Luxury resorts are always a fantastic way to escape everyday life and get a taste of pure paradise. But when the resort is also located on a private island, it becomes even more of a dream.
If soft sand beaches, private pools, world-class cuisine, and barefoot luxury are calling to you, this list of the most indulgent resorts in the world is just what you need. Take your pick from overwater bungalows in Bora-Bora or beach villas in the Maldives. Whatever your idea of perfection, these resorts have it.
Located on a charming island and boasting some of that pure natural appeal that the Maldives is famous for, LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas is a true island utopia. This is one of the top-rated resorts in the Maldives, and once you arrive it’s clear to see why.
The beautiful resort has 193 accommodations, made up of thatch-roofed beach suites and over-water villas. There is just under 2.5 miles of Maldivian beach to savor, with its powder sand and crystal-clear waters.
Besides waking up in paradise to ocean views and a fresh sea breeze, the island offers an array of relaxing entertainment as well. There are eight dining areas for guests to experience the delectable food on offer. You’ll also find five festive bars for island cocktails.
There is also a 5-Star PADI dive center, a spa, fitness center, and floodlit tennis courts in the resort. Not forgetting the infinity pools for those who aren’t swimming with the whale sharks in the sea.
Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands
One of the 40 small cays that help make up the stunning Turks and Caicos Islands, Parrot Cay is arguably the most magnificent private island in the Caribbean. And it’s home to one of the most luxurious resorts in the world. With its year-round pleasant weather and 1000 acres of unspoiled nature, the cay provides the ultimate private retreat.
The COMO Parrot Cay resort perfectly complements the island’s offerings by creating a brilliant space for guests to experience true island luxury. There are 61 rooms available on this exclusive haven, ranging from garden view single rooms all the way to three-bedroom beach houses and private estates. Each room has access to the 24-hour butler service.
Guests have full access to the wellness center, which offers yoga, Pilates, and Asian-inspired treatments. As well as the poolside restaurant serving up tasteful Asian food, the beach club with live music and movies on the beach, and the Italian-inspired terrace. Alternatively, hire a private chef for the night and have an intimate dinner on the beach or in your villa.
Long Island, Antigua and Barbuda
If it’s a family-friendly, all-inclusive private island resort you’re after, Jumby Bay Island is where you need to go. This island, also known as Long Island, is not more than 2 miles from Antigua, but it is so remote that you’d imagine it to be much further from civilization.
The island is home to a number of privately-owned residences but also boasts this spectacular resort with its tropical surroundings. Here, guests of all ages are welcomed to delight in cuisine made from fresh sustainable produce, the glorious beaches, and the truly serene atmosphere.
There is a spa, Kids Club, fitness facilities, and watersports on offer. As well as cooking classes, boat trips, snorkeling, and rum tastings. All of this, plus delicious meals and drinks are included in the costs.
Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
The Four Seasons Resort on Bora-Bora Island exceeds most expectations of a private island resort. There are 108 spacious bungalows sitting right over the water, where you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast delivered by boat right to your private villa deck.
The Te Mahana Spa is an obvious drawcard to the island but the resort also offers a Kids Club as well as family diving and snorkeling lessons. There is also an open-air gym and a variety of watersports to take part in.
After days filled with thrilling adventures or lazing in the sun, there are four onsite restaurants to satisfy your hunger, with a choice of Polynesian, French, and Asian-inspired cuisine.
Huvahendhoo Island, Maldives
This award-winning luxury resort is located on yet another stunning Maldives private island. Accessible by seaplane, Huvahendhoo is just a 25-minute trip from the capital of Maldives, Male’.
There is a range of accommodation options, depending on your needs and wants. Choose one of the beach suites, with or without a private pool or jacuzzi. Or splurge on a deluxe or sunset water villa. There are also lagoon and family villas available.
This is a 5-star all-inclusive resort, providing premium meals from a choice of five eateries and a collection of drinks for all guests. There is also an abundance of entertainment to enjoy, from playing in the Indian Ocean to enjoying some pampering at the spa.
