We all occasionally need a break from the slog and grind of daily life and while sitting down with some popcorn and a movie is a good de-stressor, if you are looking for something a little more exciting and glamorous, these chic island getaways may be just what the doctor ordered.
Tropical gems such as Mauritius, the Caribbean Islands, Seychelles and the Maldives are well known for providing idyllic island getaways, however, the science behind the healing power of sunlight, or heliotherapy, is not as well known. That’s right, it’s got a name, it is a science, it is good for you, and the tropical islands have it in buckets full. No need to visit the doctor for this medication as everything you need to know about getting your perfect fix of Vitamin D is right here in our selection of chic and exclusive tropical island getaways.
I think we’re alone now
Well, you will be if you are on Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private island paradise and possibly one of the most exclusive island getaways on the planet. Situated in the Caribbean in the unspoilt and beautiful British Virgin Islands awaits a holiday destination of grand proportions. Sir Richard Branson is famed for his flamboyant, hedonistic and slightly quirky lifestyle, all of which you get the feel of when stepping onto Necker Island. Surrounding yourself with beauty, feeling it and seeing it is what this private retreat is all about, leading you serenely down a heavenly path to a state of absolute bliss.
While the island can cater for a private party of up to 30 people, if you prefer to go solo then one of the celebration weeks is what you are looking for, when individual suites are available as opposed to hiring out the whole shebang. Whichever you prefer, your ultimate satisfaction is undoubtedly guaranteed.
From the infinity pool right on the beach with its own swim-up bar, to the enormous Jacuzzi, and plush hammocks and sofas scattered all around, the island tempts you with its seductive and sensual atmosphere. Enjoy sushi from a kayak, adorned with flowers that floats around the beach pool (and usually guided along by some eye candy), or feel the warmth and glow of all things romantic with an enchanting candle-lit dinner on the shore. With two private beaches, the most opulent and sumptuous in Balinese accommodation, tennis courts, a personal chef, tons of water sports and at least three staff members to each guest, this is one of the most indulgent island getaways on the planet, where your every whim is sure to be met.
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Approximately 120 miles south-east of the British Virgin Islands floats the exclusive, volcanic island of St Barths. The area is one of the most legendary island getaways, known as a playground for the rich and famous and oozing elite and chic on every stylish corner. Million-dollar luxury yachts bob around in the port while the elegant and quaint waterfront is a myriad of trendy boutiques, upmarket jewellery stores and chic cafes. This “adult sandbox” — as it is sometimes referred to — is filled with toned, tanned bodies, designer bikinis and expensive hair dos. Gorgeously sunny weather, a choice of 14 uncrowded beaches and some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean keep the rich, polished and good looking entertained and sun-kissed.
So while fame, fortune and good genes are not equally bestowed on all of us — and there are few between us who are blessed enough to own a private villa on the island — there are still plenty of accommodation options available in St Barths.
Eden Rock has been described as one of the most desirable island getaways in the world, a place that is beyond perfect, providing you with the ultimate in elite, discreet luxury. You will find this hotel, the first built on the island, perched on a cliff above the white sandy beach of St Jean Bay, offering refreshing sea breezes and heavenly views of the bay below. This swanky resort is by no means demure; full of colour and texture pulled together by unique and beautiful works of art. There are two superb restaurants to choose from and with 34 rooms the hotel has enough going on to keep you interested, yet limited enough in number to allow for that unrushed, exclusive feeling of good living.
Sunshine and smiles every day
Many miles away, the calm, warm waters of the Indian Ocean house their own idyllic appeal that is slightly more gentle and laid back.
Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives are all exotic, tropical island getaways off the west coast of Africa. Surrounded by colourful coral reefs, they offer fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities as well as plenty of sunshine to sooth and revive the soul.
The charm of Mauritius is impossible to ignore, filled with genuine smiles and colourful Creole culture. The island has long been viewed as a perfect holiday destination thanks to its shallow warm sea ideal for swimming and water sports, and a whole host of other activities. There are also heaps of places of interest to keep you busy if you’ve had too much sun. Mauritius is a firm favourite for family island getaways and romantic honeymooners alike with just about all the resorts offering kids’ clubs to keep the young ones amused and romantic candle-lit dinners to get mom and dad snuggling up.
