Soft sandy beaches, barefoot luxury and complete privacy: for the ultimate in indulgent holidays, nothing beats a private island resort
Think of a secluded private island with white, powdery beaches, turquoise waters and just ten bandas (thatched bungalows) overlooking a coral atoll. The gorgeous andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge is the perfect place for a romantic holiday – after a hard day’s beach lounging or scuba diving, you can head off on a private dhow cruise (a traditional sailing boat) with Champagne sundowners, before dining by the sea as moonlight dances on the waves. From £3,845 per person through Audley Travel.
At Frégate Island Private you can look forward to staying in one of just 16 residences, each with their own infinity pool and jacuzzi. Nature lovers will relish the opportunity to spot Giant Aldabra Land Tortoises, endangered turtles and tropical birds, while sunworshippers can exclusively hire a pristine sand beach - including Anse Victorin, which was voted one of the world's best. Life doesn't get much better than that! Daily all-inclusive rates start from 1,463 euros for a private pool twin residence, and include all meals anywhere on the island, soft beverages, house wines, local beers, as well as personal laundry, island buggy, non-motorised water-sports and guided nature walks, through the Oetker Collection.
Indulgent, traditional villas, with ocean views, private pool and four poster beds; an infinity pool with sunrise and sunset views; and a spa pavilion set in the rainforest, offering treatments based on local herbs, oils and sand. Who could ask for more? Song Saa is part of a marine reserve and is an eco-friendly resort that's strong on sustainability, recycling and waste management - so you can indulge without feeling guilty. Doubles are from £991 per night in a Jungle Villa (set in the canopy) including all meals, house wine, beer and spirits, soft drinks, watersports, boat transfers to and from Song Saa, a 15-minute foot massage on arrival and guided tours. Book through Mr and Mrs Smith and About Asia Travel.
Sheltered by its own coral reef, Ariara Island is home to dugongs (large marine mammals), rare turtles and starfish while inland, tropical butterflies survey the wild-orchid carpeted jungle. Scattered along the main beach are a handful of beautiful cottages with four-poster beds, wooden or hand-carved marble bathtubs and wide verandas where you can relax and soak up the views. Seven nights at Ariara Island with Audley Travel starts from £2,100 per person on a fully-inclusive basis, including activities and international/domestic flights and boat transfers to the island (based on a group of 16).
Picture-perfect coral reef rings the private island of Pamalican in The Philippines. Set among a jungle of thickets and bush are Amanpulo's rustic casitas and luxurious villas. Some are situated on the soft, pure-white beach, a few are high among the trees and many have sea views - particularly the deluxe Hillside Casitas, which overlook the Sulu Sea and the neighbouring islands. But should you ever grow tired of soaking up the panorama from the divan on your casita's deck, you'll be spoilt for choice with the Aman Spa treatments, floodlit tennis courts, dedicated diving centre and the resorts' well-stocked boutiques. For prices and more details, see Aman Resorts.
Private, pristine and perfect - it's no wonder that Parrot Cay is a favourite with celebrities from Eva Longoria and Ben Affleck to Kirsten Stewart. The pure white, mile-long beach and 1,000 acres of tropical idyll make a splendid backdrop for the holistic luxury for which COMO is famous - think yoga and Pilates classes, Ayurveda treatments, aromatherapy and Japanese baths. Try one of the newly-opened two-bedroom beach houses with direct beach access, private pool, four-poster beds, and the services of a COMO butler. A week's bed & breakfast in a two-bedroom beach house costs from £31,580 for four (£7,895 pp) through Bailey Robinson, including direct BA flights, transfers and daily yoga and Pilates classes.
One of the world's most exclusive private islands, and quite possibly the most expensive, Laucala, in the South Pacific, is a tropical paradise where volcanic mountains, thick with rainforest soar above soft, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. It has only 25 Fijan-style villas, most of which are set in a coconut grove, where traditional architecture, complete with sago palm-thatched roofs, meets contemporary luxury. Bailey Robinson offers seven nights at Laucala Island from £20,000 per person, based on two adults sharing, including all food, drink, and activities, plus transfers and return business-class flight with Cathay Pacific.
Imagine being stranded on a desert island that comes with every conceivable luxury. This is what you'll find at the unashamedly indulgent North Island, a paradise with pristine, powdery beaches, crystalline waters, granite outcrops, coconut groves - and 11 fabulous guest villas. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the beach, you can go scuba diving, kayaking, mountain biking or even fishing. For prices and more details, contact Expert Africa
Image courtesy of: Lucy Copson, Expert Africa
Aman Sveti Stefan is more than a private island - literally. This gorgeous resort straddles the pink-sanded private islet of Sveti Stefan and the magnificent Villa Miločer - once the residence of Queen Maria Karadordevic of Serbia - on the Montenegro mainland. The island's cobbled streets, tranquil courtyards and stone buildings imbued with genuine medieval charm perfectly complement the rustic luxury of the former royal residence. All this is spiced up by breathtaking sea views, fine dining and treatments in the Aman spa cottages sprinkled around Sveti Stefan. For prices and more details, see Aman Sveti Stefan.
About fifty miles off the coast of Singapore lies a tropical haven of unparalleled beauty. Crystalline waters lap the granite outcrops and white soft beaches of Nikoi, where turtles nest between February and September. A coral reef teeming with marine life rings the island, while inland, enormous trees, including colossal Banyans, shelter many local birds.The beach cottages are a wonder too. Made of driftwood and strategically positioned along the island's Western shore, to make the most of the sunset views, they have open air living areas with daybeds, outdoor shower and a gazebo for massages. For prices and details, contact Nikoi Island.
A tropical retreat where soft sandy beaches are lapped by turquoise waters and ringed by coral reef - it's small wonder that Sir Richard Branson fell in love with Necker Island and made it his own corner of paradise. Balinese-style villas dot the landscape - the Great House, in particular, enjoys breathtaking sea views and even has a rooftop jacuzzi to soak up the atmosphere at sunset (although if you prefer, there's another jacuzzi on the beach). The island can be hired for exclusive use for that extra special holiday or you can just book a room during the occasional Celebration Weeks. At those times, rates start from $27,475 for a seven-night stay, including accommodation, all food and drinks, plus return launch transfer from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports, through Virgin Limited Editions.
Get away from it all at Haggerstone Island. This remote islet lies quite literally in the middle of nowhere, opposite a stretch of virtually uninhabited coast some 600 kilometres north of Cairns. This is a place for adventure, where you can go snorkelling in pristine waters, spot sunbirds, eagles, kingfishers and the many other species of birds that call Haggerstone home, or even sandboard down pure white dunes - all while enjoying a deluxe version of the Swiss Family Robinson lifestyle in one of the island's only five guest houses. Stay in the Tree House, which has a rope bridge connecting the living area to the bedroom. Prices are from £15,450 per person for 5 nights as part of a 13-night Australian Wilderness itinerary through Scott Dunn.