Pristine beaches, world-class surfing and a treetop spa: Inside the Indonesian island retreat voted the The Best Resort In The World.
Nihiwatu, a resort on the little-known island of Sumba, came top in Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards.
It commands up to £9,300 a night for an estate at high season, or £500 a night for a 2-bedroom villa in low season.
The lavish retreat boasts 28 villas, a treetop spa, an equestrian centre, and private access to world-class surfing.
A luxury island resort in Indonesia has been ranked the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure in its annual World’s Best Awards.
Nihiwatu, a former surf lodge on the little-known island of Sumba, boasts 28 villas, all with private plunge pools, as well as an all-day treetop spa, an equestrian centre, and a beach restaurant serving healthy bush-cooked cuisine.
For rates of up to £9,300 ($12,000) per night at high-season, guests can enjoy sunset horse-riding, world-class surfing on its famous ‘Occy’s Left’ wave, local exploration of hidden waterfalls, and scenic views of farmed rice paddies.
Sumba island itself is twice the size of Bali but almost entirely preserved from urban development, and Nihiwatu won particular praise in the competition for its ‘strong engagement with the local community, and a feather-light footprint on the ecology of Sumba’.
Nihiwatu was first established in 1988 by an American surfer and his German wife as a ten-room surf retreat, but was gradually developed into a more luxury establishment before being bought in 2012 by U.S. entrepreneur Chris Burch.
‘Hospitality-centric luxury has changed,’ Mr Burch announced. ‘It is more than just the finer touches. It has evolved to a custom itinerary, a personal journey, unexpected experiences, and a curiosity for the unknown.’ These pictures show how his philosophy is working a treat.
Welcome to Nihiwatu – the luxury Indonesian island resort ranked best hotel in the world in Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards
Guests at Nihiwatu are surrounded by nature at its most beautiful and decor at its most restfully opulent
Nestled on Sumba island overlooking the turquoise Indian ocean, Nihiwatu (pictured) boats lush vegetation and rolling yellow sands
The lavish beach resort commands up to £9,300 a night for an estate at high season, or £500 a night for 2-bedroom villa in low season
The heavenly all-day spa offers a full range of treatments including facials, massages and manicures, all to the tune of the ocean waves
A private dining experience with a glorious view, serving up healthy bush-cooked cuisine and strewn with flowers, reeds and candles
Kanatar Sumba House, one of the residences complete with a private pool, a sunbathing deck, and a spacious outside entertainment area
The whole complex overlooks an idyllic 2.5 km private beach (pictured), set within 567 acres of carefully protected natural reserve
The decor comprises polished hardwood floors, fringe-trimmed roofs and four poster beds shrouded in elegant mosquito netting
The Bao Boathouse – from where guests can enjoy world-class surfing on Sumba’s famous ‘Occy’s Left’ wave – serves snacks and drinks
The spectacular Cliffside Bale villa, elevated above the sea, provides a little nook for daytime sun gazing or night-time star spotting
Nihiwatu was first established in 1988 by an American surfer and his German wife as a ten-room surf retreat. Pictured – the Cliffside villa
It was gradually developed and upgraded, and then purchased in 2012 by U.S. entrepreneur Chris Burch. Pictured – the Marangga pool
The rustic Kasambi Estate (pictured) has a prime position for surf enthusists who want to keep a close eye on the movements of the waves
The sprawling family villa, decorated with hues of cream and yellow, has floor-to-ceiling glass panels which look out to the trees and sand
Owner Chris Burch says: ‘Hospitality-centric luxury has changed. It is more than just the finer touches’. Pictured, one of the infinity pools
Burch added: ‘It has evolved to a custom itinerary, a personal journey, unexpected experiences, and a curiosity for the unknown’
Sumba island is twice the size of tourist-favourite Bali and a 50-minute plane journey away, but is considerably less busy in comparison