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Idyllic Beach Escapes

Steal away to some of the best isla nd a nd beach escapes in the world, whether it’s a private isla nd owned by a celebrity or indulgent pampering at a renowned spa resort.

 

Celebrity Hideouts

Illusionist David Copperfield would enjoy disappearing to his personal island Musha Cay, a group of islands that sit in Copperfield Bay in Exumas, Bahamas. The 150ac private island is great for up to 24 guests. Spend your days exploring the various islands or go jet skiing, watch outdoor movies at Dave’s Drive- In or play a game of billiards on Houdini’s championship table. Commemorate your visit with a spectacular fireworks display, or a unique treasure hunt dreamed up by David Copperfield and his team. Otherwise, board the 37ft Midnight Express and 28ft amphibious catamaran to explore the other surrounding islands. Book the Highview for its luxurious Grandmaster suites, private sauna and two full kitchen.
mushacay.com;US$39,000
 
The Brando sits on Tetiaroa Island, the preferred retreat of Tahitian royalty for centuries. Marlon Brando discovered its pristine beauty when he filmed Mutiny on the Bounty. Explore Tetiaroa on a roofed boat with a naturalist guide or the lagoon by Polynesian outrigger canoe. Discover the best marine life including sea turtles, rays, reef sharks and tropical fish. Experience local culture like Polynesian dance, music, handicraft, food, wine and cocktail lessons as well as taste the best Tahitian cuisine during your stay. We also recommend whalewatching tours in July to October with the naturalist guide and professional scuba diver. Sleep in the largest accommodation – the three bedroom villa.
thebrando.com; US$2,635
 


 

Renowned Scenery

Tucked away in Sabah, Malaysia is the Gaya Island – part of the larger Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. It’s a short drive from the 75,730ha UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park, renowned for the high concentration of species and living relics of natural vegetation. At Gaya Island Resort, continue your exploration of the natural inhabitants in the forested trails, where proboscis and macaque monkeys dwell. Be entranced by gorgeous views of the rainforest and pristine shores. Explore the best of the neighbouring islands, all boasting quiet sandy beaches, or embark on a deep sea fishing excursion. For a romantic touch, charter the resort’s 64ft private yacht, or enjoy a personalised gourmet picnic on Tavajun Bay. For the best views, book the Kinabalu Villa.gayaislandresort.com; US$208
 
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 130,028ha Tubbataha Reef Marine Park is renowned for its wealth of marine life like tiger sharks, whales and sharks. In close proximity, Pangulasian Island in El Nido, Philippines has amazing views of both the sunrise and sunset, paired with a 750m expanse of white sand beach. Of all the villas available, we suggest booking one of the four Kalaw villas with lap pool and sala. Indulge in some of the best watersports, like diving around some 20 sites in El Nido. Treat yourself to sustainable cuisine on the island, in enchanting locales like a secluded corner of the beach or have cocktails on board a raft in a lagoon.elnidoresorts.com/pangulasianisland-resort; US$526
 


 

Most Exclusive

North Island, which has been visited by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Jennifer Aniston, is located at Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean. There’s only one way in and out of the island – by helicopter. It’s fringed with granite peaks, lush forest and of course white beaches. Enjoy in-villa dining and spa treatments in your Villa North Island. When dining here, the team of chefs will develop a special menu of the day for you, based on your preferences and desires for that day. The menu is created using the island’s organic gifts paired with some of the world’s best wines and champagnes. Explore the Vallée de Mai and the neighbouring Praslin, go wreck diving or playing 18-holes of golf on the PGAapproved coastal course also on Praslin.
north-island.com; US$3,014
 
Bora Bora’s most luxurious and exclusive private island, Motu Tane, is available for rent for a single group at a time. It’s a small island, with just 3ac of tropical gardens, surrounded by a white sandy beach. The fully staffed island also contains 13 rooms, with interior design work done by Christian Liaigre. The island, owned by millionaire Francois Nars, previously of NARS cosmetics, also has a private chef to attend to all your requests including a romantic Tahitan dinner for two in the island’s restaurant. Spend your time exploring the teeming reef, or rent a 26ft Boston Whaler to explore the waters beyond the island. A local Tahitan dance group will also entertain you during your stay. Get first dibs on the 22,500 sq ft master suite.
vladi-private-islands.de; US$30,000
 


 

Best for Families

Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, St. Lucia is an all-inclusive resort perfect for families. The resort combines two worlds in one – one resort is adults only, perfect for honeymooning couples or families without adolescent age children. The other is a wonderful theme-park-esque location, with its own CocoLand Waterpark. Younger children can hang out at the Kidz Club with spilling buckets and misting jets. Teenagers looking for drier fun can try their hand at the 25,000sq ft paintball course. Otherwise, give kitesurfing a whirl at the resort’s exclusive sports complex. Steal some time away for private tours like the Couples Escapade – Private Tour with Zipline: a 7h tour that comprises shopping, mud baths and trips to the Botanic Gardens and Diamond Falls. Book the two bedroom family connecting room.
Cbayresort.com; US$437
 
Younger guests from three to twelve years old will have a thoroughly enjoyable vacation at Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, where its Explorer’s Club includes activities like video games, movie nights, weekly camping adventures and sandcastle competitions. Parents and teenagers can enjoy an array of activities such as golfing, tennis, themed parties, volleyball, Euro-bungee and of course a wide range of water sports including diving and water skiing. We recommend having a couple’s dinner one night at the Tuscan- Italian restaurant Portofino – it’s adults only. Families will love the three-bedroom Dreams Suite with Ocean View.
Dreamsresorts.com/villamagna; US$373
 


 

Best for Spa

Experience the best of Six Senses’ spa treatments at Soneva Kiri, in Koh Kood, Thailand. Find your best self, fitness and wellness-wise, especially when renowned practitioners like Dave Catudal and Lorenzo Becchi are in residence. The spa also offers its guests water shiatsu, yoga classes, yogic detox and a weight loss programme, should you require it. We recommend the 90 min Six Senses Signature Deep Tissue massage to relieve muscle tension. Some things to do during your stay include the outdoor Cinema Paradiso movie screening. Also, get a panoramic view of your surroundings when on the Treetop Dining Pod. At night, glance up to the heavens at the resort’s Observatory and marvel at the glorious constellations. The ultimate accommodation here is the Private Cliff Reserve sixbedroom Villa 63.
 
Soneva.com/soneva-kiri; US$1,413
Arrive in style by paragliding over Six Senses Zighy Bay, one of the most unique entrances into a resort in the world. Enjoy the best of Oman, infused in the finest Six Senses seven-day Sense of Oman programme. This includes private yoga and kayaking sessions, as well as indulging in a traditional hammam, an Arabic facial, three herbal steams and a Wonders of Oman treatment. The last is a 3h cleansing journey featuring the Arabian Body Rasul. Away from the spa, indulge in exciting excursions like the Sabatyn 4×4. This combines a 4×4 drive to the Sabatyn village filled with petroglyphs, stone towers and ancient houses. You can also watch the sunset at the Sabatyn plateau, paired with canapés and sparkling wine. You’ll want to book The Retreat for that perfect stay.
Sixsenses.com/resorts/zighy-bay; US$808

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