Fashion mogul Chris Burch built a five-star resort on a remote Indonesian island — and it's officially the best in the world

After founding or cofounding several internationally known retail brands — C. Wonder and Tory Burch — and investing in several others, Chris Burch is taking his entrepreneurial eye to a new industry: hospitality.

Burch, together with hotelier James McBride, bought a beach hostel on the Indonesian island of Sumba in 2012. The duo spent $30 million renovating the hostel, then reopened it as a five-star resort called Nihiwatu in 2015.

Nihiwatu was voted the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2016.

In an interview with Business Jet Traveler in 2015, Burch said, "I bought it for my children and as a piece of something that I hope we can preserve and give back to the community. When you're in a place where the palette is so beautiful, you can do things that you can't do in other places: build a spa under a waterfall, go to places where no others have been, have a butler in every room."

SEE MORE: Inside the gorgeous resort

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This is the #1 resort in the world
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This is the #1 resort in the world
Taking it all in 💫 _ #nihigram of @michaelklim1 by @desid _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #occysleft #passionpassport #travelandleisure #indonesiasurf #horseriding #cntraveler #indianocean #sunset #magicmoments
Whether you're a surfer or just share a love of the ocean, Occy's Left, the famous wave outside Nihiwatu is an experience for everyone to enjoy 💫 _ #nihigram by our guest @nicole.lovett _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #occysleft #passionpassport #travelandleisure #indonesiasurf #horseriding #cntraveler #indianocean #sunset #magicmoments
"Horse training on a desolate, magnificent beach" 💫 _ #nihigram by our guest @malouphoto _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #occysleft #passionpassport #travelandleisure #indonesiasurf #horseriding #cntraveler #indianocean #sunset #magicmoments
When he's not in the water, our boathouse manager @thetropicalviking is capturing moments like this. 🙌🏼 _ 📸: #nihigram by @thetropicalviking _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Ready for a wellness retreat? Nihiwatu offers packages that will leave you feeling rejuvenated, balanced and reconnected. ✨💫 _ 📽 by the amazing @patrickgather _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #nihiyoga #stretchforsumba
Experience the wild and free spirit of Sumba riding horseback on the beach! 💫 _ #nihigram by our very own @carlosnihiwatu _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #occysleft #passionpassport #travelandleisure #indonesiasurf #horseriding #cntraveler #indianocean #sunset #magicmoments
It's "turtle time" at the boathouse!! @jonnideaker Come see these little guys get set free into the ocean. _ 📸: #nihigram by @mylilshopoftreasures _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Step inside the living room of our luxury villas. This is Raja Mendaka Estate 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @shcolley, Nihi's Interior Designer _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #spasafari
Sunset bliss 💫 Ombak Restaurant has stunning views of the Indian Ocean - a great place to start or end your day! _ 📸: #nihigram by @misteraladin _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #spasafari
"For me, this incredible landscape is the epitome of surfing in Indonesia" ~@hannahg_bythesea ~ #nihigram by our visiting surf coach @hannahg_bythesea ~ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #occysleft #passionpassport #travelandleisure #indonesiasurf #surfindonesia #surfing #cntraveler #indianocean
Enjoying the light show from Puncak Estate 🔥 _ 📸: #nihigram by @jameswmcbride _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #beautifulhotels
👉🏼 Swipe right for a tour of our newly refurbished Lantoro Villas! Nihiwatu's fabulous interior designer, Susan Colley finds inspiration and artwork from the surrounding villages of Sumba to make every visitor feel at home. 💫 @shcolley _ Visit Nihi.com to plan your stay with us! _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #interiordesign
Flying free into the weekend! 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @saatemod _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #spasafari
How would you like to spend your afternoon here? Raja Mendaka Estate has a private infinity pool with stunning ocean views. 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @hotelwhisperer _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #spasafari
The unspoiled beauty of Sumba Island💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @cezznorman _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #spasafari
Dreamy evenings on Nihiwatu beach 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @fionapeters _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Enjoy sunset happy hour drinks from your own private bale 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @kandlaziel _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #sumba #sumbaisland #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Welcome home. The Menara-style roofing of our villas is modeled after traditional Sumbanese villages. 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @emilytierneyofficial _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Soaking up the Sumba sun 🌞 _ 📸: #nihigram by @emilytierneyofficial _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller
Sunny afternoons at Nio beach club ☀️ _ 📸: @annemariechampeau _ #nihigram #wonderfulindonesia #nihiwatu #nihi2017 #52places2017 #naturalbeauty #luxurytravel #paradisefound #indonesia #southeastasia #travelguide #travellust #wanderlust #bbctravel #traveldeeper #travelphotography #travelstoke #passionpassport #finditliveit #sumba #spa
Fresh papaya salad with tuna sashimi. The perfect choice for a seaside lunch. 💫 _ 📸: #nihigram by @nourish_naturally _ #nihiwatu #nihigram #nihi2017 #sashimi #lunchwithaview #wellnessretreat #luxurytravel #passionpassport #dreamholiday #wonderfulindonesia #thefittraveller #beautifulhotels #beautifulplaces #cntraveller #morningstretch #yogaviews #yogatrade #livingyoga
The golden hour 💫 _ 📸: @fionapeters _ #nihigram #wonderfulindonesia #nihiwatu #nihi2017 #52places2017 #naturalbeauty #luxurytravel #paradisefound #indonesia #southeastasia #travelguide #travellust #wanderlust #bbctravel #traveldeeper #travelphotography #travelstoke #passionpassport #finditliveit #sumba #spa
Stormy sunsets are perfect for dancing in the rain ✨ _ 📸: @sjanaelise _ #nihigram #wonderfulindonesia #nihiwatu #nihi2017 #52places2017 #naturalbeauty #luxurytravel #paradisefound #indonesia #southeastasia #travelguide #travellust #wanderlust #bbctravel #traveldeeper #travelphotography #travelstoke #passionpassport #finditliveit #sumba #spa
Lunch with a view at Nio Beach Club 🙌🏼 _ 📸: #nihigram by @wildluxe_misha _ #nihiwatu #nihi2017 #52places2017
Watercolor 💞💫 _ 📸: @whereintheworldisparadise _ #nihigram #wonderfulindonesia #nihiwatu #nihi2017 #52places2017 #naturalbeauty #luxurytravel #paradisefound #indonesia #southeastasia #travelguide #travellust #wanderlust #bbctravel #traveldeeper #travelphotography #travelstoke #passionpassport #finditliveit #sumba #spa
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"Nihiwatu has turned into more than I expected, which is rare because most times things turn into less."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Burch splits his time between Miami, the Hamptons, and his resort in Indonesia. Nihiwatu has 27 private villas, including Raja Mendaka, Chris Burch's private home. That particular section has a main house and four additional villas, each with its own private plunge pool.

