Visiting the #1 Hotel in the World with British Polo Day

After delays and missed connections and rescheduled flights and four countries, I landed in Indonesia after 40 hours of travel. This is the other side of traveling that nobody really talks about. The sleeping on airport floors, the eating way too many airport carbs, and the losing track of which time zone you're in - side of travel. This is as much a part of the fabric of travel as the stitching that goes into creating seat 1A, 1B and so on. It's part of it, and I've learned to enjoy the journey. A grand adventure with new friends and engagement with another culture entirely are what propel me forward. I know that on the other side is a comfy bed, and this time it's at Nihiwatu.

The #1 Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure

Nihiwatu now has bragging rights as the #1 hotel in the world according to Travel + Leisure. If you don't know, now ya know. I'd say that's a pretty big accolade, and I'd also say I was extremely lucky to be one of their special guests.

Arriving to the hotel takes time, patience and a sense of adventure. After a 50 minute Garuda flight from Bali to Sumba Island, I met the friendly hotel staff who were waiting with cold beverages and snacks. We'd only just met and they already knew the way to my heart. T'was a bumpy hour and a half drive to the resort from there, but the further, the better y'all. That's what I always say.

Nihiwatu is in a league of its own, on an island of its own. The untouched Oasis of Sumba Island holds over 600,000 inhabitants and the most beautiful hotel in which 90% of its employees are locals. The resort itself is sprawling and beautiful and authentic and warm and inviting and I could go on and on.. but you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, I'll just let them do the talking...

Enjoy that little tour through paradise? I sure hope so. 

The Event with British Polo Day

There's something about a horse that speaks to everyone, no matter your background, culture, language, etc. They embody this type of international language that everyone understands. This is the foundation of British Polo Day, a series of events that celebrate the heritage of Polo, travel, philanthropy and collaboration. I was lucky enough to be a part of their latest gathering taking place at Nihiwatu.

During the 4 days of events, we ate and we drank and we discussed Polo alongside business and the on and off rain storms. The most memorable part of the celebration, however, was the actual match played between the Brits and local Sumbanese people, some of the nicest humans I've ever met. They're pictured here proudly carrying both the British and Indonesian flags before the beach Polo match...a powerful, peaceful moment to witness.

The Sumba Foundation

Photo by Dave Burt.

Photo by Dave Burt.

While on the island, I spent one morning laughing with kids from the Sumba Foundation far away from the rest of the world. They ate lentil soup for lunch and we snapchatted the day away (they prefer the dog filter). The Sumba Foundation provides water, education, food and protection/treatment from malaria, a disease that runs rampant on the island. Seeing exactly how this Foundation impacts the children is beyond moving. For donations, click here and get involved in the world around us.

I'll be taking over the Sumba Foundation Instagram account this week, so please follow along there!