NIHI SUMBA ISLAND, Indonesia | On this remote island 250 miles southeast of Bali, NihiOka Spa Safari is every tropical spa experience you've ever dreamed of rolled into one all-hiking all-surfing adventure. Thank you Nihi Sumba Island for making me realise that all spa experiences should start with an exhilarating walk through the rugged countryside to earn that pampering and clear your head. After an hour-and-a-half's amble through paddy fields and a village where time seems to have stood still, you arrive in your paradisiacal place of all-natural pampering.
But it's not the Mimpi Indah facial with coconut oil, red rice and Rosella tea mask which won my heart. Or even the Lulur medicinal wrap with detoxifying herbs and spices massaged in here in the open-air that soothes mind, body and soul. It's knowing that this resort previously known as Nihiwatu does so much for its local community. 90% of Nihi Sumba Island's team is local. And thanks to supporting the Sumba Foundation, Claude Graves creation from 2001, they have set up 16 primary schools, built 48 water wells and five clinics and also supplied 172 villages with clean water. Malaria has been reduced in neighbouring villages by 85%. It's knowing all of this that that makes those spa treatments in the open air have such a long-lasting feel-good effect.