This spot is often sought out by couples as both a destination wedding venue and a romantic honeymoon location.
It’s no secret that Bali, Indonesia provides all kinds of travelers with a piece of paradise. But hidden away in a tropical corner of Uluwatu is Alila Villas, a luxurious resort designed to bring tranquility to all who visit.
The architecture of the resort was done by award-winning Singapore architectural firm WOHA, and the beauty of the buildings complements its surroundings.
The resort is perched on a clifftop, offering breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. There are 84 villas, made up of poolside, hillside, and cliff edge options. All villas come with a private pool and cabana, as well as 24-hour butler service.
There are also four on-site restaurants, with varying opening hours and cuisine types. For some time out, there is the spa, wellness center for gym, yoga, and Pilates, and of course, direct beach access.
St Lucia, Caribbean
Anse Chastanet Resort owner Nick Troubetzkoy is an architect who is passionate about nature, so the design of this establishment uses the surrounding life and simply adds to it. This has resulted in an award-winning resort with beach access and wondrous views of the Pitons peaks.
This St Lucia resort offers a range of rooms, from hillside to beach houses. Each of these offers luxury like handmade bathrobes and Molton Brown amenities, along with the beauty of the jungle surroundings. But for couples wanting an intimate escape, the Pitons Suite has views, privacy, and a premium bathroom with ‘His’ and ‘Her’ rain showerheads.
And while the abundance of activities on offer will keep even the busiest body entertained and happy, the resort encourages visitors to simply ‘do nothing’ too. There are hammocks, cocktails, and pristine beaches to help you find calm in the Caribbean.
Mo'orea, French Polynesia
Located within a protected marine area on the eastern side of Moorea, Sofitel Resort is a majestic property. On one side of the resort are sandy beaches leading into turquoise waters, and on the other are stunning green mountains.
The resort is secluded, offering peaceful overwater, garden view, or beachfront suites and villas. Regardless of your accommodation type, you’ll be treated to stunning views and direct beach access. This is the perfect spot to take up scuba diving or windsurfing.
There is an on-site spa to indulge in some quiet pampering. And the dining options include a full restaurant for all-day meals and a beach bar to stay hydrated and happy as you laze on the sands. Another bar near the pool serves cocktails and drinks as well.
Malolo Island, Fiji
At Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji, your luxury resort vacation will be adults-only and luxurious to the T. Guests of the resort have the entire island to themselves, complete with its abundance of natural beauty and traditional village-looking luxury villas.
This resort has won multiple awards, including being named the number one absolute best resort in Fiji in the 2020 Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. It has also been named one of the best honeymoon destinations in the South Pacific.
Guests can choose from a selection of garden, beachfront, and overwater bures – all designed using natural materials and in true Fijian fashion. There are 2 bars on the island, as well as a restaurant for guests. But a picnic on the smaller, private island 15 minutes away is also a romantic option.
There are endless activities to enjoy on the island. These include fishing trips, walking trails, snorkeling, and even sunset cruises.
St Lucia, Caribbean
This is a resort within a resort, but it deserves its very own mention. Jade Mountain sits overlooking the rest of Anse Chastanet resort and provides guests with even more spectacular views of the Pitons peaks.
This is very possibly one of the most beautiful resorts in the world, thanks to owner Nick Troubetzkoy’s magnificent vision and talent. The resort has 29 ‘sanctuaries’, each of which includes accommodation space as well as a private infinity pool.
Telephones, TVs, and radios are all nonexistent here, and guests’ cellphones are required to be put on vibrate for the duration of their stay. The idea is to have complete rest, relaxation, and connection while indulging in the luxury offered by the attentive staff.
If you’d like to do more than unwind and relax in your room or at the spa, there are tropical gardens to explore, walking trails to discover, and beautiful scuba sites to dive into.
Ithaafushi Island, Maldives
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi offers the best luxury vacation for anyone looking for a culmination of tropical island charm and exquisite cuisine. As well as white sand beaches to laze on all day.
