According to CNN, UHNWIs around the world are showing increased interest in renting or buying private islands since the first lockdown.
The ultimate once-in-a-lifetime trip to absolute seclusion and perfect peace, private island retreats and “bubble to bubble” vacations are higher than ever on the luxury consumer desirability scale, as they offer you plentiful space, security, complete privacy and unparalleled luxury.
From COMO Hotels & Resorts’ NEW tropical hideaway, COMO Laucala Island in Fiji, to the ethical private marine reserve of Thanda Island off the coast of Tanzania and the ultra-luxury private island of Velaa in the Maldives, we’ve gathered some exciting news from the world’s most searched destinations.
Thanda Island, Tanzania
The only marine reserve for exclusive use in the world
Nestled in the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve in Tanzania, the rustic island of Thanda is the only private marine reserve in the world that operates as an exclusive-use luxury resort. The seafaring counterpart to South Africa’s famous Thanda Safari, Thanda Island is home to a five-suite villa built in colonial style with a gym, patio, infinity pool and library. A short walk from the main villa are two authentic, newly refurbished beach cottages (Tanzanian bandas) where a further eight people can reside. The island is completed with a tennis court, an ocean front yoga pavilion, a helipad, a helicopter, a Sea Lion super yacht and a fully equipped boathouse.
On Thanda Island, guests are assigned their own personal marine biologist who will guide ethical whale shark excursions and underwater conservation activities – where even the snorkel gear is eco-friendly, because rash vests are made from recycled plastic. Epicureans will savor the island’s unforgettable culinary experiences, such as a Swahili feast, a decadent affair that includes curries with hand-squeezed coconut milk, fresh lobster and oysters. Everything is traditionally prepared with local ingredients by the island’s own chef. The warm community of staff will cater to all guests’ desires and arrange bespoke itineraries accordingly.
Committed to improving the environment and protecting endangered species, Thanda Island works closely with the NGO Tanzania Marine Parks and Sea Sense to educate local communities about sustainable fishing and marine conservation. These partnerships have resulted in the return of fish to the coral reef and the reappearance of reef herons, as well as the nesting of sea turtles on the beach. Today in Thanda there are about 300 species of fish, two species of dolphins (bottlenose and humpback) and two species of sea turtles (green and hawksbill). At the community level, Thanda Island employs local Swahili staff and promotes a business and entrepreneur development project and an educational project that inspires children to achieve their dreams and lead healthy lives, through the recently established NGO, Star for Life Tanzania. (Rates from £33,000 per night. Five night minimum stay; thandaisland.com)
Velaa Private Island, Maldives
The most exclusive and luxurious resort in the world
Nestled in the constellation of islands that form the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island takes exclusivity to the next level with facilities and services that go beyond traditional resorts. Designed by award-winning Czech architect Petr Kolar as “an elegant fusion of Maldivian culture with contemporary luxury, intimate with Maldivian undertones”. Velaa Private Island is the realization of a dream of creating an exclusive boutique hideaway ‘beyond luxury’ in the Maldives.
Velaa means “Turtle” in the local language – named after generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch. From a wider “bird’s eye view” that welcomes seaplane arrivals, the island’s exclusive overwater villas are also built to resemble the head of a turtle, with the island forming the body. The complex includes 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences. While 18 of the 47 are built over the water, the Romantic Pool Residence is only accessible by boat, allowing for even more privacy and exclusivity.
This year, Velaa Private Island continues to take its commitment to wellness to the next level by inviting guests to rejuvenate and achieve their fitness ambitions while nurturing mind, body and spirit. soul with their guest practitioner program. Reflecting Velaa’s passion for ultra-luxury personalized experiences, the program works with world-class athletes and practitioners to design exclusive workshops designed to promote inner balance, health and harmony, working in perfect synergy with the range of high-tech spa and fitness facilities that Velaa has to offer. Holistic practitioner Dr Buathon Thienarrom will join the program in the coming months and will offer private alternative medicine and holistic healing sessions to guests. (Rates start from £2,200 a night in a beach pool villa with a 5 night minimum; www.velaaprivateisland.com)
COMO Laucala Island, Fiji
Wellness-Focused Private Island Retreat
The latest addition to COMO Hotels & Resorts’ exclusive collection of private islands, COMO Laucala Island in the remote South Pacific is surrounded by turquoise blue seas and white sandy beaches. At the heart of the island are tropical rainforests, volcanic mountains, blue lagoons, mangroves and coconut groves, fostering a unique habitat that allows for a wide range of land and water activities, such as jet-skiing, sailing, diving, big game fishing, horse riding, mountain biking and hiking. Guests can play tennis as well as golf on the David McLay Kidd-designed 18-hole golf course – a first for the Singapore-based luxury hotel group.
Dotted around the north side of the island, the 25 elegant residences are built with natural Fijian wood, to blend seamlessly into the surroundings while remaining true to COMO’s unmistakable contemporary style. Each residence comes with its own COMO butler and private pool, providing guests with unparalleled levels of luxury and seclusion. COMO Shambhala Retreat, the island’s wellness resort, is the embodiment of COMO’s philosophy for holistic and healthy living. At this stimulating retreat, guests can expect fitness classes, yoga, and a fitness center. Treatments use signature COMO Shambhala products, as well as island herbs, spices, flowers and fruits. COMO Shambhala’s Asian-inspired massages and body treatments using the island’s river stones, mineral crystals and rich volcanic soils are also offered.
To minimize its impact on the environment and in keeping with COMO’s farm-to-table philosophy, the island’s five restaurants receive fresh produce from the resort’s 240-acre farm, growing a wide array of crops and ingredients. organic animals including chickens, quails and wagyu. livestock. Fresh seafood supplies are sourced exclusively from local fishermen, furthering the island’s commitment to sustainability. Menus include COMO Shambhala options, which are rich in flavor, nutrient-dense and low in fats and refined sugars. (Rates to be confirmed; comohotels.com)