Let’s face it, who hasn’t played the game of “What three things would you bring to a deserted island” at least once? Aside from yourself — and possibly a significant other — these ultra-luxe private island hotels and resorts don’t require you to bring anything at all. From high-touch service and pampering facilities to gourmet dining and, of course, spectacular scenery, these secluded treasures don’t have time for hypothetical situations when it comes to making your fantasies come alive.
A part of Richard Branson’s exclusive Virgin Limited Edition collection of properties, the 74-acre Necker Island is a truly exclusive getaway. The most common way to access this portion of the British Virgin Islands is through a total buyout ($78,000 per night), where you’ll enjoy an all-inclusive stay for up to 34 guests in Temple House (which houses 18), Sir Richard’s private home, as well as other outbuildings throughout the island.
During select times of the year, dubbed “Celebration Weeks” (September and October 2017), you can rent individual rooms for seven-night stays that start at $30,000 per evening. The most insane perk: a private 3-person submarine available for guest use.
Four Seasons Resort Lana’i
Owned by billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison, it’s easy to see why many guests would describe Four Seasons Resort Lanai as over-the-top luxury. Perched on a red lava cliff overlooking Holopo’e Beach (Four Seasons’ The Lodge at Koele and Hotel Lana’i are the only other properties on the 90,000-acre playground), the newly re-opened property underwent an extensive renovation to get to the lavish level it finds itself today.
But beyond rooms that have been showered in excess (hand-woven wool rugs, 72-inch TVs) the hotel also offers a Nobu restaurant, a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, a Peter Burwash International-managed tennis facility and three onsite boutiques. On this 90,000-acre playground, you can truly do as much or as little as you’d like.
If you ever want to disappear, charter a 45-minute flight from Nassau and head to Musha Cay, owned by famous magician David Copperfield. The 150-acre, five-guesthouse island can host up to 24 guests at a time at a price between $39,000 and $57,000 per night.
The island doesn’t hide the fact that its central goal is to make sure you’re cared for. The thoughtful staff — the team of 30 usually outnumbers the guests on island — is the main reason that’s able to happen.
Stay in the 10,000-square-foot main house, perched on a hill with 360-degree ocean views. Gather with guests at The Landing, a central activity center with a dining room, billiard room, bar and lounge. Or spend some time utilizing the island’s private 28-foot catamaran, where you can explore the 10 additional islands nearby that create the archipelago known as The Islands of Copperfield Bay.
Sunset Key Cottages, A Luxury Collection Resort
Just a seven-minute ferry from Key West sits the southernmost address for elegance in the United States — Sunset Key. The intimate grouping of cottages and private homes makes for a luxurious yet laid-back escape perfect for families and couples alike. Visit the intimate boutique spa, relax under a palapa on the private beach or enjoy Key West’s best sunsets while sipping a signature key lime martini at fine-dining establishment Latitudes Key West.
Four Seasons Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll
Opening this December, Four Seasons’ third Maldives resort aims to take “over-the-top” to new levels. This remote chain of islands in the Indian Ocean is already known for its celeb-worthy selection of accommodations, most of which are on their own private islands. But Voavah at Baa Atoll turns things up as not only the world’s only exclusive-use UNESCO island, but as the first private island in the Four Seasons brand as well.
The seven-bedroom resort (made of one three-bedroom villa, one two-bedroom villa and two additional suites) comes with a 62-foot luxury yacht for your exclusive use, a PADI 5-star dive center, pools and spa, plus a beach house decked out with a lounge, library, gym, guest kitchen and more. If you absolutely must see others, sister property Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru is just a seaplane ride away.
Simply visiting Tahiti is a dream come true for most travelers, but things get a bit more fanciful at The Brando, a private island in the South Pacific, named after onetime owner Marlon Brando. A 20-minute Air Tetiaroa flight from Papeete, the new resort is made up of 35 one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas equipped with their own private plunge pools, outdoor tubs and more.
Eco-friendliness is the name of the game at The Brando, where you can spend your day on guided hikes, exploring environmental research stations on nearby islands, bird watching, luxuriating at the spa or noshing on cuisine prepared by acclaimed chef Guy Martin.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
Set on Isola delle Rose, just a 15-minute boat ride from St. Mark’s Square in Venice, is this luxe hotel, the JW Marriott chain’s only private island property. The 266-room hotel is large by private island standards, yet it maintains an intimate feel with five distinct accommodation areas.
Although you’ll likely spend the majority of your time exploring one of Italy’s most famous cities or indulging in the resort’s onsite cooking school, Sapori Cooking Academy, we know the pull of the lavishly renovated rooms will be impossible to ignore. For the most upscale accommodations, reserve the almost-too-charming two-bedroom Villa Rose or the bi-level suites of La Maisonette.