Secluded island retreats in unique private locations…
Maalifushi by COMO, Maldives
Opened earlier this year, Maalifushi by COMO is the first luxury resort to land on the pristine Thaa Atoll in the archipelago’s southwest. Among other Maldives island hotels, Maalifushi sets itself apart with understated style and that captivating barefoot chic that COMO private island resorts have become so well-known for. Overwater villas, strings of pristine uninhabited private islands and the finest five-star facilities — the luxuries are all here.
Surrounded by the alluring spirit of the Indian Ocean, guests are treated to a range of signature facials, massages and body treatments, all carried out by expert therapists at COMO’s Shambhala Retreat; an onsite gym and freeform swimming pool; a dive centre; water sports centre; book/iPod/DVD library and a boutique. The resort also boasts an open-air yoga pavilion offering complimentary daily yoga classes and exceptional cuisine from its three signature restaurants and bars. All of which can be enjoyed alongside Maalifushi’s stunning designs curated by Japanese architect Koichiro Ikebuchi, whose respect for nature and cultural authenticity brings the Maldives’ vibrant marine life and surroundings into the heart of each of its 33 overwater villas and suites and 32 additional rooms, villas and suites which are situated on-land amid the island’s tropical vegetation.
What makes this destination island resort all the more noteworthy is its uniquely interesting history. The first settlers arrived here in the late 18 century as freed African slaves and developed a dance, derived from their homelands, to celebrate their newfound freedom. Known as the Bodu Maali Neshun or The Dance of the Giant Being, this celebration of joy is performed in colourful costumes to the beat of drums on the Alha’ Eid festival during atmospheric, moonlit nights.
One&Only Hayman Island, Australia
The Whitsundays have long been recognised as one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. The 74 islands – 66 of which are uninhabited – dot the calm waters of the Coral Sea, with Hayman Island offering luxurious front-row seats to its most illustrious denizen, the Great Barrier Reef.
Located at the most northerly point of the island, the One&Only private island resort is a true gem in the Whitsunday Islands’ glittering crown, where stylish elegance goes hand-in-hand with its awe-inspiring natural surroundings.
Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked away to one of three stunning hideaways, each different in style and ambiance — The Hayman Wing, an elegant retreat immersed in the island’s lush landscape; the Beach Wing, a unique beachside retreat for the ultimate Australian beach experience; and, perched over the iconic Hayman Pool, the Pool Wing with swim-out access and panoramic views of the ocean. Penthouse accommodation is also available, located on the top floor of the Hayman Wing, featuring sweeping views of One&Only Hayman Beach, the Coral Sea and the Whitsundays.
The list of facilities and activities on offer are endless. The Great Barrier Reef provides the perfect setting for adrenalin-filled activities including diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing and helicopter and seaplane adventures, while the One&Only Spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind; the state-of-the-art fitness, to get active; or the driving range, to finally practice that golf swing.
Despite offering guests total privacy, One&Only Hayman Island is just a few hours by boat from Australia’s cosmopolitan cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where culture vultures can get their fill of the finest arts, dining and entertainment.
Vamizi Island, Mozambique
Located in the beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago — a string of islands along the length of Mozambique’s remote Northern Coast — Africa’s most celebrated luxury private island resort, Vamizi Island, has long been referred to by health enthusiasts as nature’s biggest spa’. And it’s easy to see why when you take a closer look: soft, white, unpadded sands, crystal clear waters and the luxury of pure, uninterrupted seclusion make a stay here one of the most relaxing around.
The island boasts 10 castaway-chic timber lodges (known locally as ‘kitalas’) strung loosely along one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. But if it’s all-out luxury you’re after, then Vamizi’s Private Villa Collection will be your first port of call.
Named after elements of the island’s fascinating wildlife and beautiful natural surroundings in the local Kimwani dialect — Casa Marjani, for example, marjani meaning ‘coral’ — Vamizi’s four (soon to be six in Autumn this year) luxury private villas are each uniquely designed with ensuite bedrooms, spectacular drawing and dining rooms and peaceful lounging spaces which oscillate around private pools or the beach. A private chef and personal hospitality team, on-hand throughout the duration of your stay, cater to ones’ every need, from tailor-made menus to organised diving, fishing and sailing trips and personalised spa treatments from Vamizi’s resident health and beauty expert, Meg Fey.
Desroches Island, Seychelles
Desroches island is an exotic landmass located in the outer islands of the Amirantes Archipelgo, 230km from Mahé, Seychelles, made all the more alluring being home to only one residence: the lavish Desroches Island private island resort.
Set among palm-fringed beaches and lush, endemic flora and fauna, the five star Desroches Island resort offers accommodation and facilities far beyond the ordinary.
Each of Desroches’ luxury boltholes provide unrivalled privacy in spacious comfort. Choose from Desroches’ Luxury Beach Suite, situated between tropical gardens, palm trees and green lawns, just a few metres from the beach; one of the Desroches’ Beach Suites, each equipped with a private plunge pool, deck and living area; or a Beach Villa, consisting of either three, four or five bedrooms boasting their own unique settings and facilities. There is also the option of the resort’s Madam Zabre Villa — three private swimming pools, a large central living and entertainment area, as well as a modern, equipped Miele kitchen, all set within a luxury 3 bedroom deluxe spa villa.
At level pegging with its uber-chic residencies is the resort’s dining options. For a truly unique experience of the flavours of the Indian Ocean, Desroches chefs will create a culinary journey for guests to enjoy in the privacy of their chalets. While tailor-made picnics and candle-lit dinners make enjoying Desroches’ Island’s breathtaking landscape a truly unforgettable experience.
Topping it off nicely is Desroches Escape Spa and endless list of resort-organised activities. Spend the day diving and fishing in one of the world’s unequalled spots for salt water and deep sea fishing, followed by a relaxing tailored treatment from Desroches ‘Spa Angels’ who are on-hand to help you sail your way to complete rejuvenation.