NIHI Resorts

Old Jan 9, 2023, 10:44 pm
  #1  
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NIHI Resorts

Hi all, can anyone share feedback on NIHI resorts? NIHi Sumba has been around for a while, but there isn’t much info or TRs on FT.

NIHI, owned by Chris Burch, is described as “spiritual heir of Adrian Zecha’s Aman philosophy”.

They hired ex-Aman GM Ian White as Managing Director.

They also have 3 other properties coming up, NIHI Rote (2023) and NIHI Flores (2025) in Indonesia.

NIHI Rote renderings look stunning.

Also building NIHI Santo Tomas in Costa Rica. opening in 2025.

Also part of the group are KODI hotels, destined to be “more accessible and youthful” (and much larger). First property KODI Bajo opening in 2023 in

Interview with CEO James McBride.
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Old Jan 10, 2023, 1:14 pm
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thanks!

there are luxury hotels forum regulars that stayed and commented here, although i think most were before chris bought

curious whether there was discussion with zecha or not, either way nice to see investment, ian white might deliver service

many (who hired them) benefited from aman veteran managers leaving aman, and will likely continue to benefit in future
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Old Jan 11, 2023, 2:45 am
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Stayed at NIHI Sumba in 2017. Great scenery! Both the property and the huts are of Aman size, but the interiors, the food and especially the service were not comparable to the good old Zecha Aman-style. By then it catered to rich surfers and to horseriding families (there is a horse stable on property...).

But I would definitely think that Ian White could greatly upgrade the experience, since the big-waved sea, the total privacy and the cliffy,, spectacular landscape have huge potential for a zechaesque experience!
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Last edited by deer; Jan 11, 2023 at 7:53 am
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Old Jan 15, 2023, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by livefromtuscany
Hi all, can anyone share feedback on NIHI resorts? NIHi Sumba has been around for a while, but there isn’t much info or TRs on FT.

NIHI, owned by Chris Burch, is described as “spiritual heir of Adrian Zecha’s Aman philosophy”.

They hired ex-Aman GM Ian White as Managing Director.

They also have 3 other properties coming up, NIHI Rote (2023) and NIHI Flores (2025) in Indonesia.

NIHI Rote renderings look stunning.

Also building NIHI Santo Tomas in Costa Rica. opening in 2025.

Also part of the group are KODI hotels, destined to be “more accessible and youthful” (and much larger). First property KODI Bajo opening in 2023 in

Interview with CEO James McBride.
My favorite resort in the world by far, as a surfer.

I went in 2018, and am going back in Feb-March 2023.

I would highly recommend to experience it.

Horses on the beach, great culture/people, decent food, chocolate factory, world class surf, great spa, great hikes, great accommodations, and fantastic staff. Negatives: with Garuda in bankruptcy, you have limited options to get there. You will also meet unique individuals from all walks of life; my wife and I sat down at the dinner table, and casually talked with another couple. I didn't even realize he was the CEO of one of the largest investments banks in the World.

Nihi Review 2018
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Old Jan 16, 2023, 2:16 pm
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Looks like 2023-2025 will be big years for them with the 3 new Nihis opening and the first Kodi opening - all within a short window.

Original Nihi is interesting: dating back to 1989 or so with the original owner who made it a proper resort in 2000 and then sold to Burch in 2012 who then upgraded it to be luxurious and 5 stars opposed to 4.

Has anyone had any recent experiences there?

Last edited by RichardInSF; Aug 9, 2023 at 12:59 pm Reason: Consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 9, 2023, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by r281
Has anyone had any recent experiences there?
I went in February 2023 and went in 2018. What questions do you have?
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
I went in February 2023 and went in 2018. What questions do you have?
Curious to hear what the weather was like? Everyone I talked to strongly advised against going there in that period (which is our only time window for longhaul trips).
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Old Aug 10, 2023, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by livefromtuscany
Curious to hear what the weather was like? Everyone I talked to strongly advised against going there in that period (which is our only time window for longhaul trips).
February 2023 was rainy and windy (at least some rain or all day rain throughout the entire time I was there). Surf conditions were not great.

I was there in October of 2018, and the weather was great. Maybe one day of rain.

Hard product is worn, but still well taken care of.

The service did decline abit, and the food menu went from alternating tasting menus to a menu with everything that no longer changes. They did add more Indonesian dishes to the menu.
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
February 2023 was rainy and windy (at least some rain or all day rain throughout the entire time I was there). Surf conditions were not great.

I was there in October of 2018, and the weather was great. Maybe one day of rain.

Hard product is worn, but still well taken care of.

