Fashion mogul Chris Burch raised more than just a few eyebrows with his decision in 2015 to purchase real estate on a remote Indonesian island and rehabilitate the property into a 5-star restaurant. The raised eyebrows have mostly become grins, however, as the Nihi resort, located on the island of Sumba, that is the result of Burch’s vision, has been rated by Travel and Leisure Magazine readers as the top hotel on the planet for both 2016 and 2017.
More of the resort on http://nihi.com/our-story/
The island of Sumba, which was once known as Sandalwood Island, has an area of slightly more than 4000 square miles, making it twice the size of Bali. Sumba was a major destination for surfers since the 1980’s who traveled long distances to Nihiwatu, the island’s only resort in order to experience the 20-foot waves at the that occur off the left-handed break.
The literal definition of Nihiwatu is “mortar stone,” a name given to the island by settlers in reference to the unique rock formations that ran along the tide. Claude and Petra Graves discovered the island in 1988 when in search of the perfect wave. The visit by the couple provided the inspiration to build a resort that would do nothing to alter the beauty of the island while making it available to traveler’s who could properly appreciate it. The Graves called their resort Nihiwatu in honor of the island’s legacy.
Burch learned of the island’s beauty in 2012 after being informed that Claude needed assistance to complete an expansion to the resort. Burch got in touch with hotelier James McBride of South Africa and requested that he make a visit to the island resort. McBride says he immediately liked the island.
A few weeks following McBride’s initial visit, he and Burch made a visit to the island together. Burch returned a second time to the island, along with his three sons, all of whom are surfing enthusiasts. Burch decided to purchase the property a short time afterward.
Burch committed $30 million to upgrade the property and it has become an attraction to affluent travelers from across the globe. The property owned jointly by Burch and McBride is over 700 acres in size. The men have aspirations of acquiring more.
The resort is also home to a world-class restaurant and also offers guests picnics under waterfalls, visits to a stone age village, hiking through rainforests, horseback riding, and other attractions that keep visitors coming back for more, check businessinsider.com.
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