Is there anything more luxurious than a private island paradise? So you might not have all of these resorts entirely to yourself, but they offer the next best thing – seclusion, tranquillity, luxury and total escapism. Whether you need to leave everyday life behind for a while or wish to live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies, we know the best, most exclusive island resorts in the world.
Little Palm Island & Resort
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is a private island paradise located just off the Florida Keys coastline. It’s remote and only accessible by sea-plane or boat. A popular destination for US presidents and celebrities, the island has a strict no phones and no TVs rule, meaning total seclusion from the outside world. The island is around 5 ½ acres of tropical plants, palm trees and sandy beaches and only allows over 16s to stay. The resort is made up of 30 spacious oceanfront suites in 15 thatched roof bungalows decorated in an island-chic style. The resort offers guests all a guest could want including a pool, multiple beaches, a boutique, The Great Room (a glorified games room come library come lobby), a marina, a bar, a spa, a fitness centre, and a restaurant serving fresh seasonal food. If you are sailing around the Florida Keys, the island is the perfect place to dock for a couple of days of relaxation. Each bungalow has its own private deck or stretch of sand with lounge chairs and a hammock and the island is resplendent with tropical plants, palm trees and mangroves making for a truly verdant paradise. For total relaxation the on-island spa boasts an indulgent treatment menu including massages, body scrubs and a wooden Japanese soaking tub. The Lagoon-style pool in the centre of the island is great for an idyllic morning dip and for those more adventurous, kayaks and paddleboards are available on the beach and fishing and diving charters are available also.
Laucala Island, Fiji
12 square kilometers of tropical rain-forests, white sandy beaches, beautiful mangroves and seas brimming with interesting marine life make up Laucala Island, a private paradise in the South Pacific offering unparalleled luxury and seclusion. At Laucala Island no expense has been spared to create this 25-villa resort offering an opulent tropical retreat set amidst the heart of unspoilt natural beauty. Choose from very different and distinct villas whatever your tastes; eleven plantation villas sit amongst the coconut groves on a private beach, four sit atop the Nawi Mountain amongst luscious rainforest and boasting jaw-dropping ocean views, seven Seagrass villas sit along a white sandy beach as close to the ocean as you can get, the peninsula villa enjoys its own outcrop and crescent bay, the Overwater villa overlooks an emerald lagoon, whilst the Hilltop Estate sits at the highest point of the island with perhaps the best outlooks on the island archipelago. The resort has a collection of five restaurants and bars varying from beachside barbecues to fine dining. Activities on Laucala are varied and range from relaxing Fijian therapies at the spa to adventurous pursuits in the azure ocean. Guests can partake in a whole host of diversions including rainforest walking tours, golf on the 18-hole course, farm visits, horseback riding and snorkeling around the amazing reefs!
This stunning boutique beach resort is nestled on the peaceful Pamalican Island and offers guests the chance to get back to basics without forgoing those stylish and luxurious extras. The resort is made up of 40 beautiful beach-front villas amongst the verdant tropical landscape. The island itself is just five kilometres long meaning it often feels like it’s just you and the ocean. As with all Aman resorts, location is key and this place will stun you with its natural beauty. Aman resorts are known for their style as well as location and the traditional architecture of the Amanpulo casitas and villas blends seamlessly with the natural environment surrounding them. Inspired by native bahay kubo dwellings, rooms are timber framed and offer rustic island styling with luxe touches, a winning combination of opulence and simplicity. The resort enjoys it’s very own diving school where guests can appreciate the stunning reef fringing the islands coast. There is also a varied selection of water sports on offer for those who enjoy more action. The laidback island life of Amanpulo is maybe best characterised in their floating bar. Guests can enjoy the 30-metre Bougainvillia bordered swimming pool or relax on a nearby sun bed in the three open-air salsas.
