Planning your next holiday?
If you’re looking to take a break from the bustling cities, these private islands can be a one-stop destination for that perfect, peaceful getaway.
Located in the heart of the Indonesian Anambas, Bawah Island is a previously uninhabited marine conservation area. Guests are encouraged to experience nature through encounters with marine life such as corals, or by stepping into Bawah’s forest which have been left to grow naturally. To promote the eco-friendly nature of Bawah Island, everything is crafted by hand and no heavy machinery is allowed.
Bawah Island allows up to a maximum of 70 guests. It accommodates two people per room in the 21 beach suites and 11 floating bungalows, allowing visitors to have a view of the sea or watch the sunset respectively. There are also three garden suites allowing a view of the green flora and fauna found in Bawah Island. Each accommodation is equipped with a bedroom, bathroom and an outdoor living area that allows guests a view across the lagoon.
Visitors may also unwind with water and relaxation activities, such as by visiting Bawah’s infinity pool and wellness centre for spa and yoga. Personalised yoga, pilates and reiki sessions are offered all day round. Alternatively, there is a tree-top library for literary lovers housing a collection of natural history, architecture, classic literature and guidebooks.
Housing a maximum of 40 guests with a minimum age of 16 years old, bask in relaxation with the 20 bamboo villas offered on the island. Each accommodation is two storeys high, equipped with a deck and plunge pool, as well as a spiral staircase leading to the bedroom and balcony.
Cempedak maximises the use of nature while trying to avoid compromising luxury. Air-conditioners are replaced with automatic fans that come with sensors and televisions are not provided on the island in its attempt to emphasise the importance of being environmentally friendly. Rain water and waste waters are also collected and purified on the island for use with the help of papyrus plants and poaceae grass flowers to extract toxins.
Partake in activities like swimming in the resort’s infinity pool, playing tennis or water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking or diving to explore underwater wildlife. Animals such as silvered leaf monkeys, the endangered sunda pangolin and nicobar pigeon, a native species that is a relative of the dodo, can also be spotted around the island.
Be served local cuisine, with freshly caught fish and locally grown fruits and vegetables, and handpicked wine from small vineyards around the world. A second bar is also available next to the infinity pool by the beach, allowing beach-goers to relax on chairs with drinks.
Formerly known as Nihiwatu, Nihi Sumba Island has been ranked twice as the number one hotel in the world by Travel+Leisure. It offers a variety of 11 types of suites, each designed to give visitors a different experience to enjoy. Choose from Mendaka, which offers a view of the ocean to Puncak which is located on the top of a hill.
Aside from being a luxury resort, it also touts itself as a humanitarian aid that lessens the impacts of poverty by establishing access to clean water and providing locals with job opportunities. Visitors may also volunteer with the Sumba Foundation during their trip, such as by painting murals at schools or helping with the school lunch program.
Adventure seekers may join their plethora of activities such as horse riding and a series of water sports consisting of stand-up paddling, snorkeling and surfing. Alternatively, you can trek to the bottom of the Matayangu waterfall, take a swim at nature’s saltwater pool or even embark on a trip to the chocolate factory to learn how to make your own candy bars as well as get a cocoa massage from the staff.
The private island in Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll is Four Seasons’ first private exclusive-use island. Guarded with surveillance cameras and only one entrance point, it claims to guarantee complete privacy and security. With only 7 villa bedrooms spread around the island, it hosts up to a maximum of 22 guests at one time. Choose from accommodations attached with pavilions or balconies by the beach, over waters or elevated on the island to give a view of the beach, lagoons and biosphere reserve.
Located in the heart of the Indian Ocean’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Four Seasons Maldives Resorts has embarked on several biodiversity projects like coral propagation and sea turtle conservation. Visitors can take a trip out to the waters on a yacht and learn underwater photography. They can also go on snorkeling excursions at manta ray and whale shark feeding grounds like Hanifaru Bay or learn more about marine life from marine biologists.
Unwind with water spa therapies from The Ocean of Consciousness Spa or aqua yoga classes on the island, as well as give yourself a change with customized designs from a hair consultant using celebrity hairstylist Rossano Ferretti’s method.
Cambodia’s Song Saa Private Island showcases a total of 24 luxury villas, split into 4 categories offering land and ocean views, which are made from recycled and reclaimed timber. Through this, the resort hopes to encourage sustainability of the environment.
Snorkel with local fish species like parrotfish and damselfish in Song Saa’s rehabilitated reefs, or join the Song Saa foundation for a tour on the neighbouring island Koh Rong to learn more about its efforts in improving the lives of locals through education programmes and support in organic farming. In addition, there are island tours of Koh Ouen and Koh Beng to learn about the conservation of habitats and the ecosystem.
Alternatively, attend cooking classes to learn how to make your own Khmer dishes or try different spa packages at the Song Saa sanctuaries such as night spa and massages inspired by Cambodian history with the use of natural herbs.
By Jesslyn Lau; This story first appeared on The Peak, January 2018 / Updated July 2019