For those seeking remote luxury in a true island paradise, it would be hard to beat Nihi Sumba. In fact, it was named the world’s best hotel by Travel + Leisure for two consecutive years, built on the west coast of Sumba Island, an hour’s flight from Denpasar in Bali.

Rates include all your meals, minibar, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, group yoga sessions, meditation classes, mountain biking and a Sumba Foundation tour.

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Nihi Sumba
Credit: nihi.com
Nihi Sumba

The hotel staff, all of which provide exceptional service with friendly smiles, will greet you upon check-in at Denpasar, escort you onto the plane and then collect you upon arrival in a luxurious, open-air safari-style jeep (fresh coconut water provided), for the 90-minute journey to the resort.

While the views are impressive throughout the drive, just before reaching Nihi Sumba, the pristine white sands and turquoise sea reveal a glimpse of the true paradise that awaits.

Nihi Sumba
Credit: nihi.com
Nihi Sumba

The 28 uniquely designed residences include one to five-bedroom options, all of which feature a wealth of upscale amenities, including signature canopy beds and private pools overlooking the beach and the Indian Ocean, located just a short walk from the restaurants, bar and beach.

You’ll have your own personal butler you can get in touch with at any time for just about anything, with communication easy through WhatsApp.

Horseback riding at sunset, Nihi Sumba, Sumba Island
Credit: K.C. Dermody
Horseback riding at sunset, Nihi Sumba, Sumba Island

Ideal for both relaxation and active pursuits, Nihi Sumba is renowned among surfers with the waves along its shores drawing them long before Nihi Sumba was built. Those who want to learn how can take advantage of personal surf lessons. When the water is calm, world-class snorkeling in the crystal-clear warm waters awaits.

Just a few of the other activities include yoga, trekking excursions and sunset horseback rides, led by an expert guide/whisperer who will capture lots of photos of your magical experience.

Nihi Sumba
Credit: nihi.com
Nihi Sumba

With the resort’s focus on wellness, the Spa Safari Adventure is a definite highlight. It all begins with a relatively easy 90-minute trek just before sunrise through the rice fields, rolling hills and a traditional Sumbanese village where you might have the opportunity to meet the villagers and buy local crafts.

Nihi Sumba
Credit: nihi.com
Nihi Sumba

Upon reaching the spa, you’ll be greeted with cold towels and fresh coconut water before being presented with the menu of treatment options to choose from. Afterward, enjoy breakfast in the treehouse overlooking the sea, and if you choose, a refreshing dip in the infinity pool. It’s all capped off with your choice of incredibly relaxing massages, body wraps, scrubs and an organic facial.

students at Sumba Island school
Credit: K.C. Dermody
students at Sumba Island school

A tour of the Sumba Foundation is included and something you won’t want to miss. There has been lots of effort made into giving back to the community on the island, something that’s evident in this charitable foundation. Locals here are impoverished and have had little access to medical care and even drinking water, with women and children walking long distances during the early morning and sunset hours to obtain it. The foundation is working to bring water stations to the villagers for easier access, along with vital medicines, health, nutrition and education.

On the tour, you’ll see it at work, and you may get the privilege of interacting with the local kids or even helping to serve lunch to the village students – the only nutritional meal many get in a week. The smiles of the children, their songs that greet you and their excited waves of hello and goodbye, are sure to fill your heart with joy – and, it might make you realize that despite all the luxuries you’re enjoying on your holiday, there’s something else that matters a whole lot more.

Nihi Sumba
Credit: nihi.com
Nihi Sumba

Just before sunset at the end of every day, you won’t want to miss happy hour at the Boathouse Bar. This is a popular gathering place for staff and guests who mingle together, perhaps chatting about their travels, before all sharing the grand finale of the day, watching the sun go down, splashing brilliant colors across the sea and the sky.

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