Top 10 private island holidays for private jet travellers

Whilst the super wealthy have always dabbled in private island ownership, most travellers are more than happy to simply spend their holidays visiting and enjoying a luxurious private paradise. Indeed, the trend of visiting remote, secluded locations is on the rise as decades of tourism take their toll on the more popular tourist spots and people want to get off the beaten path. There’s also an element of truly discovering an area by going to somewhere that is totally unchanged and unprepared for tourists – it is in there that one can taste the real flavours of a culture.

Private islands are all around the world, providing very different, yet always authentic experiences for travellers who want to go that step further into new and unknown territories. From the white sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean, to the tropical mangroves in the Gulf of Thailand, we take a look at the top 10 private island destinations for private jet travellers.

Little White Cay, The Bahamas

Set in the Berry Islands in the heart of the Bahamas. Little White Cay is a beautiful, fully staffed island available for rental. Up to 12 guests can be catered for in three luxury villas, surrounded by white sand beaches and a glistening turquoise sea. Activates cater for all tastes and include anything from indulgent spa treatments to bone fishing from the Island’s own Boston whaler.

With a private airstrip, the island is perfect for private jet hire.

Little White Cay offers an extremely secluded setting which is suitable for guests who really want to get away from it all, although a short hop on the plane will land you next to the shops at Nassau if you want to get back into a more energetic environment. Nevertheless, this idyllic spot is one for those who really just want to relax.

Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Famously owned by Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin brand, Necker Island is a 74 acre haven located in the British Virgin Islands. And, after a two-year wait while it was being redeveloped by the business mogul, it recently had its grand re-opening. Guests are able to travel by private jet into the international airport on Virgin Tortola and take a 30 minute boat transfer to the island, or alternatively it is possible to charter a smaller aircraft into Virgin Gorda which is only a 10 minute boat ride away.

Necker Island

It’s possible to do as little or as much as you want on the island, and there is no shortage of things to do with opportunities to try anything from windsurfing to power boating. It is also possible to rent the Necker Nymph – a 3 seater aero submarine that allows for incredible underwater exploration around the island. The island is also inhabited by over 200 flamingos and by an extremely rare form of gecko – the Virgin Islands dwarf gecko – for those wishing to see some exotic animals.

Song Saa Island, Cambodia

The first island to be developed in the largely undiscovered Koh Rong Archipelago, Song Saa lies truly secluded in a sea scape of undeveloped islands, deserted oases of virgin rainforests and tropical reefs. Few luxury island resorts rival the true remoteness from civilisation that Song Saa possesses, yet it is accessible by boat from the port of Sihanoukville, where there is a small airport with plane and helicopter links to Siem Reap International. The resort is thought to be a pioneer of environmentally friendly luxury and intimate villas are available in both jungle and overwater environments, all with private pools.

Song Saa

The real charm of this spot is in its natural beauty – largely untouched, guests are one of the few people to see nature as it truly is. The diving here is exquisite, and you can’t help but be stunned whether underwater or on land. To back it up, the island has a wealth of accolades ranging from best hotel and resort (e.g. Hospitality Design Awards, Elle Magazine, Tatler Travel Guide), to multiple awards for being eco-friendly and sustainable (e.g. National Geographic Traveller, Mr & Mrs Smith) – and that’s just a selection of the 2013 awards.

Lighthouse Grebini, Croatia

Only four kilometres from Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour, the still-in-use Lighthouse Grebini stands on a rugged rock outcropping, and doubles up as a residence offering 3 double bedrooms and a large living area. Whilst there are no beaches, it’s possible to swim from the Island’s quay during the summer months and the more adventurous can scramble its rocky landscape. Whilst offering a more unique experience than your typical island in the sun, Grebini offers a genuine sense of isolation only a few kilometres from the stunning coastline and historic city of Dubrovnik.

The sense of being steeped in history is palpable here – the lighthouse was built in 1872, and the wreckage of the Taranto, an Italian ship that hit a mine only 20 metres away, is still very much present and easy to explore for any curious divers. For an extra 100 Euros per day, you can also get a taste of culinary authenticity from a personal chef, and you will have a butler who can serve these local gastronomic delights as well as tending to your needs throughout the day.

Nikoi Island, Indonesia

Just 8km off the coast of Bintan, Indonesia, and only 85 kilometres off the coast of Singapore, the 15 hectare isle Nikoi consists of shell-strewn beaches, ancient rainforest, reefs and mangroves. Around a third of the island is largely white between its sand and its granite, while the other two thirds is green – in this forest, you can spot birds and turtles.