The service did decline abit, and the food menu went from alternating tasting menus to a menu with everything that no longer changes. They did add more Indonesian dishes to the menu.
would you go back again?

are there any activities you would recommend?
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by r281
would you go back again?

are there any activities you would recommend?
Of course, I try to go back once a year for a surf trip. Even with the service slipping abit, I love the location and people

I would recommend the shoulder and high season for better weather and experience.

Lodging: I've been to the Lantoro, Raja Lamba, and Marangga for two of us. I would highly recommend the Raja Lamba and Marangga. Both are amazing and close to restaurants/surf. Lantoro not so much due to the distance from restaurants.

Activities: Definitely recommend horse back riding, chocolate making, and their spa safari. They are known for the Spa Safari, and I would definitely recommend this. If you are a surfer, then you'll be spoiled rotten with amazing uncrowded waves. If you are a beginner, the can take you to beginner friendly waves, about 15 minute boat ride away. Some guests went deep sea fishing and had a good time, but I personally haven't done it. The boat house manager is an amazing free diver and waterman, so any spearfishing or deep sea fishing activities are good to go. They stopped scuba diving an an activity due to poor visibility, and guests weren't happy. If turtles hatch, they also allow you to help the hatchlings to get into the ocean. Nihi buys as much turtle eggs from the villages as possible (turtle eggs are a food source), and has a nursery to release them to the wild. Lastly, don't miss the sunsets!

Food: Main restaurant. They also have a sushi/Japanese restaurant that I would recommend. They recently hired a Japanese chef that comes from Bali, and he does a great job. I went twice on my last trip. For the main restaurant, I stuck with Indonesian dishes throughout my entire trip. One of my favorite dishes is the grilled prawns with Pomelo (light and spicy).

Flight Over: Flights are much more limited than before, but typically they work with WingsAir that goes from DPS to Tambolaka. It's a propeller plane, but has overhead bins that can fit carry on luggage (fit my Rimowa Cabin plus). Dress comfortable and light, as the cabin will be very warm with lack of air flow. At Tambolaka, they will take you to an air-conditioned waiting room with Wifi, before the covered jeep ride to the lodge. They'll take care of luggages for you.

Transportation to Hotel: It is a 1.5-2 hour Jeep ride from the airport to Nihi. You'll see the local villages and cities, and is always fun. Kids who always wave and smile.

Additional Information: Bring bug spray/wipes as there will be mosquitos. The sun is brutal, so bring UV clothing and heavy duty sunscreen. Also have a rain jacket. If you are in Bali for a couple of days before, I would highly recommend Four Seasons at Sayan.
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Old Aug 16, 2023, 4:15 am
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Originally Posted by livefromtuscany
Hi all, can anyone share feedback on NIHI resorts? NIHi Sumba has been around for a while, but there isn’t much info or TRs on FT.

NIHI, owned by Chris Burch, is described as “spiritual heir of Adrian Zecha’s Aman philosophy”.

They hired ex-Aman GM Ian White as Managing Director.

They also have 3 other properties coming up, NIHI Rote (2023) and NIHI Flores (2025) in Indonesia.

NIHI Rote renderings look stunning.

Also building NIHI Santo Tomas in Costa Rica. opening in 2025.

Also part of the group are KODI hotels, destined to be “more accessible and youthful” (and much larger). First property KODI Bajo opening in 2023 in

Interview with CEO James McBride.
Is NIHI Flores and also the KODI Bajo still going ahead? I can't find much reference to either online.
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Old Aug 21, 2023, 3:14 pm
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Sunset at the outdoor deck of Mangarra 2

Mangarra 2

Mangarra 2

Deck of Mandarra 2

Bathroom of Mangarra 2

Bathroom of Mangarra 2; has soaking tub

Deck and pool of Mangarra 2

Vaulted bed of Mangarra 2


Fridge, coffee/tea maker



Some photos of Mangarra 2.
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Old Aug 21, 2023, 3:20 pm
  #13  
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Caprese salad

Grilled beef salad

Ceviche with chips.

Grilled fish lunch.

Seafood curry.

Satay; fun grill box.

Nasi Goring with chicken Satay.

Breakfast tacos; delicious.

Ahi sashimi. Abit too sweet on the chili sauce.

My favorite: Grilled shrimp pomelo salad

Grilled fish dish.

Sushi dinner. Sorry I took videos of the other dishes, but was really good. Had arrangement of nigiri, traditional fish and rice, soup, grilled Wagyu beef tenderloin.

Ice cream options: Mango and vanilla.

Spicy chicken Indonesian dish: Be warned, super spicy.
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