The Top Five Escape Islands
PETER ISLAND RESORT & SPA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Mountainous and jungle-cloaked with secluded coves and idyllic beaches, Peter Island has played host to an impressive array of visitors including explorer Christopher Columbus, Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro and footballer Rio Ferdinand. Reached only by boat or helicopter, the island began life as a resort in the 1960s and has always maintained a wonderfully laid-back and romantic atmosphere. With world-class diving, delicious private picnics, cooking lessons, horticultural tours and a blissful spa, there are plenty of ways to enjoy island life. We recommend heading to The Loop to watch the sunset whilst tucking into a fruit and cheese platter – delivered to you alongside your tipple of choice.
CONSTANCE TSARABANJINA LODGE, MADAGASCAR
Located on a remote islet in the paradisiacal Mitsio Archipelago, Tsarabanjina Lodge combines castaway simplicity with Constance comforts to offer barefoot luxury at its best. Surrounded by vivid-blue waters, kaleidoscopic underwater scenery and powdery white beaches, you can do as little or as much as you like here. Take a trip to meet the lemurs on the nearby island of Nosy Komba, or watch the sun set behind the volcanic Frères islands to a ballet of tropical birds. When you’re done with exploring and rejuvenated after a snooze in your private hammock, the beach bar is the place to be. It only closes when you’re ready to leave, and the mango martinis are to die for.
REFUGIA, CHILOÉ ISLAND, CHILE
The largest island of the Chiloé archipelago – until recently one of the most isolated on earth – is a stunning natural wilderness. Rich in folklore, the island is a melting pot of ancient traditions and Hispanic culture, and there are charming little villages, coastal treasures and three national parks to explore. Opened in 2012, Refugia Lodge is the island’s first luxury offering; an intimate 12-room gem with dreamy views over the water of Reloncavi Sound and the distant Andes peaks. Stylish yet homely, large glass windows make the most of the views, whilst the restaurant serves up delicious local fare accompanied by fantastic Chilean wines. From unwinding in the outdoor Jacuzzi to penguin safaris, rainforest treks and sailing trips, the experiences you have here are guaranteed to stay with you long after you return home.
CAPELLA LODGE, LORD HOWE ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Just two hours from Sydney, Lord Howe Island is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. Subtropical, untouched and brimming with rare birds, flora and fauna, the island is a collage of soaring volcanic peaks, turquoise lagoons, lush vegetation and spectacular coral reefs. A real adventure playground, activities include bird-watching, surfing, guided hikes, snorkeling and diving, to name just a few. At the southern end of the island, the nine-suite Capella Lodge provides a luxurious but ecofriendly base with beach-house chic interiors, a relaxed vibe and top notch contemporary Pacific cuisine. After an action-packed day, book yourself in for the three hour ‘Dreaming’ package at the Capella Spa – guaranteed to leave you feeling balanced and renewed.
DENIS PRIVATE ISLAND, SEYCHELLES
With unspoilt surroundings, bags of character and the motto: ‘The island is yours – do as you will, without disturbing others’, Denis Private Island is pure magic. Just half an hour by seaplane from the main island of Mahé, the 25 cottages are hidden among the lush foliage, just yards from the vivid crystalline waters. Spacious and elegant, the cottages offer privacy and comforts aplenty. We love the open-air bathrooms, and with no televisions, mobile phone signal or keys, this really is the place to simply kick back and unwind. A haven for turtles and rare sea birds, the wildlife is also a major draw; don a snorkel and head to the lagoon for encounters with triggerfish, clownfish, parrotfish, pirouetting rays and gliding turtles.