Private islands give you a chance to soak in the wonders of a dream location while staying in a resort built to showcase the island in its utmost secluded splendor. Usually the island is part of the nation it’s within, and many give you access to exotic beauty. If you have the funds, splurge on one of these once-in-a-lifetime beach escapes.
Here’s a look at the 10 best private islands in the world.
Akitua, Cook Islands
Experience the South Seas on Akitua in the Cook Islands. The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa sits on a sand teardrop called Akitua with 29 bungalows with roofs thatched from hand-woven coconut palm leaves steps from the water and seven more sitting over the water. Dine on Umu that has been slow-roasted all day or choose traditional island fare such as parrotfish, yellowfin tuna, mahimahi, wahoo and other seafood and local fruits and vegetables. Locals call this the best views on Earth in the world’s most beautiful lagoon.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
This private island off the coast of Belize features only six villas, including the overwater Casa Ventanas that sits at the end of a 150-foot private dock. The chef personally meets with each guests every morning to determine the menu for the day and the spa uses elements of the nearby Mayan culture to develop treatments.
Frègate Island, Seychelles
Wrap yourself in the natural environment of Seychelles on Frègate Island with its reserved sanctuary areas for rare magpie robins and terrapins. Treatments at the Rock Spa use fruits and vegetables growing on the island, or dine on those treats at the Plantation Restaurant. Each of the 16 private villas has its own swimming pool.
Lizard Island, Australia
The four-square-mile Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef off northeastern Australia gives you ample opportunities to see large lizards and giant clams up close and personal. Laze on one of the 24 private white sand beaches; take a three-hour hike to Cook’s Look or snorkel in the Giant Clam Gardens. If you want an even more remote locale, grab a dinghy and row out to Palfrey Island with a picnic basket. None of the 40 cottages have a lock on the door.
Stay in Fiji’s only treehouse resort on the half-square-mile horseshoe-shaped island of Matangi. These 11 bures are nestled in the jungle. For a private beach experience, head over to Horseshoe Bay for a picnic lunch and snorkeling or take a boat ride to the Great White Wall dive site.
Pamalican Island, Philippines
Set alone amid the Palawan Islands in the Philippines is Pamalican, a comet-shaped island with white sand beaches. A hike around the island on the stunning beach takes a mere 90 minutes. Each of the 40 cottages on the island is designed in the native style of bahay kubo. You can escape from everything in the Nature Villa, a private four-bedroom mini-compound outfitted with its own open-air dining pavilion, courtyard, beach and staff of three.
Peter Island, British Virgin Islands
The spa is a main reason to head to Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands. A selection of the treatments native to the island such as the thermal sand bundle massage and the tropical lime and ginger buff are favorites of visitors. Choose to have your treatment in a private spa bohio that overlooks the Big Reef Bay. The only way to access the 52 rooms and three villas is via private boat.
Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos
Capture the feel of the old Caribbean on Pine Cay in Turks & Caicos. Each of the 13 suites sits on the two-mile sugar-white beach. The Meridian Club discourages cell phones, and you won’t find any televisions. Only unspoiled nature at your fingertips for pristine solitude.
Sonora Island, British Columbia, Canada
While the coastline of British Columbia is dotted with private islands, most serve local fisherman with the exception of Sonora Island. Sonora Resort, part of the Discovery Islands on the mouth of Bute inlet, contains 12 rustic lodges with modern appointments in the midst of Canadian wilderness. Bald eagles and black bears roam the red and yellow cedars while offshore you can see orcas and porpoises. The resort closes from November through April, but in the summer you can see grizzly bears catching salmon on an eco-adventure boat tour.
Veli and Dhigu, Maldives
The twin islands Veli and Dhigu in the South Malè Atoll of the Maldives are connected by long walkways and free shuttles across the lagoon, so you can share the eight restaurants and two spas between the two Anantara Resorts. Find out about the history of the Maldives when island chief Didi shares historical tales or learn to cook up Thai cuisine at the Anantara Cooking School.