Paradise Found in Nihiwatu
by Alexa Reason.
What's my dream destination? A luxurious retreat that has a long white sandy beach and offers pure relaxation. Nihiwatu is that and more.
Located on Sumba Island, Nihiwatu can be reached in under 3 hours – an hour's flight from Bali plus a 90-minute drive. To those who haven't heard of this island, Sumba Island is actually 3x the size of Bali and considered one of the poorest islands in Indonesia. The small boutique resort of Nihiwatu was once a surfer's paradise, and is now considered the place to be on the island.
Upon arrival, we were taken to our one-bedroom duplex villa – about 10 times the size of my small Hong Kong apartment. Each floor has its own bathroom and mini bar which is freshly stocked daily. Downstairs lead out to a terrace with private pool, a much-needed feature given the heat and humidity. Each villa is different from each other. We saw a 3-bedroom treehouse villa perfect for the family, and another villa that has just the perfect setting for honeymooners.
Walkie talkies are provided for guests to communicate with their own butler, who somehow has the ability to sense everywhere you go in the resort and pop up to help. What made Nihiwatu even more special is the staff. They were beyond friendly and always on hand to help.
Charitable work is very important to me. So I was glad to learn about the Sumba Foundation. It gave the place that extra special touch knowing the resort gives back to the community. The drive from the airport to the property will give you that real aspect of how the resort can help an area by providing jobs and give hope to a community.
We spent the few days we had horseback riding on the beach, hiking, and of course pampering ourselves at the spa. There are plenty of activities on offer including fishing, surfing, snorkelling and visiting local villages. The resort even provides plenty of free activities you can join with a daily newsletter so you can mingle with other guests at the resort or do your own thing.
Now let's talk about the food? Where do I even begin? It's simply amazing. Make sure you go on a diet before staying here as the food is just as special as the place itself. The resort even has its own chocolate factory (because no resort is complete without a chocolate factory).
If you're the type of traveler who doesn't mind the multiple transit points just to reach paradise, make sure to visit Nihiwatu. I've been to some of the world's stunning locations including Maldives and the Seychelles, and for me Nihiwatu wins.