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Sumba

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About Sumba

Nestled between Komodo and Sumbawa in Indonesia's more remote East Nusa Tenggara region, the verdant island of Sumba has long captured the imagination of intrepid travellers. The stuff of legend amongst surfers — famed for the epic break known as Occy’s Left — the island has more recently become home to a small selection of fabulous hotels and resorts. Brilliant for couples, friends and families, our list of the best places to stay in Sumba promises some seriously special properties in a little-visited corner of the Indonesian archipelago.

Encircled by craggy cliffs and pristine white-sand beaches framed by palm trees, lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters, Sumba remains an unspoilt paradise. Swimmers, snorkellers and divers will delight in discovering secret bays and reefs brimming with colourful marine life. Whilst Occy’s Left is undoubtedly the island’s most acclaimed surf spot, the breaks at Pantai Kerewei, Waingyapu, Pero and Marosi are also fantastic.

Hike up to the Matayangu Waterfall for magical views, trek to the Lamboya Rice Fields and the Lapopu Waterfall, or go horse riding and mountain biking through the island’s interior with a knowledgeable guide. Sumba has a unique indigenous culture, and most Sumbanese practice Marapu, an unusual animistic faith — speak to your guide about observing a ceremony. Delve into the island’s rich traditions by meeting local village chiefs, joining the community at the weekly market, or visiting craftspeople in their workshops. The ikat weaving of East Sumba is particularly striking. Return to one of the best places to stay in Sumba to feast on organic farm-to-table cuisine within sight of the sea.

The Best Places to Stay on Sumba

For a Traditional Resort

  • Lelewatu Resort's 27 villas draw on traditional Sumbanese architecture and Marapu village-building to create attractive spaces with handwoven textiles, thatched roofs and natural wood. A gorgeous retreat for couples or families in south Sumba.

For Eco-Conscious Luxury

  • NIHI Sumba is a stunning island escape, with 27 thatched villas — each with a private pool — set in almost 500 acres of wilderness in front of the famed Occy's Left surf break. Topped off with an inspirational ethical ethos and a focus on community connections, this is a seriously impressive resort for eco-minded luxury travellers.
  • Cap Karoso's visionary French owners seek to inspire creatives and intrepid explorers of all ages. Slick, design-led spaces feature traditional textiles, Sumbanese crafts and modern art pieces. The resort proudly champions community projects, innovative dishes from the organic farm, and hosts artists-in-residence for workshops. Magical modern luxury.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly into Tambolaka Airport, in southwest Sumba. Some flight connections will go through Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, just over an hour away. Alternatively, there are regular 3-hour ferries from Bali.
  • Close to the equator, Sumba is hot and humid year-round. July - August and the Christmas holidays are the most popular time to visit, but you'll find good weather and good deals April - June and in September, outside the rainy season.

STILL NOT SURE?

Best Hotels in Sumba

  • Cap Karoso Sumba 67 rooms from £268

    Eco break  -  Strong eco credentials include an organic farm, community outreach, green villa roofs, water treatment & no plastic packaging
    Families  -  A family holiday dream, with large villas, a superb kids club and fun activities galore
    Designer  -  Bitte Design Studio led the interiors in collaboration with craftspeople from Sumba; the resort works closely with the community
    Great walks  -  Follow hiking trails on paper maps towards the island's interior to discover shimmering waterfalls and colourful birdlife
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Design Hotels

    A stunning island escape, championing local art & cuisine from the organic farm, all in tandem with the community. Slick spaces feature modern art, traditional textiles & crafts and unique experiences abound; the visionary French owners seek to inspire creatives & explorers of all ages. Magnificent. See More

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  • Lelewatu Resort Sumba Sumba Barat, Nusa 27 rooms from £300

    Local exploring  -  Showcasing Sumbanese culture & the natural world is at the heart of this resort's ethos, making it a top pick for keen explorers
    Honeymoons  -  Book a Honeymoon Villa for ocean views, a bedroom elevated over the pool, and a private spa treatment area
    Learning  -  Speak to clan elders about local traditions on guided tours of Wehola, a nearby village
    Restaurant  -  Bokosawu offers a broad range of international dishes, whilst Le Humba Restaurant specialises in Indonesian cuisine
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    Created by Indonesian entrepreneur Jenny Tan, this collection of 27 cliff-top villas draws inspiration from Marapu villages & Sumbanese architecture. A triumph of natural materials, luxurious spaces & superb service in a striking setting, inviting honeymooners & families to discover island culture. See More

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  • NIHI Sumba Sumba 27 rooms from £1200

    Active Holiday  -  At NIHI Sumba you can enjoy a plethora of exotic adventures from swimming with horses to exploring uncharted waterfalls
    Surfing  -  Ride the waves at Occy's Left, Sumba's most famous break, which has long drawn surfers from across the world
    Great walks  -  Guided hikes to the Lamboya Highlands or Blue Waterfall are magical
    Full board  -  The price includes all meals and non-alcoholic drinks
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    A spectacular luxury escape on remote Sumba, with an inspirational ethical ethos. Framed by lush greenery, 27 thatched private villas with pools overlook the sparkling ocean. Roam 500 unspoilt acres of grounds, swim with horses, and dine on dishes created from local seafood and the kitchen garden. See More

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