Who hasn’t fantasized about jetting off to an ultraluxe private isle? These out-of-reach vacations are only for the super-wealthy. But what if you could hire private island for as little as £100 a night? Well, you can.
Island resorts aren’t just private playgrounds for the rich and famous; they’re also for the budget-conscious traveler. From Belize to Malaysia , Look4ward combed the globe to find some of the most affordable and private tropical island resorts.
1. Isleta el Espino, Nicaragua
This is an off-grid beauty. The 10-minute jaunt by private boat from the charming colonial town of Granada across Lake Nicaragua (the largest in Central America) takes you past uninhabited islets squawking with wildlife, lush, thick jungle and local fisherman bringing home their catch; a rustic eco outfit has a bungalow and treehouse for guests. It’s an absolutely amazing place, from yoga on the deck at sunrise to watching the sun set behind the distant Mombacho volcano. As well as beautiful, it’s an absolute bargain; lunch and dinner are less than £10 for two courses of organic, local fare and an hour’s massage in the ranchito (hut) is around £35. Welcome to affordable paradise. You can rent the whole of Isleta el Epino (sleeps up to 9 people) from £222 per night (that’s £24.60 each!).
2. St George’s Caye Resort, Belize
St George’s Caye is a moon-shaped coral island inhabited by a few lucky residents. If you’re on a budget but want the over-water suite experience, St George’s Caye is a great option. Six thatched-roof cabanas built on stilts in the Caribbean Sea are simply furnished with mosquito-net draped bed, private bath, hammock on the porch and little else for a Robinson Crusoe-vibe. The caye is so narrow and the resort so perfectly positioned that the pool supplies spectacular over-the-sea sunrises and sunsets. When you’re not snoozing in the hammock, Belize is on your doorstep, which means some of the best scuba diving in the world, fabulous beaches and Mayan ruins to explore. Cabanas at St Georges Resort from £90 per night.
3. Pangkor Laut, Malaysia
Surrounded by rainforest and pristine sandy beaches on a private island off the west coast of Malaysia, Pangkor Laut is our Robinson Crusoe desert island fantasy, only with really gorg wooden sea villas. Standing elegantly on stilts in Emerald Bay, each has a king-size bed, balcony and enormous bath with sea views. Two pools, yoga deck and rainforest walks are calming diversions, but if you still need to unwind you can book a treatment at the Spa Village, which offers ancient Malay, Chinese and Thai healing rituals. And relax… Rooms from £139 per night, Pangkor Laut.
4. Pulau Joyo, Indonesia
Pulau Joyo is your classic Robinson Crusoe island, surrounded by white sand beaches and clear blue sea. Within easy reach of Singapore, it is equipped with every luxury, and superb food and wine. Originally bought as a holiday home for the family of a shipping magnate (nice), Pulau in the South China Sea now has six stilted pavilions made from driftwood for guests, each filled with amazing Balinese furnishings. The island has a a boat to charter for expeditions to nearby islands. Rooms at Pulau Joyo from £165pn.