Located on the beautiful atoll of a dozen small islands called Tetiaroa in the French Polynesia, The Brando is an all-inclusive luxury resort of 35 villas only accessible by private plane. The resort takes a unique view towards both offering the most authentic and enriching aspects of a luxury retreat whilst also making it their mission to protect and respect the important culture, history and biodiversity system of the island. They actively encourage education and outreach of guests, to increase knowledge and understanding for the natural and cultural heritage of the islands their people, all whilst maintaining the most sustainable processes as possible. Guests staying at The Brando can live out their paradise island fantasies in a place of breath-taking beauty. The resort boasts an abundance of activities from snorkelling in the local reefs and coral and sailing in the lagoon, to spending the day pampering themselves in the spa and wellness centre, rewinding on the long stretches of white sandy beach or enjoying a Polynesian dance lesson. The resort offers two restaurants showcasing the best in Polynesian-inspired dishes and classic French cuisine as well as a lagoon-view bar, a beach bar, a tennis court, a large infinity pool, a library and an environmental research station with guest programs. Marlon Brando himself fell in love with the island when he visited to film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and was so taken by the place he knew it needed to be protected and properly showcased. It is said the island was popular with Tahitian royalty through the centuries so you will be in good company staying here.
A relatively new island resort on the scene, Bawah opened in 2017 as a destination for the discerning world traveller who has a conscience about looking after the planet. This untouched paradise is made up of five islands around 150 nautical miles from Singapore by private seaplane. Guests to this island resort will enjoy over 300 hectares of tropical paradise including three lagoons, 13 white sandy beaches, and acres of lush jungle perfect for trekking around. The resort was specifically designed to allow guests to get back to feel at one with nature and enjoy a totally relaxing retreat whilst helping with environmental and ocean conservation. The island accommodates a maximum of 70 guests in 35 private villas, each specially designed to allow guests to live within the nature of the island. The décor is elegant and luxurious without being opulent. From Over-water bungalows to beachfront suites overlooking pristine lagoons, the island offers peace, tranquillity and unparalleled natural beauty. Each stay is fully inclusive with no hidden costs so you don’t have to worry about a thing. There is also a wellness centre on the island and plenty of opportunities for water sports, or simply discovering the local environment.
Hayman Island is a private island right at the heart of the Whitsunday national park and is the nearest of the islands to the Great Barrier Reef including the world-famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach, making it a must-visit for any nature lover. The resort itself features 160 guest rooms, suites, villas and penthouses, offering the best in ‘barefoot luxury’. The resort is fully equipped for every whim and want including a selection of restaurants and bars showcasing an array of local and international cuisine. There is a spa for those quiet days with an extensive menu of both traditional and contemporary treatments inspired by the local surroundings. For those looking for more action, there is a water sports centre, a state of the art fitness centre, a scuba centre, tennis, basketball and squash courts, plus various sailing opportunities. The island itself commands incredible views over the Coral Sea and is 294 hectares of natural Australasian beauty including a picture-perfect two-kilometre, crescent-shaped white sandy beach. Flights to the island are only 2 hours 40 minutes to Hamilton Island, before guests hop onto a luxury launch, seaplane or helicopter to make the short trip over to Hayman Island. Although the island offers the best in island luxury, it is also very welcoming for children and families and with so much to do, it would be rude not to bring the whole gang along!
Anantara Medjumbe Island
In the dreamy Quirimbas Archipelago of Mozambique lays Medjumbe Island, a haven of tranquillity and blissful romance. Known for its white sands, clear blue water and vibrant pink sunsets, this resort embraces true isolation. The resort is made up of just 12 beach pool villas with thatched roofs and views over the sparkling Indian Ocean. Wake up to incredible panoramic views of endless blue sea and golden African sun, before refreshing in your outside water shower or personal plunge pool, and then taking a stroll along the white sands (each villa has direct access to the beach).. The décor offers a nice balance of stone and wood whilst soft furnishings in vibrant colours and patterns are influenced by the local culture and blossoming underwater-scape. The resort offers guests an exciting selection of culinary delights too with Al Fresco dining at the Jahazi Restaurant or the Bahari Lounge Bar. Alongside extraordinary fresh seafood and other local specialities, guests will also soak up incredible ocean views. A stay at Medjumbe Island doesn’t have to mean total relaxation though – there is plenty of action for those who seek it too. From boarding down the desert dunes or whale and dolphin watching from a traditional Dhow boat to learning how to dive at the PADI-associated dive centre and water-skiing in the waves.
For those looking for 100% privacy, Gladden Island might be for you. The island only accommodates 2-4 guests and considers itself the world’s most private island resort. Only one residence is on the island, a 3-000 square foot villa offering incredible views from every room. For total panoramic vistas head up to the roof terrace and really find out how private this island is! Although the villa has two master bedrooms, it’s also the perfect place for a romantic treat for two! With your every whim catered for, the host couple, Peter and Colleen Leube have over 40 years’ experience between them and will make sure everything on your stay is perfect. In terms of dining, enjoy fresh fish straight from the surrounding waters alongside bottles of wine from the resort’s curated collection. Colleen is the in-house chef and has been Le Cordon Bleu trained so you are always sure for a delicious custom dining experience. The casually elegant villa is surrounded by aquamarine lagoons, vibrant coral and white sand perfect for escaping from it all. Staff don’t stay on the main island with you so there is ‘privacy meter’ to indicate if a team member is on the main island for any reason, ensuring total seclusion, unless you need something of course! In terms of activities, there are snorkelling opportunities or trips to the nearby Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve for scuba diving. Outside of the marine reserve, there are also various fishing opportunities and other local island resorts with various restaurants and bars to enjoy. This island is the ultimate in luxurious privacy.
COMO Parrot Cay
This award-winning resort is set on 1,000 acres of unspoilt Turks and Caicos natural beauty with its own mile-long beach. All the villas and suites have bright and fresh rooms which maximise on the abundant natural sunlight, all with views of either the sea or the islands verdant gardens. All villas have their own private pools and many have direct access to the beach alongside 24-hour access to the renowned COMO butlers, a service that allows guests to enjoy meals in complete privacy in their villas or beach picnics should they so desire. Dining on Como Parrot Cay is a rich experience with a choice of the relaxed poolside Lotus restaurant serving Caribbean-inspired and contemporary Asian dishes, whilst the Terrace restaurant offers Mediterranean fayre. COMO pride themselves on their personalised service, peaceful retreats and distinctive designs of their resorts and the Como Parrot Cay is no different. For relaxing, guests can take full advantage of the COMO Shambhala Retreat offering holistic treatments and wellness classes. For those in need of something more adventurous, the island offers plenty of that too, from diving and fishing to bike tours and kayak safaris, Como Parrot Cay is a great place to just escape from it all.
Vomo Island, Fiji
Designed to feel like a luxury home away from home, Vomo Island offers resort villas nestled in verdant gardens or private residencies on the beachfront all fully inclusive and equipped with full butler service, leaving you to relax and unwind in peace. The Vomo islands are made up of Vomo and the tiny island Vomo Lailai, which can be reserved by guests for private days and picnics. As Vomo itself is quite large, this resort never feels over-crowded and has multiple beaches meaning you can always find your own spot of tranquil paradise. In addition to beaches, Mount Vomo on the Eastern side of the island can provide a satisfying hike, rewarded with 360 panoramic views. Other activities on the island include snorkelling in the reefs, pitch and put on the 9-hole golf course, enjoying a match of tennis on the grass court, or learning how to dive at their fully licensed dive centre. The island is just 15 minutes helicopter ride from Nadi International Airport and offers visitors a luxury vacation whilst also enjoying a slice of Fijian culture – the resort try to incorporate traditions into their way of life here for an authentic experience. In terms of dining on the island, guests will be spoilt for choice as the executive chef and his team have created a great menu of world-class cuisine using the best fresh, locally sourced produce.