New luxury opening, Cap Karoso, in Sumba Indonesia

In Indonesia’s southeastern Sumba Island, new luxury resort Cap Karoso is set to open in early 2023.

Creating a new destination for explorers, the stylish resort of Cap Karoso aims to be a place for eco-conscious travellers seeking authenticity, and a sense of community.  The resort offers 47 rooms and 20 beachfront villas.

Cap Karoso is named after the beautiful Karoso beach on which it is located. Owners and first-time hoteliers, French couple Fabrice and Evguenia Ivara, are passionate about presenting guests with an entrée into the tightly preserved culture and landscape of Sumba.

Meeting with Evguenia recently at a luxury travel event  in Bali, she explained how the local crafts are distinct from those found in Bali.

“We didn’t copy and paste elements because then you strip the meaning,” said Evguenia. “We have created a cultural bridge rather than a copy,” she said. “We want to ignite the curiosity of our guests.”

Design notes

The contemporary interior design and architecture is led by Jakarta-based Bitte Design Studio, whose founding ethos of sustainability proved a natural match for this project. The firm has fused local traditions and crafts to create an artful backdrop. The owners are keen to pay equal reverence to both local Marapu culture and their own native, French flair, with the couple having deep Parisian roots.

Defined by a largely untouched landscape, which places megalithic tombs side-by-side with soaring peaked houses known as uma mbatangu, the choice of Sumba for Cap Karoso was a pledge to both preservation and exploration, with local involvement inherent to the project from the onset.

A blueprint from architect Gary Fell has seamlessly merged the traditionally styled pavilions at the heart of the property with a series of modern structures, as well as successfully merging the indoors and outdoors.

A local theme is strongly showcased in all the accommodations. In these spaces, guests will be immersed in the story of Sumba by way of visual references to the local religion, Marapu, and the integration of art, materials, and crafts inspired by local aesthetics.

Locally crafted bespoke design touchpoints include hand-carved wooden headboards in guestrooms, ikat wall hangings by Indonesian artist Alexander Sebastianus Hartanto, and contemporary Indonesian art in public spaces. Locally and sustainably sourced materials, including Sumba stone in the bathrooms, are utilised throughout the property.

Cap Karoso is a member of Design Hotels™.

Authentic experiences

A casual all-day Beach Club will offer family-inspired cuisine created with local produce with a zero-waste objective, while the lobby-adjacent Julang restaurant will be operated by international chefs visiting for short takeovers. Co-owner Fabrice Ivara was one of the first successful food bloggers in Paris and naturally, a love of cuisine and gourmand experiences will form a strong part of the guest experience at Cap Karoso.

With a love of collaborations, the resort’s owners will also host visiting artists and DJs, whose onsite residencies throughout the year will create a truly original ambiance.

The resort will also feature an open-air cinema, a pool with a bar, a kids club, and a spa, gym, and yoga platform.


The owners are committed to ensuring its environmental footprint is minimal, with a range of sustainability-minded practices already actioned. These include drawing at least 50 per cent of energy use from an onsite solar panel park, a ban on plastic packaging on property, and the thoughtful use of landscape design and vegetation placement to reduce the need for air-conditioning.

The Cap Karoso Farm, an expansive working estate set up about two years ago by organic agriculturalist Philippe Guiglionda, will feed the hotel’s restaurants with homegrown and organic eggs, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. The initiative goes hand in hand with Cap Karoso’s pledge to nurture and respect this corner of Indonesia.

Getting here

Travellers can reach Cap Karoso via a 50-minute flight from Bali – while at the same time, the Indonesian island of Sumba feels a world away from some of the region’s more frequented destinations.

Cap Karoso is open for booking from February 2023.

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