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LOCATION
Indonesia

Sumba is an island 400 kilometres east of Bali, and on the northwest coast of the island is a secluded beach called Nihiwatu. The Sumbanese ancestors, the Marapu, made their home on this beach centuries ago, and in 1988 two surfers discovered this beach whilst on the hunt for the perfect wave. Thus, the ultra-luxe Nihi Sumba was born.

Today Nihi Sumba is known for that perfect wave, Occy’s Left, but for the Indonesia beachlover with a sweet tooth, Nihi Sumba packs an extra special treat: Chris and Charly’s Chocolate Factory.

ABOVE: Nihi Sumba’s chocolate factory.

At a resort with an exclusive wave surfed by only 10 people a day, there is a magical chocolate factory, and yes, it is owned by someone named Charly – of Chris & Charly’s. No Oompa Loompa’s are on the payroll, but the area is surrounded by an ancient, enchanted forest. All the ingredients are natural and organic, with the cacao beans being locally sourced from Indonesia at the moment. The hotel has planted its own cacao plants and will be supplying everything onsite once the plants have matured.

Today Nihi Sumba is owned by Christopher Burch and James McBride who have made Nihi Sumba one of the most exclusive surf and beach resorts in the world. The Occy’s Left wave is surfed by only 10 surfers a day, and is one of the main draws for sybarite surfers. Chris & Charly’s Chocolate Factory is a bonus experience that can be paired with any itinerary.

For the kids, the chocolate factory hosts the Chocolate Club where children can spend their time exploring nature trails, the organic garden, and go on farm tours or scavenger hunts, play games, or do kid’s yoga under the supervision of Chocolate Wizards.

For adults the hotel has combined chocolate with yoga and spa treatments to lure out the inner child in everyone. Cacao has been used by shamans and spiritual healers for centuries, said to be a powerful elixir to open up your heart chakra.

“The childlike curiosity that comes over adults as they wander into the Chocolate Factory is always refreshing to see,” says Mary Tilson, a spokesperson with Nihi Sumba.

ABOVE: Chocolate products from Chris & Charly’s at Nihi Sumba.

Nihi’s Chocolate Yoga Experience lasts around two hours and starts in the enchanted forest, filled with ancient trees. During the Chocolate Yoga Experience guests learn about the entire chocolate making process, from cacao beans to the final product – including, of course, a tasting of the organic chocolate.

ABOVE: Yoga on the beach at Nihi Sumba, the most luxurious resort on Sumba and a surfer’s paradise.

After the tasting, the resident yoga teacher guides participants in a heart-opening yoga practice that includes stretching, breathing, and meditation. An Indulgent Chocolate Facial, with raw cacao, cacao butter, and coconut oil, finishes off the experience. Aside from the spiritual benefits, cacao also has alleged physical benefits, containing antioxidants and stimulating blood flow. Chocolate also has a ‘tightening’ effect when applied to the skin during the Chocolate facial.

“People usually visit Nihi for the unusual, unexpected experiences that the resort is known for delivering, and a chocolate-infused yoga class is certainly one you can’t find anywhere else. It helps people connect with the spirit of Nihi, relax and enjoy the simple pleasures the island has to offer,” Mary says. “Guests enjoy visiting Chris and Carly’s Chocolate Factory because it has a very whimsical and unique feel to the rest of the resort.”

The Chocolate and Yoga Experience at Nihi Sumba aim’s to take travelers on a physical and spiritual journey combining quiet contemplation with relaxation. And, if it doesn’t work – well, there is always the chocolate.