Escape the city crowds and take a breather in peace and quiet...
For times when you need a break from the urban jungle, beach vacays will do the trick. But spending your weekend with hordes of other holiday-makers isn’t exactly relaxing – and that’s where a secluded, natural paradise comes in. Need a recommendation on the region’s best private island resorts? Luxury is just a click away. Plus points: Most of these spots are dedicated to the eco-conscious, sustainable way of life!
Bawah Island, Indonesia
Designed as a love story to nature, Bawah Reserve spreads across six islands, three lagoons and numerous beaches. Meticulously constructed to minimise its impact on the environment, the remote resort is made of bamboo and recycled materials. Care is also taken to recycle wastewater and promote marine conservation. The jetty is crafted in an asymmetrical way to preserve coral life, and you can even purchase “reef-friendly” sunscreen here. With a maximum of 70 guests on the island at any one time, you’ll be luxuriating in your beach suites or jungle lodges undisturbed. For the ultimate experience, upgrade your stay to one of the 11 overwater bungalows for complete privacy and spectacular sunsets.
Bawah Island: Get there via a short ferry from Tanah Merah ferry terminal to Batam, followed by an 80-minute flight on a private plane.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
Step into an idyllic utopia on the Cambodian coastline, where you’ll be greeted warmly by a gorgeous private beach, lavish wooden villas and a preserved coral reef. To explore the waters beyond, head out on a snorkelling trip, island safari or scuba dive. But if your main intention is to leave your worries behind and take a chill pill, enjoy the picturesque villa views that encompass glittering ocean waters or lush greenery. It’s a total off-the-grid experience where you’ll be immersed in the beauty of nature without a care in the world.
Song Saa Private Island: Get there by a 45-minute speed boat ride from Sihanoukville Port, which is 30 minutes away from Sihanoukville International Airport.
Cempedak Island, Indonesia
Close by our shores, this adults-only oasis sits off the coast of Bintan. Once you step onto the sandy beaches, you’re transported to a world of calm tranquillity. Committed to sustainability, the resort nurtures its own farm and uses local materials and labour in its construction. Each private bamboo villa, nestled amongst rainforest greenery, has its own plunge pool with either beach access or sea views. Should you need a little me-time to relax and rejuvenate after all the nature adventures, simply book yourself a treatment at the spa for an afternoon of bliss.
Cempedak Island: Get there via a one-hour ferry from Singapore to Bintan, followed by a one-hour car ride and a 30-minute speed boat ride.
Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines
More than an hour away from Manila, Amanpulo is only accessible by private plane. A vacay here is just as exquisite as it is exclusive, with accommodation options in the forest canopy, on the hillside or situated along the pristine beach. To dive into nature, explore the coral reef and its marine life, go kite surfing or challenge yourself on the jungle obstacle course. Once the hunger pangs hit, treat yourself to Mediterranean, Filipino or Japanese plates with seaside views. For an extra special experience, set sail on a sunset cruise, take flight on a helicopter excursion or plan your visit to coincide with the hatching season of green and hawksbill turtles.
Amanpulo: Get there by a 70-minute flight from Manila.
Nikoi Private Island, Indonesia
Indonesia is home to thousands of unspoilt islands, but this scenic getaway is a true gem. The resort blends seamlessly with its environment, as it’s designed around the island’s native framework. With plenty of driftwood elements and natural ventilation, the beach houses are a stunning mix of traditional Indonesian architecture and contemporary structures. For a special dining experience, head to the beach or order a picnic hamper and hop over to a nearby island. Oh, and before the day’s done and dusted, make time for a pampering sesh at the all-natural spa.
Nikoi Private Island: Get there by a one-hour ferry from Tanah Merah ferry terminal to Bintan, followed by a one-hour car ride and 20-minute speed boat ride.
