With summer finally on its way, it’s difficult not to spend afternoons dreaming of an island faraway, cocktail in hand, looking out across crystal clear waters.
TheIcon Of Baros Maldives
Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s diverse portfolio helps make that dream a reality with island experiences all over the world. Here’s its selection of the best island hotels:
Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
The island of Aitutaki is as close to tropical paradise as it gets, regarded as the most beautiful of the Cook Islands with lush tropical foliage, white sand beaches and ringed by a turquoise lagoon. Guests settle into island life as soon as they arrive at the sophisticated Pacific Resort Aitutaki when greeted with a traditional flower garland and a refreshing coconut drink. Lazy days can be spent lounging by the infinity pool, on the beach or in the Tiare Spa. Alternatively, guests can explore the island’s more wild side by snorkeling in the clear blue waters, cruising around Aitutaki to explore other islands, or trekking to Aitutaki’s highest point for a 360° view of the island.
Vahine Island, Tahaa, French Polynesia
The very private Vahine Island is a remote Polynesian hideaway with just nine beachfront and overwater bungalows, hidden among coconut trees and overlooking a pristine blue lagoon. The 23 acre island is just off Tahaa in the Society Islands of French Polynesia, close to Bora Bora and exclusively for guests. As well as the immaculate sandy beach, shaded coconut groves and lawns to explore, guests can also try snorkelling in the island’s own preserved coral gardens, take a fishing trip around the lagoon, or sail the resort’s boat around the nearby islands and islets in the lagoon. The overwater bungalows have an aquarium table to watch and feed the tropical fish swimming below, while beachfront bungalows have a lazy hammock on their spacious decks with fabulous views of the ocean and nearby Bora Bora.
The Sanchaya, Bintan Island, Indonesia
The newest luxury retreat on the Indonesian island of Bintan opened at the beginning of 2015 offering an exclusive insight into the art, culture and traditions of south-east Asian island life. Designed to reflect colonial grandeur and inspired by a deep passion for the region, treasures, artifacts, textiles and artwork from neighboring countries are found all around the estate and inside the private villas. Proving that it’s the most luxurious place to stay on the island, The Sanchaya is the only property to have its own VIP Lounge at the ferry terminal to ensure a seamless island arrival and departure. For an even more exclusive experience, the hotel has a yacht available to hire for private transfers between Singapore and Bintan, as well as to charter for sunset cruises.
As one of the Maldives’ original resorts, Baros showcases the essence of the Maldives with its palm thatched villas, water garden, white sand beach and magical views across the blue lagoon. Among the countless island experiences on offer, sandbank dining is perhaps the most exclusive, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in the middle of the Indian Ocean. For diving fanatics, the famous Baros House Reef is accessible directly from the beach and offers a beautiful and lively underwater world with turtles, reef sharks and an uncountable variety of fish and coral. Guests can choose to stay in a sandstone and timber beach villa, sheltered by banana leaves and palms, or in over-water villas with direct access to the lagoon and a private wooden deck for sunbathing.
Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Spa Resort, Mauritius
Set on the beautiful unspoilt south coast of Mauritius, Heritage Le Telfair is a sugar plantation-style resort that exudes colonial nostalgia and laid-back luxury, where guests can discover the island’s endemic flora and fauna at its own nature reserve. As well as discovering plant life at the Frederica Nature Reserve, guests can also spot monkeys, parakeets, wild boar and deer, as well as go quad biking, follow a wellness walk and take trips on 4x4s. The resort is ideal for families with its spacious villas, great choice of restaurants and selection of watersports from its private beach. Even the kids will get absorbed in island life at its kids and teen clubs, where the focus is on learning about Mauritian culture, plants, beach and marine life.
Hôtel and Spa des Pêcheurs, Corsica
The only hotel on Cavallo Island, located between the southern coast of Corsica and the northern tip of Sardinia, Hôtel and Spa des Pêcheurs is a captivating hideaway on an almost-secret Mediterranean island. The hotel sits right on the coastline and is built out of rock sourced from the island with an interior color scheme comprising of white, blue and beige, helping the hotel blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Guests spend their days relaxing on the expansive white sand beach or swimming in the pool, and their evenings on the terrace of the piano bar listening to the sea crashing over the rocks. For the ultimate Cavallo Island experience, the spa offers a special couples’ massage in an outdoor gazebo using special oils and local sea shells to regenerate the mind, body and soul and absorb the island’s magnetic and invigorating energy.
The Bella Luce, Guernsey
With the bonus of a warmer climate than mainland Britain, Guernsey in the Channel Islands offers a quintessentially British island escape. The Bella Luce, sitting in a quaint village among tranquil green lanes, is a 12th century manor house that epitomizes understated luxury and classic elegance and is just a stone’s throw from the island’s southern coast. From the Southern Bay of Moulin Huet, a beautifully tranquil piece of coastline that inspired Renoir with some of his finest paintings, there are views of the other islands of Sark, Herm and Jersey on a bright day. Back at the hotel, the award winning Restaurant Bella Luce holds two rosettes thanks to its wide choice of gourmet delights specially prepared from fresh local seafood, meats and organic ingredients sourced from the islands.
Harbour Village Beach Club, Bonaire
Sitting on the coveted west coast of the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire, Harbour Village Beach Club is an intimate retreat framed by swaying palms, ivory sands and crystal clear waters. The secluded island is one of the Caribbean’s top scuba diving destinations with a colourful array of marine life and fascinating wrecks to explore. As a founding member of Coral Restoration Bonaire, the hotel has installed coral trees and at-risk corals on its house reef, where guests can take diving excursions to learn about the different coral varieties and caring for the island’s reefs. Harbour Village Beach Club also offers guided florescent night diving, where guests use special UV lights to see the astounding array of florescent colors emitted by underwater animals and corals. Away from the waters, the spacious European Colonial style villas offer a blend of island old charm with teak wood furniture and cool tiled floors, and have views of the hotel’s picturesque marina, the outdoor pool, or Caribbean Sea.