and community through life-changing programmes. Thanks to the Foundation, there are now more than 20,000 people living in 400 villages within a 120 km2 area that have clean water from wells, medical clinics, schools, economic opportunities and much more.
Nihiwatu has garnered a range of awards including 2010 –Winner for the "Best for poverty reduction” category - Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards and 2008 “Best Responsible Hotel Development” at the Asia Pacific Hotel Investors Conference (HICAP).
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