Banwa Private Island, Palawan, Philippines
Say hello to paradise. With dreamy abodes tucked into untouched nature, this little slice of heaven is private luxury at its finest. Only six villas can be found on the island, each with floor-to-ceiling windows for verdant views and infinity pools that extend into magnificent ocean vistas. The indulgence continues with meals made from organic, locally-grown produce, and you get to decide where and what you’d like to dine on. To further bask in nature’s glory, take a dive trip to Tubbataha Reefs National Park, explore El Nido’s limestone cliffs from above or discover the Subterranean River National Park for unforgettable adventures.
Banwa Private Island: Get there by private jet or helicopter transfers 1.5 hours from Manila.
Nihi, Sumba Island, Indonesia
Welcoming visitors to the “edge of wildness”, Nihi Sumba bills itself as a go-to for adventurers and wanderers. Featuring 28 villas with private pools on the island, a stay here can take you from a lush treehouse to a mountain-top perch to magnificent bedside views of the sun descending below the horizon. For a different kind of luxury, let the experts craft your itinerary around your interests. Activities include surfing, swimming with horses, cultural programmes, sunset massages, morning yoga sessions and more.
Nihi Sumba: Get there by a one-hour flight from Bali.
Myanmar Andaman Resort, Macleod Island, Myanmar
Among the hundreds of unoccupied islands in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago, this resort is one of just two that welcome visitors. A trip here is all about going back to nature, with simple pleasures like beach lounging and admiring striking sights from any of the 22 bay-facing bungalows. To appreciate the island’s flora and fauna, trek through the jungle to Macleod’s peak for breathtaking views. Other unique experiences include boat rides that take you to uninhabited islands and cultural tours to sea gypsy villages.
Myanmar Andaman Resort: Get there by a shuttle boat from Kawthaung Jetty at Kawthaung Airport.
Joyo Resort, Suka Island, Indonesia
Tucked away in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, with abundant sandy shores and emerald waters, Joyo Resort is a charming hideaway that takes you from city life to tropical relaxation. Home to five beachside suites, two traditional Java joglo options and one driftwood palace, the island is rustic elegance at its best. Visitors can cosy up to bonfires, go stargazing or dive into the deep blue waters to snorkel amongst marine life.
Joyo Resort: Get there by a one-hour ferry to Bintan, followed by a 90-minute drive and 25-minute speed boat ride.
Amanwana, Moyo Island, Indonesia
Off the shores of Bali, Moyo Island’s only resort immerses you in glamorous camp living, with a sublime backdrop of rich foliage. Whether you’re off exploring jungle waterfalls, scuba diving in the Flores Sea or living it up at the spa overlooking gleaming waters, there’s plenty to enjoy on this sleepy sanctuary. Only 12 tented suites are set up across the island, each with its own air-conditioned canopy and porch that opens up to curious rusa deer and macaque monkeys in the morning.
Amanwana: Get there via a one-hour charter flight from Bali to Sumbawa, followed by a 45-minute boat ride.
Ariara Island, Philippines
So you’d like to have the entire island to yourself? Not a problem. Ariara houses just 10 beachfront villas, cottages and suites, which means you can bring your posse (of 22 people, max) for a private party. As part of its pledge to take care of nature, the island strives to use renewable energy sources and preserve the natural habitat of protected wildlife. To revel in Mother Nature’s beauty, you can venture off the island to explore hidden lakes, hot springs, limestone cliffs and rock formations. Plus, an adrenaline rush awaits with wreck diving, windsurfing and wakeboarding activities. When the sun goes down on another day, relaxation comes easily – we’re already dreaming of champagne by the pool at sunset!
Ariara Island: Get there by a 90-minute flight from Manila.
Telunas Private Island, Indonesia
Imagine peeking out your bedroom window and marvelling at the sun’s reddish-orange rays winking at the waters. With 15 overwater villas gazing out on turquoise waves and the foliage of Sugi Island, this place naturally wraps you in its cocoon of peace and pure relaxation. Make the most out of your home away from home by splashing around in the infinity pool and savouring the resort’s roomy comforts. To get up close and personal with nature, set out on an island tour adventure or trek deep into the jungle on a waterfall hike.
Telunas Private Island: Get there via ferry from HarbourFront ferry terminal to Sekupang, Batam, followed by a ride in a wooden longboat.