Alinka Echeverria

The Sanubari

  • Where:
  • Why:Retracing the steps of my favorite ethnographers
  • When:August, 2022
  • Who:Moi

"Barefoot luxury meets surf, tranquility and unspoiled nature"

AT A GLANCE: Located in a secluded bay in Sumba, Indonesia, The Sanubari is a true expression of tranquility and repose. The hotel is as picture-perfect as they come, with horses wandering about in and out of the water, miles of undisturbed sandy shoreline, and six villas — each equipped with a private pool, with an exception of the studio. The Sanubari is family and pet-friendly, making it an ideal destination for both group and solo trips. We especially love their connection with the locals and being future-forward in their impact.

 

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The Sanubari The heavenly view from inside my villa.  A perfect, private spot for any time of day. The villas are very comfortable and are tastefully decorated with local Ikat weavings and luxury finishings

The heavenly view from inside my villa. A perfect, private spot for any time of day. The villas are very comfortable and are tastefully decorated with local Ikat weavings and luxury finishings

The Sanubari  Swimming bareback with Odessa, The Sanubari's horse, was a dream

Swimming bareback with Odessa, The Sanubari's horse, was a dream

The Sanubari Surf’s up! The tide is usually perfect first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon. A perfect way to start or finish the day

Surf’s up! The tide is usually perfect first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon. A perfect way to start or finish the day

The Sanubari The Sanubari’s beautiful wild beach is dotted with tropical vegetation such as mangroves and palm trees

The Sanubari’s beautiful wild beach is dotted with tropical vegetation such as mangroves and palm trees

The Sanubari All the villas have traditional alang-alang roofs, pools with sun loungers, and grass on either side. Comfort seamlessly meeting the virgin beach. This is the one-bedroom villa, equipped with a living room, tea and coffee station, and a king-sized bedroom with an ensuite bathroom

All the villas have traditional alang-alang roofs, pools with sun loungers, and grass on either side. Comfort seamlessly meeting the virgin beach. This is the one-bedroom villa, equipped with a living room, tea and coffee station, and a king-sized bedroom with an ensuite bathroom

The Sanubari The rooms are enveloped in nature, and inside everything is made of natural materials

The rooms are enveloped in nature, and inside everything is made of natural materials

The Sanubari My favorite reading spot, under the shadows of the trees

My favorite reading spot, under the shadows of the trees

The Sanubari Originally from Central America, the gorgeous looking local dragon fruit, full of vitamin C, carotenoids, and natural sugars, was my go-to pick-me-up, any time of the day

Originally from Central America, the gorgeous looking local dragon fruit, full of vitamin C, carotenoids, and natural sugars, was my go-to pick-me-up, any time of the day

The Sanubari  Every evening the buffalos come down for their beach walk. I particularly loved watching this mother and daughter

Every evening the buffalos come down for their beach walk. I particularly loved watching this mother and daughter

The Sanubari Every day, I’d walk into the reef at low tide to dig up different types of seaweed with the local kids. It was such a beautiful daily ritual. I was happy to learn about this important part of their diet and experience a little bit of the traditional community lifestyle

Every day, I’d walk into the reef at low tide to dig up different types of seaweed with the local kids. It was such a beautiful daily ritual. I was happy to learn about this important part of their diet and experience a little bit of the traditional community lifestyle

The Sanubari As the sun goes down, the hues of blue take my breath away

As the sun goes down, the hues of blue take my breath away

The Sanubari  A dreamlike sunset from the villa. The silence, alongside the clear skies and amazing starscapes, felt unreal

A dreamlike sunset from the villa. The silence, alongside the clear skies and amazing starscapes, felt unreal

The Sanubari My lovely new Aussie friends, Karina and Eliza, enjoying one of The Sanubari’s delicious signature cocktails at the beach bar

My lovely new Aussie friends, Karina and Eliza, enjoying one of The Sanubari’s delicious signature cocktails at the beach bar

