Sugar-white beaches flanked by swaying palms, coral lagoons and reef-lined coasts. Sprawling villas with picturesque pools hidden in ancient emerald forests teeming with wildlife. Picture all of this without a single person in sight. These remote private islands for rent could be yours, and yours alone.
SEE ALSO: Sustainable resorts around the world
1. Pulau Pangkil
Just southeast of Bintan is Pulau Pangkil: An Edenic rustic respite within easy reach from Singapore’s sterility. Go off grid in its driftwood palaces which are just five paces from the beach. Made from salvaged logs, these take a homely approach to modern luxuries with no televisions or air-conditioning. Forget the Wi-Fi (available at most parts of the island); instead, spend your days unwinding in your exclusive private beach. Renting Pangkil means hiring the whole island; its book-out rate covers accommodation, use of amenities and facilities and the full attention of over 20 staff.
2. Calvigny Island, Grenada
This is the Caribbean done right. Located off the coast off Grenada, the palm-fringed Calivigny Island combines Balinese and French colonial architecture with luxury furnishings. Six beaches — all of them with gleaming blue waters and immaculate sandy shores — are for endless sun soaking. There’s a full complement of water activities to keep you entertained. Windsurf, jet ski, snorkel or do nothing but lie supine on the sand. Then, retreat to the resort where private chefs customise meals using fresh produce from the island’s greenhouse.
3. Nay Palad Hideaway, Siargao
Dubbed the “birthplace of barefoot luxury”, Nay Palad Hideaway stuns with its isolated location on the laid-back Filipino isle of Siargao. Home to the legendary Cloud 9 surf break, its jungle cloaked landscape features a combination of underground caves, bone-white beaches and ancient mangrove forests. Just nine spacious villas are on site with each made from recycled wood and appointed in Dedon (the island’s former name) luxury outdoor furnishings. There’s no need to pull out your wallet here as your stay is all-inclusive whether it’s a drink, expedition or spa experience you seek. Settle in at its Master Villa, which has its own swimming pool, rooftop nest and private beach.
4. Amanpulo, Philippines
When writer Jennifer Donnolly said “meet me where the sky touches the sea”, we’re certain she was referring to Amanpulo, an isolated island in the Cuyo Archipelago of the Philippines. Under a cerulean sky, turquoise waters lap up powdery soft beaches. But beneath the calm surface lies seven square kilometres of thriving coral reef. Situated on its own island of Pamalican, Amanpulo’s accommodation ranges from casitas modelled after Filipino indigenous huts to top-tier villas with seamless indoor-outdoor living and dining features, private swimming pools and a chef and butler at your service.
5. Fregate Island, Seychelles
Seven private beaches — one of which is constantly voted the most beautiful in the world — are found at Fregate Island, an isle marooned in the south equator of Seychelles. At Fregate, nature holds sway — follow a trail of giant tortoises on their way to a mud bath, stumble out of a jungle into a sapphire shimmering lagoon, or watch as fruit bats glide over the sky as you lie back on a beach lounger. Step up a gear on luxury by renting the entire island and camp out at Banyan Hill Estate, a massive complex of three villas on your own private peninsula. Private butlers, maids and assistants are available to make real your heart’s desire whether it’s a beach party, boat race or a gourmet picnic in the forest.
6. Four Seasons Voavah, Maldives
Live like the world’s most privileged castaway at Voavah: A Four Seasons UNESCO hideaway on the crest of Baa Atoll. If privacy is your concern, this is where you’ll find an abundance of it. Getting here requires a flight via an eight-seater seaplane and entries are only via a single-point for maximum security. Your experience is entirely your own. Days can be spent swimming with the world’s biggest population of manta rays; exploring one of the richest coral-reef systems on earth; or cleansing your chakras with a sound bath in a spa that’s perched over a glistening lagoon. The villas are within touching distance from the sea; the three-bedroom property is mere steps from the sand while the two-bedroom is set above a fish-filled lagoon. Both come with sleek infinity pools to soak in the sublime sea views. Coupled with the legendary Four Seasons service, this is a remote retreat unlike any other.