The World's Best Small Hotels

A master list of the world's most luxurious yet intimate and humble hotels, inns, and guest houses.

Courtesy Nihiwatu
OF 109

Sumba Island, Indonesia: Nihiwatu

Reopened in April 2015 under owners Chris Burch and James McBride, the cult surf lodge—whose past devoted regulars included members of the Hermès family—had a nip and tuck that resulted in better bathrooms and bigger private verandas. (No more rogue lizards creeping under doors.) It also introduced six new Marangga Wave Front Villas plus the two-floor Kanatar Sumba House. Most people come for “the wave”—the spectacular left-hand break that drew Nihiwatu’s original creator here, a 55-minute flight from Bali, in the first place. Nihiwatu’s beating heart is an old boathouse that looks out over the mile-long deserted beach; it’s where a genuinely international crowd comes together. A tree-house spa is another welcome addition. Suites start at $540 a person per night, with a three-night minimum; W. Sumba Barat; 62-361/757-149;