fbNIHI Sumba — Thermal
Villas & Estates
3+ nights
Nearest major airport
Tambolaka Airport (TMC)

Feed your soul on a cherished wave

"The raw beauty of NIHI Sumba is powerful. Your sense of time will drift away at this coveted left barrel complemented by the luxury of exquisitely designed villas. What began as a grueling trek through the jungle in search of the perfect wave has evolved into a world-renowned surfing destination that is the essence of bliss and freedom. Feed your soul on epic waves and savor centuries of Sumbanese tradition as you experience the magic of this one-of-a-kind place. Arrive with an open heart and leave changed forever."

The surf

Peak swell
Variable swell

A passion for the perfect wave will lead you to this place. NIHI Sumba has been one of the world’s most coveted waves for decades. As the resort has grown, so has the popularity of their wave. To maintain their pristine wave, NIHI Sumba strictly limits the wave to ten surfers per day.

This left barrel is a challenge. The wave can be tricky, as it is sensitive to a variety of conditions: tides, size, strength, and direction. Catching the perfect ride is not always easy, but once you’ve earned your wave, the reward is a two to three hundred meters long and adrenaline-pumping ride down the line. Bliss and thrill unite! A zodiac is available to save you the grueling paddle back out.

Occy’s Left is a point break over the coral reef that is best from April to October. Within that range, prime swells are June to August. November to March the ocean is mostly calm during the rainy season months.

For the novice and first-time surfers, calmer waters can often be found most of the year at nearby Coconut Cove, where lessons are available on Nihiwatu beach, depending on the swell.

A Perfect Day Surfing

Every surfer is different, and he/she comes to NIHI with a different expectation.

For the expert surfers, a perfect day would start with a perfect low to mid tide session at the hole for some barreling slabs at the Hole (45 min away from NIHI), returning to NIHI for the upcoming tide. Then relaxing and regaining energy with a healthy lunch at Nio Beach Club, watching the tide coming in. Then back out surfing on Occy’s for those who can handle this left wave or heading to Wanukaka for those who prefer a right-hand wave (45min away from NIHI). Then ending the day at the Boathouse, sipping a drink watching the sun going down…. the magical Sumba sunsets!

For those who are more beginners the ideal day is when the wave is calmer, there is not much wind and not much current and they get to go out on Occy’s and have a playful day. For those surfers coming with their family, it is about being out on Occy’s enjoy the wave and its best conditions and then re-greet and re-group with their families for lunch together and then the surfing again.

What all these different types of surfers will have in common, though, is having the waves right in front of the resort with all the gear at the Boathouse, the convenience of it and the beauty of the surroundings. It is not always so much about the quality of the wave as much as it is the enjoyment of serenity, the transparency of the water, seeing tropical fish swimming underneath, turtles popping around and dolphins offshore.*

The lodge

NIHI Sumba isn't just a place to sleep, it's a new way of living. This is a destination with purpose. Travel + Leisure readers globally voted NIHI as the number one hotel in the world, in all categories, for 2016 & 2017 World’s Best Awards.


The resort is located on the pristine sands of a private 2.5 km beach and surrounded by 270 hectares of lush, natural landscape. NIHI Sumba nourishes and cherishes its relationship with the nearby community of Sumba. 93% of the resort's 320 staff are made up of local Sumbanese. The resort founders created the Sumba Foundation in 2000 to preserve and protect the community. The philanthropy and synergy of Nihi owners and guests have enabled tremendous progress with fresh drinking water, land regeneration, waste, treating malaria, offering education/empowerment programs, and much more.


The resort offers 28 exquisitely designed villas, each with a private pool. Room details include crisp white bed linens on our signature canopy beds, handmade chocolate in the mini bar, sweeping panoramic views of the Indian ocean. Your Sumba home will make you feel alive and comfortable in a natural paradise.


NIHI Sumba has taken great care in designing the culinary experience for their guests. Menus are a fusion of local flavors and exotic tastes, using fresh produce from their on-site organic garden. Local fish is caught and prepared daily. Meals are made by hand...toast turns golden over an open fire, never in a toaster!

Spa & yoga

Perched above the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, the award-winning Nihioka Spa Safari is a treat after a full day in the waves. Treatments include sea salt scrubs and mud wraps to coconut water hair washes and signature NIHI massages. A full range of spa treatments is also available at the Boat House or in-room.

Need to stretch those tight muscles? Head to the Yoga Pavilion for some namaste and breathtaking 360-degree views atop the ridge of the resort. Daily complimentary yoga sessions are available.

