We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“I am a travel writer and this place is amazing...”
Review of Nihiwatu

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Nihiwatu
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Sumba
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 9, 2009

I travel a lot. I specialise in adventure/eco travel (yes, with a little luxury thrown in) and let me tell you, I almost didnt want to write about Nihiwatu because I dont want the world rocking in and spoiling it.

This is a special place on every level. It's spiritual, its ruggedly beautiful, it has a world-class surf break and access to an incredible culture.

It ticks all the boxes for good food, great atmosphere and eco philosophy. My god, I even fell in love with the owners dog. (Hey, Ole!)

Any cons to all these pros? If you dont like nature, sharing a table with others, are afraid creepy crawlies or remoteness...dont come.

Actually, I am hoping a lot of you don't come because Im just about to book again.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank imaginelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (350)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

318 - 324 of 350 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2009

My "now" husband always dreamed of having an Indonesian style wedding. Being a surfer who has traveled to Bali many times in his life, he had fallen in love with the culture, and many beautiful places in and around Bali. Nihiwatu, an exclusive and stunning resort with great surf, was the ideal location for this event. We decided to get married in Nihiwatu just days before leaving, and the helpful staff (including the owners) created the most memorable experience of our lives. I left all of the details to the staff members, and had zero stress. From the minute we were taken to our "perfect" honeymoon villa, I knew the week ahead would be just as perfect. The ceremony was at sunset overlooking the ocean and included traditions from the people of the village, and a more personal touch with one of the employees of the resort who also happens to be an ordained minister. (non-denominational) After the ceremony, a meal was provided that was fit for a king and queen! The rest of our trip included picnics on the beach, a couples massage, and plenty of great surfing for my husband. I would highly recommend this destination for the couple who likes peace and quiet mixed with some elegance, and sprinkled with some adventure!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank dreppucci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2009

A group of friends, couples and kids, as well as my wife and I booked Nihiwatu for 2 weeks in May. It was pretty unanimous that it was the best vacation for all of us. Our friend organized with the staff to help him plan a surprise wedding proposal that was far better than most every wedding I've ever been to. The staff went over and above to create the most beautiful atmosphere and celebration party. The owner, Claude Graves, was so accommodating to our group. The surf was really fun and Christian and Ka'Ale made all the other activities such great experiences. My wife as Celiac Disease and cannot eat wheat or gluten, so the chef prepared her amazing gourmet gluten-free meals every day. This was truly special. This was the second time we've been to Nihiwatu and it only gets better each time. We have already reserved our spot for next May. I highly recommend Nihiwatu to everyone!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank HeppaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2009

This is long overdue but I dont like writing bad reviews and held off but whoever I told this to tells me to write about this so here goes ...

We went to Nihiwatu for 5 nights (honeymoon was only a week long because of work and we chose Nihiwatu) because we wanted a deserted place. The cottage we were given was beautiful, made of bamboo and rustic. The first day was uneventful and yes we did see insects and even a rat in our bathroom but were expecting that. The second day however there was a snake in our room and by the time the staff came to look for it it was gone. It still left me shaken up and we asked Peter, the manager if we could change rooms. He told us that there was nothing available and that next morning when people left we could change. Feeling very uncomfortable we went to sleep and got up with a sound of something falling only to see the snake (we had left lights on as I was still freaked out) on the net canopy of our bed directly on top of us. We called the local guard who didnt understand us so asked him to call Peter , who came back made the guards look for the snake (didnt find it again) and suggested we sleep as the snake was gone. Ofcourse by now we clearly didnt believe him and decided to sleep out in the restaurant (the only other structure). After about half hour Peter comes to us that he had found us a room.
Now this is what got us very upset was that how come this room wasn't available earlier in the evening (it was slightly more expensive category but we would have paid the diff if he had just let us know about the room) but knowing that people would see us sleeping in the restaurant when they come for breakfast in the morning would ask and come to know about the snake, the room suddenly became available.

Long story short we decided to leave as even the owner couldnt be bothered to come and ask if we were doing ok (it was our honeymoon ) so we decided to pack and leave as we walked to where the buses (to take people to the airport) were we saw the owner standing. I couldnt control and told him how upset I was with the hospitality ...it is a hotel after all (I stayed at an ashram recently where people were more concerned about each other) .

To be fair after my ticking him off in front of other guests the owner did suggest we stay back and would make it up to us by upgrading us to the haveri villa which is in concrete and gets no bugs. We decided to stay as had traveled so far and had no reservations in Bali plus they were not ready to refund our money. The haveri was luxurious but I was still on the look out for snakes all the time and the lack of consideration (Nihiwatu wasn't cheap) has still left a bad taste...specially because it was our honeymoon.

The plus points - Haveri villa is extremely luxrious and the cottages too are beautiful. The local staff very considerate and friendly. Its remote and quiet and not one person around for miles. The local staff is amazing.

We are sure the snake in the room was a rare occurrence and can happen at any place where snakes are common, its the behavior of the manager (and the owner too) there that bothered us.

Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
20  Thank sal30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George_v2012, General Manager at Nihiwatu, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2012

Dear Sal30,

I recognise your Nihiwatu experience was years back and clearly it was not a memorable one. I have just taken over as GM of this extraordinary resort and can assure it has evolved to amazing heights over the past years.

