There is nothing easy about building a luxury resort on 15 acres of pristine beaches. And that is especially true in Indonesia. However, this is what the first hoteliers Evguenia and Fabrice Ivara have done on Sumba, an island that most of the world has never heard of. The eagerly awaited Cap Karoso, which has 47 rooms and 20 apartments, is now in its open phase, with a grand opening scheduled for August this year. The journey has been long, but the results are good.
In French style – read: relaxed – Evguenia (who goes by Eve) and Fabrice dreamed up Cap Karoso in 2017. The couple fell in love with this place on the coast of Karoso, especially with its unchanging view of the setting sun. into the Indian Ocean, a scene that changes dramatically with the moon and tides, cloud cover, and wind.
Eve, a marketing professional, and Fabrice, a Parisian blogger, are determined to make this a personal project. Instead of relying on a big management company, they created their own vision of how to use the beautiful island of Sumba, which might as well be the end of the Earth. They don’t offer swimming with horses like Nihi Sumba, and they don’t do floating breakfast. “It’s my project, so when my mom sees Cap Karoso bringing back a topless woman eating a floating breakfast, she’ll say I’m a shame,” Eve told me with a laugh.
Sumba is twice the size of Bali – accessible via a 1.5-hour flight – but has one-fifth of its population. There is little development, and the beaches here look very different from those on the most popular island in Indonesia. It is also possible to drive for 20 minutes on a quiet or paved road without seeing a car, motorcycle, or person. The Cap Karoso area is one of the most visited in the western part of Kodi Island, less traveled than the area south of Tambolaka airport.
This luxury hotel in Indonesia is a must for the French islands and culture
On my personal journey, I never saw another Westerner, not when our party was happily swimming in the blue salt water of Weekuri Lagoon, or when we visited the village of Waikaroko, where the gray chief invited us into his house and gave us food. coconut drink.
In the studios, suites, and guest houses, guests will find wood carvings that complement the local cats, as well as colorful sculptures, books in English and French, pottery that echoes the Sumbanese ceiling, and outdoor bathrooms with pots. they are soaking. And beyond these walls there are important sites for excursions and experimental activities.
“French is not the same, it’s not a culture,” said Eve, adding that she wants visitors to have fun, meet people, and learn something while they’re here. This is not a day-and-night backpacker trap, which is smart, as the sandy beach is full of shells and the wide, beautiful sunsets are a treat. Those who are taking a long trip to Sumba should go out and explore what they have not noticed. To this end, Mr. Ivaras and his team have come up with many opportunities to do this, guided or on your own, by car, e-bike or e-Mini Moke. And there are great waves to surf right in front, or a short distance away, and a stand up paddleboard and snorkel.
The design of this luxury hotel in Indonesia is not a true interpretation of Sumba – there are no ikat fabrics hanging on the walls, and only traditional thatched roofs on the premises to the six-room Malala Spa and Technogym gym – but clever who also understands French of course. The original paintings were sent through a museum in Jakarta and, if you look closely, you will see the beautiful scenery of the island. Everything is important to Ivara. The staff’s uniforms are casually elegant, with white navy shirt tops and wide-leg blue trousers, fastened with woven belts. Eva was willing to wait (justifiably) patiently for the beautiful Pierre Frey fabrics that cover the dining chairs, bar stools, sofas, and daybeds – even the long chairs – made of twisted bamboo and cane.
At the open-air Beach Club, with its own beachside pool, guests gather and mingle over craft cocktails (and sophisticated mocktails) such as the croissant-infused bourbon classic, the sandalwood Negroni with coconut oil, and clearly understood. Kota Sumba is soy milk and green coconut sambal juice. This was shown by Nico de Soto, a French explorer who taught the ways of the Sumbanese. Flowers and herbs from the seven-acre farm appear in these glasses, as well as in dishes created by executive chef Antoine LeVacon, whose breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also served at the Beach Club.
A fun treat with an Indonesian flavor!
Foodies like to watch the magic happen in the open kitchen, or just sit back and enjoy a dish that can best be described as Mediterranean with a pinch of Indonesian taste, think crudo with ponzu and sambal, Sumba Gnocchi with cashew pesto sauce (cashews are the main crop of the island), and fish with dessert with buerre blanc. Indo favorites like fried rice and fried noodles are also available from morning to night. Outside, Acunto’s blue and white pizza oven is immaculate, and the pies that come out of it, too, are classic Napoli with prosciutto and basil from the farm.
Upstairs is Apicine, an evening restaurant serving Indo-Basque pinxtos and tapas, including pan con tomate with anchovy, and killer guacamole. In the past the football stadium – the large infinity pool and Julang restaurant. This is the son of Fabrice, where guest chefs from all over the world will lead residencies from three to six weeks. During their stay, the chefs serve a sumptuous dinner, and prepare it at the end of the 30-foot table where the guests eat. The highlight of my meal here, by chef Katsuaki Okiyama of the now-closed Abri in Paris and his team of two, was the king prawn which, along with flan, asparagus, and cardamom foam, was the most delicious I could have asked for. about more.
More may be a common desire for visitors to Cap Karoso, who will not want this to end. Leaving past the amonolithic travertine front desks and the reception desk with the ikat master was, for me, a reminder that I had entered another world and was now leaving it, more fulfilled and enriched than when I returned. The food and drink fueled my body and the design caught my attention, while interacting with the delicious staff and locals spoke to my soul. And if that’s not great hospitality, I don’t know what is.
(Article and photo profile: ALEX GRABCHILEV/Cap Karoso)
This article first appeared on travelandleisure.com
Related: 22 Best Things to Do in Bali – From Volcano Tours to Spa Days