Nihiwatu Resort - Number 1 Hotel in the World

Paradise on Sumba Island

NIHIWATU® is the number one hotel in the world, voted by Travel + Leisure readers globally for it’s annual World’s Best Awards, the magazine announced today.

The recognition acknowledges the changing travel habits of today’s consumer who seeks a new type of luxury: experiential in scope, activity-driven, cultural, philanthropic, and with attention to the details that encourage guests to discover the very best adventure, immersion, and fun.

Stretching across 560 acres of unspoiled natural land including a 2.5 kilometer private beach, this spectacular all-villa resort offers secluded privacy and the ultimate exclusivity.
Nihiwatu offers a rare sense of discovery, where ancient tribal culture and unspoiled natural beauty form a backdrop to a boundless experience of unregulated freedom, understated luxury and unforgettable memories.
From exhilarating experiences including access to privately surf one of the world’s best left-hand break waves, to world-class sport fishing and diving, sunset gazing or star-lit dining; each stay is expertly crafted through a personalised approach shaped by pleasure not design.


Nihi Oka Spa Safari

Nihi Oka is an experience in itself and you should not forego this awe inspiring and unique safari when staying at Nihiwatu. A 90-minutes trek will bring you through rolling hills, typical villages and an abundance of rice fields up to the show-stopping final destination of Nihi Oka. On arrival, you will be greeted by the Nihi Oka team bearing fresh coconuts, invited to the tree platform for a healthy breakfast and introduced to your private bale on the clifftops, where you will be under the vices of your dedicated therapists for unlimited treatments. Your wish is your spa therapists’ command: what better setting than between two pristine beaches, among rice paddies overlooking the breaking waves of the bluest ocean!

Sumba Foundation

In every corner of the world, compassion has many forms. On the remote Indonesian island of Sumba, villagers seek basic needs that the western world deems as normal. Water. Health. And education stand as cornerstones to sustain a life. For the Sumbanese, it’s simple. Compassion stands as a necessity, not a luxury. The Sumba Foundation is a U.S. based nonprofit, nongovernmental, public charity dedication to reduce the oppressive impact of poverty on Sumba through humanitarian aid.
This is the story of the advances that human compassion from the Sumba Foundation has helped the people of the remote Indonesian island of Sumba and the ongoing challenges that call for your help. See how children have had eyesight restored with the help of volunteers.

British Polo Day Sumba 2015

On Saturday 7th November, British Polo Day staged its inaugural Indonesian event and very first ‘Global Gathering’ at Nihiwatu, Sumba Island. Guests including Nihiwatu Managing Partner James McBride, Peter Prentice of Royal Salute and Chairman of the Keepers of the Quaich, Chairman and CEO of Astrata Group George Kappaz, Philanthropist Gerry Smurfit, Professional Surfer Anastasia Ashley, Top Entertainment Lawyer Kathy Kendrick, Philip Lord with international model Nikita Sachdev, Dave Burt, founder of @London on Instagram with 1.6m followers and Local Dignitaries came together for a seven-day celebration of tradition, craft and heritage on an island whose ancient tribal culture is – rather aptly – deeply rooted in ‘the horse’.
Sumbanese Polo launched with some high-spirited frontier polo on the white sand 2.5km long beach of Nihiwatu. The first match of the day, saw the Hackett British Exiles take on home team, Nihiwatu I. The home team nobly defeated the British Exiles with a score of 3-0 with Bapak Herman of Sumba Island ensuring their victory with the first ever goal scored here on this island.
The Royal Salute’s Rest of the World team then took to the beach against RJI Capital’s Nihiwatu II in a closely fought and fast-paced game. Rest of the World won with a close score of 1- 0 taking them into the finals.
The deciding game was held between Nihiwatu I and The Royal Salute’s Rest of the World team, under pressure from the encroaching tide Nihiwatu took the competition with a score of 2-1 in the game for The Pasola Plate. Fresh from British Polo Day Singapore – and all vying for a spot on the British Polo Day prize-giving podium – top players Max Kirchhoff, Oliver Browne and resident host James McBride faced fierce Sumbanese competition. James McBride, as Captain, collected the superb bespoke-commissioned British Silverware Pasola Plate for Home Team Nihiwatu I. James McBride was awarded the Royal Salute ‘Most Valuable Player’ and Bapak Anggy, the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of The Day’ presented by Gerry Smurfit and the Colonel Justinus, Regional Colonel of the Sumba Police.
As Sumba’s iconic ‘Sandalwood Ponies’ – introduced onto the island in the 16th Century – formed-up for the evening’s traditional races, guests enjoyed a spectacular Sumbanese sunset before dancing the night away in true Nihiwatu spirit at the after party on The Creek.
A very special thanks to Chris Burch for his incredible patronage and making this first event so very special.

Pasola Festival – Sumba Island

Pasola is the name of an ancient war ritual war festival, where more than 50 men riding horses, divided into two groups of selected Sumbanese men (one from the upper villages and other lower villages).
This ceremony happen only once in a year, between February and March, and depends on RATO’S decision.
They ride their colorful decorated selected horses fling wooden spears at each other in a ceremony helded in the way of uniquely and sympathetically traditional norms, every year.
The main activity starts several days after the full moon and coincides with the yearly arrival to the shore of strange, and multihued sea worms – Nyale. The precise date of the event decided by Rato which is announced one or two weeks before the festival.
The people of Sumba believe that the ritual has a very close link to the habit of the people since it arranges the behavior and the habit of the people so that the balanced condition between the physical – material needs and the mental – spiritual needs can be easily created; or in other words the ritual is believed to be able to crystallize the habit and the opinion of the people so that they can live happily both in earth and in heaven. In addition to it, Pasola is also believed to have close relation to the activity in agriculture field, therefore any bloodshed (of sacrificial cattle or men participating in the game) is considered the symbol of prosperity that must exist.
Without blood Pasola mean nothing to them. Those who died in the Pasola arena are believed to have broken law of tradition the fasting month. Pasola that always takes risks, however, is acceptable by the people in a very hospitable way and sportive.