Visiting Sumba Island in Indonesia is an adventure on its own, and staying at Nihiwatu Jungle Resort, which has been voted by Travel + Leisure readers as the Nr 1 hotel in the world, is definitely a bucket-list experience. Retreat Here founder Sab had the pleasure to stay at this remote resort in the Indonesian jungle and shares her insight into life at Nihiwatu.

List seven words that come to mind when you think of Nihiwatu:


What’s to love about Nihiwatu?

For starters, you’re on Sumba Island where Nihiwatu is the only resort on the entire island. The villas look out over the most unspoilt beach. They’re all incredibly luxurious and have a unique design that was chosen with the local culture in mind. There’s a huge yoga deck in the treetops where you can practice alone or join the daily scheduled classes (and watch the sunset while doing so) and plenty of other activities that allow you to get close to nature: hiking, horse riding on the beach, SUP in the rivers, waterfall walks and many more. Prior to your stay you are asked to fill out a questionnaire that will help Nihiwatu staff make your holiday personalised and memorable. The staff is very accommodating and personable and will ensure your holiday is one to remember.

Aerial View Nihiwatu Resort and Beach
Infinity Pool and Beach

Do you have a favourite room type?

The Mamole Tree House is definitely at the top of my list, although all villas are beautiful and luxurious. The 3-bedroom Tree House is built on elevated wooden stilts and is the perfect accommodation for adventure-loving travellers. It has an infinity pool and the most gorgeous views of the sea below. Every villa at Nihiwatu comes with complimentary Wi-Fi, a fully stocked mini-bar that is restocked every day, and all meals (excl. alcoholic beverages) are included.

Mamole Treehouse at Nihiwatu Island Resort
Mamole Treehouse at Nihiwatu Jungle Resort

What’s your preferred wellness program?

The beauty of staying at Nihiwatu is that you can customise your own wellness holiday exactly the way you want it. We have created three custom wellness packages that are an example of what’s possible, but they can be entirely tailored to your wishes. Due to the remoteness of the resort and its natural location, it’s also a great place to simply ‘escape to’ and enjoy the daily free yoga classes and scheduled excursions. You don’t have to pre-plan anything and although all their activities are a great experience, it’s also nice to have a lazy day by the infinity pool.

Which activity resonated most with you?

Treetop yoga is absolutely a must when you’re staying at Nihiwatu. Being up there with the most incredible view and watching the sun go down as you go through your yoga poses is really spectacular. Having said that, The Nihi Spa Safari was by far the best thing if you like being pampered. You start your safari by hiking to a remote beach in the morning where Nihiwatu staff will serve fresh breakfast whilst you enjoy the peaceful views. Afterwards, you can choose an unlimited number of treatments from the ‘Wellness Menu’ that you get to enjoy in the privacy of your own outdoor treatment room. It’s a pretty amazing experience and can be added to any custom wellness package or stay at Nihiwatu.

And finally, what extras do clients get when they book this resort?

Often an upgrade on arrival, depending on the availability at the time, as well as a complimentary 50-minute massage for up to 2 people per room.