Nicknamed "The Edge of Wilderness," Nihiwatu is on the west coast of Sumba, a remote Indonesian island. The name means "mortar stone," and the beach was originally named after a rock formation on the tide. In 2012, Chris Burch and hotelier friend James McBride bought what was then a beach hostel owned by a couple from New Jersey.

Burch and McBride redeveloped the land and opened it as Nihiwatu in 2015. It has become the largest local employer on the island. A portion of the hotel's profits are also given to the Sumba Foundation, an organization that funds projects to help the local community.

It has 27 private villas with plunge pools. Raja Mendaka, Chris Burch's private home, is also available to guests. It has a main house and four additional villas. Its plunge pool has views over Nihi Beach and across the Indian Ocean. It also has a large indoor-outdoor entertaining area. There are two, two-story tree houses on the resort. Connected by a bamboo bridge, both villas have a bedroom, a bathroom, and a balcony.

The main treehouse also has a living area and private infinity pool. Traditional Sumbanese antiques, local wood, and Ikat prints are featured throughout. There is a beach spa available, but treatments can also be done in your own room. The wellness center offers daily group yoga sessions. Instructors can also hold private classes that are tailored to an individual's needs.

More photos of the resort:

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Nihiwatu Resort
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 14: A guest walks from the Kasambi Family Villa at Nihiwatu Resort, Western Sumba on April 14, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 11: An outdoor seating area at Nihiwatu Resort, Western Sumba on April 11, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 14: The pool and sun lounge area at the Kasambi Family Villa at Nihiwatu Resort, Western Sumba on April 14, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 13: SUMBA, INDONESIA - April 13: Guests at the Nihiwatu Resort gather at the resort beach bar during sunset on Nihiwatu Beach, Western Sumba on April 13, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 11: The interior of the main dinning room of Nihiwatu Resort, Western Sumba on April 11, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, EAST NUSA TENGGARA, INDONESIA - 2006/03/27: Pool chairs at Nihiwatu, a resort on Sumba in Indonesia. (Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 13: A guest from Nihiwatu Resort walks along Nihiwatu Beach in Western Sumba on April 13, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, EAST NUSA TENGGARA, INDONESIA - 2006/03/25: A guest getting a massage at Nihiwatu,a resort on Sumba in Indonesia. (Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUMBA, EAST NUSA TENGGARA, INDONESIA - 2006/03/25: View over the beach at Nihiwatu, a resort on Sumba in Indonesia. (Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 14: A bathroom in one of the guest villas at Nihiwatu Resort, Western Sumba on April 14, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 14: Staff from Nihiwatu Resort prepare to take a guest out for surfing on the reef at Nihiwatu Beach in Western Sumba on April 14, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 12: Guests from Nihiwatu Resort paddle board down Wanukaka River in Western Sumba on April 12, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 12: Water sports activity manager Christian Sea from Nihiwatu Resort waits for the next wave whilst surfing the local break over the reef at Nihiwatu Beach, Western Sumba on April 12, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
SUMBA, INDONESIA - APRIL 14: SUMBA, INDONESIA - April 14: Staff from Nihiwatu Resort walk along Nihiwatu Beach in Western Sumba on April 14, 2013. Sumba is a remote island in Eastern Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands group based in the province of East Nusa Tenggarari. (Photo by Callaghan Walsh/Getty Images)
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The beach has always been considered a surfer's paradise. According to Nihiwatu's website, "Swells generated by the Southern Ocean storms travel thousands of kilometers across the Indian Ocean to meet our shores." The resort has a rule that no more than 10 surfers are allowed in the water at a time, and a surf slot costs $125 per person in the high season. Surf lessons are also available and cost $250 per person. The sessions are tailored to the amount of experience each person has You can book excursions to nearby waterfalls through the resort.

One trip includes a 90-minute trek to a blue lagoon where guests can jump off the rocks and swim. The trip costs $175 per person. A neighboring bay called Coconut Grove offers guests a calmer place to learn how to surf. The resort transfers guests by Safari jeep or boat.

There are riding stables with a team of guides to take guests out on sunset beach horseback-riding trips. A resident horse whisperer also coaches guests how to connect with horses. Prices for a one-bedroom villa start at $750 a night during the low season. Burch's five-bedroom private estate costs around $14,000 a night in the high season. Burch and his partner McBride are also looking to expand and build resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

They want to create resorts that are more accessible to the millennial traveler.

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