Nihiwatu Resort

Resort in Wanokaka

Hefty price tag notwithstanding, you can certainly understand the draw of this place. There's a virgin beach crashing with head high (or higher) surf that folds into turquoise barrels on the rugged, beautiful, tribal, raw west coast of Sumba. Every detail is posh, and junket-seeking glossy magazine writers can't seem to stay away. Few luxuries are excluded.

However, what is excluded are nonguests. The current American owners maintain strict restrictions on who can access the beach and breaks.

Amenities are myriad – it even has its own freediving pro. Accommodation is limited to 30 units and there is a multiday minimum stay. Guests are hauled around West Sumba in African safari vehicles; as one local said to us: 'I guess we are the zebras'.