Sumba is slowly climbing the ladder of Indonesia’s favourite destinations amongst travellers. It is blessed with so many amazing beaches, rolling hills, savannas and maintained traditional cultures. Nihi Sumba, an exclusive beach resort in West Sumba founded by Chris Burch and hotelier James McBride, offers all of the above. Its latest addition, Villa Rahasia, is even more exclusive as stated in the name; ‘rahasia’ means secret in Indonesian language.
The secret villa is located in a private and remote valley of Nihioka Spa Safari, which takes a 15-minute drive from the main resort. Being the only villa in the valley with no phone signal reception, it provides an ultimate getaway and a digital detox for honeymooners. It offers an unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, a melody of the crashing waves and colourful sunsets. A night at Villa Rahasia comes with special facilities that include a locally handcrafted welcome gift, a full day of unlimited spa treatments, a bottle of champagne, bush-cooked meals over an open fire, transportation from and to the main resort, and a hiking trip to the panoramic Nipi Lima.
Like the rest of Nihi Sumba, Villa Rahasia’s interior is designed by Susan Colley based in New York, US. A lot of wood and Sumbanese woven textiles are implemented within the bedroom, semi-open bathroom, terrace and day beds. And the building still applies the vernacular design of a Sumba house, using materials like lamtoro wood, bamboo and alang-alang which are abundant in the area. A plunge pool is located outside, surrounded by lush banana and coconut trees. At night, you can only hear the sounds of nature while gazing at the stars in the clear dark sky.
Just like everything that is great, there is a catch to staying at Villa Rahasia. You can book a night there only after a minimum of three-night stay in Nihi Sumba’s other villas. And as there is only one of it, currently bookings are limited.
On a side note, about 90 per cent of the staff are local Sumbanese. And a part of Nihi Sumba’s profit is donated to the Sumba Foundation, which aims to lessen poverty and its consequences on Sumba Island while preserving and respecting the culture and traditions. This makes staying at Villa Rahasia is even worth more than what you expect because the impact is greater than what is paid for.