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Meet the surfer who started a remote Indonesian resort

Nihi Sumba, a remote island resort in Indonesia, is to help weather the storm of a halt in guests during the global coronavirus crisis by streaming a series of live “in conversation” events.

Nihi Sumba will stream a series of interviews and events
Nihi Sumba will stream a series of interviews and events

Starting this Friday, manager of the resort, James McBride will talk with Claude Graves, the American surfer who first founded the hotel on Sumba and still lives on the island.


Sumba is located in the Nusa Tengera archipelago, a 50-minute flight from Bali, and Graves first discovered it in 1989, starting a small resort there. He will talk about his travels with McBride, covering the early days of the resort, and raising a family on such a remote tribal island.


The resort was later bought by McBride and entrepreneur Chris Burch, founder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital, who has contributed to the rise of brands such as Faena Hotel + Universe, Jawbone, Tory Burch, Poppin and Voss Water. Burch took to Instagram himself last week to talk about the resort and how it is coping at the moment.


Graves built the original hotel on a hillside overlooking a famous surf wave, God’s Left, but the resort has been transformed and grown since then from a hidden surf retreat to one of the world’s most exclusive high-end resorts with just 21 villas.


He is also responsible for launching The Sumba Foundation, Nihi’s philanthropic arm, whereby guests of the hotel are encouraged to donate towards – and become more involved with, if they wish – its various community projects.


To date, the foundation has built and staffed five health clinics, created more than 44 water wells, supplied eight primary schools with supplies, performed surgeries on 360 patients, and managed to reduce malaria infection on the island by 93%.


In response to the worldwide devastation that Covid-19 has caused, Nihi Sumba has since partnered with SOS International “to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its guests and the local community”, providing support for those in need as cases in Indonesia begin to rise along with nervous anticipation on Sumba.


The Nihi@Home live streaming channel has been set up on Instagram, and the interview will be shown from 2pm this Friday.


Other instalments from Nihi@Home’s daily live stream events have included wellness sessions and kids’ activities.

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