Founded by a surfer in search of the perfect wave, Nihiwatu is a model of sustainable luxury. The resort’s remote location on the jungle-edged coast of Sumba Island lures travelers looking for true escape and the hedonistic pleasures of private, candlelit dinners in a tree house and hikes to cliff-top spas. But it’s the cultural and community experiences that set Nihiwatu apart from other far-flung hotels. Sumbanese villagers make up 90 percent of the staff, and the resort contributes to the Sumba Foundation, which funds health clinics, water wells, and educational initiatives. Guests can observe island traditions, tour the projects, or volunteer at a school lunch program. From $900.
This appeared in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue.