Couples are always on the lookout for the next big trip. Maybe you’re considering a destination wedding to an exotic location, jetting off to some island paradise for your honeymoon or just need a low-key location to unplug and spend some quality time with your significant other. Trying to find a place that you both agree on can be a daunting task. But who wouldn’t agree to an extended stay on some far-flung island with a very limited amount of tourists? Well, Vacation’s here to help you out with your search. Here are 10 luxurious island vacations that couples should add to their travel bucket list. Go ahead and splurge… these private island getaways are so worth it!
Aeolian Islands, Italy
This entire archipelago has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Filicudi – located 50 miles north of Sicily – is the perfect place for couples who love nature, hiking, volcanoes and archaeology. Consider a stay at the family-owned Hotel La Canna, an oasis of peace and quietness. Grab a homemade Italian meal for two at the hotel’s restaurant where every meal is made with local ingredients and the catch of the day. Or take a short walk down the cobblestone street to enjoy a meal at Villa La Rosa, owned by chef Adelaide Rando. For adventurous couples, they can explore the other islands, including Salina, Stromboli, Panarea and Lipari.
Chapwani Private Island, Tanzania
Welcome to this little island surrounded by a beautiful coral reef and immersed in crystal blue waters. Only 12 acres, this private island is located northwest of Zanzibar, which is just a 15-minute boat ride away. A couple of romantic castaways looking to break away from the stresses and schedules of everyday life – this is the ideal getaway for you. Birdwatching, canoeing, deep sea fishing, sunset cruising and scuba diving are just a few activities to keep an antsy couple busy. Book an excursion to experience more, including a visit to nearby Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its history and architecture reflecting Swahili culture with Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. And if you’ve always wanted to go on a private safari in East Africa, you’re in the right place to make this dream trip of a lifetime come true!
Chiloé Island, Chile
Derived from an indigenous term meaning ‘the place of seagulls’, Chiloé is located about halfway down Chile’s 2,671-mile-long coastline. The archipelago is dotted with unique barn-shaped churches flanked by a backdrop of snow-capped volcanic peaks on the mainland. Tierra Chiloé is an architectural marvel and a gastronomic pit-stop for adventurous couples. Take a full-day, immersive excursion to visit the islands of Chelin and Quehui; go on a self-guided bike ride to San Jose; meander through farmlands on horseback to enjoy views of the ocean and the Andes Mountains. With an expert travel agent, couples can embark on a guided journey to meet local shipbuilders and explore the famous UNESCO churches of the island. And for foodies, Tierra Chiloé’s restaurant serves fresh seafood, including mussels, sea urchins, and other treats from the daily catch with fresh-baked bread and pastries, too!
There are dozens of scattered islets located near the Scottish Highlands. Mile-long Torsa Island, off Oban, has a farmhouse and colony of red deer. And on the motorboat ride over, couples may be lucky enough to see dolphins and seals in their natural habitat. For a luxury getaway for couples, venture to the Isle of Eriska with its Downton demeanor and Michelin-anointed restaurant. Stay at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island. Pretty much like most resorts, they have special accommodations for honeymooners or couples looking for a venue for their destination wedding. For more privacy, consider staying beyond the main house in one of six Hilltop Reserves or Arnott’s House. Enjoy Afternoon Tea on the deck and a delicious 3-course dinner in the main restaurant. From visiting a Ben Nevis Whiskey Distillery to an excursion to learn about the history of Loch Ness to visiting nearby castles to guided tours to explore Scotland’s wildlife – couples won’t have a shortage of things to do and see here.
