We're the villa in the middle.

We’re the villa in the middle.

The Sanubari, Sumba, Indonesia

This was my third time visiting Sumba. I love the remote rawness of this island. Little development has happened and appears to be more considered and slow – I’m keeping everything crossed; it remains the untouched paradise.

The island is primitive; locals live in uma mbatangu; these traditional peaked houses are built according to Marapu (the local ancestral religion) and consist of three levels. After my last visit, I wanted my family to experience what I loved about this island, so we returned one year after my trip. The beautiful thing is I was remembered by the staff who all live close to tourist accommodation, and you see their villages as you explore the rugged coastline and remote beaches – this was special to me.

We are a surfing family that loves adventure – so this time, we stayed on the beach at The Sanubari – a family-friendly wave when it’s smaller and best experienced when your kids are a similar age to ours and can handle themselves in the surf and on a reef (ours 10 and 12 years). Mich and Rowan run this little piece of paradise and have become like family. It ticks all our boxes – quiet, private, surf, a waterfall 1 hour away, horses and beautiful fresh food. 

The sunsets are breathtaking – and like everything we do, we embraced the days from sunrise to evening. It has a relaxed island vibe, but you can’t want for anything – as the staff beams with warmth and gratitude with a “Selamat Pagi Ibu” the moment you grace their presence at first light. I can only think happiness like this comes from having little and appreciating the opportunity for them personally and their families. Their simple life seems to bring the most joy—something we could all heed. 

Rowan and Mich tread lightly – respecting this beautiful island, traditions, and customs. It’s an honour to experience – they keep things simple but respectful, and I know their priority will be to keep this place just as it is an exclusive piece of Sumba to be enjoyed by few and only really appreciated by those who see the depth and magic of the people and this place.

Main hangs
The Sanubari Resort, Sumba

Lapopu Waterfall is a must. It’s a windy drive on the road not for the faint-hearted – but you are greeted by the bluest of waters, the whitest of limestone rocks and quiet. We stayed for hours on our own, which is why I love this island so much. Experiencing things just for you and your family is very precious.

Sublime, air terjun.
Sublime, air terjun Lapopu Waterfall.

I swam with the horses and sunset ride on the vast deserted beach I will remember forever.

Sumba – you touched our families’ hearts as you did mine on my first visit.

X Deb (Uge’s wife, mad traveller and frother)