Lifestyle / Travel

Unique island holiday: Sandalwood Stables at Nihiwatu offers guests horseback tours of the island

Embark on an enticing equestrian adventure amongst other fun-filled activites at the award-winning Nihiwatu resorts that sits on Sumba Island

Feb 11, 2017 | By Teri Chong

The picturesque luxury resort called Nihiwatu on Sumba Island, located just 400 kilometers from Bali, transports guests to paradise in an instant. Known for its amazing surf breaks, Sumba Island is a hidden treasure of tranquillity away from the tourist heavy Bali. We aren’t horsing around when we say that Nihiwatu is the No.1 Hotel in the World — it was recently awarded the title by Travel + Leisure magazine. Boasting a stunning environment and an authentic local experience, the resort has just announced its newest illustrious addition, Sandalwood Stables.

Horses are central to Sumbanese culture, and what better way to incorporate this into the Nihiwatu experience than through horse riding. Helmed by Carol Sharpe, Sandalwood Stables provides a programme that lets you get up close and personal with these gentle giants. For those just getting into the knack of horse riding, a 1-hour beginners riding confidence lesson under the guidance of a highly experienced instructor is available to help you get into the groove of things.

Enjoy a stunning scenic ride on the Bush to Beach Trail. Passing rainforest valleys and traditional villages on the way, this is a sure fire way to soak in the local culture. If that is not impressive enough, then the finale will certainly take your breath away: enjoy the island’s white sand beaches on horseback with Sumba Sunset Beach Ride. At dusk, carve an irreplaceable memory by watching the sun fall behind the horizon along the beach. There’s no better way to end this journey than watching the explosion of blue and pink hues on horseback- trust me.

In addition to this, forge a deeper connective experience with the inner self through Horse Whispering with Sharpe. With 30 years of experience with horses and 10 years of personal development mentoring under her belt, the resort’s resident horse whisperer will guide you through the private lessons. Enhance relationships in both your personal and professional lives by exploring and mastering the relationship with a horse. Simultaneously regaining enthusiasm, purpose and passion your next adventure. Sandalwood Stables also has a Pony Club, perfect for children ages 5-14 to transform into little horsemen themselves.

Nihiwatu is a gatekeeper to the unique culture of Sumba and its natives, with 90% of the resort’s employees being local Sumbanese. Embodying a genuine sprit and vitality for hospitality, Nihiwatu is also part of the Sumba Foundation and encourages guests to visit local villages and establishments.

Nihiwatu extends a starting rate of USD1,000 ++ per room per night until 31st March 2017. For more information, visit

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