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Category Archives: Private Islands
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 4:24 am
Whether its because of Instagrams alluring travel shots or the increasing accessibility of flights, todays travelers are jet-setting across the globe at record-breaking rates. Previously isolated destinations like Iceland and Antarctica are now welcoming an almost unmanageable amount of tourists.
But fear not, aspiring explorers: Remote, nearly untouched destinations do still exist. With significant prep, planning, and funds, you can try to visit these nine remote, under-the-radar islands.
Niue isnt just a remote islandits one of the smallest countries on Earth. Located about 1500 miles northeast of New Zealand, between Fiji and the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, Niue is a tropical paradise with top-notch natural adventures including limestone caving, swimming alongside wild spinner dolphins, and exploring one of the worlds largest raised coral reefs. The island is a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand, and saw its first inhabitants more than 1000 years ago. Niue is more accessible than most remote islands: Air New Zealand offers weekly flights to Niues Hanan International Airport.
The uninhabited, volcanic Bouvet Island is located 1600 miles southwest of Cape Town, South Africaand almost any other inhabited land massmaking it one of Earths most remote islands. Discovered by French naval officer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier in 1739, the island was claimed by the UK in 1825, and then claimed by its current occupant, Norway, in 1928. Today, the island, which was the setting of 2004 film Alien vs. Predator, is considered a nature reserve; its residents include fur seals and penguins. Bouvet Island is accessible by select cruise ships, but according to Polar Cruises, landing at Bouvet Island is so unpredictable they allocate two days (days 13 and 14 of the typical itinerary) to actually make it.
Another remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha is a hop, skip, and a one-week, 1750-mile boat ride from South Africa. The island is a dependency of the British overseas territory Saint Helena, and was discovered in 1506 by a Portuguese sailor, Tristo da Cunha, but the waters were so rough he couldnt even land his ship. With a population of 275 residents (and a ban on new residents), Tristan da Cunha is the worlds most remote inhabited island. Residents are primarily Christian and farming is the main source of income. Getting to Tristan da Cunha is anything but easy; travel is done entirely by ship or expedition cruise.
Part of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, Bear Island (Bjrnya) is a 110-square-mile nature reserve located halfway between Norway and Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard group. Bear Islands terrain is rough and rugged, with near-vertical cliffs, sea caves, strong winds, and few protected bays for docking boats. While the island has no human residents, its home to an enormous variety of seabird colonies. Polar bears visit on rare occasion. Similar to most uninhabited islands, getting to Bear Island is toughbut these three brothers show it can be done. They hitched a ride with a cargo ship and spent two months surfing the isolated, icy waters.
On North Sentinel Island, 750 miles from Myanmar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, you cant snap selfies or binge-watch Game of Thrones. The Sentinelese tribe, considered one of the world’s last uncontacted peoples, have remained cut off from the rest of the world for 60,000 years. That means no Internet, no HBO, and, as a handful of unfortunate travelers have discovered, no outside visitors. Dubbed the hardest place to visit on Earth, the Sentinelese greet visitors to the island with spears and arrows. Researchers observing by helicopter are shot at with arrows and stones.
For that reason, little is known about the Sentinelese tribe. Heres what we do know: They typically eat coconuts, fish, turtles, and small birds; they survived the 2004 tsunami, and the entire population could be wiped out by disease if they come in contact with outsiders (which has become an issue over the past 10 years). Can you visit North Sentinel Island? Out of respect for the tribe and for your own life, the answer is probably no.
While not technically an island, Ittoqqortoormiitone of the most remote parts of the already remote island of Greenlandis covered by ice and snow for nine months of the year. In size, Ittoqqortoormiit is approximately as large as Great Britain, but in population? Just 450 souls. The town is filled with colorful wooden houses and offers plenty of Arctic scenery. In summer, icebergs float down nearby Scoresby Sund, the longest fjord on earth. Ittoqqortoormiit is accessible by cruise ships or by air, with two weekly flights from Iceland and West Greenland.
Though it has no natural resourcesreally, it’s just a barren slab of rockCanada and Denmark are constantly battling to claim this half-square-mile territory, which is located between Ellesmere Island and northern Greenland. The island is named for Hans Hendrik, a Greenlandic hunter and explorer who joined several 19th-century British and American expeditions to the far north. Fortunately, the current battle for control of Hans Island requires no ammo, weapons, or injuries. In perhaps the friendliest fight ever, the Canadian and Danish militaries regularly wage a whiskey warleaving a bottle of Danish snaps or Canadian whiskey and their countrys flag atop Hans Island for the other countrys military to find. Can you visit Hans Island? Perhaps, but given its size and lack of amenities, there are few (if any) actual tours out there.
