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Indonesia: Best Resort on Sumba Island

December 11, 2007
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You might fall in love with Indonesia’s massive ironwood trees that tumble to empty bone-white beaches, but it’s the smiles of the villagers that’ll truly steal your heart. That’s what happened to Claude and Petra Graves, who founded a Nihiwatu resort on the west coast of Sumba Island. Their passion for this impoverished island begat the Sumba Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million (a third contributed by resort guests) toward health and education initiatives. The catalyst that converts vacationers to philanthropists? You’ll know when you join a six-person village tour in the highlands and dine on sweet potatoes while an elderly woman teaches you how to create a colorful and highly prized ikat weaving. Her betel-nut smile – as red as a valentine – will be the giveaway. Rates from $390. nihiwatu.com

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