Top 10 most exclusive private island resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today: Top 10 most exclusive private island resorts in the world

The epitome of luxury travel is staying at a fabulous 5-star hotel that is set on its very own private island. The following ten elite resorts, all of them located on private tropical islands, rank among the most exclusive hotel properties worldwide, offering absolute discretion, unique experiences, and word-class service (with price tags that match their reputations).

There’s more information (with reviews + YouTube videos) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Leave a comment, or take my poll below!

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10. INTERCONTINENTAL HAYMAN ISLAND, GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA

Hayman Island is a private island resort in the heart of the Whitsundays, managed by the InterContinental Hotel Group. The nearest island to the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island is ideal for nature based activities and exceptional guest experiences. Featuring 160 guest rooms, suites, villas and penthouses across three main accommodation wings, the property presents guests the ultimate in barefoot luxury. Restaurants and bars offer an array of local and international cuisines, while the spa is a heaven for the body and soul. The resort’s on-island experiences range from nature-bound walking trails, immersive wildlife tours, fish feeding, cultural weaving classes and a curated collection of sports and fitness activities including yoga, tennis lessons, state-of-the-art golf simulator and more.


9. AMANPULO, PHILIPPINES

Accessible only by private plane, tropical Pamalican Island is around an hour from Manila, yet feels a world away from anywhere. Managed by the famous Aman group – one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world – since December 1993, Amanpulo is the only property on this Philippine island. Its 40 airy casitas and villas open to 5.5 km (3,5 miles) of coral sand that encircle a jungled center. With a convivial poolside clubhouse, an Aman spa, dive center and a laidback beach club, guests can be as active as they choose; a snorkel on your private beachfront might be all the exertion required to complete a day of restorative lounging. Other diversions include tennis courts, island hikes, turtle spotting and exploring the kaleidoscopic reefs just offshore.

  • Hotel websiteAmanpulo
  • Other accolades: Amanpulo also features in my top 10 list of luxury hotels with private airports.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and one a la carte lunch for two).


8. JUMBY BAY ISLAND, ANTIGUA

Jumby Bay Island, an Oetker Collection property, is set in one of the most beautiful, undisturbed places in the world, on a 300-acre private island 3 km (2 mi) off the coast of the Caribbean island 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 websiteJumby Bay Island
  • Other accolades: Jumby Bay Island also features in my top 10 list of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, a welcome culinary amenity, and $100 USD resort credit).


7. COMO PARROT CAY, TURKS & CAICOS

COMO Parrot Cay, a favorite among celebrities, is the northern Caribbean’s preeminent private island, wrapped in sweeps of sand and peaceful seas in the Turks and Caicos. It combines 1,000 unspoiled acres and a 1.5 km (1 mi) long, powder-sand beach with relaxed luxury. The region’s best spa, the award-winning COMO Shambhala Retreat, provides holistic, Asian-inspired therapies. Guests can choose from 72 unique guest rooms, suites, villas, and beachside houses, all decorated with understated elegance. For absolute privacy, reserve a residence tucked away from the main resort. The island’s two restaurants serve gourmet dishes, including organic, healthful COMO Shambhala cuisine.


6. &BEYOND MNEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA

If you have ever harbored the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself, &Beyond Mnemba Island is just the place for you. This romantic, private hideaway is an award-winning barefoot beach paradise just off the northeast coast of Zanzibar, accommodating a maximum of 24 guests at a time. Guest relax and unwind in the exclusivity of their own stretch of beachfront, where 12 beachside bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest and overlook the Mnemba atoll (a scuba diver’s delight). From snorkeling, swimming, ands kayaking to massages in the beach, to doing nothing at all, &Beyond Mnemba Island has something for everyone.


5. LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI

Set upon 3,500 exclusive acres Laucala private island resort is set amidst coconut plantations, sandy beaches, rich green mountains and breathtaking natural beauty. True luxury is appreciated in the privacy of the resort’s 25 Fijian-styled villas widely spread on the northern tip of the island. Seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living creates an inspiringly relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere. Featuring an iridescent kaleidoscope of activities – scuba diving, sailing, fishing, tennis, cycling, golf, yoga, culture nights, tours, and water sports – the resort’s integral philosophy incorporates the island’s resources into guest experiences, with products and ingredients raised and grown on the island for use in the spa and across the five gourmet restaurants and bars.


4. THE BRANDO, FRENCH POLYNESIA

The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Tahiti. The Brando offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature and is only accessible by a 20-minute private plane flight from Tahiti. The resort’s 35 villas sit on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. This Polynesian style resort also offers two restaurants showcasing Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine, as well as a luxurious spa and wellness center. It was in this natural wonderland that the legendary actor Marlon Brando settled down, and finally found his home.

THE BRANDO, FRENCH POLYNESIA


3. TIME + TIDE MIAVANA, MADAGASCAR

Located on an idyllic island off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Time + Tide Miavana is very possibly the most remote luxury castaway  in the world. Fringed by an exceptionally beautiful white sand beach and a sprawling coral reef, the resort represents an insanely beautiful haven where guests can enjoy unique bespoke experiences in ultimate privacy. Dotted along the pristine beach, the resort’s 14 massive pool villas are a masterpiece in luxury and design. Guests step directly onto the powder-soft sand from their private decks to enjoy spectacular panoramic Indian Ocean sunsets extending to the far contours of mainland Madagascar. Boat and helicopter transfers are provided to the mainland, where the resort’s guides can lead you to a world of lemurs and chameleons, and a mosaic of unexplored coves.


2. SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES

Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on Medhufaru island, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The Maldives’ most exclusive and stunningly beautiful hotel is fringed by pristine white beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Each one of Soneva Jani’s massive water villas has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with most villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Jani (e.g. resort credit, and two personalized Soneva experiences).


1. NORTH ISLAND, SEYCHELLES

North Island is the world’s most exclusive hideaway and one the best hotels I’ve ever been to. The insanely beautiful island has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto your private garden and the beach. Plunge pools and outdoor showers provide the finishing touches to your private sanctuary. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive center, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. The resort was the decor for the honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.


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8 Comments

  1. Thank you Luxury Travel Experts for being such wonderfully thorough, inspiring and discerning travelers. Each and every post you write leaves me bursting with enthusiasm for wanting to try out each and every place/ flight you write about. And don’t even get me going about this Top 10 of the worlds resorts post. Oh My God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just the absolute business 🙂

  2. You might want to include Lupita Island on your list. Exclusive, remote and a totally hidden gem. Tourist free on the magnificent Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. 110 acres with 10 private villas. Can be hired exclusively or as one of the guests. Pure personalised service.

  3. It is really very important to know about the best private island resort clearly. From Your Post, we get much valuable information on this topic. So, thanks for this informative post.

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