Described as the most alien place on earth, Socotra Island has 800 rare species of flora and fauna, including several that are up to 20 million years old. One-third of Socotras species are found only on the island, making it the Indian Oceans answer to the Galapagos. The 80-mile-long island is part of Yemen, and despite its listing as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, it still remains off most travelers radar. Its home to 50,000 residents who reside in the archipelagos main cities like Hadibu and Qalansiyah. Most visitors arrive to Socotra via Yemenia Airway and Felix Airways; a stopover in Yemen (about 240 miles away) is required. Travelers can also arrive by sea, but because the island receives two annual monsoons and suffers from offshore piracy, air travel is the way to go.
The worlds northernmost town with a significant population, Longyearbyen is located on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard. Longyearbyens winters get pretty frigid12 F is the usual highand all houses are built on stilts to avoid sinking and sliding when the island’s top layer of permafrost melts in summer. In terms of tourism, Svalbard offers impeccable opportunities to view the aurora borealis, not to mention one-of-a-kind views of the native reindeer, polar bears, walruses, foxes, seabirds, and whales. The island has a few relatively inexpensive accommodations, and direct flights are available from Oslo and Troms, Norway.
Posted: at 4:24 am
Sometimes it’s not enough to escape from the office. We need to get away from the world altogether.
Private islands, once the preserve of royals and titans of industry, offer just such an experience. And while many of them come with a price tag as breathtaking as their scenery, a few are extending their reach beyond the one per cent.
The Maldives consist of more than a thousand islands, strung out like a daisy chain in the Indian Ocean. Long a byword for honeymoon luxury,the country now offers even more exclusive places to stay through JA Resorts & Hotels. JA Manafaru nestles on the 35-acre Haa Alif Atoll (pictured above), 200 miles north of the capital Male (a seaplane trip takes 75 minutes). There are roughly 80 villas scattered around the site, ranging from beach bungalows withprivate pools to waterside villas with their own infinity pools.
Looking for even more seclusion? Take up their “Castaway Island” honeymoon package, where a dhoni (traditional fishing boat) will transport you to acompletely uninhabited island before lunch and leave you there for the afternoon with a gourmet hamper. There you can relax, snorkel and pretend you’rein an (extremely) upmarket retelling of Robinson Crusoe.
Castaway excursions range from $205 (158) per person for a day visit, up to approx. $410 (316) per person for an overnight experience. Stays at JAManafaru start at $623 (475) per room per night on a B&B basis (flights are not included).
For more information or to book, visitjaresortshotels.com
Isn’t that the one with the statues? It is but it also has boutique hotels and lodges. Officially part of Chile, this super-remote place is a five-hour flightfrom the mainland and world famous for its mysterious 900 or so moai, or stone monoliths. These are dotted around a landscape that’s a striking mix ofbeaches, volcanic craters and lava formations.
Cox & Kings offers private tours of Chile and recommends adding a three or four-night stay on to one of its bespoke itineraries, departing from Santiago, almost 4,000km away. Try the 30-room Explora Rapa Nui, built from native volcanic rock and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There’s an infinity pool andopen-air hot tub, as well as five guided island explorations daily.
A three-night stay with Cox & Kings, with flights from Santiago (and a night there), is priced from 995 per person.
Coxandkings.co.uk provides further information.
They call it “blue safari”, a bespoke getaway cocooned in an archipelago of impossibly white beaches and blue seas. Billed as Madagascar’s firstfive-star eco luxury hotel, the Miavana “Island Sanctuary” is accessible only by helicopter from the mainland. It promises a truly exclusive stay.
Miavana, which means “coming together” in Malagasy, has a string of one to three-bedroom villas, each with their own private deck and pooloverlooking the Indian Ocean. The temperature hovers around 30C all year round; guests can take the scuba diving lessons included in the price, or ahelicopter safari to see the lemurs. The place can accommodate a maximum of 44 people, but if even that feels crowded, you can hire the entireisland for $100,000 (77,000).
Rates from $2,250 (1,734) per person per night.
More information can be foundhere.
In the Quirimbas archipelago, paradise is the norm. The 200km stretch is a seemingly endless parade of untouched beaches amid azure seas. Africa specialists the Luxury Safari Company offers a unique way to see it all: a “safari” by dhow, a picturesque breed of boat.
Over the course of nine nights, you and up to five others will be transported from idyll to idyll, pausing to snorkel over the coral or sunbathe on the sands.The itinerary includes exploring fishing villages nestled beside mangroves and river channels, a night’s camping, and a few days on Ibo Island to see itshauntingly beautiful old town ruins.
