In Part 1 of our pick of the most beautiful private islands around the world, we’ve chosen stunning resorts in Australia, Mozambique, Cambodia and Thailand. Take your pick and look out for Part 2, coming next week
Orpheus Island, Australia
One of the only private islands in in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, this private island features a national park, as well as a marine park that’s World Heritage listed.
Manta rays, humpback whales and spawning corals make it a snorkeller’s paradise. Guests can take dinghies to private beaches, fly by helicopter to the national park of Hinchinbrook Island or discover Orpheus’ indigenous heritage. Rooms are for two people (there is one villa for four) and no more than 34 guests can stay. All rooms feature private terraces and views out over the Coral Sea and, unusually for island accommodation, are equipped with TVs and iPod docks.
Untouched coral reefs surround this 800-metre-long island, making for spectacular diving in its warm waters. Dolphins, turtles, clownfish, eels and stingrays are frequently spotted and diving courses of all levels are available. The resort is also well equipped for watersports in the warm, clear waters: waterskiing, tubing and wakeboarding are on offer. And don’t miss the sunset cruise on a traditional dhow. Accommodation 13 thatched one-bedroom air-conditioned chalets, each with a private outdoor shower, sundeck, hammock and plunge pool with views over the Indian Ocean. The resort does not accept children under 12 unless the guest hires every chalet.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Spanning two islands on Koh Rong archipelago, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, connected by a footbridge over a private marine reserve, this is Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort.
The resort’s 27 villas range from one to two bedrooms; all have private pools and ocean views. The Royal Villa has its own private jetty. The resort’s design is inspired by Cambodian fishing villages, with thatched roofs, natural timbers and driftwood touches. Private spa rooms in a rainforest and there’s a yoga centre on the beach. Lessons in local cooking, visits to fishing villages and conservation tours are available and water activities include sea kayaking. Each month there is a Full Moon Reception with evening cocktails by the pool, and you can also order an in-villa movie with a big screen projector and popcorn.
The Naka Island, Phuket, Thailand
The Naka Island is the only resort on the private island of Koh Naka Yai, off the eastern shore of Phuket.
As well as the traditional kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, guests can learn Ta Kraw, a popular local sport that combines football, kung fu, and volleyball. There are also guided walks through local fishing villages and beaches. The spa is set in gardens and features an ice room. Book the private gated Royal Horizon Pool Villa, with infinity pool and separate lounging island. For larger groups, two nearby villas joined by walkways are ideal for spacious privacy.