Where would you first go if won the lottery? It’s a question posed around many a half cut Sunday dinner table each week, with the answers routinely as remote as the odds of actually winning the bloody thing. But should you be fortunate enough to have the finances for such an adventure now, IRL as opposed to hypothetically, then a getaway to your own private, isolated and uninterrupted island has got to be up there with the dreamiest of dream holidays. So, after donating a considerable amount to charity and making sure you’ve paid all of your taxes, make it a reality, with these; our 5 IDEAL private island holiday ideas.
NORTH ISLAND, SEYCHELLES
The East African coast has some of the most luxurious travel destinations out there. Perhaps the Seychelles — a small archipelago on the east coast of Africa – is home to the most luxurious of them all. Yep, The Seychelles’ North Island skyrocketed in popularity as it was chosen as the honeymoon destination for Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 and has been under the spotlight ever since. It’s been called the world’s most exclusive hideaway for good reason, and requires a twenty minute helicopter ride from Seychelles International Airport, Mahe, to reach it. The best times to visit are April and October, when the water is most calm and temperatures warm; if you can afford to holiday here, you can afford to be picky about the particular month you go.
THANDA ISLAND, TANZANIA
2000km inland east from the Seychelles, Thanda Island, belonging to Tanzania, is another captivating tourist destination set in the shallow, crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s located on the east coast of Tanzania, and it is a paradise for those looking for a secluded yet luxury island accommodation.
If you want the island pretty much to yourself, then you’ll be pleased to hear Thanda Island is home to just a single villa and two beach chalets, and the whole island is made so that you and your family or friends can have it to yourself. The island has its own marine reserve, replete with sea turtles’ nests and whale sharks. Don’t worry, they’re pretty gentle and hospitable should you wish to swim alongside them. Though Thanda Island has only been operational in terms of receiving guests for three years, it’s also won a host of awards, such as last year’s World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island as deemed so by World Travel Awards.
KIHAVAH ISLAND, MALDIVES
‘An island paradise’ is a claim often floated by hotel companies, and given wings by those not knowing any better. However, the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is, in every essence, deserving of that title. Located on the Baa Atoll in a UNESCO protected biosphere and surrounded by nothing by turquoise waters, it doesn’t get much better than this. Wishing to keep the pristine nature of the island intact, not one tree has been moved – as evidenced by the villas growing up around them and moving to the natural world’s rhythm, not the other way round. Tranquillity is the watchword here; you can snorkel with mantas and sea turtles, dine on a deserted sandbank under the stars or simply watch the sunset in your very own over the blue azure waters.
TURTLE ISLAND, FIJI
With a maximum occupancy of just 28 people, Turtle Island has only 14 villas which accommodate couples, thus ensuring one of the most exclusive and romantic stays you could find anywhere in the world. For that reason, it’s one of the most popular destinations for honeymoons, or even wedding ceremonies, held along one of the private beaches the island features from time to time for the lucky ones. Though the ‘committed couples only’ policy may sound a little draconian and insular, its exclusivity you asked for, so its exclusivity you’ll get. Those 14 villas are matched by a total of 14 beaches, as though such synergy was written in the stars. You won’t have any trouble seeing them by the way, with crystal clear waters mirroring crystal clear skies at night; basically, it’s impossible not to stargaze.
Some of the other more active activities you can enjoy on Turtle Island include kava ceremonies, horseback riding, kayaking, scuba diving or snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, and many, many more.
CAYO ESPANTO, BELIZE
A helicopter ride from Belize City, Cayo Espanto, just off Ambergris Caye, is perhaps the premier world destination for uninterrupted snorkelling, scuba diving and general sea life exploration, owing to nearby Belize Barrier Reef. That’s assuming you’d want to leave this tiny part of paradise (just seven villas here) for even a second. Those villas are akin to the most glammed up treehouse you could imagine, with wood furnishings given the opulent treatment. Rather than a tumble from the top into dusty ground, however, you’ll find the deep blue sea catches your fall. Bliss. The tastemakers and award givers seem to agree; Cayo Espanto won Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Award last year.