From 2,922 per person, including international flights and all internal arrangements based on two to three people; from 2,147 per person for four to six people.
For more information visittheluxurysafaricompany.com
Islands in the ocean are common, but how about staying on a river island? That’s what’s on offer from the Luxury Safari Company with Sindabezi, anisland retreat on the Zambezi River that’s home to just five exclusive cottages and the only deluxe bush camp near Victoria Falls.
This is island living with a twist. The open-sided thatched houses perch directly over the river, the main camp is on sand, but there’s action up in the treestoo, where there’s a dining deck and star gazing platform. From there you can visit the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, go fishing or take guided walks aroundthe area.
Call+44 (0) 1666 880 111for a quote or email@example.com
A short private boat ride away from the historic city of Granada, this exclusive retreat on Isleta El Espino (“espino” means hawthorn) overlooksthe open beauty of Lake Nicaragua.
Featuring a swimming pool and massage facilities, but also a yoga platform and kayaks, this three-bedroom eco lodge one in a treehouse is ideal forpeople who want to relax but also keep active in stunning surroundings. Horseback riding on the cocoa and banana plantations, hiking and fishing are allavailable. At the end of the day you can sit back with a cocktail and take in the stunning views of the dormant Mombacho volcano.
Rooms from $105 (81) per night.
Tucked away in the Cyclades archipelago, but only one hour from Athens, this private islet retreat has been family-owned since the early part of the last century.
Home to just a smattering of old buildings and a chapel, the main villa is recommended for between eight and 22 people. It was built in the 1920s and hasbeen renovated twice since, although its charming, olive tree-laden surroundings remain untouched. There are no permanent residents here, except for a few rescue horses, one of which can be ridden. As for amenities, a chef and full staff can be arranged, or if you want to do it yourself you can pick from a wide array of home-grown produce. If you ever need to remind yourself of civilisation, the larger island of Evia with its spa towns, rich history and beautiful forests, is just across thewater.
Sleeps 12, from 6,700 per week.
Further information can be found here.
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm
They took it to a different level, Parlier said. Its not a very cheap sport, and people here are very wealthy, so its a good combination.
The man who got Silicon Valley into the sport in the first place was Don Montague, a foil craftsman and the tech worlds foiling fixer.
They look you up, or they have a friend, and all of a sudden youre hanging out with Larry and Sergey, Montague said, referring to Googles founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
At a massive former naval base in Alameda, Calif., Montague has a staff of 10 working on inflatable foils, jetfoils and giant foil boats. His investors and clients include the Google founders and its former chief executive Eric Schmidt.
Montague, with messy brown hair and a surfers drawl, had made a name for himself building kitesurfing gear, selling more than 20,000 of those boards (he claims to have named the sport). In 2013, he founded a wind-power company and sold it to Google. But a motorized inflatable jetfoil is more complicated than a simple kiteboard, so he moved from Hawaii to the Bay Area and assembled a staff of mechanical engineers and designers.
I had to come here to build the team, Montague said. This is the foiling spot for America.
Montague is a regular on the private-island and yacht circuit with people like the Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Googles Page, whose islands are close enough to foil between. There is some competition in the small community. When Googles Brin surfed with two girls on his board, Montague said, Branson took a photo with three.
Its just way better than golfing, Montague said.
Now, once a week, Montague said, he takes Page on a four-hour kitefoiling trip, with a chase boat and a water scooter in tow. Long trips are easier by foil, since the board is not bouncing on every wave.
Theres less wear on the body because youre not absorbing the chop, Montague said.
Montagues jetfoil goes to market this spring, selling for around $5,000. His competition is the Lift eFoil, which costs $12,000 and will ship in September (with a five-month waiting list).
Just a few miles north of Montague in El Sobrante, Calif., is the craftsman Mike Zajicek, who foilers say makes the best in the world.
To get a foil from Zajicek takes a year, Montague said. If he likes you.
For the past few years, Zajicek has made his hydrofoils by hand, selling them for around $6,000 each. In total, he estimates he has sold 110 foils, and has 50 in construction. This year, the demand skyrocketed. He said hundreds are on a waiting list.
Now the whole world is banging on my door, and I have to attempt to answer emails I have no answers for, Zajicek said.
Posted: August 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm
Tom Marchant is the co-founder of luxury travel company and trip planner, Black Tomato, which delivers luxe experiences around the world via inspiring itineraries and access to the globe’s up-and-coming, remote destinations. Marchant’s finger on the pulse of travel trends and the world’s best in hotels, restaurants, destinations and honeymoons is unique and incomparableand he’s sharing his expertise and curated lists of where to visit, stay, eat and more with BAZAAR.com.
