Dreaming of a tropical island getaway? Getting to paradise may be tricky right now, but that doesn’t mean we should stop thinking of idyllic destinations altogether. Here, the Lightfoot Travel team reveal some beautiful tropical island hideaways to add to our holiday bucket list for the future.
Laucala Private Island Resort
Are you missing coconut groves? Dreaming of exotic fruit platters? Craving shaggy thatched roofs? Then we suggest focusing your imagination on the private island home of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Fiji.
Laucala Island Resort is a self-sustaining paradise set amidst lush plantations, sandy beaches and rich green mountains. With just 25 villas, there’s an intimate desert isle feel but with all your essentials: a golf course, authentic wooden yacht, epic glass pools and 350 staff to take care of your needs.
It’s also perfect for families, with a kids’ club and Culture Centre to keep younger ones occupied. Meanwhile, adrenaline junkies can go diving, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking; nature lovers can explore rainforests, mangroves, waterfalls and swimming holes. Culturists can visit nearby villages. Or you can just enjoy signature massages, sip cocktails and watch the world go by.
The Brando, French Polynesia
Marlon Brando was arguably the greatest actor of his generation, and his private atoll of Tetiaroa is arguably the star of the show in French Polynesia.
Located just 30 miles north of Tahiti, Tetiaroa is a perfect slice of pristine far awayness that Brando fell in love with while filming Mutiny on the Bounty in 1960. It’s easy to see why he was smitten. This once-in-a-lifetime beach resort offers 35 slick beachfront villas with thatched roofs and super seclusion (apart from when you want to dance under the stars). Enjoy romantic sunset cruises, private helicopter flights over the islands, or just soak up the region’s “mana”.
A high point is Varua Spa, nestled in the coconut palms with a menu of Polynesian treatments. It’s no wonder Barack Obama escaped here to begin writing his presidential memoir. We’re packing our notepads, with our bikinis too …
Six Senses Yao Noi
Away from Phuket’s party-zones and overdeveloped complexes you’ll find pearly-white beaches, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and plenty of zen. You’ll also discover idyllic properties such as Six Senses Yao Noi, which is perched on a cliffside between Phuket and Krabi. The Robinson Crusoe of romantic hotels, Six Senses’ butterfly gardens, hilltop infinity pool and views over the turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay will help you to forget that 2020 even happened.
The thatch-roofed suites come with huge beds, sexy bathrooms and your own infinity-edged pool; plus, a personal butler is on tap to arrange private spa treatments and evening barbecues. The resort is also seriously into sustainability, evidenced in the lemongrass drinking straws, reusable glass bottles and drinking water sourced from the wells dotted around the property.
Pack up your troubles along with all your beachy essentials and head to Vakkaru Island in the Maldives for some much needed resetting. Located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, Vakkaru boasts a burgeoning house reef and deep blue hole just offshore. It’s a beautifully natural escape, where you can prepare to make friends with manta rays and whale sharks at nearby Hanifuru Bay, become familiar with coconut trees and tropical island flora and fauna, and spy on parrotfish as they swim from behind glass panels at Merana Spa.
With so much outdoorsy activity available, you’d be forgiven for forgetting to just relax in your huge wooden villa complete with rustic charm, elegant furnishings and private terraces. The Four Bedroom Overwater Pool Residence is not only our go-to for families, but also the place for uninterrupted views of the sunset.
Constance Le Prince Maurice
If recent times have got you thinking about running away from reality, Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius will hit the spot.
Situated on a lush peninsula on the island’s east coast, the resort’s guests can choose from colonial-style beachfront, lakeside or forest-shaded suites. However, it’s the family villas that get gold stars thanks to their stretch of sand and heated pool. Paddle boarding and waterskiing are available, and there are two beautiful pools flanked by four-poster sunloungers. The kids’ club (ages four to 11) offers a packed schedule of activities including cookery classes and arts and crafts. You’ll also find three restaurants and bars, a championship golf course and a luxurious spa – something to keep everyone happy (that is if you need any more plus-points after settling into peaceful Mauritian life…).
Lightfoot Travel is a luxury tour operator with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and London specialising in designer holidays around the world.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.