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Discover these idyllic private islands for your exclusive use

While purchasing a private island might seem like the ultimate form of indulgence, why go to all the trouble of investing in your own slice of paradise when you could enjoy all the benefits without the baggage? By choosing to buy out an entire island for one night to a week or even longer, you are given free rein of your dream location without having to worry about anything.

With cruise lines following the growing trend of offering their guests a private island experience, there’s clearly something very appealing about sipping botanical-infused cocktails on the beach in complete privacy. What’s more, it’s comforting to know that as you go about exploring a whole new world of all-inclusive activities, there’s five-star service and abundant luxury amenities awaiting you at the end of the day.

Here are some of the world’s finest and arguably most extravagant private islands to keep in mind when planning your next getaway.

Eilean Shona

Location: Scotland  |  Price: from US$3,830/week (Sail Loft)

Situated in a loch on Scotland’s west coast, Eilean Shona is owned by Virgin Founder Richard Branson’s younger sister and businesswoman Vanessa Branson, whose flair for design is weaved into the luxury lodgings. Free of traffic and noise, the Neverland-inspired scenery offers a retreat from the modern world.

A three-hour drive from Glasgow followed by a five-minute boat ride is all it takes to arrive at this slice of wilderness. Here, guests can look forward to natural leisure attractions, including wild swimming, campfires, kayaking and hiking. The evenings can be spent making the most of the luxurious features in the architecturally stunning Eilean Shona House, which accommodates up to 18 guests.

For couples, the latest edition to the collection of cottages in the form of the Sail Loft offers the perfect hideaway with its ​​custom-made Moroccan copper bath, opulent Hästens bed and mini-sauna.

COMO Cocoa Island

Location: Maldives  |  Price: from US$42,600/night

Home to the world’s first underwater restaurant and the largest overwater villa, the Maldives is a destination that boasts many firsts. But if you thought that a Maldivian escape was only for romantics, COMO Cocoa Island, nestled in the crystal lagoon waters of South Malé’s atoll, will show you just how adventurous a private island escape can get.

A mere 40 minutes from the international airport by speedboat, the island’s main drawing card is the 33 overwater villas that range from one-to-three bedrooms. Wake up to the soothing sound of water beckoning you to indulge in a world-class snorkel or dive session before sipping on Champagne on the silky soft sands that surround this heaven on Earth.

Pangkor Laut Island

Location: Malaysia  |  Price: from US$5,930/night

Shielded by trees in the lush canopies of Pangkor Laut Island, The Estates at Pangkor Laut Resort give honeymooners, families and private groups the ultimate secluded luxury experience. With the Estate Timor Package or the Estate Uttara Package you can enjoy the private use of more than one estate on this strip of paradise off the coast of Malaysia.

While some private villas are perched high up in the rainforest, others have the beach on their doorstep with a pool as well as separate living and dining spaces included. Have all your needs taken care of with speedboat transfers, a personal butler and chef – plus a private, chauffeur-driven car.

Pelorus Private Island

Location: Australia  |  Price: On request

A short private helicopter or yacht charter from mainland Australia is the 400-hectare Pelorus Island, which sits off the coast of Townsville. Since 2017, the Morris family have been the proud caretakers of this eco-conscious setting. As it is nestled in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the fringing reefs encircling the island make for an unparalleled snorkeling or diving experience with direct access from the private beach.

Key activities include guided Jet Ski and SEABOB tours, reef fishing, a visit to the Museum of Underwater Art and private boat charters. As you imagine, guests are really spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the azure waters and untainted landscapes within the island system that Pelorus is situated in. The contemporary coastal lodging is unique in this region, boasting five luxurious suites with en suite and shower, a beachfront pool and plenty of light-filled communal spaces designed for entertaining family or friends in a secluded, breezy setting.

The all-inclusive dining experience is brought to life by local flavors specially prepared by a private dining team and paired with favorites from Pelorus’ well-stocked cellar.

Moskito Island

Location: British Virgin Islands  |  Price: from US$25,360/night

It doesn’t get any more idyllic than Moskito Island when it comes to private island buyouts. Located just three kilometers from Richard Branson’s Necker Island, The Branson Beach Estate on Moskito Island invites up to 22 guests to partake in a one-of-a-kind experience that is tailored to each guest’s preferences before arrival.

Perfect for special celebrations, corporate gatherings and reunions, each of the three villas is equipped with an infinity pool and hot tub. In this Caribbean paradise there is something at every turn to pique your interest, from nearby island trips to world-class deep-sea fishing.

Vommuli Island

Location: Maldives  |  Price: from US$390,000/night

The Maldives is easily one of the world’s premier destinations for idyllic island escapes, so it’s no surprise that there’s more than one flourishing example for ultra-luxe seekers and their guests to choose from. Who would have thought that The St. Regis would offer an opulent buyout experience with exclusive access to their 77 overwater villas? Thankfully, there’s a comprehensive offering attached to the exorbitant price tag.

Think ayurvedic healing treatments, dolphin cruising, yacht adventures and access to the resort’s exclusive bars and restaurants; everything you desire to make your dream vacation a reality. Once the keys are in your possession, you can indulge in the signature butler service and sumptuous amenities as if these luxuries were granted to you in the privacy of your home.

The Private Island Experience accommodates up to 154 guests, and is suited to weddings, private parties and other special occasions. The island is situated just 40 minutes from Velana International Airport by seaplane.

Turtle Island

Location: Fiji  |  Price: On request

Not all private islands come with 12 pristine beaches and the warm embrace of Fijian hospitality. Situated in the Yasawa Islands archipelago, Turtle Island is a 200-hectare hidden gem in the South Pacific, which embodies the true meaning of barefoot luxury.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, family reunion or the party of a lifetime, guests can relax knowing that kids will be taken care of and that a personal concierge will be waiting to ensure that your week-long stay surpasses your expectations.

The beachfront villas can accommodate 14 couples, who will benefit from the all-inclusive approach. This means that gourmet feasts, horseback riding on the beach and sunset cruises are included in the package, as well as transfers to and from the island.

Elang Private Residence

Location: Indonesia  |  Price: from US$18,000/night (up to 10 guests), US$25,000/night (up to 14 guests)

Just a few hours’ flight from Singapore and Batam is Elang, Bawah Reserve’s secret hideaway in Indonesian waters. Perched on the cliffs of Elang, the adults-only lodges offer guests an exclusive open-air experience with uninterrupted ocean views. Facilities include the Club House and Beach House restaurants, private beach, tennis court, saltwater infinity pool and traditional therapies carried out at the Kayu Spa.

Culinary enthusiasts will appreciate the locally harvested ingredients that enhance the flavors on the menu while eco-conscious travelers will feel relieved knowing that Bawah puts sustainability at the forefront of its decisions.

Isla Palenque

Location: Panama  |  Price: On request

If you’re looking for an island that offers exotic discovery that you’d normally read about in fantasy novels, then look no further than Isla Palenque, nestled in the Pacific Gulf of Chiriqui. With the ocean on your doorstep, the sustainably designed villa is a luxurious resting place from which to explore Panama’s best kept secrets.

The location is well-suited to nature lovers who have access to 24 uninhabited islands, which are home to green iguanas, tropical birds and jungle cats as well as plenty of equally enticing natural landscapes. The 162-hectare island is your playground for exploration, as is the menu. Allow your private chef to take you on a wild culinary adventure inspired by local tastes and seasonal delights.

To make the most of your Central American trip be sure to allow for additional time for a road trip through the picturesque Chiriqui Province.

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