While there are more island getaways and resorts than can be counted, having a private island at your disposal is (naturally) one of the most decadent and undeniably exclusive experience in existence. Remote, uncharted, unfettered and in many instances, inaccessible, these natural wonders can be the ultimate way to reset in style. Going off the grid has great implications for mental and physical well-being; and whether youre seeking a villa or suiteor an entire island all to yourselfthese are the very best private islands on which to unwind, rejuvenate and explore.
Take a note from Proust, who notably said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” On your very own retreat, you are bound to see dazzling flora and fauna (much of which is unique to these islands’ isolated ecosystems) and taste and feel vibrant community cultures. Here, the top ten private islands on Earthand where to find them.
1 North Island: Seychelles
For something truly extravagant, look no further than North Island, where Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge honeymooned. An exclusive and secluded paradise, this five hundred acre island is a sanctuary that has garnered Seychelles a reputation as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. With accommodations for just a few lucky travelers, the island is utterly tranquil and privateso much so that you likely won’t see another guest throughout your stay.
Fly in by helicopter, landing discreetly at the on-site helipad, and check out the stunning white-sand beaches that line the east and west side of the island, with a library, spa, gym and ’round-the-clock in-villa spa treatments at your disposal. What makes this gem truly shine is the islands utterly bespoke and discreet serviceincluding a no menu policy. Here, the chef meets with each guest and creates inspiring meals based on their specific tastes and preferences, complemented with wine from their extensive cellar. The dedicated staff will set up a candlelight dinner anywhere, be it the Island Piazza, in-villa or by moonlight at one of the many secluded beach spots dotting the island. Renting out the entire island gives you exclusive access to its 11 villas, replete with giant terraces with sweeping ocean views, private butlers and island buggies. The crown jewel here is Villa 11, the 8,000 square foot and totally isolated villa with an oversized bath made for two and the best views on the island. It doesnt get much more glamorous than this.
Rates from $442,000 (for the entire island) for 7 nights. BOOK
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2 The Brando: French Polynesia
The Brando is truly worlds awayset on the otherworldly private island of Tetiaroaand a must for those seeking incredible flora and fauna in a secluded, authentic Polynesian setting. This stunning resort plays host to manta rays, sea turtles, exotic birds, tropical fish and each of its exclusive villas are positioned on heavenly white sand beaches. The ideal union of relaxation and exploration, check out the surrounding wildlife and lush setting by cycle, kayak, snorkel, paddle board, take a dip in Mermaid Bay or lounge at the beach and pool. Expect unforgettable sunsets, best spent in tree-top seating areas with cocktails, for unparalleled views across palm canopies.
All The Brando’s villas are incredible and spacious (the smallest being 1,033 square feet) and designed to enhance the serenity of the island’s natural surroundings. The Brandos ethos is inspiring: offer out of this world, authentic luxury and soul-enriching experiences in an environmentally sustainable and culturally rich way. The Brandos commitment to preserving and protecting the wondrous beauty and biodiversity of Tetiaroa expands to Polynesian culture itself, with its unique hospitality and traditions taking center stage at this magnificent spot. This is the ultimate private island, from feasting on fresh fruits grown in the islands orchards, enjoying shellfish prepared by a Michelin-starred chef, or indulging in a native spa treatment high up in the treescape, it will be hard to leave this slice of heaven. Expert Tip: Fly in by private air charter.
Rates from $3,066 per villa per night. BOOK
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3 Miavana: Madagascar
Madagascar is off the grid and home to an unbelievable 80% of extraordinary endemic greenery and plant-life found nowhere else on Earth. A stay at the heavenly Miavana, set to the dramatic backdrop of the Nosy Ankao archipelago, means experiencing truly unchartered territory. Miavana is an ideal private island escape thats set in over 37,000 acres of protected marine territory. Only 14 private villas comprise the island’s accommodations, and a stay at this luxurious eco-lodge is right out of a Robinson Crusoe reverie.
Miavana is wild and isolated. A stay here will ignite the explorer in you, with days spent delving into lush tropical rainforests teeming with lemurs and watching turtles nest on pristine white beaches. So remote its only accessible by helicopter, this stunning lodge is the perfect starting point to explore the wealth of azure blue bays, beaches and hidden lagoons. The magic comes to life with activities like scuba diving, snorkeling from your villa and whale and dolphin watching excursions. If you want to unwind, theres no finer place to do it than at their world class spa. Accommodations are unparalleled here, and you dont sacrifice luxury for off the grid exploration. Miavana oozes elegance with award-winning architecture that seamlessly integrates barefoot luxury with European renaissance. Every secluded villa boasts private pools, ocean views and direct private access to the beach.
