The World's Best Private Islands

Photo by Ceruti

by The Daily Telegraph, June 07, 2016

Set to welcome its first guests this December, Voavah in the Maldives will be the first Four Seasons private island. For the exclusive use of up to 22 guests, it will feature a spa, gym, library and its own yacht, while a dedicated staff will be on hand to ensure any request is dealt with promptly.

A home to Austrian Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz,  Laucala Island  accepts guests when he is not in residence. Cuisine is exceptional and the facilities extensive - among the many toys on offer to guests is  a £1 million submarine built just for two. Recent guest Elle Macpherson is so keen on the island that she rented it in its entirety as her wedding venue. A villa in the island costs from £2,500 per night.

Off the coast of Tanzania,  Thanda Island is a private marine reserve  with a strong focus on sustainability. Guests can expect to encounter incredible sealife when diving and snorkelling, or might prefer to simply sunbathe and dine - full-board is included in the rental price of $10,000 a night for groups of up to 10 people. 

Off the coast of Tasmania in Australia,  Satellite Island  was once the wild, ragged home of a reclusive writer and is now a tasteful retreat that accommodates groups of up to 12. Outdoor activities are popular, and guests can kayak, dive for crayfish, and simply enjoy taking things easy. Hire costs from £2,940 a night for 12 people.

Following a renovation and the development of a new presidential villa,  Cousine Island in the Seychelles  is again ready to welcome guests. Available on an exclusive-hire basis only, it is a perfect hideaway for family celebrations and offers a strong focus on conservation. The island comfortably accommodates 12 adult guests and six children, and full-board stays cost from £20,000 per night.

Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island  resort remains exclusive and welcomes just 30 people at a time, with complete private hire costing about £37,000 a night; previous guests have included Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates.

Owned by Czech billionaire Jiri Smejc,  Velaa Private Island  could well be the most luxurious resort in the Maldives. Surprisingly well-equipped - it features a shaded tennis court, golf course and seabobs in addition to an exceptional My Blend by Clarins spa  and restaurants -  Velaa can accommodate  80 or so guests and costs from $1.18 m (about £700,000) per night for up to six nights' exclusive rental.

Destroyed by cyclones in 2014 and 2015, Lizard Island  (149 miles north-east of Cairns) was extensively renovated and is now again operating as one of Australia's most exclusive private-island resorts. Guests stay in tastefully finished villas or suites, and can enjoy a range of water sports and impressively finessed dining options.

Off Koh Rong Peninsula near Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia,  Song Saa private island resort  stands in the middle of a 100-hectare marine reserve. It offers exceptional watersports facilities, an impressive spa and menus that change daily.

Opened in 2012,  Coco Privé Kuda Hithi  is the slickest home in the Maldives, with interiors by Guz Wilkinson in the two-storey Palm Residence and the five one-bedroom guest villas, two of which have private infinity pools.

The chef cooks to order and there are yachts, kayaks, speedboats and watersports equipment, spa therapists 24 hours a day, and transfers in a smart white yacht. From $32,500 (about £19,620) a night for 12 guests.

Isla Tagomago  offers some respite for residents who have been enjoying the nightlife in nearby Ibiza. Available to rent since 2008 and costing from €100,000/ £84,000 a week, it has been a temporary home to numerous celebrities and is regarded as  the best private island for hire in the Balearics.

The only accommodation option on the island is this villa, which features five double suites, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and LED lighting system which aims to provide an Ibiza-like atmosphere for any house parties residents might be throwing.

Formerly owned by Marlon Brando, The Brando is a private island resort  about 30 miles from Tahiti that now houses an exclusive, ecologically minded resort that houses just 35 villas.

The  14-acre holiday home  of Alex van Heeren, owner of The Huka Retreats and Grande Provence Estate in Franschhoek, was refurbished in 2011 to provide a “luxury castaway experience”. Interiors are relaxed yet smart, food is based around tropical fruit and seafood, and spa treatments utilise local plants and oils.

Watersports range from wakeboarding to fishing. For romance, spend one night in the hilltop “sleep-out bure”, a thatched open-air bedroom. A night's rental costs from NZ$9,160 (about £4,600) for eight guests.

North Island in the Seychelles  is recognised as one of the world's most  luxurious honeymoon destinations, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin just two of  the high-profile couples who recently spent that most significant holiday here.

It has 11 eco-friendly yet super-chic open-plan villas. It has a spa, gym and pool built into giant granite rocks. Wildlife and conservation are key here, hence activities such as diving with conservationists, walking with Aldabra giant tortoises and lessons in astronomy. From €59,798 (about £48,900) per night for up to 22 guests.

Fregate Island Private stands alongside North Island as the most luxurious private island in the Seychelles . Recently taken over by the Oetker Collection, the resort has been completely refreshed and provided with a marina, yacht club, tree house and kids' club.

The island is also home to  one of the world's largest populations of Aldabra giant tortoises  - some 2,200 roam free throughout the island - and it remains a haven for threatened birds.

Dolphin-shaped Li Galli island off the Amalfi Coast in Italy is a particularly glamorous address. Once the property of dancer Rudolf Nureyev, it has welcomed Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy and many more illustrious guests. The property at Li Galli comprises six rooms, a sea-water pool, large chapel and a staff of nine to look after guests' every need. Rates on request only.

Wadigi Island  in the Mamanuca Islands in FIji accepts a maximum of just six guests but it still comes with two chefs, a maid and a boat captain.

Guests can while away the day in the island pool or at one of its two private beaches; if the general setting seems familiar it may be because the Tom Hanks film Castaway was filmed at nearby Monuriki island. A one-night rental of the island costs from $2,350-$7,000 (about £1,425-£4,240). 

A private island for people who don't want to be too isolated, Ile des Deux Cocos is placed 200 metres from sister property  Lux Le Morne  - which offers day trips to the island at set times and can offer overnight stays to those who want it to themselves. Guests reside in the island's villa, which has two bedrooms and a number of staff. A stay on the island costs from €1,650 (£1,200) per night. 

A 90-minute flight from Manila, 120-hectare  Ariara Island contains just eight villas so there's plenty of space for everyone. Each villa has uninterrupted sea views and windsurfing, water skiing, snorkelling and scuba diving are all popular activities for guests staying here. Rental of the entire island costs from $30,030 (£20,000) for six guests.

The  150-acre getaway  of the magician David Copperfield has five houses, and is surrounded by 10 of his other islands (one of them with a landing strip for those with bigger jets). Facilities include a beach cinema, a floodlit tennis court, a billiards table that once belonged to Houdini, and an on-site entertainer. 

The best of the 40 beaches is a long sand spit on which lunch can be served for two. From $37,500 (about £22,600) per night for the entire island, for up to 12 guests. 


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