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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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.


Tucked away in a little-known corner of the Caribbean (off the coast of Nicaragua), Calala Island is a hidden gem featuring just four suites on the entire island, accommodating a maximum of eight guests (suites can be rented individually or the entire Island booked exclusively). A dedicated team of 30 staff for a 4:1 staff to guest ratio caters for guests’ every desire. Dining is a moveable feast: on your terrace, in the restaurant, at the pool bar or on the beach. Expect Michelin-inspired tasting meus in the evening and casual classics at lunch. The island is a nesting site for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles so expect to see them laying, hatching and meandering to the sea during the various seasons.


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).


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.


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.


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.


Set upon 3,500 exclusive acres COMO Laucala 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.


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.


Soneva Fushi, the first ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style hideaway in the Maldives, is set on the privately owned tropical island of Kunfunadhoo in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The island – which is 1,400 m (4,600 ft) long and 400 m (1300 ft) wide – ranks among the largest islands in the Maldives. Apart from the crystal clear waters, white beaches and tropical climate, the island’s unusually rich vegetation offers a unique natural experience. Massive, multi-bedroom, fairytale-like luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. In summer 2020, Soneva Fushi also unveiled eight fabulous water retreats, which are the largest and most luxurious overwater villas in the world.

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


North Island is the world’s most exclusive private island resort 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 Princess of Wales in 2011.

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  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.

  4. These islands surely look very good and your post has truly captured the essence of it. Thanks for the good post and also the suggestions, and I have also read in , there are a lot of good offer there.

  5. Have you stayed on Bedarra Island? Barefoot luxury, wonderful food & impeccable service, no under 16s. A Queensland tropical getaway without the razzle dazzle.

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