The idea of a private island vacation is unthinkable for most mortal men. However, there are a handful of tropical destinations around the world where average folk can secure a semi-private slice of paradise. Here are three of our favorites.
Just off the northern coast of Mozambique, a handful of tiny, impossibly white islands dot the waters of the Quirimbas Archipelago. An hour from shore by prop plane, Medjumbe Island is just one mile long and, with only 13 rooms, it’s the closest most people will ever get to a real, private island escape. Guests of the island’s only resort will find everything they need — a gourmet restaurant, private hammocks, plunge pools, in-room spa treatments, and plenty of non-motorized watersports — and nothing they don’t (like cell phone reception). Plus, the island is minutes from some of the best diving and most beautiful coral reefs in the world. The best part: the island is exclusive to adults and children under 16 aren’t allowed. Deals can be found for just USD $700 per night per couple.
In stark contrast to the over-the-top luxury found at most private island resorts, Hatchet Caye Resort offers a laid-back, toes-in-the-sand feel. The island is just a one-hour boat ride east of the touristic town of Placencia, Belize, but it feels worlds away from anywhere. The 12 villas are relaxed but upscale, with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and semi-private beaches with hammocks. Beyond that, this isn’t your typical luxury getaway. Services on the tiny island are limited, but guests will find all the essentials: an open-air restaurant/bar, a dive shop, and regular snorkeling and marine wildlife-watching tours to Belize’s world-famous barrier reef just 30 minutes away. Deals can be found for just USD $350 per night per couple.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are among the most beautiful fragments of land in the Caribbean. Peter Island Resort describes itself as “paradise in paradise.” Indeed, this 1,800-acre, semi-private island offers an accessible form of luxury that feels just right for “regular” couples looking for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation splurge. The massive island is home to no less than five long beaches, one of which, Honeymoon Beach, is made available each day to a single couple who reserve in advance. Plus, there’s a sea-view pool, two beautiful restaurants, a 10,000-square-foot spa overlooking a dramatic expanse of beach cliffs, and daily guided tours of the island. All these amenities are shared among just 53 rooms worth of guests. So, while the massive island isn’t technically private, it’s easy to carve out a pristine stretch of sand all to yourself. Unfortunately, due to Hurricanes Irma in Maria in 2017, the resort is closed until further notice. Once up-and-running, you can expect to find deals for just USD $450 per night per couple.