The Sanubari Sunset on the meadow above Watu Bella beach

Sunset on the meadow above Watu Bella beach

The Sanubari Meeting Rio, a beautiful Sumba foul

Meeting Rio, a beautiful Sumba foul

The Sanubari One last ride before I leave this magical island

One last ride before I leave this magical island

Highs & Lows

  • The absolute highlight for me was the cultural abundance of the island

  • I loved the traditional architecture, especially the impressive alang-alang thatched roofs

  • It feels extremely remote but is actually only a short flight from Bali

  • If you love horses like me, this is the place for you

  • The birdwatching was amazing

  • You'll enjoy the most beautiful starscapes due to the lack of light pollution

  • Attention to detail. For example, the bathroom products were really high quality

  • There was a fun convivial atmosphere at the hotel, especially at evening meal times

  • Hospitality is fairly new to Sumba, so service is often slow. On the other hand, everything is delivered with a smile. All the staff were lovely and genuinely keen to learn and assist

  • There is nowhere to eat or drink outside of the hotel, as all surrounding hotels are for guests only. On the other hand, if you love The Sanubari as much as I did, you'll never want to leave!

The Sanubari  Swimming bareback with Odessa, The Sanubari's horse, was a dream

The Barometer

  • Design
  • Location
  • Future Forward
  • Night's Sleep
  • Service
  • Amenities
  • Takeable Treats
  • Refer a Friend
  • Overall Value
  • Life Changing
Total: 49/50
The Sanubari All the villas have traditional alang-alang roofs, pools with sun loungers, and grass on either side. Comfort seamlessly meeting the virgin beach. This is the one-bedroom villa, equipped with a living room, tea and coffee station, and a king-sized bedroom with an ensuite bathroom

Important Bits

  • Type

    Luxury Beach Resort

  • Vibe

    Surf, tranquility, and nature

  • Location

    In a secluded 247-acre beachfront nature reserve on Sumba island, Indonesia

  • Rooms

    Six villas, ranging from studios to two bedrooms. All have private pools

  • Pre-Arrival & Arrival Experience

    Airport transfers are included with the booking. The drive crosses the island from North to South, passing various beautiful landscapes and villages. Upon arrival, guests are given a tropical mocktail

  • Future Forward

    The hotel has a very close relationship with the locals — most employees are Indonesian. Low-density architecture, and reverse osmosis filtered drinking water is provided in glass bottles with freely available refills

  • Music

    They have curated playlists for the restaurant and bar — a special one for each time of the day!

  • Year Opened

    2022

  • Designed By

    Owners Allan Thomas and Rowan Burn

  • Health & Wellness

    Every villa has a pool, except for the studio. Massages are available upon request

  • Food

    The restaurant offers a varied Western and Indonesian menu. Vegans are also well-catered for. A delicious fresh breakfast is included in the room rate. A bakery will open onsite in December 2022 and provide fresh croissants, bread and cakes daily

  • Bar, Events & Nightlife

    A romantic beachfront dinner can be arranged, but Sumba is a remote, quiet island. People come here to get away from nightlife and gaze at the stars in unpolluted tranquility

  • Minibar & Retail

    There is a well-stocked minibar in every room. Beautiful robes, ratan beach bags, and slippers are available during the stay. They are also available to purchase

  • Accessibility

    There are no stairs anywhere, and the roads are good. However, being on the beach, wheelchairs may have difficulty

  • Pet Friendly

    Leave your furry friends at home

  • Children

    Yes, it is a very family-friendly environment

  • Price

    Good value considering its amazing location and overall guest experience

  • Tel.

    +62 821 46394499

  • Website

    Visit website

The Sanubari

The Sanubari

78C7+XG Patiala Dete, West Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Karaja Sumba

Karaja Sumba

78CW+HC8, Laboya Bawa, Lamboya, West Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Watu Bella Beach

Watu Bella Beach

Pantai Watu Bella, Patiala Bawa, West Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Lapopu Waterfall

Lapopu Waterfall

Lapopu Waterfall, Manurara, Central Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

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