For those seeking an especially luxurious holiday, there is really no better choice than an exclusive private island offering an unparalleled degree of luxury in a remarkable location. There are many of these exotic destinations to choose from, often owned by famous entrepreneurs and tycoons, but that are also open as highly desirable resorts.
Perhaps, foremost among these is Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands and owned, somewhat fittingly, by Sir Richard Branson. It is 300,000 square metres of traditional desert island, now converted into a resort that can comfortably accommodate up to 28 people.
If you’re looking for cheap holidays, then look away now – a stay on Necker Island will cost around £34,000 per night (with a minimum 5-night stay), but this includes an attendant staff of up to 60 people, a personal chef and residence in one of the highly opulent Balinese-style villas that offer spectacular views across the island and the surrounding Caribbean Sea. Dinner can be served as a casual affair in the garden pagoda, or with silver service in the glorious dining room.
Privacy on Necker Island is assured as it is surrounded by coral reefs and largely untouched by charter boat tours in the region. There are plenty of activities to indulge in on the island including watersports, boat trips and helicopter excursions over the magnificent landscape of the British Virgin Islands.
Another particularly famous privately owned island is David Copperfield’s Musha Cay, situated in the aptly-renamed Copperfield Bay, in the Exuma Chain of the southern Bahamas. Perhaps its ultimate selling point is that it can host 24 guests and they’re all selected by you.
There is a wide range of tropical-style accommodations, each complete with four-poster beds, mahogany wrap-around decking and a private beach. The rates start at £23,500 per night, with a 4-night stay minimum; this includes all meals and beverages, access to the island’s state of the art amenities, including a gym and one night at ‘Dave’s Drive-In’ cinema.
Throughout your stay, you will be catered for by a 30-plus personal staff who pride themselves on their professionalism, courtesy and discretion. Musha Cay also offers a wide range of activities both on land and on the water, that make the most of the fantastic scenery of the island and its surroundings.
A very different private island experience is set to be offered by the ‘World’ development that is currently under construction off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This artificial archipelago contains several islands, arranged roughly to resemble a world map and covering a region of around six by nine kilometres.
As of now, there are no permanent residences on The World, but work is currently in progress and it seems likely that the resort offered there will be in keeping with the glamour and opulence that have come to characterise Dubai in recent years.
For certain, the location of these islands is ideal, just off the Jumeirah coast, jutting out into the warm azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. With its proximity to Dubai, trips to The World are likely to offer a far more lively experience than one of the more remote luxury islands, in the Caribbean for example.
Another truly luxurious island destination is Palm Island in the Caribbean archipelago of the Grenadines. It is only accessible by boat, a fact that assures a certain degree of privacy for all visitors and is only 135 acres in size, giving a wonderful sense of peace and quiet.
It is a true tropical paradise, with five glorious sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and vast tracts of forest that are home to a wide range of exotic species, including thousands of ecologically-protected iguanas.
The resort itself is designed to host a maximum of 40 guests, all of which are catered for by an exceptionally professional staff, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a bar which offers unequalled views of the magnificent Caribbean sunset. The rates vary depending on time of year and size of room, but range from £250 to £850 per night and include all food and drink and access to many of the island’s facilities.
Cocoa Island in the Maldives is another hugely desirable luxury island resort, which stands out because of its strong ecological ethos, meaning that the pristine tropical surroundings in which it is situated remain as natural as possible.
The island offers true indulgence, from the individual bungalows that overlook the shimmering cobalt ocean, to the restaurant offering gourmet Thai food and the wide range of soothing activities on offer, such as yoga and relaxing therapies. Excitement can also be found in numerous excursions and diving trips. Again, prices differ according to season and choice of specific accommodation, but the general range is between £500 and £2500. Half-board and full-board services are available, but both at an additional cost. Many of the relaxation classes, including some yoga and meditation are complimentary to allow you to get the most from your visit.