Travelers looking to stay in world’s best hotel won’t find it in New York City, Tokyo or any other major city. The hotel Travel & Leisure named 2016’s best, Nihiwatu, sits on a remote island in Indonesia.
It began as a hostel. In 2012, businessman Chris Burch and hotelier James McBride bought the property from its New Jersey owners. The partners invested three years and $30 million in renovations. In 2015, they reopened it as a five-star resort.
Staying true to his fashion industry roots, Chris Burch designed the resort on the island of Sumba with the same care as the brands he founded or co-founded – C. Wonder and Tory Burch. Though a hotel may seem an odd choice, Burch has used his entrepreneurial skills on a wide variety of companies from ED by Ellen DeGeneres to Cocoon9 to Poppin.
Burch told Business Jet Traveler that he bought it for his children so they could be part of preserving the unique area while giving back to the community. The Burch family’s resort is meeting those goals. It is the largest local employer. It donates a percentage of the resort’s profits to the Sumba Foundation, a philanthropy that funds projects that aid the island community.
What makes Nihiwatu so special? It believes less is more. No highrise hotel dwarfs the beach. Instead, the resort offers 27 private villas for rent, including Raja Mendaka, Burch’s home. Each villa has its own plunge pool. The pool at Raja Mendaka offers a view of Nihi Beach and the Indian Ocean. Vacationers will also find a vast indoor-outdoor entertaining area. For more of this, have a peek on businessinsider.com
Visitors can stay in a high rise of sorts – a tree house. The resorts offers two, each a two-story structure. A bamboo bridge connects the tree houses. Each features a bedroom, bathroom, and balcony. The main tree house features a living room and infinity pool. Burch and McBride chose a local theme for decoration of each villa. Each is appointed with traditional Sumbanese antiques and Ikat prints with construction of local wood.
What would a resort be without a spa? Nihiwatu’s is on the beach. Visitors can also experience in-room spa services. Nihiwatu’s wellness center offers yoga classes and private instruction. Reserve a surfing spot for $125. True to its uncrowded nature, the resort only allows ten surfers in the water at once. Individual surfing lessons cost $250. The hotel also offers guided hikes to waterfalls and blue lagoons, and guided horseback-riding trips. Check on bjtonline.com for related articles.
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Those ready to plan their vacation to Nihiwatu might want to aim for the off season when rentals start at $750 per night for a one-bedroom villa. This dreamy island paradise could provide the perfect honeymoon or anniversary vacation. Visit this important site.
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