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Travel Another Day in Paradise: Part One

Another Day in Paradise: Part One

Another Day in Paradise: Part One
By Leanne Mirandilla, Yanni Tan and Joannah Zhong
September 19, 2013

Embrace the castaway spirit and let your worries melt away at one of these private island getaways

Nothing defines a luxury seaside holiday more than a private island getaway. While some swanky resorts may offer secluded locations, butler service, bespoke dining and customised activities, a guests-only island guarantees the attractive combination of exclusivity, untrodden beachs, and the possibility of having the entire place to yourself. This shortlist honours some of the few deserving private islands, each exceptional in its own way.

Pulau Joyo (Indonesia)
The beauty of Pulau Joyo lies not only in its footprint-free beaches, but also in its close proximity to gateway Singapore. Located off the southeastern coast of Bintan in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, the island is, in fact, easily accessible by ferries for Bintan that leave from close to Singapores Changi Airport, followed by private car and speedboat transfer. The entire journey takes about three hours. Pulau Joyo only recently became a full-fledged resort (it was the private residence of a shipping tycoon until 2011), and it is ideal for those who prefer a quiet castaway experience. The island is tiny and fringed by white-sand beaches. The water is clear and calm, while the food is delicious if simple Indonesian fare. There are only eight beachfront villas – four Driftwood Palaces, two Java Houses and two Treehouses. Rustic yet tasteful, the villas don’t have air conditioning but are designed to take full advantage of sea breezes. The resort also offers a 140-foot charter yacht, the Hang Tuah, for day trips.

Tagomago (Spain)
Ibiza is known as Spains  “party central”, but who knew that total tranquility was only a 10-minute boat ride away? One of the last private islands in the Mediterranean, Tagomago is perfect for those who like to have options – be it joining in the wild nightlife scene of the White Isle or simply hiding away from it all. Whichever you prefer, the 40-hectare limestone islet is solely yours for the duration of your stay because the only accommodation available is a five-suite villa, perched on elevated ground, that can host up to 10 guests. Minimalist in style and very spacious, the villa flaunts a Bang & Olufsen sound system, large swimming pool, sauna, designer kitchen and floor-to-ceiling vistas of the turquoise sea and dramatic cliffs. Pathways radiating outwards lead to various spots of interest, including the island’s own nature reserve populated by indigenous birds, a lighthouse built in 1909 and a protected cove where you can indulge in water sports or hold barbecue parties on the beach. A full range of extras, including babysitting services, dive trips, massages and even helicopter transfers, can also easily be arranged.

Balesin Island (Philippines)
‪Only a 25-minute flight away from Manila, Balesin Island offers its members the exclusivity of owning a piece of paradise. Its 500ha are home to seven themed “villages” taking inspiration from beautiful beach destinations around the world – from Mykonos in Greece to the Costa del Sol in Spain. All feature distinctive architecture, cuisine and design flourishes which come together to create a truly unique experience. On Balesin, you can travel the world with style and ease. Members can go horseback riding, sailing, fishing, snorkelling and more. Peaceful walks along the 7.3km stretch of beach are not to be missed. Villas are spacious at more than 1,000sqft, and some feature jacuzzis and outdoor showers. This members-only island has the added benefit of being eco-friendly to an admirable degree. Home to teeming wildlife, the exclusive resort makes special effort to conserve the island’s ecosystem by recycling waste on-site and maintaining organic farms where ingredients are sourced and then used at the restaurants.

Aman Sveti Stefan (Montenegro)
Beaches full of tourists usually come to mind when you think of summers in Europe. This makes the Aman Sveti Stefan all the more special because it’s located on its own private islet, about 10 times the size of an Olympic swimming pool, on a spectacular stretch of the Adriatic Coast. As the resort was formerly a fishing village dating back to the 15th century, guests are not just guaranteed exclusivity but the unique experience of living and breathing the history of this part of southeastern Europe. The 50 luxurious guest cottages and suites are housed in medieval buildings restored to their original glory, within a setting of courtyards, stone archways and quaint cobbled lanes lined with herbs and flowers. Linking the islet to the mainland (a small section of which is also part of the Aman estate) is a short isthmus that extends into two gorgeous and very private sandy beaches. The Aman Spa doles out indulgent treats, but if you’re looking for a bit more adventure, the resort can help you to arrange a number of bespoke activities such as vineyard visits, boat rides and fishing trips.

Lizard Island (Australia)
There’s no mobile phone coverage on Lizard Island, but it’s not like you’ll need it. Located on the northernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef, the island is an untouched paradise spanning 1,000ha, with surrounding waters so pristine the area has been declared a marine park. Distracting you from your worldly cares is the island’s impressive range of offerings, including 24 fine-sand beaches, a tennis court, private boat charters, walking trails, the Azure Spa and some of the best scuba diving on the world’s largest coral reef. There are also helicopter tours, the most interesting of which head to the mainland’s far north for a lesson in aboriginal culture or a game of nine-hole golf. The resort’s 40 rooms and suites are furnished in laid-back Aussie style, along with amenities such as Bose sound systems, king-sized beds and Aesop toiletries. You’d imagine that such an extraordinary place would be swamped with day-trippers, but there are none, thanks to the island’s remote location. Reaching the resort, however, is relatively easy via an international flight to Cairns, then a short 60-minute trip by private plane.

Stay tuned until next week for the second installment of private island getaways


Travel private islands Johanna Arculli australia indonesia philippines aman sveti stefan balesin island montenegro elaine marden anto marden tagomago pulau joyo spain Ronald Arculli lizard island castaway getaway


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