Hi, I’m Ken! Welcome to my hotel review of NIHI Sumba. I grew up in a city called Surabaya, Indonesia. Ever since I was a child, my parents loved taking me and my siblings on holidays abroad. Being constantly exposed to new things and experiences like that made me kind of addicted to traveling.
So as I grew older, roughly seven years ago, I started posting my traveling pictures on social media – using it as my personal album. Who would have thought that as time went by it would get so big! I now have 140K followers.
NIHI Sumba is a place that I have always dreamed of. Whenever I was asked or interviewed on which place I would love to go to in Indonesia (besides Bali) my answer was always NIHI Sumba. And imagine my surprise when I heard that I was invited there to stay! Many people told me that NIHI Sumba was like heaven on earth, so I came with very high expectations.
As it turns out, they were right! It was magical. I was invited to stay there for three nights but I ended up extending my stay for two more nights. The way they treat you here is what I call world-class hospitality. I even discovered something that I had never experienced before: spearfishing!
NIHI’s very own expert boatmen, local fishermen and I went early in the morning to the designated fishing spot which is located in the middle of the sea and 30 minutes away from the resort. Then we started throwing the bait in the water. We caught some impressive fish. After that, we dove down while bringing the speargun and shot a Rainbow Runner. It was epic!
Staying at the Raja Marangga & Raja Mandaka
During my stay, I slept in the Raja Marangga Duplex for three nights and then moved to Raja Mandaka for two nights – the crown jewel of the hotel. The Raja Marangga has a breathtaking view as it’s located a little bit higher. This two-story, one-bedroom villa consists of a partially covered deck, living room, bathroom, family room and an outdoor lounge on the first floor.
The family room on the first floor provides extra sleeping space for up to two children or you can use it to relax, work or watch a movie. The upstairs bedroom opens up to a treetop platform with a stunning view of the ocean – and there is even an outdoor shower for you to enjoy.
Raja Mandaka, on the other hand, is the main house. It features a master bedroom with a garden in the back that has a lap pool and cold plunge pool, a full second bedroom with an ensuite, library, living room and a gigantic indoor dining room with a kitchen. The vast outdoor entertaining space includes a deck, dining, daybeds and a covered lounge. And all of this faces the most exquisite view of the coast. It’s out of this world!
The Incredible Property that is NIHI Sumba
The property itself is located on the west coast of Sumba, a one and a half hour ride from the Tambolaka Airport. Your eyes will be pampered with a beautiful white sand beach that’s connected to the Indian Ocean with world-class surfing and a thriving marine ecosystem for fishing and diving.
As if the view isn’t enough, having horses running back and forth every morning and afternoon takes the experience to another level. For wellness aficionados, the award-winning Nihioka Spa Safari is not to be missed. I took the half-day spa safari that started with a 90-minute sunrise trek, in which I only managed to complete halfway due to my lack of fitness.
The trek took us through rice fields, rolling hills and a traditional Sumbanese village. After the trek, I was taken to my breakfast at the dining area cantilevered over a natural cove. Afterwards, the spa therapist showed the way to my private cliffside and the massage began with different treatments. Once all done, I rode back to the resort in an open-air vehicle as the sun set. During that moment, I realized why NIHI won so many awards.
My Favorite Experience at NIHI Sumba
If I had to pick one favorite experience from my stay at NIHI Sumba it would be the sunset horse ride. I took some equestrian classes a few years ago, so I know a thing or two about horses. Due to that, the stablemen let me ride the horse by myself and I explored the coast alone with a view of the pink sunset while putting my ear pods on. It was the best feeling. I felt totally at peace and in sync with nature. This was one hour that I will cherish forever!
How I Rate NIHI Sumba as a Hotel: 11/10!
I would rate my stay at NIHI Sumba as a 11/10 if possible (honest to God). I love how they take care of you like you are the star! They offer a detailed and meticulous service throughout your entire stay. However, there is one downside that I found some people might have a hard time with.
It’s not the resort itself, but the transport it takes to get there. There is only one flight that connects Bali to Sumba and it’s with a propeller plane. I’m fine with that but I know some people who might be afraid of it. But trust me, if you are brave enough yourself to get past that, the journey forward is truly magical and it will be one of the best experiences of your life.
Good to Know Before you Go
Firstly, do a lot of research before you book your stay at NIHI Sumba as all 28 villas are unique and differently designed. Pick the one you love the most and request the villa way before to guarantee a spot. Secondly, when you first arrive, do ask for some sunscreen. Constantly apply it to your skin throughout your stay. I got sunburned as the weather can get hot.
Thirdly, read reviews and request a capable butler. That same butler will be assigned to you for your entire stay and a good butler will make your stay even more wonderful. I highly recommend the butler named Maxi. He is helpful and super kind! Also, if you have the time, go exploring on the island of Sumba. I didn’t leave the resort but I have heard there are a lot of beautiful meadows, savannahs and waterfalls on the island to explore.
Once you are all settled into your villa, get ready for a magical stay in the World’s Best Hotel 2016 & 2017 as ranked by Travel + Leisure. I’m sure you will fall in love with NIHI Sumba just as I did on my short but sweet stay.