The #1 Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure
Nihiwatu now has bragging rights as the #1 hotel in the world according to Travel + Leisure. If you don’t know, now ya know. I’d say that’s a pretty big accolade, and I’d also say I was extremely lucky to be one of their special guests.
Arriving to the hotel takes time, patience and a sense of adventure. After a 50 minute Garuda flight from Bali to Sumba Island, I met the friendly hotel staff who were waiting with cold beverages and snacks. We’d only just met and they already knew the way to my heart. T’was a bumpy hour and a half drive to the resort from there, but the further, the better y’all. That’s what I always say.
Nihiwatu is in a league of its own, on an island of its own. The untouched Oasis of Sumba Island holds over 600,000 inhabitants and the most beautiful hotel in which 90% of its employees are locals. The resort itself is sprawling and beautiful and authentic and warm and inviting and I could go on and on.. but you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, I’ll just let them do the talking…
Welcome to my infinity pool view in my Kanatar Sumba house, where life is most certainly worth living.
In Indonesia, 'Ibu' is a polite way of welcoming a lady.
Villas at Nihi are private and extremely palatial. Say hi to my open-air living room!
My villa had not one but TWO outdoor bathrooms. Talk about being one with nature. This bathroom pictured is connected to the bedroom upstairs...
...while this beauty was downstairs.
Even in the rain, Nihi is beautiful. I spent the afternoon lounging in my pasha from the stunning
Beach days are the best days.
And especially here at Nihi Oka, a one-of-a-kind spa. If you've never heard of a spa safari, here's your chance to experience one in all its glory.
After a beautiful hike, you can enjoy unlimited treatments(!!). The massage was beyond relaxing.
Complimentary beverages and snacks awaiting your arrival after treatment = icing on the cake!
Beauty is around every corner around here.
You won't find crisp, white tablecloths here.
The definition of luxury is changing a wee bit.
It's all about seclusion, remoteness, authenticity and relationships with the local people.
A strong connection exists between the resort and Sumbanese people, who make up 90 percent of the staff.
And how refreshing is that?
Oh so refreshing if you ask me.
Some of the most epic sunsets I've ever seen have been in southeast Asia, and this is one of them.
Mother Nature doing her thing...
The activities at the resort include visiting Charly's (hehe) Chocolate Factory. I'm like a kid in a candy store here (literally...)
More activities include catching a wave on the famous left-hand break waves.
If water sports aren't your thing, I loved the tranquility brought on by a vibrant sunset and horses 🙂
Enjoy that little tour through paradise? I sure hope so.
The Event with British Polo Day
There’s something about a horse that speaks to everyone, no matter your background, culture, language, etc. They embody this type of international language that everyone understands. This is the foundation of British Polo Day, a series of events that celebrate the heritage of Polo, travel, philanthropy and collaboration. I was lucky enough to be a part of their latest gathering taking place at Nihiwatu.
During the 4 days of events, we ate and we drank and we discussed Polo alongside business and the on and off rain storms. The most memorable part of the celebration, however, was the actual match played between the Brits and local Sumbanese people, some of the nicest humans I’ve ever met. They’re pictured here proudly carrying both the British and Indonesian flags before the beach Polo match…a powerful, peaceful moment to witness.
The Sumba Foundation
Photo by Dave Burt.
While on the island, I spent one morning laughing with kids from the Sumba Foundation far away from the rest of the world. They ate lentil soup for lunch and we snapchatted the day away (they prefer the dog filter). The Sumba Foundation provides water, education, food and protection/treatment from malaria, a disease that runs rampant on the island. Seeing exactly how this Foundation impacts the children is beyond moving. For donations, click here and get involved in the world around us.
I’ll be taking over the Sumba Foundation Instagram account this week, so please follow along there!