Ocean activities

When you're ready for a break from surfing but still want to play in the ocean, you might enjoy snorkeling, ocean and river SUP, free diving, spearfishing, deep-sea and FAD fishing, ocean and river, kayaking, Boogey boards, wake-boarding, and “Surfaris”.

Land activities

Scenic excursion by hiking, mountain biking, horse riding or open-air Land Rover Safari. Visit the local villages and markets to see the exquisite Ikat weavings, local arts & crafts or megalithic burial sites.

A chocolate factory?

Yup, NIHI Sumba even has its own chocolate factory! Tours of Chris & Charly's chocolate factory are available daily. You may enjoy making some chocolate as well! This haven of fun is tucked in the shade by the creek on the way to the Stables and is a lot of fun for kids.

Getting there
There are daily flights from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar (DPS) to Sumba Island’s Tambolaka Airport (T... read more

They journeyed for 8 hours through the Sumba jungle in search of the perfect wave. Claude and Petra Graves were captivated by the seclusion and natural power of the Nihiwatu beach in 1988. The blissful left point break and majestic landscape captured their hearts. As they surfed epic waves, they imagined creating a resort that would preserve and share the breathtaking beauty of Sumba with those who would truly appreciate it. Daydreams soon turned into action.

Years later, after hearing stories of the vast freedom, beauty, and natural power of NIHI, Christopher Burch journeyed to Sumba in 2012. At the time, NIHI included only 10 rustic villas. Burch was intrigued to discover that Claude was looking for help expanding the resort. Later that year, Burch returned to NIHI with his sons (passionate surfers!) and acquired NIHI in partnership with James McBride (a friend from NY and president of YTL Hotels in Singapore at that time). From there, NIHI evolved into one of the most remarkable resorts in the world.

Throughout its evolution, NIHI has honored Sumba's ancestors, the "Marapu" who landed on its secluded beach centuries ago. Though beliefs vary, the Marapu spirit has remained a positive force on the island, protecting the way of life and attracting custodians who honor and carry forth the heritage and stories of the Sumbanese people, past and present.

Aligned with this spirit, founder Claude Graves established the Sumba Foundation. It began as an initiative to remedy malaria and offer fresh drinking water to the local community. Through the philanthropic generosity of owners and guests, the Sumba Foundation has led NIHI to become a leader in responsible tourism.

NIHI Sumba and the surrounding community have worked through countless challenges and are thriving together. The adventure continues and throughout the journey, Claude, Burch, and their families have cherished and surfed their coveted wave.

Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French
Response rate: 100%
Response time: Within 24 hours

Choose your accommodation

Our love of chasing the perfect wave has... more
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Direct beach access. A pool large enough... more
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Watch the waves at the edge of your priv... more
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NIHI Sumba’s most intimate hideaway. A l... more
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For dates and accommodations not listed, or if you want to book further out


What's included?
All meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning/afternoon snacks and all non-alcoholic drinks, complimentary premium Wi-Fi, minibar (1 full re-stock per day), laundry service, tour of the Sumba Foundati... read more
What's not included?
Available at additional charges: alcoholic beverages, tobacco, fishing trips, boat excursion, jet ski, tow surfing, spear fishing, private Yoga/Pilates/TRX instruction, private surf lesson, waterfall... read more
How does NIHI's wave protection policy work?
Nihi guarantees a crowd-free surfing by limiting the number of surfers to 10 only. For groups booking the whole resort there is no limit on the number of surfers -that is left up to the group to decid... read more
What is the Sumba Foundation?
The Sumba Foundation is deeply committed to lessening the consequences of poverty on the island of Sumba. Their aim is to provide humanitarian aid through village-based projects that measurably impact... read more
Do you have cell signal?
Most areas of the resort have strong signal, however, some rooms may not have signal.
How many boards should I bring?
Based on airline regulations, passengers are limited to one (1) board per person with a maximum length of 7 feet. For surfboards that exceed this limit, please email us for special arrangements. Pleas... read more
Is airport transfer included?
If you book your flights through NIHI Sumba your transfer is included. If you booked your own flights, return transfer from Tambolaka Airport to NIHI Sumba is US$275 per couple and US$ 150 per single... read more
What's the cancellation policy?
Cancel and get a full refund within 48 hours of purchase, or at least 30 days before the trip starts.
Risk-free booking
Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund.
Change of plans? No worries. Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.
Best price guarantee
If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Booking with Thermal never costs more. If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Connect directly
Speak to the team on the ground, instead of a travel agent.
Instead of a travel agent, we connect you directly to the team on the ground for the answers you need.
Exclusive experiences
We have a roster of amazing, one-off trips in the works.
Each week brings something new to discover. We have a roster of amazing, one-off experiences in the works.