This article originally appeared on The Inertia.
Just to the southeast of Bali, there sits a tiny island called Sumba. It's a postcard-perfect place with crystal clear water, swaying palms, white sand, and amazing waves. Australia is a little over 400 miles to the southeast, and to the west lies the entire Indian Ocean.
On that island sits a resort of some acclaim: the Nihi Sumba. And by "some acclaim", we mean A LOT of acclaim. The place won Travel and Leisure's "Best Hotel in the World" award in 2016 and 2017, was named one of the 50 greatest hotels in the world by The Telegraph UK, and won the Asia Spa Destination "Hotel/Resort of the Year." Kelly Slater, who spent a few months in Indonesia instead of squirreled away in his bedroom like most people, recently decided to go see what all the fuss was about.
Sumba, as you may well know, is the location of Occy's Left, which is one of the most coveted waves on Earth. It's not an easy wave to surf, though. Heavily influenced by tide and swell direction, Occy's Left is a wave that, if you choose the right day and the right wave, offers up two to three hundred meters of ripple walls and heaving barrels. Since the wave is so popular, however, the resort keeps crowds to a minimum by only allowing 10 of their guests there in a day. There are other waves up and down the coast, but Occy's Left is the crown jewel.
"A huge thanks to @nihisumba for a fun few days of surf, fishing, diving, horses, and amazing food, accommodations, and staff," Slater wrote on Instagram. "I've wanted to go visit Sumba for many years and you didn't disappoint. Can't wait to see you guys again soon."