PICTURE PARADISE: THE SOFTEST OF WHITE SAND, AZURE WATER AND PALM TREES SWAYING IN A GENTLE SEA BREEZE. WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING to KICk BACK WITH NOTHING BUT A COCKTAIL AND A BOOK, OR PLAY EXPLORER IN WHAT FEELS LIKE THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, WE’VE GOT PRIVATE ISLANDS TO MEET ALL YOUR CASTAWAY NEEDS.
PETIT ST. VINCENT - FOR DIGITAL DETOX
The private island Petit St. Vincent, known by locals as PSV, is part of the Southern Grenadines, a chain of islands that is still only lightly touched by mass tourism. PSV is its crown jewel, a natural sanctuary that presents some of the clearest water and whitest sand imaginable. Beyond the 22 exclusive cottages there is scarcely a sign of habitation to be seen on the island's two-mile white sand coastline and jungle-filled interior, there are no vehicles, no other people, barely a building; just jungle giving way to beaches (Caribbean and Atlantic) and the horizon beyond. And no sound but birdsong and the wind in the trees. More importantly, there are no TVs or telephones here, and when guests need room service they get in touch with staff by hoisting a small yellow flag on a bamboo pole outside the front door. Service is discreet and refined rather than fancy or pretentious, so couples and families alike can feel very comfortable.
THANDA ISLAND - FOR EXCLUSIVE USE
Thanda Island off the coast of Tanzania is one of the few truly exclusive tropical islands in the world, a sanctuary to enjoy in complete privacy with family and friends. The villa has been designed and decorated by Swedish owners, the Olofssons, in a style all their own – a palette of white combines with soft, natural hues and fabrics, complemented by handpicked furniture and artwork. With access straight to the pristine white sand beach, each air-conditioned suite features indoor and outdoor showers. The overall ambiance encourages guests to slow down and soak up the relaxed tempo of island life, enjoy long lunches under the veranda, have fun making pizza in the outdoor oven, and linger late into the starry night around the outdoor cocktail bar. Situated within the Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, the surrounding seas are home to the gentle whale shark, sea turtles, dolphins, and dugongs, and Thanda Island is surrounded by its own private coral reef, with an exclusive-use zone extending over a half-mile that can be explored with a snorkel and mask straight from the beach. Sailboats, stand-up paddle boards and single as well as double kayaks are all on hand for the active. depending on the season, guests can watch turtles nesting and their eggs hatching. The Island is accessible by boat from Mafia Island or helicopter directly from Dar es Salaam.
AZURA QUILALEA - FOR DIVING
The gold medal for diving goes to Azura Quilalea on Quilalea Island, one of the southernmost islands in the pristine Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique. It has one of the only safe deep-water moorings in the area (the Portuguese and Arab traders traditionally found sanctuary here for their dhows) and is one of the few properties in the entire Archipelago to lie within a fully protected marine reserve, ensuring an abundance of marine life and offering some of the most spectacular scuba diving in the world. The stunning house reef at Quilalea offers quick and easy access straight from the main beach which is perfect for a refresher or first-time dive and a unique location for a night dive for qualified divers. In addition to the house reef, there are another 17 dive sites that guests can visit inside and outside of the Quilalea Marine Sanctuary, including some fantastic drop offs and coral gardens. PADI Scuba courses at Azura Quilalea range from those designed for children (from the age of 10 upwards) and beginners throughout to full certification up to Divemaster level of training; Bubblemaker, Discover Suba, Discover Scuba Diving, Scuba Diver, Openwater Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver are all on offer.
NORTH ISLAND - FOR PARADISE
North Island is undoubtedly the Seychelles’ most jaw-droopingly beautiful island hideaway. Lush with endemic vegetation and wildlife, this private island is a veritable Noah’s Ark, and despite a constant stream of royal and celebrity guests and a long list of accolades, the island remains first and foremost a place of sanctuary and outstanding natural beauty - in particular its dazzling array of impossibly perfect paradise beaches and turquoise water. There are just 11 villas, an incredible 450 sqm each, handcrafted from wood, local stone, glass and thatched roofs, and standing alone in complete seclusion and privacy. Each Villa is completely self-contained and is raised over a metre off the ground to catch the cooling island breezes, with a private plunge pool and sala as finishing touches to the private sanctuary. We were lucky enough to stay in Villa 11 which has been completely redesigned to create the ultimate honeymoon retreat. Measuring 750 sqm, space has been added in multiple tiered levels cascading down the granitic boulders on to a private beach entry to the ocean. Activities and dining options are all focused around offering guests their own space and privacy, with staff gently steering guests down (giant tortoise-dotted) sandy tracks to different areas of the island to keep that magical private island feeling..
CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?
We've done a fair bit of island-hopping in our time so if none of the above match up to your private island fantasies then please contact us for more details.