Sometimes getting away to a different country, no matter how exotic, doesn’t quite fit the bill. No, sometimes you need utter seclusion, an opportunity to focus on quality time with friends and family and time with your thoughts away from the cacophony of modern urban life. The answer, of course, is to hire a private island – and it’s easier than you think. Attached to some of the finest hotel’s in the world’s hottest travel destinations, here are thee private island retreat thats are a mere click away…
Elang at Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
One of the six tropical islands in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago that make up Bawah Reserve, Elang is the ideal retreat for those looking for utmost privacy. Making its debut this spring, Elang is the newest part of the resort to be developed and offers six cliffside lodges which can be booked individually or as an entire-island takeover for the ultimate group getaway. Just like the rest of the resort, each of the lodges has been designed by Sim Boon Yang with sustainability at their core, using recycled natural materials, bamboo, driftwood and hand-cut stone.
Every lodge also comes with private butler service, incredible ocean views and individual access to the island’s rocky coves while a clubhouse open to Elang guests only boasts a beachside restaurant and bar, Aura spa, private beach and infinity pool fed directly from the ocean. Guests staying on Elang will also be able to hop on a boat to enjoy the main resort’s restaurants, bars, beaches, wellness centre and a plethora of water sports including paddle boarding, sailing, diving, and kayaking.
Island takeover of Elang starts at £16,400 per night, visit bawahreserve.com
Islas Seclas, Panama
Just off the coast of Panama, the 14-island archipelago of Islas Seclas is one of the most beautiful locations from which to experience everything the central American country has to offer. Located on the lesser known Pacific coast, in the Gulf of Chiriquí, the resort is 33 nautical miles from the nearest town and, at present, offers room for just 18 guests at any one time. Each of the guest rooms – or casitas – are nestled within tropical gardens, ideally positioned to maximise on the island’s views and come with private pools, cabanas and every amenity you need for the most luxurious of stays.
If you’re taking over the resort for a family gathering, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a huge range of experiences on offer. Check in with the dedicated adventure concierge for your chance to spot a humpback whale, dive the teeming coral reefs, take a boat to the nearby Coiba National Park or try your hand at a spot of fishing.
Island takeover of Islas Seclas is available from £14,000 per night, visit islasseclas.com
Gaathafushi at W Maldives
The Maldives isn’t short of a private island or two – but Gaathafushi offers something a little different. Part of the exclusive W Maldives resort, the island can be hired for a range of experiences with guests enjoying the seclusion and privacy of having this desert island entirely to themselves.
If you want a taste of the private island lifestyle without the wallet draining cost this is the one for you. Opt for a barefoot BBQ and enjoy local delicacies, including lobster tail and spiced squid, served with your toes in the ocean or go the whole hog and choose the overnight Robinson Crusoe experience. Soak up the sunset as a private chef creates a gourmet candlelit meal before slipping into your luxurious bed beneath the stars. In the morning tuck in to a champagne breakfast as the sun rises over the horizon before returning to the main resort to enjoy all the amenities it has to offer.
Experiences at Gaathafushi start at £300 per couple, visit marriott.co.uk
Velaa Private Island, Maldives
Like we said, the Maldives is bursting with private islands waiting to be hired, but for something truly special, it’s hard to beat Velaa. Privacy and service are the utmost priority here – there’s a strict no-drone rule, a guest to staff ratio of 1:8 and dedicated butlers for every room, who pride themselves on being able to fulfil any request – no matter how big or small.
Each of the island’s expansive beach and water villas can be booked separately but, as long as you book for at least four nights, private takeover of the island is also available. And it’s quite a place to have to yourself. Along with its pristine white beaches and tropical forests, you’ll have your pick of infinity pools, a choice of five restaurants (and an incredible wine cellar), a full-service spa, nine-hole golf course, kid’s club and a whole ocean of crystal clear water to enjoy.
Exclusive use of Velaa Private Island starts at £780,600 per night for a minimum of four nights, visit velaaprivateisland.com
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Sir Richard Branson’s ‘home – and favourite hideaway’, Necker Island was developed into a grand resort by the businessman, determined to keep the island he fell in love free from the restrictions of British Virgin Islands law.
It features buildings erected with local stone and Asian antiques from Bali, coming together in a Balinese-themed ‘Great House’ comprising eight guest rooms. The island is home to a huge array of flamingos which nestle on its beaches, while the infinity pool offers an unparalleled vista of the stunning water, with the odd sailing boat bobbing up and down close to the shore. There’s also tennis courts, yoga classes, a gym and beach Olympics to keep the active entertained.
Having hosted giants of entertainment and society, such as Princess Diana, Mariah Carey and Kate Winslet, this is the height of private island luxury.
Exclusive hire of Necker Island is available from £68,300 per night, visit virginlimitededition.com
Join the Gentleman’s Journal Clubhouse here.