Nature Based Hospitality Planning + Design



Sumba Island, Indonesia


175 Hectares


PT Indonesia Adventure Sports

Project Team:

HM Design + Paul Pholeros + Simon Velez + Marcelo Villegas + Matthew Flynn (then Managing Director of 40NORTH, Costa Rica)


Master Planning + Schematic Design

Vida Elements:

Maximizing the guest experience, developing a master plan that responds to the  existing and future operations,  consolidating service functions and traffic to improve operational efficiency and improve guest experience, creating multi-use, revenue-generating external spaces, creating an environment that reflects the context and responds to guest function, utilizing local materials and construction techniques in new and innovative ways, creating strong indoor/outdoor relationships, siting architecture program in previously disturbed areas.

In early 2008, Matthew Flynn was engaged by Hitesh Mehtha of HM Design to co-master plan an expansion strategy for the Nihiwatu Resort on the remote island of Sumba, Indonesia. Nihiwatu is an existing up-market hideaway famous for its perfect reef break and the SUMBA foundation; a non-profit organization that has funded a  range of education, health and economic programs on the island.

Hitesh brought together a world class team including Paul Pholeros, one of Australia’s most noted environmental architects and Colombia’s bamboo architects, Simon Velez and Marcelo Villegas. The design team spent 10 days on the island developing the site plan and conceptual architecture for the new program to include: new arrival sequence and guest reception, upgraded guest amenities, new beach club, restaurants and gift shops, spa and wellness center as well as a new accommodation types including private villas.

Following the completion of the Conceptual Master Plan, our team developed schematic level designs for the first phase of the project in collaboration with HM Design. The program for the first phase included improvements to the guest arrival and reception areas and the siting and design of three luxury rental pool villas. The landscape concept developed paid homage to the rice terraces of the surrounding region and local thatch grass was used to mimic the rice while providing useful roofing material for the project.

Local architects, engineers and landscape architects will proceed to the Design Development stage of the project as a means of technology and information exchange which is an important philosophy behind international projects of this nature.

Show Project List

Nature Based Hospitality Planning + Design

Rural Planning + Design

Private Escapes

Community Planning + Design

Because We Can