Either way, staying on an island for your vacation seems a lot more glamorous than staying on the mainland, and if it’s a private island with just one resort, even better. .
There are a few magical places in the world where this is the norm, think of the Maldives. Each island is so small that they can only set up one resort on it, apart from the main island, that is. And, yes, the Maldives are super luxurious and glamorous, but I won’t mention them here, because not only has the resort I stayed at years ago changed hands, so I can’t really recommend it anymore. first hand, but also out there are just too many to choose a favorite. If you are lucky enough to visit the Maldives no matter where you stay, you won’t be disappointed.
Elsewhere in the world, wherever there is a sea or even a lake, you can often find a luxury hotel that takes full advantage of the location and allure of being on a private island. And, if there was no island before, some hotels just built theirs. Here I have chosen some of my personal favorites. Some because of the stunning views, sunsets at the turquoise sea, others because the setting and the hotel itself is just out of this world. And a couple for quite different reasons.
Hopefully there will be a few that inspire you to plan a luxury hotel stay on your own private island.
1. Taj Lake Palace Hotel
I was on a tour through Rajasthan when we stopped in Udaipur. Not only amazed by the absolutely stunning setting of the grand palaces and iconic steps on one side of Udaipur’s many lakes, Lake Pichola and the mountains on the other, there was also the magnificent and historic Lake Palace floating in the lake. mist. The Lake Palace was built around 1750 as a summer place for the Maharana of Udaipur, and is literally a palace in the lake; there is no space around in the water, just a mooring for boats carrying guests. Today, it is a luxury hotel, and surely one of the most beautiful there is. With a lush garden in the center, a superb restaurant, a rather freezing swimming pool and simply breathtaking views, this is one of the best places in the world for a special occasion.
Pro tip: Right across from Lake Palace is the City Palace, a rambling structure built 400 years ago for the ruling Mewar family. It was portrayed as a hotel in James Bond octopus (1983), which also featured the Lake Palace.
2. Matangi Island
It took me three flights in smaller and smaller planes, a drive, a boat ride and a walk along the beach to reach my little one. bure, or Fijian hut, on Matangi Island in Fiji. I still think this is my most exotic place ever, even though I was living in Australia at the time, and it was practically local. But the little island is a gem. The owner still lives on this island, and she has been in her family since 1878. There are only a few bures, and a main building where you have all your meals, always fresh and local. There is a spa and dive center, and a horseshoe shaped bay where you can be dropped off by boat and have it just to yourself for the day, and the snorkeling is sensational. Small, personal and in the evenings – and on arrival and departure the island staff come together to sing for you. It sounds naive, but trust me, they can sing like angels, and just accompanied by a ukulele, they bring you the South Sea.
Pro tip: The international date line officially crosses the neighboring island, but luckily Fiji has adopted a time zone or confusion will reign supreme.
3. Frigate Island
Fregate Island is a short boat or helicopter ride from the main island of Mahé and is a perfect hideaway with just 17 villas and a presidential villa, with beaches that have a “Do Not Disturb” sign and a phone to call. for cocktails. You can eat in the main building, where there is also a nice bar and swimming pool, but also you can have your meals in your veranda. The only thing people ask of you is that you share your food with the local wildlife, and so when you get your breakfast tray, lots of birds and other wildlife come to join you, leaving you a little bit. like Cinderella. An island where conservation has been on the menu for decades, it is a haven for wildlife, from turtles to turtles, lizards to an incredible selection of birds, such as the famous frigates and the utterly charming white terns, which always come pairs.
Pro tip: Each villa comes with a golf cart for personal transportation, but be sure to explore the wild side of the island on a guided nature walk. You will see cashew nuts growing, breathtaking views and learn about the local flora and fauna.
4. Burgh Island Hotel
Devoted lover of all that is Art Deco, it is a dream place for me. The Burgh Island Hotel is a true iconic example of the Art Deco era and has been popular throughout its history. So much so that Agatha Christie wrote two novels here, which were also later shot here for the authentic setting, and Noel Coward remained, as did Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, aviator Amy Johnson, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and even Josephine Baker and the Beatles, if not all at the same time.
Located on Burgh Island off the coast of South Devon, a tidal island that can be reached on foot at low tide, but also has a stilted bus, just in case; the hotel is separate from a historic old pub and ruined chapel, the only building on the island.
Pro tip: Visit the Pilchard Inn pub on the island. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, but for a good pint or pitcher of Pimm’s paired with good pub food you can’t beat it. And it is immensely historic: it dates from 1336!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Burj Al Arab is not only Dubai’s most iconic luxury hotel, but it sits on its own man-made island, accessible by a causeway open only to guests. It might not be a private island like the ones mentioned above, set in a vast ocean, miles from anywhere, but it just could be. Once you’ve stepped through the threshold, you step into another world, and while the blingy decor may blind you at first, you get used to the over-the-top splendor pretty quickly. The Burj Al Arab was one of the hotels that anyone who thought they were someone stayed in, even before social media, but it has kind of settled in, and it’s a fun getaway, something really quite unusual and unique, to enjoy for a night or two.
Pro tip: While you’re there, walk down to Pierchic, my favorite restaurant in Dubai. It’s perched at the end of a jetty, as the name suggests, and offers unrivaled views of the island from your hotel. And the food is fabulous!
6. Heron Island
We cannot talk about island stays without mentioning the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. There are a few very luxurious private island resorts, such as Orpheus Island Lodge and Lizard Island, but my favorite is Heron Island. Not as fancy as the others, but it probably has the best scuba diving on the entire Great Barrier Reef. I might have been very lucky when I was there, but I saw countless turtles, manta rays, sharks, giant groupers, tiny clownfish and everything in between. The island is a beautiful nature reserve with a research station, far from the coast and home to countless birds and an incredible array of nature shows. To add that special luxury boost, you can arrive and depart by seaplane, a great way to travel – and I’ve even seen whales from the plane.
Pro tip: During the southern hemisphere summer months, Heron Island is home to over 200,000 birds, including knot terns and sheep birds. Since the island is only 2,600 feet long and 980 feet wide, or an area of about 40 acres, it can get noisy. But if you love birds as well as marine life, this is the place.
Unusual and luxurious accommodations are every traveller’s dream: