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7 Eco-Chic Boutiques


Is there room for luxury in ecotourism? Naomi Lindt checks out a few of the region’s greenest resort —trailblazers that focus on both pampering and preservation.

Published on Mar 22, 2013

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Sumba, Indonesia


One of the few hotels in the world to be 100 percent powered by biofuel; comprehensive recycling; wide use of sustainable construction materials (including in the ongoing renovation being conducted by a team of top eco-designers and architects); turtle and bird rescue projects; local, organic food; and a carbon-offset program that so far includes 64,000 trees planted—Nihiwatu takes its eco-stance seriously. It is also a good neighbor to the more than 20,000 Sumbanese people: A portion of profits benefits the resort’s Sumba Foundation, which runs water, health and community development programs to better the lives of islanders, from whose ranks nearly all of Nihiwatu’s staff is drawn. (For more information on these good works, please visit

Nihiwatu is the kind of place where you start planning your return the moment you leave; don’t be surprised if you find yourself gushing the words “magical” and “paradise.” An hour by charter flight from Bali’s crowds, it’s worlds away in terms of peace and solitude. Spend your days surfing and swimming, practicing yoga in an open-air spirit house or indulging in massages and cocktails as the setting sun blazes. Built on 162 hectares of tropical forest, rice terraces and grasslands hugging a long private beach, Nihiwatu has a shoesoff, Robinson Crusoe atmosphere coupled with all the five-star services and amenities, as well as a strong dedication to both the community and natural environment.


The villas and bungalows containing the resort’s 12 bedrooms were built by local craftsmen, with stone, wood and palms. Fourposter bamboo beds are covered in gauzy cotton, with intricate weavings by Sumba’s famed artisans hanging on the white walls. Private pools abound.


Check out the Sumba Foundation’s award-winning work with a tour of the clinics, schools, wells and farms that it supports—better still, jump in and volunteer yourself.

DETAILS; seven-night minimum.

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