Rates from $2,500 per night, all inclusive. BOOK
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4 Petit St Vincent: Grenadines
If your goal is to fully disconnect on an exceptional private island, Petit St. Vincent is a must. Petit St. Vincent sits peacefully 40 miles south of St Vincent in the Grenadines and is accessible by private plane and boat. Once here, you will discover a deliberate absence of TV and internet in the cottages to encourage unfettered immersion in all the wonders the island has to offer. Unique to this haven is a flagpole system outside each villa, where attentive butlers will come by for room service, cocktails, to book a massage or anything travelers desire. Villas here are tastefully decorated with plush beds, loungers, indoor and outdoor dining areas, sun decks and some even have beachfront gardens.
In a nod to heritage, villas here are constructed with local materials to discreetly blend into the landscape and are replete with panoramic views of the ocean. The islands on-site PADI diving instructor will get you ready for a deep plunge into the abyss, and the property has a private boat thats perfect for nearby island-hopping or a champagne picnic on a deserted beach. Unwind at Petit St Vincents stimulating treetop luxury spa with therapeutic massages and facials and for yogis, beachside morning sessions are a great way to start the day. Lauded for top notch service, fresh local cuisine and utter seclusion, this is truly one of the best island getaways out there.
Rates from $1,100 per day; includes 3 gourmet meals, butler service and use of all non-motorized water sports and island facilities. BOOK
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5 Tagomago Island: Spain
Secluded, private islands in the Mediterranean arent a common site, but the ultra-luxurious and secluded Tagomago hits all the high notes. Just a 10-minute helicopter ride from the bustle of Ibiza to a private helipad, this setting could not seem more far flung from the Ibiza scene. Perfect for those who want to party on Ibiza and then unwind in utter seclusion, this epic hilltop estate is surrounded by turquoise blue waters and skies and a completely isolated, private beach. Severe, rocky cliffs are home to an extravagant, elegantly appointed 5 bedroom villa, with dramatic terraces and views of the Mediterranean Sea from all angles, and best experienced poolside.
You can even (safely) see Ibiza from a distanceand relax while doing it. Take a walk down the bucolic country paths, nature reserve and bird sanctuary on site. Theres even your very own private beach club with a full restaurant and bar at your disposal. Rest assured, you wont be on your ownthe property comes complete with a full staff including an Island Manager, private chef, kitchen staff, housekeeping, butlers, and even a captain for tender. Tagomago is perfect for underwater exploration of the Mediterranean, with deep cliffs and coves teeming with barracudas, exotic fish and even sharks. We’ll admit, it’s hard to figure out what this property doesnt havebecause at your disposal is a Mangusta yacht, 2 boats and a helicopter for easy transfer to and from Ibiza.
Rates from $218,000 for seven nights; all inclusive and sleeps up to 10 guests. BOOK
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6 Mnemba Island Lodge: Zanzibar
If the goal is to get lost amid unpretentious beachfront luxury, head to Mnemba Island, picturesquely situated on the pristine Indian Ocean. A place that was made for romance, envisage fragrant sea breezes stirring canopied beds in your beachside Banda. Flanked by white coral sloping into the turquoise Indian Ocean, the 11 secluded Bandas are a perfect place to stare off into the distance in the privacy of your own beach sala and plush Zanzibari sun bed.
Bandas are delicately composed with soft natural fabrics, traditional woodcarvings, magnificent stone showers and all with the quite necessary luxury of a personal butler. Sea kayaking in this island paradise is a must, and diving doesnt get any better than the fully stocked PADI dive center, where you will uncover marvels like giant turtles, vibrant tropical fish, and prehistoric giant turtles. The food here is fresh and fun with locally sourced fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns arriving every morning. Take a long walk on the beach and return to an amorous candlelit dinner on the beach as the sun sets in all its glory.
Rates from $1,270 per person; includes 3 meals, select spirits wine and beer, water sports and transfers. BOOK
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7 Four Seasons Maldives: Voavah, Baa Atoll
If you want to, literally, have it all then hard stop at The Four Seasons Private Island in the Maldives, the first exclusive-use UNESCO retreat. The supremely luxurious Voavah island has all the Four Seasons luxuries one expects, but this property takes all inclusive to the next level, with access to a 7 bedroom luxury resort, a 92-foot mega yacht and multiple poolsall in a maritime area that is inaccessible to anyone else. The Beach House is stellar, set up with a formal dining room, library, gym and pool deck.
