How Chris Burch Developed Nihiwatu Into A World Class Hotel

Designer Chris Burch entered the hospitality industry in 2012 when he, along with James McBride who owns other hotels, bought a hotel together. The hotel is located on Sumba, one of the islands that make up Indonesia. After having spent $30 million renovating the buildings that make up the hotel they reopened in in 2015. Now named Nihiwatu, it has been called the best hotel in the world.

While being interviewed about the hotel, Chris Burch said that he had bought it for his kids. He also wanted to give back to the community that lives on Sumba as tourism plays a big part in their economy. He said the island is one of the most beautiful places in the world. He uses one of the homes that make up Nihiwatu as one of his personal residences. Altogether the hotel has 27 private villas as part of the complex.   Check for more about the resort.

Since the hotels reopening it has become Sumba’s largest employer. In a gesture to the community on the island, some of the profits the hotel makes are donated to the Sumba Foundation. This nonprofit helps people on the island by funding different community projects.

Adding to the uniqueness of Nihiwatu, there are a couple of tree houses as part of the resort, both of which are two stories tall. Bamboo bridges connect the top floors of each tree house and the larger one also has its own infinity pool for guests to enjoy.

Chris Burch made his name in the world of fashion. According to, he, along with his brother Bob, started their first company together in 1976 while he was still in college. The company, named Eagle’s Eye, was hugely successful and was eventually sold for $165 million. He has gone on to found a large number of brands in both the world of fashion, retail, home furnishings, and technology. Some of these companies include Brad’s Raw Foods, Little Duck Organics, TRADEMARK, and Poppin.  Click on this for an update of his recent timeline activities.

As a philanthropist, Chris Burch has supported a number of causes with both his time and money. He once served on the Rothman Institute Orthopedic Foundation’s board. Additionally, he has given money to organizations such as The China Association of Social Work, The Henry Street Settlement, and many others.

Read his shared insights and views on this article on

Nihiwatu is just one of the homes that Chris Burch owns. He also has homes in Southampton, New York as well as two in Florida in both Nantucket and Palm Beach.  Related article on

Take an in-depth look at his diverse investments visit


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