THE LATEST luxury villa to open on the remote island hideaway of Nihiwatu is the whimsical and imaginative Mamole Tree House, a spacious 3-bedroom complex, elevated on wooden stilts between Nihi’s ancient trees.
We’ve been anticipating this one since the opening in August of the other two new villas on this island paradise. This remote eco-resort is built on the island of Sumba, far from the beaten track. Once a surf resort for those in the know run by Claude and Petra Graves, Nihiwatu has evolved into a very luxurious hidden retreat nurtured by new owner Chris Burch and his business partner, uber-hotelier James Mc Bride.
The pair have created the three stunning new villas (designed by architect Walter Wagner, with interiors by Marco Scarani and Susan Colley) to cater to a very exclusive clientele. The Luxury Travel Bible readers will love the Raja Medaka owner’s estate, comprised of five individual one-bedroom villas, each with their own pool designed with large families and groups of friends in mind. The villas have private access to the stunning Nihiwatu beach.
Of the other two new offerings; the 3-bedroom Puncak villa has been created to reflect a traditional Sumbanese House but we confess TLTB’s favourite is the latest Mamole Tree House an interlocking configuration of circular tree-villas connected by a bamboo bridge. The main Mamole Tree House includes a private infinity pool and large living area with a balcony and connecting bridge to the main outdoor bathroom. Traditional Sumbanese carvings, antiques, local wood and Ikat prints adorn the walls.
Of course one of the other highlights of Nihiwatu is the beach, bracketed by two rocky headlands, it fronts one of the world’s greatest surfing waves to within a hundred yards of the resort’s boathouse and Nio Beach Bar.
World class surfing apart TLTB also loves the new Spa Safari concept which offers full day experience journeying across Sumba’s dramatic west coast to nearby Nihi Oka valley. The day starts with a 90-minute trek to a secluded valley and your own private bale, with views of crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, no spa villa was more private. Here your own dedicated therapists offer a number of pre-selected treatments all using natural, local ingredients.
In case paradise should become a tad boring –another day, another beach – Nihiwatu has introduced a rolling calendar of in-residence gurus, each invited to share their field of expertise – from health experts to magicians, world-class spear fishermen, pioneering surfers, to artists, painters and poets. OK , its official this paradise might actually be perfect.