Today (March 17, 2014): Top 10 most exclusive private island resorts in the world.
The epitome of luxury is staying at a hotel that is set on its very own private island. No wonder these elite resorts on private tropical islands are some of the most exclusive hotel properties worldwide, offering peace, absolute discretion and word-class service (with prices to match).
There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite exclusive private island resort in the comments section, or take my poll below!
Set on its own small private island in the Sulu Sea, Amanpulo is the epitome of a southeast Asian tropical paradise. Owned by the famous Aman Resorts group – one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world – since December 1993, Amanpulo’s 40 casitas are twin-roofed bungalows in hillside and beachfront settings, each coming with a buggy for unlimited island exploration. The real attractions, besides the impeccable Aman service, are the sugar white sand beaches and crystal-clear aquamarine waters teeming with marine life. From Manila, guests travel one hour southwest by private plane, landing on Amanpulo’s own airstrip.
- Hotel website: Amanpulo
- Other accolades: Amanpulo also features in my top 10 list of luxury hotels with private airports.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and one a la carte lunch for 2).
Jumby Bay Island, an Oetker Collection property, is set on a 300-acre private island 2 miles off the coast of Antigua. Reachable only by boat, with no hint of urban intrusions and no indigenous population in sight, this privately owned hideaway has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Nowadays, the entire island, which comprises just 40 exquisitely appointed guest room and suites and a collection of villas and estate homes, may as well wear a “Do Not Disturb” sign. The resort’s 250 local staff return to the mainland every night, leaving just a sprinkling of staff, homeowners and guests.
- Hotel website: Jumby Bay Island
- Other accolades: Jumby Bay Island also features in my top 10 list of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD spa credit).
Parrot Cay by COMO, a favourite among celebrities, is an award-winning luxury resort set on its own private island of 1,000 unspoilt acres with a mile-long powdery soft beach. This exclusive island hideaway delivers foot-in-the-sand luxury with COMO’s service ethic, holistic therapies, yoga, diving and world-class cuisine. All rooms and suites have whitewashed interiors furnished with soft, cotton-covered chairs, airy four-poster beds and teak furnishing. The real stars are the private villas, with their own pools, direct beach access as well as the 24-hour service of COMO’s acclaimed butlers.
- Hotel website: Parrot Cay by COMO
- Other accolades: Parrot Cay by COMO also features in my top 10 lists of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean and luxury hotels loved by celebrities.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD hotel credit).
- Review: read my review of Parrot Cay by COMO here.
This is a close as you can get to an exclusive private island experience in the USA. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, this Florida Keys resort ranks among the world’s finest and is a secluded world of lush tropical gardens, crushed seashell paths, and 30 thatched-roof, Bahamas-style bungalows. With no phones or television, the soundtrack at this resort is the lapping of ocean waves, the rustle of the leaves in the breeze, and the melody of neighboring birds and tree frogs. Days are spent in hammocks fixed to the palm trees, lounge chairs on the small beach, and the world-class restaurant and spa.
- Hotel website: Little Palm Island
- Other accolades: Little Palm Island also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in the USA.
- Review: click here to read my review of Little Palm Island.
In a paradise nation where every hotel is located on its own, picture-perfect island, it is difficult to pick one favourite, but the Shangri-La Villingili is a standout since it is the largest of all Maldivian resort islands. The island, operated by one of Asia’s finest luxury hotel brands, lies in the extreme south of the archipelago in the Addu Atoll, and is a super-de-luxe resort on a grand scale, with 132 impressive overwater and beach villas (that come in 7 categories, in addition to 2 presidential villas) as well as a wealth of facilities from spa to tennis and golf.
- Hotel website: Shangri-La Villingili
- Other accolades: Shangri-La Villingili also features in my top 10 list of the best resorts in the Maldives.
Set on a private island off the northeast tip of Zanzibar, &Beyond Mnemba lodge offers guests the perfect destination to get away from it all. With just 10 palm-frond guest bandas on the entire island, the only intrusion may be a visit from a curious suni antelope or two at sundown. With a dive school and two dive boats for just 20 guests, you will never feel crowded during your underwater adventure in the balmy blue waters. when the magnificent African sky lights up with stars, dinner is served on the beach, with the bright moonlight reflecting off the waves as they gently lap on the beach.
- Hotel website: Mnemba Island
Sir Richard Branson’s 74 acre private island is unquestionably one of the most idyllic place in Caribbean. Branson first purchased the island in 1978 and it is now part of Virgin Limited Edition, Richard’s portfolio of unique retreats. There is a dedicated team of fabulous staff on the island plus more than 200 flamingos who are all part of the Necker family. Necker Island made news for all the wrong reasons in August 2011 when a lightning strike set fire to the Great House, but it is open for business again after an extensive restoration.
- Hotel website: Necker Island
- Other accolades: Necker Island also features in my top 10 lists of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean, the world’s most expensive hotels, and luxury hotels owned by celebrities.
Hayman Island, Australia’s iconic private island resort, presents astonishing natural beauty, restorative peace, indulgence and adventure. It was taken over and renovated by the famous One & Only hotel group in 2014, making it one of the most luxurious hotels that opened their doors in 2014. Located in the heart of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island is the northernmost of the Whitsunday Islands. Within this private island resort, stylish elegance reflects the harmony of nature with beautifully appointed accommodation set against the backdrop of the Coral Sea.
- Hotel website: One&Only Hayman Island
- Other accolades: One&Only Hayman Island also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Australia, the world’s most amazing beach resorts, the world’s best family hotels, and luxury hotels with private helipads.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and one island escape for two).
- Review: click here to read my review of One&Only Hayman Island.
A private island refuge in the South Pacific, Laucala unites dramatic rainforest-laced landscapes and white sandy beaches with unparalleled levels of luxury and privacy. It epitomizes the seclusion and graceful hospitality for which the Fijian archipelago is famed. No expense has been spared at the exclusive tropical hideaway, where 25 Fijian-styled villas are set amid coconut plantations, beside deserted beaches and atop the island’s volcanic mountains, overlooking fertile coral reefs and endless jungle.
- Hotel website: Laucala Island
- Other accolades: Laucala Island also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most expensive hotels, the world’s most over-the-top hotel experiences, and luxury hotels with private airports.
Located in the Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean blessed with the most beautiful beaches in the world, it should come as no surprise that North Island is one the world’s most exclusive island hideaways. The island has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. The resort was the decor for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
- Hotel website: North Island
- Other accolades: North Island also features in my top 10 lists of the best resorts in the Seychelles, the world’s most amazing beach resorts, the world’s best luxury hotels, the world’s most expensive hotels, and the world’s best honeymoon resorts.
- Review: read here my review of North Island Seychelles.