Originally purchased as a family retreat, the island was opened as an eco-friendly resort in 2007. Described as “barefoot luxury”, the accommodation consists of unique yet comfortable beach houses, constructed from driftwood, island timber and local grasses.  The construction is ingenious in that the different layers of roofing mean that you don’t need any air conditioning, and heating – for water – is achieved through energy gathered by solar panels. As such, it’s yet another large jewel in the crown of eco-tourism.

Taprobane Island, Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka’s only privately owned island, this atoll consists of two and half acres of tropical fantasy. Only 20 metres from the shore of Sri Lanka’s southern-most coastline, the island is eccentrically accessible by wading through the surf from the shore, with many guests making the journey on an elephant. Despite its proximity to the mainland, Taprobane stands tall as a very separate and secluded slice of island paradise. It’s also readily accessible; the large Colombo airport readily accepts private jet charters and many visitors make onward transfers by Helicopter.

Taprobane has a rich history of celebrity visitors – from the Count de Maunay after his exile from France and first had the villa built here, to authors such as Paul Bowles and Peter ten Hoopen. It has also inspired famous songs such as Jason Kouchak’s “Dark Island”, performed by Watercolour, and Kylie Minogue’s “Taprobane (Extraordinary Day)”. Indeed, it seems that this little island ensnares all who tread on it.

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands

Previously named “Pirate Cay” due to local lore about a famous woman pirate being captured here in the 1700s, the island was later renamed “Parrot Cay”, and the 1000-acre cay is arguably the most attractive of the 49 that make up the Turks and Caicos archipelago. Owned by COMO Hotels and Resorts, the resort offers opulence to the greatest degree and provides everything you would expect from the market leading owner of luxury resorts worldwide. A total of 61 rooms are available here, spread out over villas and beach houses so as to keep things varied.

Highlights include a mile long stretch of near-deserted pure white sand beach and pristine coral reef. When coupled with the world renowned Shambhala Spa, the island makes for an intensely indulgent experience. Two restaurants with very different approaches – one South East Asian-inspired, the other of a Mediterranean pedigree – help to serve the appetites of the island’s guests.

Dolphin Island, Fiji

Just 30 minutes from the shore of Vita Levu in Fiji, Dolphin Island is a very accessible retreat. Guests are able to make a short transfer by a chartered float plane or helicopter from Nadi International Airport. Upon their arrival, they will feel the combined warmth of the wonderful climate and the famous Fijian hospitality.

Surrounded by untouched coral reef and shallow crystal clear water, the island is the perfect centre for scuba diving and snorkelling trips, as well as kayaking and sailing. The water sports go on – you can try one of the 3 Ws (windsurf, wake-board, water-ski), you can jet-ski, or perhaps you could go for something a little bit different and try some kite-surfing. You can stay around the sea to do some fishing, or perhaps go sightseeing or for a spa.

Dolphin Island also caters for children – they can be looked after, taken on activities and even be taught how to dive, all in a safe and beautiful natural environment.

Spectacle Island, Maine, USA

5 acres in size, Spectacle Island is located off the coast of Maine in Frenchman’s Bay. Described by Private Island Magazine as “America’s best loved island rental”, the isle is the perfect getaway from the hectic mainland. With 24-hour access to the island’s sail boat, Spectacle makes the ideal base for exploring Maine’s rugged yet beautiful coastline, all the while admiring the Acadia Mountains.

A particularly interesting part of this destination is the family feel of the hosts – a couple and their baby born this year live on the island, in a house adjacent to the guests. They have an intimate knowledge of the area and all the best spots and trails, so this destination is perfect for guests who want to experience an intimate connection with nature with the guidance of people who have this area in their blood, and who know it like the back of their hand.

East Sister Rock Island, Florida, USA

Situated less than a mile from Marathon in the Florida Keys, USA, East Sister Rock is seemingly almost perfectly circular and although fairly small possesses a 5,000 square-foot home. Alongside the ample living area, the island boasts a huge veranda, swimming pool and helicopter pad, making heli-transfers from Fort Launderdale and elsewhere very possible.

This island has a little bit for everyone – reefs for divers, water sports for the adventurous, boat dock for sailors, and the house even has LCD widescreens and pool table for when you just want to stay in. A stunning feature of the accommodation is that from the terrace or porch you can see sunrise and sunset every day, and at night time, the extremely low light pollution means the stars are extremely clear – a real treat for any stargazers.

Jack Lockyer is Digital Marketing Manager at Chapman Freeborn.

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Comments (1)

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  1. I live in St. Thomas and I take boat trips to Virgin Gorda a couple times a year. So if you go to Necker make sure you swing by the Baths as well.

    I’ve never been to Necker but we have driven around it and the water and underwater landscape look amazing.

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