An island of your own


Amanpulo – Philippines

Renowned for getting everything right when it comes to the traveller experience, Aman Group’s Pamlican Island is home to Amanpulo, a stunning coral-fringed island accessed only by plane, and covered in lush tropical greenery and coconut palms, where hammocks are as de rigueur as a Hermès handbag. It’s home to 40 private villas, called casitas, based on local architecture and either set on a hillside, treetop or beachfront, each with super comfortable bedrooms and loads of indoor/ outdoor areas, and spread out so people can enjoy total privacy. However, guests are invited to come together any time of the day or night at the resort’s restaurant and bar, which sits alongside the 30-metre pool, and offers astounding views of the ocean.

Paparazzi-proof and filled with all the trappings of luxury that only a very select can dare to dream, these private island paradises offer the traveller a chance to venture far away from mainstream living and indulge like nobody’s watching.


Pulau Joyo – Indonesia

Originally the domain of an Indonesian tycoon shipping family, Pulau Joyo has been transformed into an idyllic tropical setting just off the Riau Archipelago, close to Singapore. There are eight, elegantly–furnished, private beachfront villas set amongst lush, tropical vegetation, affording guests complete privacy within the comfort of their residence. Despite its castaway image, the resort’s sophisticated, understated style, combined with the natural beauty of the island, offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to let go of all their worldly stresses, with a whole host of activities including snorkelling, kayaking, stand up paddling, and not least their floating resort, a 140-foot charter yacht called The Hang Tuah, which is an ideal way to visit more of Joyo’s island neighbours for picnics and to explore the many white sandbanks nearby.


Ariana – Philippines

One of the many jewels in the Palawan crown is Ariara, the six-year labour of love of a British couple, who upon finding their Eden, decided to create paradise and then share it with like-minded travellers from across the globe who “don’t do hotels”. Partly covered in jungle and ringed by white sand beaches, gin-clear waters, the retreat is designed and staffed like a luxurious private home, and offers service at the very top end of the scale, while at the same time retaining that casual ambience so befitting to its tropical island surroundings. Catering for up to only 18 guests at a time in four luxurious beach cottages and four jungle villas, with a communal lodge to bring everyone together whenever the privacy gets too much.


Song Saa Private Island – Cambodia

Just a 35-minute speedboat ride from the port of Sihanoukville are two islands known as Song Saa – Khmer for The Sweethearts – and it is here, surrounded by coral reefs and warm waters, that is home to the Song Saa Private Island, a resort offering a mix of fine living and pure harmony with nature. Offering over-water, jungle or hillside villas, the resort has a world-class restaurant and lounge bar, spectacularly positioned just off the island’s shoreline and surrounded by sea. It is also heavy on getting guests to unwind, with a spa and wellness centre and a dedicated yoga and meditation centre; loads of watersports including scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling, and boating; and a fascinating ecological programme to experience the area’s flora and fauna.


Nikoi Island – Indonesia

Sitting just off Batam, Nikoi has been developed as an ecologically sound holiday destination with the preservation of the island’s natural beauty as a priority, while at the same time providing the Robinson Crusoe-inspired, barefoot elegance for its guests. As such, only one third of the island is devoted to the resort, with the remaining part just as the owners found it – a desert island. Consisting of 15 beach houses made with local driftwood and all leading directly out to the white sand beach that surrounds the island, it offers a simplicity that the discerning traveller so yearns for in this fast-paced world. Sand and wood floors, net-enclosed beds, thatched roofs, beach-view balconies, open-air tropical bathrooms and gentle sea breezes set the scene for romance and retreat.

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