It is hard to go wrong with a beach vacation. The sea, sand and sunshine = sublime!
Islands tend to be even lovelier. Away from the mainland, they are usually cleaner, more laid back and simply have that je ne sais quoi island vibe.
But have you ever thought about staying on a private island? Take all the wonderfulness of an island vacation and multiply it by a factor of 100.
We have two private islands to recommend to you, one in Malaysia and one in French Polynesia.
Rebak Island Resort – A Taj Hotel (just off Langkawi, Malaysia)
Only about half of this 390 acre island has been developed, the rest is virgin forest filled with monkeys, birds, monitor lizards, and even the rare carnivorous pitcher plant. There are extensive gardens — orchid breeding, herbs, flowers and trees (guests staying two weeks or more can adopt a tree, and get an annual photo update to see how it is growing!)
On Rebak Island, you’re in a natural environment and it is all there for you. But because this is a Taj resort, you know that you’ll have all the luxurious services and amenities too, plus an exceptional kitchen in the hands of Executive Chef Jose Thachil.
You can just rest — at the spa, on your balcony, at the stunning pool, or on the beach. Or you can fill your days with cycling, tennis, squash, archery, batik painting, cooking demonstrations, kayaking and nature walks.
While you are on a private island, by no means are you isolated. The room rate includes the five minute drive from the airport and the fifteen minute boat ride to the island, plus you can take the boat all day and into the evening if you feel like exploring the main island of Langkawi.
Rebak Island Resort – A Taj Hotel is also exceptional value, with a rate of just $170 US per night. You could make private island-ing a regular experience!
Vahine Island, Private Island Resort, French Polynesia
Some private islands are a once in a life time experience, and Vahine Island falls into this category. If you’re celebrating an engagement, a wedding, a special anniversary or birthday, Vahine Island will make it unforgettable.
Vahine Island’s white beaches, turquoise water, and orange sunsets over Bora Bora are so beautiful it is almost unbelievable. Stay in an over-water bungalow or a beach suite or bungalow, and be delighted by the Michelin-trained chef’s Polynesian and Mediterranean menu.
Sit at an aquarium table, spotlit during the night, and watch and feed the exotic coral reef fish. Explore the lagoon by Polynesian pirogue, snorkel, windsurf, kayak or take a shell discovery tour. If you can tear yourself away from Vahine, visit a nearby market, pearl farm or vanilla plantation.
To get to this paradise, the resort will pick you up at the Raiatea airport (a quick Air Tahiti flight from Papeete, Bora Bora or Huahine) and there’s a 30 minute boat trip over the lagoon to Vahine. Or you can fly by helicopter from Bora Bora.
Do you need to really get away from it all? Consider a private island for your next holiday!
Blog and pictures by Johanna Read