Nothing says “Luxury” like a private island holiday. Here is our choice of the best, for the ultimate escape.
Necker Island, BVI: The original A-list celebrity bolt-hole, Necker Island is synonymous with “Private Island Luxury”. Whereas once this 74 acre Caribbean paradise was strictly invite only, now those seeking a combination of privacy and luxury can opt to rent the whole island, or, on set dates, take individual rooms or villas for a week. As you’d expect from Richard Branson, the island is a mix of luxury and fun bars, and costume boxes for disco night, poker chips for Casino night, a zip-wire to the beach, and an aqua trampoline on the seabed!
Nikoi Island, Indonesia : This Indonesian island boasts “simple barefoot luxury”, and urges visitors to ignore footwear during their stay. The 15 beach houses are built using traditional methods, but luxuriously finished from the Egyptian cotton bedding to the hand-made electric fans, and rely on sea breezes for cooling. While the island offers plenty of activities, most guests spend their days watching baby turtles hatch on the white sand, or sit overlooking the South China Sea with an ice cold drink in their hands.
Turtle Island, Fiji: Famous for being the setting for the film The Blue Lagoon, this spectacular South Pacific Island hosts just 14 couples (no children please!) at a time, and calls itself “The Ultimate Romantic Hideaway”. Beach after beach is surrounded by turquoise seas, soaring peaks and lush jungles. Relaxation is key here and guests are treated like old friends. With over 100 staff on hand however, it’s not surprising that Turtle Island won Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Service award.
Chapwani Island, Tanzania: As if the island of Zanzibar wasn’t glorious enough, just 15 minutes’ north by boat lies the tiny private island of Chapwani. Just 10 rooms and 1 villa ensure almost total seclusion from the rest of the world, aided by the banning of televisions and telephones. The blue seas of the Indian Ocean are perfect for scuba-diving; although truth be told, the water is so crystal clear that simply donning a mask and snorkel and jumping off one the island’s traditional dhows is just as rewarding.
Amanpulo, The Phillipines: Anyone familiar with the Aman resorts will appreciate just how spectacular this island must be for diehard “Aman Junkies” to claim that it is the best of all. Situated on the tiny island of Pamalican in the southern Phillippines, the 40 villa resort takes its luxury very seriously. Arrival is by private plane only, and guests are greeted with music, garlands and drinks. Each villa has its own private beach buggy, and guests are encouraged to explore, whether through the small island jungle, or taking a barefoot walk around the island. The staff manages to be completely unobtrusive and yet appears as soon as you glance around. In the words of one visitor, this is truly heaven on earth.