We would love to welcome you back hopefully for a very special occasion. I am personally at your service and would love to hear back from you soon.
Please note I can be reached at george@nihiwatu.com and assist in any way possible to organise your return back with us to what should be an amazing experience.

With Best Wishes,

George Vlachopoulos
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2008

Nihiwatu is a Beautiful Magical place but not for everyone!

1. Sumba is NOT Bali & Nihiwatu is not the Four Seasons. Sumba has no shopping or western resturants. The accomidations at Nihiwatu are very luxurous for the location, but be aware you will be sharing your bungalow with various local creatures (bugs, mice, lizards,etc.).

2. The medical care in Sumba is very basic, get Med-Jet insurance.

3. Malaria is a major concern here. Do your research and prepare. If you choose not to take the medicine (my wife and I have been 2x and have never taken) be sure to wear approprate clothing in the pm and use deet.

4. Nihiwatu is NOT a budget travel destination. If the per day rate doesn't make you blink, the add-ons (water activites, spa, etc.) prob wont concern you either. FYI the resort does offer a great deal for honeymooners!

Nihiwatu is a great place for those travelers looking for an out of the way vacation. The food is great and the staff are very, very friendly. The Sumba Foundation (google it) has done great work in the area and it is nice to support a resort that is giving back to the local community.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank HawaiianStyle808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2008

First off - we loved it. It is an amazing place that truly needs to be seen and experienced.
Being Londoners on our honeymoon we really wanted to get away from civilization, enjoy beautiful surroundings and totally unwind. Nihiwatu was certainly the place.
Being so isolated and remote there were two issues that the brochure didn't mention, but I feel you should be aware of. One - The flight. To get to Sumba you fly on one of those small shaky planes that BA Baracus would be well within his rights not to get on (!) and two - the nature. Whilst we love the great outdoors that is generally where we prefer it to stay! The rooms are great, no argument there, but not 'hotel' great. On seperate nights we were greeted with a frog or two in the shower, one night was a spider (although it looked more like a hand!) and our most memorable night was having a lizard on the wall the size of my forearm.
However, this all pales into ridiculous insignificance when you see what Nihiwatu is and what it is about.
This is a real paradise island. The coast line is simply beautiful and totally unspoiled. The beach is perfect, not a footprint on it and all yours. And the sea is something else. Clear, blue and warm.
Being such a small place you get to know everyone pretty quickly, but this doesn't get in the way of allowing you to be alone and enjoying the tranquility that it offers. The staff are amazing too. They know you by name before you've arrived and nothing is too much trouble.The food was far better than we had hoped and fresher than you know.
The final thing to know is what the backbone of all this is about - The Sumba Foundation. Read up about it and during your stay make sure you visit one of the local villages. It puts everything in perspective and will re-inforce to you what an amazing experience Nihiwatu is.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Boysilver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2008

I have no idea where the previous reviewer is coming from - it bares no resemblance to my stay at Nihiwatu at all.

Primarily - Nihiwatu is remote, isolated - 1 hour from Bali and 3 hours by 4x4 to get there - but the resort pulls out all the stops when you get there. Your first view of the sweeping, empty beach and stunning background can be overwhelming it is so beautiful.

You really get a sense of being in 'olde Indonesia' - empty roads, wild horses, genuine smiles. Considering the location, the resort is amazingly upmarket (note - this is an informal place - not a place to show off your heels). Food was amazing, soft drinks are included (but in response to previous reviewer - if you're going to drink imported french Champagne of course you will pay for it - but if you're happy with a cold 'bintang' or 3, the cost is negligable).

I had a cottage with a balcony with a day bed that had views I still fantasize about, and will go back, and hopefully very soon. I doubt there is anywhere else as special and unique as Nihiwatu (if there is I want to know about it!).

Note to travellers though - just be careful if you try bringing 'Sumba Guns' back through Singapore immigration!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Moonchild123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Sumba hotels
26.0 mi away
Hotel Sinar Tambolaka
Hotel Sinar Tambolaka
#7 of 14 in Sumba
47 reviews
8.7 mi away
Watukaka Resort
Watukaka Resort
#3 of 14 in Sumba
16 reviews
0.0 mi away
Sumba Adventure Resort
Sumba Adventure Resort
#3 of 7 in Waingapu
4 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
55.0 mi away
Pondok Wisata Pantai Cemara
0.0 mi away
Padadita Beach Hotel
Padadita Beach Hotel
#1 of 7 in Waingapu
14 reviews
29.2 mi away
Oro Beach Houses and Restaurant
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Nihiwatu? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Nihiwatu

Address: Desa Hobawawi | Kecamatan Wanukaka, Sumba 87272, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > East Nusa Tenggara > Sumba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sumba
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Sumba
Price Range: $868 - $2,301 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Nihiwatu 4.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted #1 Hotel in the World for 2016 by Travel & Leisure magazine. An award-winning luxury resort on remote Sumba Island, Indonesia. A wide range of land and ocean-based experiences ensures all tastes are catered to. Attentive service and gourmet meals add to the refined and intimate ambience. A romantic getaway idyll with pristine private beach stretching in excess of 2.5km of length ideal for honeymooners and the unique tribal culture on the island offers guests a glimpse of a bygone era. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets and Hotels.com so you can book your Nihiwatu reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Nihiwatu Hotel Sumba
Nihiwatu Hotel Waikabubak
Nihiwatu Resort Waikabubak

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing