Getting away from it all takes on a whole new meaning when you have an entire tropical island all to yourself. These exceptional private escapes combine spectacular scenery with one-of-a-kind excursions and five-star amenities. This summer, seclusion is the ultimate luxury
Taprobane Island, Sri Lanka
You’re guaranteed to make an entrance at Taprobane — Sri Lanka’s only privately owned island. A tiny two-and-a-half-acre island shrouded in lush tropical gardens, the Indian Ocean’s most prestigious address is accessed in one of two ways: wading knee-deep through crystal clear waters or on the back of an elephant. The island is home to just one residence, an elegant Neo Palladian mansion originally built by the self-appointed Count de Mauny-Talvand in the late 1920s. The British eccentric came across the island on his quest for an ‘earthly paradise’ and called it home until his death in 1941.
Now the fully refurbished villa and island are available for exclusive hire through Vladi Private Islands, providing a true slice of secluded luxury, perfect for families or a romantic getaway. Soak up panoramic views of the ocean from the sprawling verandahs and the villa’s gorgeous infinity pool — or enjoy freshly cooked seafood prepared by your very own private chef. https://www.vladi-private-islands.de/
Gladden Private Island, Belize
Fly over the jewel-like waters of the Belize Barrier Reef, and something special will come into view down below: Gladden Island. Known as the most private island in the world, the island is located 20 miles northeast of Placencia, Belize. The tiny white-sand island is home to a stylish 3,000 sq ft villa — and little else. Featuring just two master bedrooms, Gladden is designed as the ultimate romantic escape – but can accommodate up to four people should you need the company.
Even the staff (who reside, along with infrastructure and generators, on a smaller neighbouring island) have adopted a ‘privacy metre’, which indicates whether a member of the team is on the main island, meaning you and your significant can enjoy ultimate privacy. That is, apart from the incredible wildlife and sea creatures who call this little-explored corner of the world home. http://www.gladdenprivateisland.com/
Satellite Island, Tasmania
Speaking of little-known areas of outstanding natural beauty, they don’t come more far-flung than Satellite Island –– a rustic gem located off the southern tip of Tasmania. The island is reached via a 20-minute helicopter ride from Hobart, or a leisurely 90-minute cruise down the picturesque D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Available for exclusive hire only, Satellite Island was discovered by French explorer Joseph-Antoine Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792, who used it as a base for stargazing, hence the name.
In the 1960s, it was purchased by Ian Alstergren, a writer and poet who fell in love with the island’s rugged beauty as it reminded him of his native Norway. Alstergren left it to his nephew, Will, who, along with his wife, Kate, transformed it into a unique retreat for those looking for a wild, back-to-nature escape. It’s hard not to fall for the charms of Satellite Island’s simple, sustainable lifestyle and untamed landscapes. Spend your days exploring golden grasslands and pebble beaches and coves. Sleep under the stars in a luxury bell tent, and dine on freshly shucked wild oysters over a hilltop bonfire with a glass of local wine in hand. http://satelliteisland.com.au/Island/
Denis Island, the Seychelles
Sustainability is an unexpected benefit of holidaying on a private island – as these remote havens are self-sufficient by their very nature. In particular, Denis Island – a 375-acre private island located 80km north of Mahé in the Seychelles – has impressive eco-credentials. Fish is caught fresh every day, and poultry, pork and even cheese are sourced from the island’s very own organic farm. This gorgeous white-sand paradise also runs a number of interactive conservation programmes throughout the year, and is a breeding ground for endangered Hawksbill turtles.
Through the Green Islands Foundation, a conservation programme established on the island, a number of rare and endangered birds native to the Seychelles have seen their numbers flourish. Here televisions and phone reception are replaced by plunge pools, in-villa spa treatments and once-in-a-lifetime snorkelling and scuba excursions in picture-postcard protected lagoons. The perfect digital detox. http://denisisland.com/
Dolphin Island, Fiji
Spread out over a stretch of ocean the size of Western Europe, yet populated by just 15,000 people, the diminutive islands of the South Pacific are some of the most remote and breathtakingly beautiful on the planet. In Fiji, situated a 20-minute boat ride north of the main island, sits Dolphin Island — a private slice of paradise. Up to eight people can rent the entire place, with accommodation spread out over four bures, traditional Fijan wood-and-straw huts fitted with plenty of 21st century mod-cons.
The stylish Main Bure provides entertainment and leads out to a glamorous infinity pool overlooking the beach and sea. There is also the option to spend the night in the hilltop ‘Sleep-Out Bure’, a semi-open boudoir located on the other side of the island. With a small team of friendly staff to cater to your every whim, it’s the ideal location to hit the refresh button. Dolphin Island also offers immersive experiences where guests can learn about Fijan culture, such as traditional kava ceremonies and tapa cloth making sessions. https://www.dolphinislandfiji.com/
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