Billionaire Chris Burch, a businessman and an entrepreneur, transformed a cult surf destination into an amazing five-star resort in the islands of Sumba. Sumba is not only a remote island but also one of the most uninhabited islands in Indonesia. The surf destination is now a resort and has even been voted as the number one Hotel in the World by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine in 2016 and 2017. Sumba is two times the size of Bali and it was formerly called Sandalwood Island. It is located in the southeast of Bali and has a population of more than 60,000 people. Due to its lack of resources and its fierce inhabitants, the island has been ignored over the years and has had very little contact with modern civilization.
Sumba’s isolation has strengthened the power of its culture and authenticity since it has remained uninfluenced by outside cultures. The coasts of the island have remained unspoiled and unpolluted hence it has maintained its natural beauty. Since 1980, the island has been receiving visitors that are mainly surfers who tour the area to surf and visit the Nihiwatu beach. Nihiwatu has an interesting story (businessinsider.com). The beach started centuries ago when its ancestors, the Marapu, settled along the beach. Up to date, it is assumed that the Marapu spirit is still protecting the way of life in Nihiwatu.
Nihiwatu means “mortar stone” because of its remote rock formation along the beach. The acquisition tale of Nihiwatu began in 1988 after Claude and Petra Graves visited the area. The visit culminated the idea of establishing a resort that would maintain the beauty of Sumba islands. The Graves named the resort Nihiwatu. The resort is now called Nihi Sumba Island and is owned by Chris Burch. Chris Burch learned about the resort in 2012 when Claude Grave needed some aid to expand it. After learning of the freedom and the natural beauty possessed by the island, Chris contacted James McBride, his friend, to visit the island. See medium.com for more reading.
Mr. McBride is a hospitality innovator with a 25 years’ experience in the field. The partnership between Chris and McBride marked the transformation of the surf destination into the finest resort in Sumba. Burch purchased the property and began a major upgrade worth 30 million USD to transform the destination into a five-star resort. The resort is on a 700 acre piece of land and its design is fascinating.
More about Burch on http://www.burchcreativecapital.com/
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