The food here is locally sourced, exceptional and chefs will cater to your every whim. The on-site yacht, Voavah Summer, is a perfect base to deep dive into the Maldives and meet some of the robust population of manta rays who call it home. This private island escape is truly best in class as can be seen with the expertly curated staff that includes an on-site doctor, Beach House Maitre D, therapist and yogi, yacht captain and, of course, diving and snorkeling instructors.
Rates from $46,360 per night; all inclusive, accommodating up to 22 guests. BOOK
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8 Orpheus Island: Australia
Seemingly out of a Jurassic Park set, Orpheus Island is the most secluded island in the Great Barrier Reef and home to a protected, densely forested national park that houses dazzling wildlife like echidnas, bandicoots, vibrant tree frogs, ospreys and sea eagles. Renting out the island ensures the utmost privacy. Here, guided scuba and snorkeling excursions in the coral reefs surrounding the island happen via the resorts custom-built dive boat.
Rooms, suites and villas all face the mesmerizing Hazard Bay beach and can accommodate up to 42 guests, making this an idyllic corporate retreat for those in the know. The chef prepares a fresh, daily-changing selection of contemporary, locally-sourced, freshly-caught seasonal fare paired with some of the regions most inventive and stunning local wines. Pro tip: take your dinner under starlight on the islands private jetty or set sail to a secluded bay. Its absolutely worth a visit to the day spa, and splurge on the 3-hour long Sacred Spa Journey, a restorative must. For added serenity, ask for the massage portion to be performed on the beach. Pure bliss.
Rates from $189,605 for seven nights, all inclusive, exclusive use of the island. BOOK
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9 Calala Island: Nicaragua
Unknown to most, The Caribbean side of Nicaragua is less developed and offers a quieter, more unspoiled coastline to relish. Enter Calalathis exceptional private island is nestled in the undiscovered part of Nicaraguas Caribbean Coast. This is one of the best properties in the entire country, so much so that it’s worth scooping up all four suites.
Calala embodies discreet, Caribbean charm with furnishings designed by leading architect, Matthew Falkiner, using the finest handcrafted furniture from the local craftsmen. The Caribbean is not often associated with fine dining, but thats not the case here. Calala takes its food seriously with Executive Chef, Tom Morrell, leading the charge. This is the place to unwind, disconnect and take in a cocktail on any of the beaches that encompass the entire island. Service here is out of this world, with a team of 25 Calala-lalas (aka staff) for a maximum of 10 guests. A staff member for every 2-3 guests? Thats quite a ratio.
Rates by request. BOOK
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10 Amanwana: Indonesia
Amanwana is set in a dreamscape on the protected nature and marine reserve of Moyo Island. Just east of Bali, the island is surrounded by breathtaking turquoise waters and untouched reefs, making it the perfect set backdrop for diving and snorkeling. This is the private island for unheard-of nature excursions, and several starkly contrasting environments, from the savannah to tropical jungle and waterfalls. Amazing animal spotting abounds, with wild boar, macaque monkeys, sea eagles, osprey and indigenous Rusa Deer.
20 luxurious tents comprise Amanwana with a few options: beach-front tents steps from the ocean, or secluded tents deep in the jungle canopy. For the best of both worlds, book part of your stay in each. Tents are uber-luxurious (think glamping) and all come air conditioned for when it gets too balmy. Since youre already there, book an excursion on the Amanikan luxury cruiser to Komodo Island and keep your eyes peeled for the mythical Komodo dragon.
Rates from $550 per night for two people. BOOK
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Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:29 am
Posted: at 6:29 am
The bridge that connects the two islands at Conrad Maldives.
Conrad staff collect me in a van at Mal airport and take me to the resorts nearby lounge, where I wait for the seaplane. After an awe-filled 30-minute ride south over the Maldivian atolls, I land at a dock in the middle of a long pedestrian bridge that connects the resorts two islands. Im taken by golf cart to my villa.
Located on the south-west end of Ari Atoll, the resort is a world of its own. The big island, Rangalifinolhu, has the main reception area, spa and pools; beach villas (set in private gardens); most of the restaurants; and a watersports centre. Rangali, the smaller island, is home to most of the water villas (on stilts); the overwater spa with a glass floor; and a few more restaurants.
My deluxe beach villa has a thatched roof, but from inside, its all modern luxe, with12-foot-high glass windows from floor to ceiling that open out onto a tropical garden. Theresa plunge pool and direct access to a semi-private beach, and my OTT favourite: a courtyard with a fountain, an outdoor shower and a dramatic elevated bath pavilion. I like its originality as compared to the deluxe water villa, where I spend the following night. Thisquintessential Maldivian cabana sits on stilts over the water, with its own plunge pool and stairs from the sundeck into the ocean. Both are equipped with Nespresso machines, flashlights, adapters and umbrellas.
