Sun-worshippers, add this to your bucket list of tropical vacays. Rent any of these private islands in Southeast Asia for glorious sunsets, empty beaches, lush rainforests and vibrant entertainment
How often do you catch yourself dreaming of a tropical vacay while at work, or while swerving past the shopping crowds or battling the CBD’s clogged roads? We’ve all been there. But let’s face it: the true realities of an island holiday are often tainted by the deluge of tourists. Two words if you’re tired of overcrowded beaches and mediocre tourist traps: private islands. Yes, it’s possible! Rent out an entire sunny isle, and we can assure you complete seclusion and utter relaxation. Best of all, these holiday packages are pretty reasonable if you’re bringing your best mates. Keep reading – you’ll want to note our picks of private islands to rent in Southeast Asia.
There’s no need for plane rides to this island paradise. Located off the Southeastern corner of Bintan Island, Pulau Pangkil is only accessible via ferry. When hiring Pangkil, you’ll receive the whole package: accommodation, snorkelling equipment, the bar, sound system, speedboats and a staff of over 20 to cater to assorted whims and fancies. Nine Driftwood Palaces are available for guests; situated close to the beach, each of them is made from logs salvaged from the sea and features large four-poster beds and adjacent bathrooms. And while there’s plenty to keep you active outdoors (sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling or movie screenings), we suggest refuelling by spending your days sun-lounging and napping in hammocks – a moment worth freezing in time, that’s for sure!
Getting there: Board a ferry from Singapore to Tanjung Pinang, then a bus to Pama Jetty. From there, hop on a short boat ride to Pangkil.
Rates: Prices per night range from $3220 for weekdays (whole year) for a maximum of 10 adults to $11,442.50 for weekends (high peak season) for 40 adults.
Noa Noa Island‘s like a breath of fresh air for jaded island hoppers. In protecting its thriving surrounding coral sanctuary, those responsible for maintaining the island are incredibly eco-conscious; solar energy powers the resort, fresh water is spring-sourced and only organic herbal solutions are used to deter mozzies (no nasty toxins here!). Accommodation here befits its luxurious nature theme – six distinct bedrooms in two gorgeously crafted guest houses come equipped with king-sized beds and private bathrooms. As for leisure, take your pick from scuba diving to relaxing massages in the in-house spa.
Getting there: Fly from Singapore to Manila, then take a domestic flight to El Nido. From there, reserve a private van to take you to Taytay, where the NoaNoa speedboat will take you to the island.
Rates: Prices range from 280,000 PHP (approximately $8049.71) during low season (April to October) to 350,000 PHP (approximately $10062.14) during peak season.
Much like Pulau Pangkil, Pulau Joyo’s easily accessible from Singapore. Blessed with palm-fringed white beaches and turquoise waters, the island’s famous for what we love best: sunsets and serenity. The resort’s got all your first-world desires covered: freshwater pools, movie projectors, sporting equipment and even Bluetooth speakers in all of its palaces for your music needs. On your downtime (which is all day, really), explore the waters by snorkelling or kayaking, or gather the lads and hit the courts for a game of volleyball or football. As dusk falls, watch the sunset from any point of the island, then head back for a secluded dinner over a bonfire before stargazing the night away. Note that the entire island requires a two-night stay, but with such paradisiacal surrounds, who’d want to leave?
Getting there: Ferry transport fees are included when you book the entire island. Hop on a fast ferry from Tanah Merry terminal to Tanjung Pinang Ferry Terminal in Bintan, Indonesia. You’ll then be land transferred to a private jetty, where the speedy Pattimura or Hasanuddin boats will take you to the island.
Rates: Prices per night range from $4600 for up to 12 adults to $13,225 for 40 adults
The “ultimate dream island” is everything you’d want on a tropical vacay. Let’s start with the landscape: the twin isles of Bamboo Private Islands – catering to groups of 16 to 25 – are surrounded by crystal-clear waters, lined with powdery white sand and gorgeous coconut trees. A rainforest, home to numerous species of birds and butterflies, remains preserved and is open to adventurous hikers. At the heart of the island lies a zero-carbon tropical resort, where small yet luxe bamboo huts boast creature comforts and meals created from farm-to-table organic produce. As for all the action, it conveniently takes place on the beachside outdoor pavilion, where a sunset lounge, reggae bar and restos await visitors with accompanying million dollar views.
Getting there: Fly from Singapore to Manila. Book a domestic flight from Metro Manila to Coron, Busuanga. Upon landing, take a shuttle to Coron town to La Sirenetta pier. A speedboat will take you to the island.
Rates: Prices per night are from $236.
Bookmark this if you’re addicted to Airbnb – we promise this little El Nido gem is an incredible find. Surrounded by a natural volcanic rock formation, the isle boasts a lush jungle, a hilltop bamboo forest and swoon-worthy snorkelling sites. As for the main residence, the two-storey space includes seven bedrooms and can comfortably host groups of up to 10. You’ll also be pampered senseless here thanks to a full-staff (caretaker, housekeeper, cook, boatmen, helper) and three home-cooked meals a day.
Getting there: Fly from Singapore to Manila, then take a domestic flight to El Nido. From there, an airport service can be arranged through contacting the host, or hire a boat directly from El Nido.
Rates: Prices per night are from $617.
For those who want to be truly isolated, this petite, secluded island in the middle of a quiet lake off the Sierra Madre mountains is it. With its quiet, undeveloped surrounds, it’s hard to believe it’s only three hours away from the big city. While the top recommended activity is doing absolutely nothing, there’s plenty do here on your own time: swimming, cycling around Cavinti, yoga and even boating. Proceed with caution if you’re accustomed to extreme luxury; this rustic locale is much like a home away from home – it’s modest, but breathtakingly charming!
Getting there: Fly from Singapore to Manila. The island will be accessible via private car with a three to four hour ride. More details will be provided upon reservation.
Rates: Prices range from P2900 ($83.36) for Monday to Thursdays, and P3900 ($112.10) for Friday to Sundays and pre and post holidays.