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Nihi Sumba – A Remote Luxury Surfing Escape in Indonesia. Socially Distant / Wildly Connected.


When I think of the words ‘remote luxury’ it’s the islands of Indonesia that spring straight to the forefront of my mind. To be precise; it’s an exotic escape to Nihi Sumba resort on the island of Sumba that’s calling my name.

The allure of world class waves, relaxing beach days and indulgent pampering sessions beckons. I’m wanting to discover a unique cultural connection to the islands by way of local tribal mythology.

I’m wanting to taste the flavours of the sea and the organic gardens merging. And, to be honest I need a cocktail or three sipped on the shores of a faraway land immediately.

Looking at photographs of the secluded Nihi Sumba property not only sends me into a surrealism inspired daydream, it genuinely makes me believe that words could well become superfluous in the face of such beauty. We’re talking a premium luxury surfing experience within a naturally elegant jungle paradise setting.



The main break here at Nihi Sumba ‘Occy’s Left’ has effectively woven its way into surfing folklore. Partly because you have to be a guest of the resort to surf here but mostly due to the fact that it’s one of the most covetable waves on the planet. The break was first made famous by World Champion surfer Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo in the cult surf film the Green Iguana. Only 9 people are allowed in the water at any given time, making guests likely to be blessed with a solo surf session at some stage during their stay.

Nihi Sumba  15th June, 2018 photo by Jason Childs Photo©Jason Childs

The wave peels for a lengthy 300 metres, in a relatively mechanical fashion. The long walling sections are just made for generating speed as the uninterrupted lines of swell pulse straight though the Indian Ocean. Add to that, the open almond barrels that split on the reef directly below Nihi Sumba resort and there you have it, one of Indonesia’s most exhilarating waves.

Keep in mind there’s a few excellent rights for the natural footers keen for a nearby paddle at Nihi Sumba. In any case, you can rest assured that the expert surf guides will happily share their local wave knowledge with you.

20190616_taniaAraujo-TMT_3616NIHI SUMBA – RESORT ACTIVITIES

The idea of being met by Native Sandalwood horses on the beach sounds pretty darn good to me. Interestingly, Sumba was known as the Sandalwood island for many centuries, thus history has gifted these spice named ponies their distinctive title. The pristine resort stables are well worth visiting or otherwise you can simply wander down to the sand and meet the horses on the high tide line.

It goes without saying that you don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate the benefits of an exotic luxury holiday that includes daily wellness rituals, culturally immersive island ceremonies and outstanding cuisine. There’s ample water and land based activities to partake in here at Nihi Sumba and I’m committed to experience them all. How epic it will be to discover a wonder like Nihi Sumba! Accessible and yet totally removed from the grind of modern day society. Yes, please.



Ideally, as a modern day traveler, sustainable tourism operations are as important to you as they are to me. If so, it’s well worth mentioning that the resort founders were clearly way ahead of their time when it comes to protecting the delicate environment here. Flicking through the accommodation photo gallery is testament to how brilliantly the private villas blend with the beaches and the trees in an ecologically friendly manner. Note: there’s only 27 luxury villas onsite, guaranteeing Nihi Sumba to be an exclusively intimate vacation destination.


As we are currently experiencing international travel restrictions due to the Covid situation, it will depend on your country of origin as to when you can next visit the oriental charms of the Indonesia. The good news for people seeking a remote luxury holiday with all the trimmings is that Nihi Sumba is officially re-opening on July 1st 2020.

Until then, go ahead and visit for an immersive virtual experience of the resorts offerings. A tempting precursor to the epitome of a luxury surfing holiday in Indonesia indeed. Once these travel restrictions ease, it’s likely many surfers on ‘the search’ will look to less populated places for a luxury surfing vacation. I for one will be boarding the first plane to Sumba via Bali once the travel hiatus lifts.


Final thoughts; surfers really should be praised for semi-discovering some of the world’s most incredible beaches. They truly were pioneers who explored remote tropical frontiers in order to find the perfect wave. In fact, it was Claude and Petra Graves who first visited Nihiwatu beach back in 1988 on the search for epic surf. Together they created the original resort, forever famed for its off script, transformative travel experiences.
Seeking to expand to expand the original resort the Graves were blessed with the financial backing of millionaire entrepreneur Chris Burch (Nihi’s current owner) who, along with the astute luxury travel objectives of esteemed hotelier James McBride, bolstered Nihi into a new stratosphere of luxury holidays.
I love that the resort works in harmony with the local people and supports a number of philanthropic pursuits that benefit the wholesome members of the Sumbanese community here. Nihi was voted the number one hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure readers, in all categories, for the 2016 & 2017 World’s Best Awards. An amazing feat indeed.


A message from the team at Nihi Sumba – “This is not an escape from everyday life. It is the return to a life well lived. Where rugged luxury meets unregulated freedom. A place to connect with something larger than oneself. A haven for the adventurer, for the wanderer. The endlessly passionate and curious. Arrive with an open heart and leave changed forever. This is vacation with a purpose. A destination with meaning. This is Nihi Sumba”.

JasonChilds_Sumba kidszC)CHILDS

Here’s hoping I’m able to present you with a detailed resort review, complete with surfing highlights in the very near future!

For up to date rates, availability and VIP private transfer information please see

By Roxanne Williams

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