Friendly and accommodating, particularly in the restaurants. Villa service can be slow, which sometimes happens when staff travel by golf cart, but the resort is busy and it shows.
You wont feel alone among honeymooners here, because there are plenty of groups, mainly families, including some from our region. The main islands common areas are busy, particularly at the childrens pool and watersports centre, while theres a quieter, more-mature crowd on the smaller island. Its shoes-off everywhere, even in restaurants, which adds to the relaxing island vibe. If you tire of island life, daily excursions such as snorkelling and sunset cruises can be arranged, from US$80 to $170 (Dh294 to Dh624) per person. Or you can get a free show by waiting on the bridge at night for the manta rays to come out to play.
Take your pick from 12 restaurants and bars, including the most visually remarkable, Ithaa, the Maldives first all-glass undersea restaurant, offering a pre-arranged set menu; my personal favourite, the Sunset Grill, an overwater open-air bungalow from which you can watch fish glide by in the lit-up water while eating fresh Maldivian lobster ($62 [Dh228]); Ufaa by Chinese celebrity chef Jereme Leung, for dim sum and beef noodle soup ($29 [Dh107]); and the Koko Grill for beachside Japanese food. A decent international breakfast buffet is served in the all-day restaurants, Atoll Market on the big island and Vilu on the small; and shisha is available at The Quiet Zone beach lounge.
The Spa Retreats Maldivian indigenous treatment ($190 [Dh698]), which was like a hammam, but with a coconut scrub and massage using heated coconut sticks.
I had to fiddle a lot with the electrics in both my rooms, including the lights, blinds and stereo.
A resort deserving of its popularity, offering enough diversity for a long stay.
The bottom line
Beach villas at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (www.conradmaldives.com) cost from $622 (Dh2,285); water villas cost from $745 (Dh2,736), both including taxes and breakfast. Seaplane transfers cost $500 (Dh1,836.50) return.
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Posted: August 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm
Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives invites guests to celebrate Eid Al Adha and experience natures paradise with a luxurious island getaway.
Launching its brand new ‘Stay Longer’ offer in time for the holidays, the longer guests stay at the idyllic Indian Ocean resort, the more they save. Travellers can enjoy an incredible 40 per cent off the room rate, a free upgrade to half board and complimentary 60-minute treatment for two at the award-winning Niyama Spa. All they need to do is simply book a stay of at least two nights online before September 30 and treat themselves and loved ones to a five-star castaway experience this summer while enjoying incredible savings.
With its 134 beautifully appointed studios, suites and pavilions dotted across Niyama Maldives two pristine islands, Chill and Play, the package offers travellers the luxury of choice and is created specially for Middle East-based families and jet-set couples.
With nine dining destinations, including tree house restaurant Nest and the worlds first underwater playground Subsix, guests can enhance their stay with surreal gastronomic experiences.
Young VIPs will adore the Explorers Kids Club with its range of activities including nature expeditions around the tropical isles to MasterChef classes while adventure-seeking teens and adults will be inspired by the resorts excellent water sports such as surfing, scuba diving and jet-skiing. Wellness devotees looking to indulge in a spot of indulgent pampering can retreat to the tranquil Niyama Spa while enjoying the crystal-clear turquoise sea views from the six overwater treatment rooms.
Rates start from Dh2,086++ ($567.7) per night for two adults and two children.
Getting to the island has also become more affordable with the newly opened Dhaalu Airport, located in Kudahuvadhoo Island. Round trip flights inclusive of a speed boat transfer are priced at $370++ for adults and $175++ for children. Alternatively guests can take an exhilarating 40 minute sea plane journey priced at $560++ for adults and $280++ for children. VIP Private Charter flights are also available for the discerning travellers desiring the highest levels of privacy and exclusivity.
Promotion includes: 40 per cent off the room rate Daily breakfast and set dinner for two persons One rejuvenating 60-minute spa treatment for two during your stay.
For more details, visit the hotel website. – TradeArabia News Service
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Posted: at 3:24 am
Planning an affordable family vacation can be stressful, whether its for two people or 20. Sure, you could shell out a few hundred bucks for theaverage hotel room or you can rent a private island for practically the same price. (And this guide will tell you the best time of year to travel to these major cities.)
No, were not kidding. You can actually bookyour very owntropicalparadise for as little as $300. Thanks to HomeToGo, a global holiday rental website, we have a comprehensive list of incredible (and rentable!) private islands that wont break the bank.
