Take a 35-minute boat ride from the popular seaside town of Sihanouk to get to this eco-resort. Here, the entire island is a sanctuary. Thatched stone villas, complete even with mojito making stations, sit by glistening waters, where you’re free to kick back and relax. Take a leisurely stroll down to the beach and draw energy from the sun, sand and sea.
1 / 10 1. Song Saa, CambodiaRead more
2 / 10 1. Song Saa, CambodiaRead more
If you’re keen to venture further, head out to the beautiful unspoiled coves and bays, or go scuba-diving in the warm waters of the archipelago to explore the vibrant corals and marine life.
Or, not that the retreat’s not already private, but there’s no harm take a luxury speedboat out to the nearby island of Koh Rong for an even more private picnic by the beach.
3 / 10 2. Pulau Joyo, IndonesiaRead more
Only three hours away from Singapore lies Pulau Joyo, priding itself in “barefoot sophistication”.
Sounds like an oxymoron? Not when Mother Nature has blessed the land with the most romantic beaches.
The island is small, but that’s what we love about it. Pick from a range of land and sea sports, from badminton to stand-up paddling, or head out to a fishing trip with a personal boat crew.
4 / 10 2. Pulau Joyo, IndonesiaRead more
Here reconnect with nature in luxury. Even the beach palaces are constructed completely from driftwood salvaged from the sea, and are perfectly suited to catch the island breeze.
On the food front, there’s no menu. Guests are simply served what’s been cooked for them. But that means you’re getting the freshest catch of the day. Rest assured there’s still plenty of choice. What we can guarantee will be on the menu: lots of champagne.
5 / 10 3. Ariara Island, PhilippinesRead more
This 125-acre island sleeps only 18 in its four beach cottages. Even if you’re in a smaller group, only one party is allowed to book the property at any time, guaranteeing you ultimate exclusivity.
The cottages sit along 600 metres of sun-bleached white sand. They’re impressively handsome – think huge marble bathrooms, open-air showers, lounges equipped with cinema-style projectors, and more, but you’ll want to head to the tropical outdoors.
6 / 10 3. Ariara Island, PhilippinesRead more
About 30 staff members are stationed on the island round the clock so you won’t have to lift a finger, should you choose not to.
And if you do, it’ll probably be in the morning yoga sesh, or while you’re exploring the limestone cliffs, hot springs, and hidden lakes around the island.
7 / 10 4. Pulau Pangkil, IndonesiaRead more
Pulau Pangkil might be small, but there’s so much to love about this rustic slice of heaven.
Kick back and retreat to uncluttered island life – electric fans replace air conditioners in the driftwood beach huts, and only mosquito nets shield you from the skeeters in your sleep (but there’s high-speed wi-fi!).
8 / 10 4. Pulau Pangkil, IndonesiaRead more
Like Ariara Island, Pulau Pangkil is also available for rental as an island. The rental cost is inclusive of all the meals (and you can eat as much as you want, whenever you want), facilities like water sports equipment, a volleyball court, as well as the thoughtful care of the staff throughout your stay.
If that’s not enough, the owners of Pulau Pangkil also own a neighbouring island, Pulau Mulbai, which you’re free to explore as well.
9 / 10 5. Amanpulo, PhilippinesRead more
The folks from Amanpulo will receive you personally from Manila, from which you fly into this exclusive island-resort via a private plane.
The beaches and dive sites that ring the island are pristine, and don’t worry about having trouble getting to them as you’ll have your own private buggy from exploring the island.
Beach-lounging isn’t the toughest work, but if you must, you’re in the good hands of the crowned best resort spa in the Philippines.
10 / 10 5. Amanpulo, PhilippinesRead more
Come nightfall, retreat back to your lush villa, nestled within the skirt of lush bougainvillea, where you can enjoy the expansive view of the glimmering ocean beneath the star-lit sky.
Or if you’re into star-gazing, head to the lobby bar in the clubhouse to check out the constellations through the terrace telescope.
A version of this story first appeared on The Finder website.
FOOD | 20 July 2019
LIFESTYLE | 19 July 2019
HEALTH | 19 July 2019
FOOD | 19 July 2019