Nihiwatu, Sumba Island

Posted in Projects on 13 August, 2015

This August, the world class resort of Nihiwatu located on the beautifully preserved Indonesian island of Sumba, is to launch three new signature villa residences to complete the resort’s existing 23 villa estate offering…

Designed by German architect Walter Wagner, with interiors by Susan Colley and Marco Scarani, the three new villa residences are all ‘Sumbanese’ in style and will feature traditional touches including beautiful local carvings, antiques and Ikat prints. No two villas are the same. Ranging from the three-bedroom Puncak villa that has been created to reflect the traditional Sumbanese House, the whimsical three-bedroom Mamole Tree House complex to Raja Mendaka – the crème de la crème of private residences.

The villas reflect the simplicity and beauty of Sumbanese architecture, allowing its wild setting to take centre stage.

The design

The intention of the project to achieve the look of a traditional Sumbanese Village, which mainly consists of two types of buildings. Uma Mbatangu translates to mean ‘the great house’.

Uma Kamundungu or Uma Maringu which translates to mean ‘the bald house’ or ‘the cool house’… ritually not ‘hot’ and are used as common dwellings.

The interpretation/translation of these types formed the basic principle of the overall layout and the design of the buildings. Contrasts of rustic/rough surfaces with smooth finishes were applied on walls to keep simplicity in mind.

In addition locally sourced materials were used throughout the project to blend contemporary accommodation with bucolic materials. For example, Pandan Leaf Weave was used to line the roofs and hand-cut sandstone was used to fit a random pattern on the walls.

Raja Mendaka

In prime position overlooking the famous Nihiwatu wave and picturesque 2.5km beach coastline, stands Raja Mendaka. The estate comprises of one three-bedroom master villa and three one-bedroom villas, each with their own private pool, and spanning over the most expansive plot of land right in the heart of the resort. Raja Mendaka has been designed with large families and groups of friends in mind and is fully equipped with spacious entertaining areas. The landscaped gardens around the villas also provide privacy so each villa can be rented exclusively with further highlights including a large open deck with a 19m pool, complete with an ice cold plunge pool.

The entry level offers a partially covered deck, living room, bathroom and private infinity pool at the front with lounge area. The study to the back makes a great area for children to sleep or an air-conditioned area to watch movie or work. Upstairs, the spacious 46m2 bedroom opens to a platform among the trees with a bathroom complete with an outdoor jungle shower. An outdoor bathtub is perfectly positioned on the balcony from which to enjoy the signature Nihiwatu coastline view. A waterfall cascading off natural rocks into a private pool with a hidden massage cave between the boulders at the base creates added serenity.

DSC_9467_HDR Raja Mendaka DSC_8980_villa1_pool Raja Mendaka DSC_9030_guestRoom_bathroom Raja Mendaka

Mamole Tree House

It is a spacious three-bedroom tree house complex, elevated on wooden stilts between Nihiwatu’s ancient trees. The tree-house configuration has been designed for the fun-hearted, adventure lover and is perfect for families, groups of friends or honeymoon romance. Mamole has the best view of the beach and brings the outdoors in. Two of the two-storey, circular villas offer a lounge area on the entry level, with the bedroom, bathroom and balcony on the upper level.

Traditional Sumbanese carvings, antiques, local wood and Ikat prints feature throughout all of the three new properties.

mamole - credit habitat5 Mamole exterior view- credit habitat5


Designed to reflect the traditional Sumbanese House, Puncak comprises of two main buildings with the first offering two bedrooms. On the entry level at the front, is a large outdoor area with a 28m2 private pool and sunken dining area whilst indoor highlights include a spacious 42m2 bedroom with bathroom and a study at the rear take over the ground floor. The second bedroom is accessed by a staircase and features an outdoor jungle shower and a spacious balcony with bathtub, complete with an open-air view of the Indian Ocean. The main entertaining and dining area, kitchenette and large pool are situated between the two villas and boast high commanding views of the beach and wave, including the lush organic garden below. The second villa features the large living room on the ground floor with the study to the back and upstairs to the third bedroom, which offers the same configuration as the first villa.

2015 K Pancak two villa vu 7303 2015 F Puncak revised pool villa and deck 7243

Since acquiring the resort, Burch and McBride have embarked on a major renovation programme and the resort reopened in March 2014 after a six month period of closure. The resort launched nine new villas in Autumn 2014 and a unique Spa Safari concept is to be unveiled in the near future.



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