Gladden Private Island, Belize
You can’t get more secluded than heading to an island that boasts that it’s “the world’s most private island resort.” Located in the heart of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Gladden sits in a swirl of turquoise and aquamarine lagoons with coral and white sand beaches. The island is home to your own private sanctuary, a casually elegant villa designed for just one couple, but with the all-inclusive service of a luxury resort. Enjoy your privacy while the staff reside in a smaller island behind Gladden. And yes, there’s even a privacy meter to indicate if staff is on the island! This island is so remote that couples will need to take a 40-50-minute speedboat ride from Placencia, which is included in your stay. Guests can also arrange for a helicopter ride from Belize City to Gladden for $1800 one way or stay more than seven days and get a helicopter ride for free! And what about food? It’s up to you! Guests can customize the menu to suit their tastes or leave it up to chef Colleen Leube to whip up traditional Belizian cuisine. The world is literally in the palm of your hands at this luxurious resort.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Escape to an island owned by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, located a 30-minute boat ride northeast of Tortola. This 74-acres of pure paradise is a perfect destination for couples who just want to book a room for their honeymoon, or a couple who wants to splurge and book the whole island for a getaway, honeymoon or destination wedding. The island comfortably sleeps 22 adults, with the option to accommodate up to 16 additional guests on neighboring Moskito Island in Beach Villa and Mangrove Villa. And there’s no shortage of things to do on the luxury getaway, including a relaxing cruise around the British Virgin Islands, a dip in the Baths (series of caves on Virgin Gorda), or visit Anegada Island to experience one of the most beautiful beaches in the BVI. And couples can arrange fun theme parties, including a Beach Party, UV Night, Casino Night or Disco Fever, where guests can bring their own costumes or borrow from Necker’s collection of funky hats, glasses and accessories. Although the island did not escape the effects of the 2017 hurricane season, the resort will welcome back its first guests to the Great House in early October 2018, with further accommodations to reopen in 2019. For help in planning your romantic couple’s getaway, consider one of Vacation’s expert travel agents to arrange the ultimate Necker Island vacation.
Society Islands, French Polynesia
The Society Islands are the go-to destination for extravagant honeymooning delivers on every ounce of hype, thanks to turquoise water and peach-pink sand. Bora Bora is the classic option due to its shallow lagoon and overwater bungalows orbiting a turret of stone. And you can’t go wrong with any of the resorts located in the area, including InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, Vahine Private Island Resort, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, and the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. And Tetiaroa – Marlon Brando’s untouched island paradise – features ultra-luxurious villas with direct outrigger access to a sanctuary of motus (Polynesian mini-isles). Experience unique excursions and activities such as a tour of the atoll with a naturalist guide, Tahitian cuisine demonstrations, Polynesian dance lessons and whale watching tours from mid-July to mid-October.
Vatuvara Islands, Fiji
Kaibu, an 800-acre island, and its three neighboring islands in Fiji were bought by Oakley founder James Jannard in 2009. But the aforementioned island is home to Vatuvara Private Islands Resort. Couples can choose one of the three secluded and expansive seaside villas with their own private beach access, an infinity-edge pool and a personal masseuse. The Saku Villa and Vatu Villa have a private massage straw hut on their decks, while the Delana Villa has a dedicated massage room and an additional Jacuzzi bath. Dine at the full-service, farm-to-table restaurants Jim’s Bar & Grill and Valhalla Restaurant; hike to an ancient Fijian Village; take a four-day scuba diving course for your Open Water Certification; or enjoy a golfing on a four-hole course, putting green with a club pavilion for shade, a shower and cool drinks. And if you want some alone time… couples can arrange a private island picnic, where staff will drop you off on an uninhabited island with a cooler and other beach gear to spend the day snorkeling or just relaxing. It’s the perfect post-nuptial excursion.
Escape to the Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru Maldives! Yes, this is a place where you’d expect to see celebs or at least couples with matching designer luggage, but this luxury resort is a very holistically centered and spiritual retreat. Although there’s a bohemian vibe, you never lose the feeling that you’re in upscale accommodations that include an overwater villa and seven bedrooms set across five acres. And there’s no shortage of things to do here. Take a yacht to spot manta rays and turtles, or arrange a picnic lunch with your significant other on Baathala – Voavah’s own private island. And because the resort is located on the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, couples get to explore marine life in one of the world’s best places for snorkeling. End your day with a massage or treatment with the soothing sounds of a crystal-singing-bowl experience at the resort’s spa. Trust us… you’ll be glad you did!
Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi
Dubai has become a major commercial metropolis, but Abu Dhabi has more than 200 of its own natural, offshore islands already. But that didn’t stop entrepreneur and real estate whiz Nadia Zaal from throwing money at Zaya Nurai Island. The result is an Asian-style lair in the Persian Gulf that might remind couples of the villas in Phuket, Thailand. It’s touted as one of the world’s leading luxury villa resorts, and a perfect spot for a destination wedding or honeymoon. And the accommodations are jaw-dropping to say the least – from the Water Villa with a private backyard to the Sea House with a pool with great sea views to the Beach Retreat built onto the beachfront of the island’s southern coast. Couples can arrange a romantic dinner under the stars in the sand or over the water’s edge with a butler and private chef to take care of all their needs.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable private island vacation? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.