The island is awash with resorts and villas, but tucked away on the east coast and set amid lush tropical gardens lies the luxurious Lux Belle Mare. Here the air is scented with the fragrant smell of flowers as waves lap lazily on the shoreline. Heavenly bliss is all about from the soft, white sand to the comfortable sun loungers that are dotted around the swimming pool – apparently the largest in Mauritius. Spoil yourself and book one of the 12 amazing villas where you will have access to your own private dining area and pool. Your cool and indulgent accommodation will have views of the nearby lagoon and enticing sounding Sleep Tight beds. Whether you are travelling with the family or looking for a bit of seclusion and romance, this luxury resort has something for everyone.
Afternoon cocktails and moonlit nights
If you don’t like snakes but love bananas then the Seychelles archipelago should be on the top of your bucket list. Aside from not having any snakes, monkeys or tigers, the 17 different types of bananas found on this exotic cluster of islands just south of the equator ranks as one of the most beautiful and safe island getaways in the world.
The Seychelles is made up of 115 individual islands, one of them being the exquisite, sand encircled Desroches. The resort is the only one on this slice of utopia and offers up the ultimate in privacy and first-class relaxation and pampering. Finding your favourite spot along the 14 kilometres of beach that you have access to will be the hardest part of your stay. Desroches will take care of the rest, right down to making you a picnic lunch to savour and enjoy on the sand. Diving, snorkelling and fishing will keep active guests happy and you will be given a complimentary bicycle to explore the island at your leisure. Aglow with sunshine and warm by day, romantic and peaceful by night, this is one of the most idyllic island getaways and an experience not to be missed.
The magic of the Maldives
Topping off our list of the best tropical island getways is, of course, the Maldives, famed for its stunning coral atolls, calm clear lagoons and exclusive and stylish accommodation. All the resorts and hotels in the Maldives are designed to take advantage of their spectacular natural setting with an emphasis on exclusivity and privacy, allowing guests to sit back, relax and enjoy the finer things in life. Nowhere else will you glimpse sand so white and water so blue, so if you find yourself in this little the piece of paradise then you may as well splash out and take advantage of the finest accommodation Maldives has to offer.
On the northern-most Haa Alif private island you will find JA Manafaru, gracefully spread across 35 acres of gloriously soft sand. The resort is fantastically isolated and hovers above miles and miles of azure water, making one feel as if you have indeed found your own cloud in heaven. There are plenty of activities available with everything from tennis courts to a divine spa and private infinity pools. Although the resort is family friendly, the utmost importance is given to privacy with each suite perfectly hidden and providing you with your own secluded outdoor area. Don’t forget the sunscreen and your bathing suit, in fact pack a few as you won’t be tempted to wear much else with sunshine and warm water all around.
Go and get away from it all
No matter how far you try to think out of the box, the idea of a spa aquarium may sound rather odd. Well, it’s real, there is one, at Amilla Fushi Resort and Spa. Expect to be wowed, as you unwind in the hands of an expert masseuse and gaze through huge glass windows at the fabulous tropical fish swimming right by you. The underwater treatment rooms at this resort are a world first and akin to sitting in a fish bowl, except in this scenario you are the fish!
This gorgeously appointed resort hotel in the North Malé atoll defies the boundaries of luxury and blows you away at every turn. The dreamy island is a place to make your fantasies come alive as you are pampered into a lulling state of ecstasy. The enormous suites are fitted with Jacuzzis and private plunge pools and offer everything is that chic, stylish and extravagant. Prepare yourself for your first-class ticket to heaven, the seaplane is leaving now.
So we suggest you get yourself comfortable and put your feet up because taking your pick from the above selection of tropical island getaways is going to take some time. But with so many great options to choose from there is one thing we can guarantee – you are sure to have a blast with world class accommodation, plenty of soothing sun and good reason to spend most of your time wearing very little. It’s sexy, good for you and don’t forget, it’s a science.