You wont even have to leave the United States to experience thevacation of your dreams. Just plan a road trip over to the Colleton River Plantation in South Carolina, where 150 acres of uninterrupted nature await you for as little as $307 per night. Or jump across the ocean to Belize, where you can stay ina paradise surrounded bycolorful fish galoreand crystal clearwaterall for the price of $435.
A charming littlecottage at Ship Channel Cay in the Bahamas could be yours for just $450 per night. The price includesa full-time island service team, too.And if youre willing to splurge, a fully-staffed, 18-person private island in Belize is currently going for $5,000 a night.
Forget a pricey cruise or holiday villa. These exotic getawaysare perfect for your next birthday bash, wedding party, or summer family reunion.(And if the island life isnt for you, try any of these affordable destinations for a family vacation.)
Ready to book your flight now? Dont miss the best date to get cheap airline tickets this summer. (Its no longer Tuesday!)
Dream Cabins: Four-level log home on private island listed for $1.99 million (slideshow) – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
Posted: August 3, 2017 at 10:35 am
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
Dream Cabins: Four-level log home on private island listed for $1.99 million (slideshow)
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
A four-level log home on Eagle Island, one of a few privately-held islands in Lake Vermilion, is listed for $1.99 million. A four-level log home on a private island in Lake Vermilion is listed for. VIEW SLIDESHOW 16 photos. A four-level log home on a …
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Posted: at 10:35 am
Have you heard of the Telo Islands? If you are a surfer, or want to become one heck, even if you are the partner or a child of a surfer it’s probably about time you learned about this Indonesian chain. That’s not only because they offer some of the most untouched and beautiful tropical islands on the planet, but also some of the surfing world’s most user-friendly waves.
The combination provides one truly unique vacation for every type of ocean-loving holidaymaker.
Situated off the west coast of Sumatra, and almost directly on the equator, the archipelago known as Kepulan Batu lies between the island of Nias to the north and the Mentawai Islands to the south. Those two destinations are widely known for the quality and quantity of their world-class waves. Which is great if you are a good surfer, but not much use if you aren’t.
The Telo Islands, although blessed with similar quality of waves, offer a very different proposition. For starters, they have a unique feel, with their limestone cliffs and platinum-white sandy beaches most often compared to the dramatic cliff islands to the north of Thailand. Unlike the Mentawais, the 100 islands in the chain can be navigated through a series of protected channels and lagoons. These flat stretches of aqua-blue water, reminiscent of the Florida Keys, not only make for quick travel through the archipelago, but offer safety from the wild waves and winds of the Indian Ocean.
Another bonus is the remoteness. The Telo Islands are accessed only by boat or private aircraft, which means they remain largely unspoiled by the rampant development that affects most parts of Indonesia. And with only three surf camps currently in the chain, crowds aren’t an issue.
That’s why Matt Cruden, one of the first boat skippers in the Mentawais and who first started searching the Telos 20 years ago, set up his Latitude Zero resort here. After spending decades on chartered boats, he knew that many surfers wanted to bring their partners and kids, but a boat trip wasn’t an ideal option. With four kids of his own he also knew there was a gap for a family-oriented upmarket boutique resort experience. He just needed the location.
When he discovered an island with a natural coconut garden, a sandy beach lapped by clear, calm, aqua-toned waters with no offshore fringing reef that made it perfect for boat access, swimming or relaxing and safe for kids he knew he had his spot. Around a decade ago he set up Latitude Zero and his own version of a private paradise.
While his array of fast watercraft offered instant access to many of the waves he had discovered, the camp itself was aimed to please even the most diehard non-surfer. The resort’s luxury villas, pools, safe swimming, fishing and snorkeling mean the fun isn’t just all in the waves. They even offer a discount for the non-surfers in the group.
Oh, and babysitting!
Besides Latitude Zero, the Telo Island Lodge too offers the beauty of the Telos and a protected lagoon, plus the bonus of two waves right on its doorstep. The waves, known as Max’s Left and Max’s Right, face opposite each other, meaning one is always offshore.
If that isn’t quite enough (and it usually is), there are another 18 breaks within an hour’s boat ride. The resort is also limited to just eight guests, meaning that crowds can never be an issue.
Finally, the Telo Surf Villa offers a less boutique, more surf-centric experience. Its unique selling point is that one of the chain’s most fun and consistent waves, a right-hander known as Ranga’s or GT’s, can be accessed from the beach, which is a two-minute walk from the accommodation.
Again, as with most islands in the Telo, the setting is beautiful, the crowds tiny and the wave perfect for all levels. What more could you ask for?
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