Virtual paradises we can’t wait to experience in person: these are the world’s best private islands
Let’s face it, many of us are fantasising about escaping to a more serene world right now. But just because we can’t physically move about much at the moment, it doesn’t mean we can’t mentally pack our bags and speed ourselves away to faraway shores. Therefore, we recommend switching off the news, kicking off your shoes and checking into our soothing selection of the world’s best private islands, guaranteed to satisfy your wanderlust. We all look forward to a time when we can travel safely and responsibly once again, but until then these destinations will be waiting for you and Lightfoot Travel has ordered a cocktail with your name on it at the bar…
1. Azura Quilalea Private Island, Mozambique
Remote, wild and free, Azura Quilalea Private Island is the luxe hideaway in your head that you run away to when modern life gets too much. Just nine romantic seafront villas are situated on this island in a remote Mozambique archipelago, with pathways through forests to crescent beaches where turtles lay their eggs. There’s also a reef so close you can snorkel back to your room to rest throughout the day. Super-chill, this is the kind of place where you pad around barefoot all day, soaking up nature, swimming, counting baobabs, feasting on fresh seafood and striking up conversations with exotic wildlife.
2. Bawah Reserve, Anambas Archipelago, Indonesia
May we be so bold as to suggest taking minimal luggage to Bawah Reserve, as this sublime resort in Indonesia offers all you need in the shape of barefoot, back-to-nature beauty. Only accessible by seaplane, this secluded retreat with a heart of green is just a stone’s throw away from Singapore. Embrace the great outdoors with windsurfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding or snorkelling among parrotfish, clownfish and turtles. Alternatively, hide away in your overwater villa, fall out of bed, grab your swimmers and fall into turquoise waters to do nothing but simply float…
3. Laucala Island Resort, Fiji
Are you missing coconut groves? Dreaming of exotic fruit platters? Craving shaggy thatched roofs? Then we suggest focusing your imagination on the private island home of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Fiji. Laucala Island Resort is a self-sustaining paradise set amidst lush plantations, sandy beaches and rich green mountains. With just 25 villas there’s an intimate desert isle feel but with all your essentials, including a golf course, authentic wooden yacht, epic glass pools and 350 staff to take care of your needs. With a kids’ club and Culture Centre it’s also an ideal getaway for families.
4. COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean
Set on its own 100-acre private Caribbean island in Turks & Caicos, COMO Parrot Cay is the ultimate ditch-all-your-worries destination loved by everyone from sun-seekers to wellness-worshipers and A-list celebrities. The original blueprint for the COMO brand, here you’ll find holistic therapies, world-class cuisine, private villas and COMO’s unfaltering service ethic. The rooms are all gorgeous, but we especially like the beach villas which offer the bonus of a private pool and direct beach access. Alternatively, the private homes are ideal for larger groups looking for a sophisticated hang out.
5. Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
If recent times have got you thinking about the protection of the greater world around us, the private island of Song Saa in Koh Rong, Cambodia is for you. Not only made for castaway fantasies, this resort is dedicated to creating a better planet and prides itself on offering unique ecological projects such as recycling programmes and workshops with the local community. Spend your days snorkelling the coral reefs in search of seahorses, kayaking through mangroves with marine biologists or embarking on a rainforest expedition. At night, enjoy a movie in your private villa, rejuvenate at the spa, or dive into some Cambodian street food by the pool.