Tailor-made luxury holidays have always been about getting away from the daily grind, pressing pause on the routine of normal life for a couple of weeks. With the Covid-19 pandemic being so tough for so many, it’s not just about finding a secluded corner of the planet but disappearing to somewhere where you feel like you’ve fallen off the map entirely. Whether it’s a luxury break for couples or a family getaway, we’ve come up with a selection of our favourite remote islands to help you take a breath and reset before returning to the day-to-day.
Nowhere epitomises the get-away-from-it-all feeling than having an entire island all to yourself. Step forward North Island, an exclusive escape in the Seychelles whose extraordinary natural beauty has been left gloriously untouched. With its tropical forest, granite peaks and flour-white sand, this Monaco-sized idyll is a paradise like no other. It’s a hideaway that’s fully committed to leaving as delicate a footprint as possible, with its villas constructed from locally reclaimed glass, stone and wood and roped coral, granite and driftwood used throughout the resort. Nothing is more impressive than its desire to create a mini Noah’s Ark by rewinding the ecological clock two hundreds by eliminating invasive species and reintroducing reptiles like black mud terrapins and birds like the Seychelles white-eye. The island’s exclusivity means the on-island team pays close attention to your preferences, tailoring their suggestions of experiences accordingly, whether it’s a private beach picnic or hiking with the resident conservationist. But this is your island and you’re made to feel in charge of the place, where the only rules are those you make yourself.
Billed as Europe’s most exclusive escape, Tagomago Island can call upon Elizabeth Hurley and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards- among its former residents. Even though it’s nine hundred metres and a five-minute boat ride from Ibiza, it feels a world and a half away from the neon-tinted parties of the White Isle. Its modern five-bedroom whitewashed villa oozes with glitz and glamour, with Balinese daybeds lining a huge pool, sophisticated interiors and a nine-strong team of staff to cater to your every whim. But the real luxury of Tagomago is you get all of Ibiza’s rugged beauty but on a pint-sized scale and all to yourself. Walking trails weave through the bird-rich landscape, you can go stand-up paddleboarding and jet-skiing in the surrounding azure waters and there’s even a lighthouse dating back to 1909 from which to savour fiery sunsets. But if you do want to get a taste for Ibiza’s hedonistic way of life, your own private Mangusta yacht is yours to either zip around the Mediterranean or pop back and explore Tagomago’s bigger brother.
A tiny palm-topped speck floating among the 1,700-strong islands that make up the Florida Keys, you could easily blink and miss Little Palm Island. For those in the know, turn off the Overseas Highway at Little Torch Key and you’ll reach a rustic hut with a wooden ferry boat waiting for you. Hop onboard and glide towards America’s greatest secret. Dock at Little Palm Island and prepare to indulge in your wildest Robinson Crusoe fantasies: thatched villas are interspersed in between swaying palm trees, while crushed seashell pathways thread the five-and-a-half-mile island. The whole point of feeling like you’re stranded is emphasised, whether it’s while you’re lolling in a hammock gently swinging over Little Palm’s silvery sands or melting into spa treatments using sustainably sourced seaweed before seeing the sun dissolve into the Caribbean Sea. You can go kayaking while watching Key deer dart through the foliage, before tucking into a menu that shifts with what’s fresh and the chef’s culinary creativity. Simply put, this is barefoot elegance at its ultimate.
When most people think of a Thai island escape, the likes of Phuket and Koh Samui often spring to mind. But few consider the sugar-white beaches and go-slow island culture of Koh Yao Noi; it’s only a thirty-minute speedboat ride from Phuket but it feels anything but. Its paucity of visitors is to your advantage, as you can soak up the local life, snorkel the unblemished reefs and wander tropical landscapes on an island that still remains blissfully raw. An exotic island paradise needs somewhere to stay that emits rustic driftwood vibes and TreeHouse Villas does exactly that. Feel like the Swiss Family Robinson as you stay in your own thatched treehouse-style villa, nestled high in the jungle canopy overlooking a swathe of supreme sands. It’s the stuff of childhood fantasies and the perfect beach bolthole to really feel like a refined version of Robinson Crusoe. This is an island you’d love to be stranded on.