The 10 Best Private Island Resorts

26 Jul

Source: CN Traveler 

Laucala Island, Fiji

Pristine blue lagoons; lush coconut groves and volcanic mountains; endless beaches; 25 over-the-top, design-driven Fijian bures (pronounced boo-rays), each with private swimming pools—Laucala Islandis the ultimate South Pacific fantasy come to life. What’s more? The island flaunts the highest guest-to-staff ratio of any resort in the world (currently 16 staff to each villa), so expect the best-of-the-best in private island pampering.

Courtesy Laucala Island Resort

Fregate Island Private, Seychelles

Nature rules on this conservation-focused island in the Seychelles, a “Garden of Eden” that’s home to hundreds of Aldabra tortoises, 101 species of seabirds, and numerous rare and endemic creatures. While you’ll quickly fall in love with Fregate Island’s curious, wild residents, you’ll hardly see another human thanks to the island’s vast acreage and plentiful white-sand beaches.

Courtesy Fregate Island

The Brando, French Polynesia

We’re usually all about the overwater bungalows in French Polynesia, but this ultra-luxurious, eco-conscious retreat—Marlon Brando’s former private getaway—is equally dreamy. Live the modern Robinson Crusoe fantasy in haute style based at one the 35 stylish, palm-thatched villas, where in-room dining comes from chef Guy Martin (of Michelin two-star, Le Grand Véfour fame), nature tours are lead by Brando’s granddaughter, Tumi, and the surrounding beaches and reef match the beauty Brando discovered when he purchased the island in 1960 while searching for locations to film Mutiny on the Bounty.

Courtesy The Brando

Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent & Grenadines

Little has changed in nearly 50 years at this under-the-radar Caribbean retreat, and that’s a good thing. While Petit St. Vincent’s 22 cottages did receive a fabulous face-lift back in 2012 when the new spa and beach bar were added, the island remains void of cars and technology (read: no TVs or in-room Internet), uses its original flagpole service system (raise a yellow flag for immediate service), maintainsincredible reef quality—which can be explored through Jean-Michel Cousteau’s only dive center in the Caribbean—and has a timeless, classic Caribbean design aesthetic.

Courtesy Petit St. Vincent

COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

In the remote, outer Turks & Caicos, this 1000-acre private island combines barefoot bliss with wellness and gastronomy. Mingle sun worshipping and snorkeling with daily yoga and Pilates classes, and dig in to Thai- and Japanese-inspired Asian dishes that reflect the COMO brand’s Asian heritage. To truly live out the private island fantasy, splurge on one of the butler-attended private villas or estates instead of opting for a traditional room in the main hotel.

Courtesy COMO Parrot Cay

Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, Mozambique

Little-known Mozambique is finally enjoying a well-deserved moment in time, thanks to the opening (and re-opening) of several private island resorts within its unspoiled Quirimbas and Bazaruto archipelagos. Case in point: Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, an adults-only, 12-villa hideaway off the country’s northern coast, which was completely renovated in the last year. Walk on water across endless sand bars, head under the sea to explore virgin coral reef systems erupting with marine life, and, come nightfall, gaze at the constellations from the comfort of your plush, outdoor star-bed.

Courtesy Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Florida Keys

Though our versions of heaven on earth often require long-haul flights, we can’t forget about this slice of tropical paradise in America’s backyard. Say hello to Little Palm Island, Harry Truman’s former secret getaway, which now functions as a 30-key resort off Florida’s Little Torch Key. Paddle-board around emerald lagoons as loggerhead turtles and tropical fish swim by, laze the day away on a beachfront hammock, or simply enjoy the comforts of your Old Florida-inspired villa, which includes a private outdoor bamboo shower.

Courtesy Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

andBeyond Mnemba Island, Tanzania

The sparkling white sands and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean surround the ten rustic chic villas of this petite island resort off the northern coast of Zanzibar. Thanks to a distinctive open-air design with limited wall space and glassless “windows”, the sights and sounds of the beach are always present. Take one (or all) of the three daily snorkeling trips for a chance to swim with the wild dolphins that inhabit this dreamscape.

Courtesy andBeyond Mnemba Island

Lizard Island Resort, Australia

A day of snorkeling or diving Queensland, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is a bucket list item for most tourists, but there’s something far better for savvy travelers: Try Lizard Island, a Great Barrier Reef outpost whose sole inhabitants are the guests of an eponymous 40-unit upscale resort and the vast marine life that surrounds it. Strap on a snorkel or don some dive gear and revel in unlimited, direct access to the reef from the island’s 24 untouched white sand beaches.

Courtesy Lizard Island Resort

North Island, Seychelles

Extraordinary natural beauty and innovative design unite on this stunning private island, where each of the 11 beachfront villas measure more than 5,000 square feet and afford view after view of the Seychelles’ otherworldly landscapes. New interiors from a 2015 renovation elevated the castaway fantasy, with furnishings constructed from reclaimed wood (think: tree trunk stools perfected) and a plunge pool-sized bathtub to complement the existing duo of outdoor showers—one under the open sky, the other under a thatched-roof.

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