Born to be Wild – NIHI Sumba, Indonesia

Immersed in natural beauty – and beloved by adventurers and wanderers – NIHI Sumba’s lush green deciduous forests, turquoise waters and pristine beaches form the backdrop to a get-away-from-it-all wellness experience.
1 Mar 2023
Words by: Sharon Leece
Images by: NIHI Sumba

A soul-lifting and energising wellness adventure on the edge of wildness. NIHI Sumba combines luxury comforts with ancient culture, uplifting activities and a pristine natural environment. Watch the sunset from viewpoints over Nihiwatu’s palm-tree fringed 2.5-kilometre beach or enjoy a tranquil clifftop spa experience. Adventurous types can connect with the rhythm of the Indian Ocean at God’s Left Wave surf break or join the beautiful Sumban horses for a ride along the beach or a bareback swim in the ocean.

Therapeutic clifftop spa treatments overlook the surf
Therapeutic clifftop spa treatments overlook the surf
“Is there anywhere else in the world where your spa experience involves a hike ‘safari style’ through remote local villages before arriving on an isolated and private beach with bale treatment rooms overlooking the surf? Spa Safari Nihioka is out of the box, and why many find it so utterly unforgettable.”
– Madlen Ernest, General Manager
Birds eye view of NIHI Sumba property next to pristine ocean water
NIHI Sumba is sensitively positioned within a pristine natural environment
Birds eye view of NIHI Sumba property next to pristine ocean water
NIHI Sumba is sensitively positioned within a pristine natural environment

The Vibe

For the most stylish of adventurous spirits who like their touch of wild anchored in rugged luxury. NIHI Sumba embraces personal freedom; a visit here is not an escape from life, but a return to a life well-lived.

The Wellness Wow (Factor)

Wellness is a personal journey and guests are encouraged to get lost in the spectacular Sumban surroundings. Memorable moments can include treatments at the award-winning Spa Safari Nihioka, a class at the open-platformed yoga pavilion with its 360-degree ocean views or exploring the island’s ancient culture, immersed in local traditions. Horses are the soul of Sumba and the handpicked team of local sports horses are an equestrian’s dream. The sight of these beautiful horses roaming freely along the beach and in the water is both heart-warming and soul-healing.

Woman in hat and bathing suite sitting by the ocean with horses running along the shore
2 men on paddle boards in pristine blue water
NIHI Sumba hut by poolside
A woman and little girl doing yoga on wooden deck

The Treatments

The rustic-luxe, thatched roofed Spa offers a tranquil escape, soothed by the sounds of the ocean. A curated collection of therapeutic spa experiences aims to nurture inside and out with relaxing and rebalancing essential oil healing massages and nourishing skin treatments like sea salt scrubs and mud wraps. The yoga pavilion perched on a cliffside ridge caters to all levels through an integrated journey of mind, body and spirit, offering hatha, vinyasa flow, restorative, yin, kundalini, breathwork and meditation. Watch out for guru-led programmes on offer through the year.

The Look

Luxury living in the wilderness realm. NIHI offers 27 traditional Sumbanese-style one-to-four-bedroom villas, each with private pool, canopy beds, crisp bedlinens and panoramic ocean views. For the ultimate disconnect, book the secluded one-bedroomed Villa Rahasia, tucked away on a hill at nearby Spa Safari Nihioka. Getting here is part of the adventure: fly from Bali to Sumba, then by car or private helicopter to NIHI. Discover spectacular scenery, with views framed by teak and mahogany plantations and thick deciduous forests. A rich green canvas of structured rice fields and river valleys leads to glimpses of the Indian Ocean.

Sumbanese style room interior in a neutral palette with natural textures
A neutral palette, natural textures and plenty of Sumbanese style

The Cuisine

Meals are the highlight of a NIHI stay, with the menu reflecting Indonesia’s diverse cuisine - traditional and modern, east and west. Enjoy a healthy breakfast on an oceanside terrace; an alfresco lunch under a straw hut, and evening dinner – which always includes fresh seafood catches of the day – in the open-air Ombak restaurant with ocean views and sand floors. Tour the property’s organic gardens with a culinary class and find out how local herbs and spices are used in popular local dishes. Mixology classes run by the head bartender concoct guest-favourite cocktails – or mocktails – using plenty of fresh garden-sourced ingredients.

The New Moon Loves

A 90-minute sunrise trek through rolling hills and rice paddies, and a visit to a traditional Sumbanese village, marks the start of NIHI’s signature Spa Safari Nihioka. Upon arrival in the Spa’s secluded valley, guests enjoy cold towels and fresh coconuts before breakfast, an ocean swim, private cliffside bales, and tailored programmes – think NIHI signature massages and organic facials – in bamboo treatment rooms. The day ends with an open air sunset vehicle drive back to the resort (or a horseback ride home).

A woman with a pink flower in her hair lying down on spa table receiving a hot stone treatment
Therapeutic luxury: a hot stone treatment in the open air spa
2 silhouette figures on horses by the sea during sunset
A soul-healing sunset ride along the beach

NIHI Sumba – Sumba, Indonesia