Feeling frazzled? Then it’s high time to cast yourself adrift to luxuriate in splendid isolation on one of the region’s surprisingly numerous private island resorts. From palm-fringed inlets to Technicolor sunsets, a private island retreat offers the ultimate in relaxation – with all the trimmings. Power down your phone, pack that stack of paperbacks you’ve been meaning to read and reset your body clock to island time: it’s time for your greatest escape.
Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Less than 85km – but somehow a whole world away – from Singapore’s glittering skyline lies Nikoi Island. Ringed with white sandy shorelines and vivid coral reefs, Nikoi’s centre is shrouded in rainforest, resulting in amazing biodiversity seen in its native plants, animal and bird life. Marrying traditional Indonesian craftsmanship with contemporary design, Nikoi boasts just 15 stilted beach houses, all with breathtaking sea views, guaranteeing privacy and total escape from the daily grind. Swim, sail, snorkel, spa or simply soak up the serenity – you’re off the clock.
Cempedak Island, Indonesia
Owned by the same team as Nikoi Island, Cempedak Island’s self-proclaimed “Crusoe Luxe” style ensures that everyone here is a VIP… shoes optional! The resort has been intelligently crafted, with the villas’ statement curved natural grass roofs designed to harness the sea breeze – nature’s own air-conditioning. Your neighbours are a thriving native population of hornbills, eagles and kingfishers, and you’ll also find endangered pangolins and playful sea otters enjoying the protection offered by Cempedak’s secluded location.
Amanwana Moyo Island, Indonesia
Tent living just got a whole lot more luxe at Amanwana. The only property on Moyo Island, this swanky tropical resort near Bali features just 20 secluded tented suites – with your closest neighbours being the wild Rusa deer and macaque monkeys that surface for morning appearances outside your window. Surrounded by lush greenery with sweeping views over golden sands and turquoise waves, Amanwana combines the ultimate in comfort (think sumptuous king-sized beds and spacious ensuite bathrooms) with the spirit of romance and adventure – even if the furthest you end up venturing is the fabulously indulgent waterside Jungle Cove Spa.
The only property on Pamalican Island, the luxurious Amanpulo resort offers fabulously lavish accommodation, with sole access to over five kilometres of pristine coral sand beach. Designed to resemble indigenous Bahay Kubo homes, Amanpulo’s beachside, treetop and hillside villas all feature chilled-out decks with hammocks from which to enjoy the stunning views of the turquoise sea below. Fill your schedule with Amanpulo’s signature aquatic adventures (including diving, windsurfing and sailing), recharge in the award-winning spa or feast upon locally caught seafood – the choice is yours.
Voted number one in British Vogue’s “100 Most Fashionable Places To Stay In The World”, you know you’re in for an incredible experience with a stay at Ariara. The ultimate in exclusive experiences, this fully staffed destination offers you and 17 friends free reign of the entire island. Think luxury beach “cottages” with Romblon marble bathtubs, open-air showers and wrap-around verandas, plus a plush central lodge with infinity pool, 600-metre white sand beach and thriving house reef to snorkel. The ultimate house party begins here.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Spread over a pair of isles in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago, Song Saa’s incredible ocean views, pristine coral reefs and breathtaking sunsets epitomise pure paradise. Its 24 villas – each with their own sea-view private plunge pool, of course – are designed to reflect the natural beauty of Cambodia’s coastline; built from reclaimed timber with thatched roofs and up-cycled driftwood furnishings, these eco-glam sanctuaries are stylish proof of Song Saa’s admirable commitment to sustainability and conservation. You can choose to do as much or as little as you want here, with rainforest tours, island safaris and reef snorkelling just some of the activities on offer that showcase this spectacular destination.
Lizard Island, Australia
Situated at the northern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef, 27 kilometres away from the Queensland coastline, Lizard Island takes the art of seclusion to stunning new levels. The setting is just as wow-worthy as you would expect, with crystal-clear oceans and shimmering coral reef gardens as far as the eye can see; as home to an amazingly diverse range of marine life, you can look forward to mesmerising snorkelling and diving opportunities right on your doorstep too. Oh, and did we mention the 24 pristine, powder-white private beaches you’ll have access to? Island living doesn’t get much more magical than this.
Laucala Island, Fiji
This heavenly South Pacific hideaway is set over 3500 acres of land, nestled amidst coconut plantations, unspoilt beaches, volcanic mountains and verdant rainforest. Its 25 Fijian-style villas are scattered in equally awe-inspiring locations across the island – think ringed by rainforest atop Nawi Mountain, overwater above an emerald-green lagoon or on your very own private beach – and built from natural materials, honouring Laucala’s commitment to sustainability. With a hilltop spa, golf course, equestrian centre and fleet of 14 boats, there’s no possibility of being bored here either… although simply sitting back and soaking up this Eden on Earth is pretty tempting too.