This resort spans over 3 private islands and consists of 119 different types of accommodation. These range from reef and beach villas to entire suites sitting over the water, with plenty of open space around them. Each of these offers a pool, luxurious furniture and amenities, and privacy.
A private dinner at your villa is highly recommended and available. But there are also 11 eateries and bars spread across the resort, serving a range of signature dishes in various settings.
Besides the fitness classes, island yoga, and spa treatments, the resort staff is able to direct you to many more activities. These include boat trips, diving, watersports, and a special Kids Club with its own fun adventures.
Koh Ouen Private Island, Cambodia
Branded an ‘ethical luxury resort,’ Song Saa Private Island & Luxury Resort is just a short boat ride off the coast of Cambodia. The resort has been designed to create an indulgent but sustainable, carefree vacation experience.
The villas here come in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and royal suites. You can also choose whether you prefer a secluded jungle villa or want to enjoy the freedom of an overwater villa. Whichever you choose, you’ll find king-size beds, your own kitchen, and a serene living space for the duration of your stay.
Although you have your own space to cook meals, the resort’s waterfront restaurant and bar is available to serve meals and drinks whenever you need them. Enjoy a healthy breakfast or cozy up on one of the oversized bean bags with a cocktail in the evening.
Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia
When you’ve been voted #1 Hotel in the World by Travel & Leisure magazine for two years in a row, you know you’re doing something right. And that’s why NIHI Sumba resort is so confident in their ‘rugged luxury’ offer on Sumba Island.
The accommodation on offer combines rich luxury with Mother Nature’s beauty, offering stunning views and outstanding comfort. There are various sized villas, ranging from one bedroom to five, including an owner’s estate villa and the ‘secret villa’ for couples.
This is a space for you to come and fill your days with whatever makes you feel the most alive. Whether that’s surfing, chasing down waterfalls, or embracing the local culture. Even the kids club here is designed to bring nature and freedom into all activities.
Hayman Island, Australia
InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is situated right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. This gives the resort a kind of unfair advantage when it comes to natural beauty and great location. But that doesn’t mean the staff compromise on the luxury found in the villas and dining areas of the resort.
Although most guests will be drawn to snorkeling during their stay here, there are also tennis courts and a 24-hour fitness center. Babysitting is offered at a charge, so parents can enjoy some alone time while on vacation.
There are 168 rooms available, each with comfortable pillow top beds, rain showerheads, and a deep bathtub for soaking in. The resort has five restaurants and bars, so there is no shortage of delectable food and great drinks. But if you need time to recover from your day out exploring the coast of Australia, there is 24-hour room service available as well.
Dhigufinolhu Island, Maldives
Anantara Resort shows off more of Maldives’ luxurious living, with soft sand and clear ocean waters surrounding this astonishing island. This resort offers fun family activities, thrilling watersports and adventures, and romantic sunsets. Every guest is catered for here.
Guests will stay in either a beachfront or an overwater villa – coming in one or two-bedroom options. Each of these provides direct access to the crystal-clear waters that these islands are so famous for. But there is also a plunge pool at each of the suites.
There is morning yoga, swimming with manta rays, surfing, and glass-bottom boat trips on offer. As well as a fun kids club packed with activities and a resort spa for the grown-ups to unwind in.
Anantara has some of the best dining options in the Maldives, and the world-class cuisine is only enhanced by the spectacular views. You can choose from Italian, Japanese, Thai, or authentic Maldivian cuisine at one of the four restaurants and two bars. Or simply order food to enjoy in your villa. You could even ask to have a beach dinner set up under the stars.
North Island, Seychelles
If you need an example of pure barefoot luxury, North Island resort is it. You’ll find this resort on North Island, which is set at the northern tip of the gorgeous archipelago Seychelles. This is a truly exclusive property, with only 11 villas on offer.
The villas are handcrafted, using local materials and combining luxury and simplicity. Each one is spacious and secluded, providing a private beach home for everyone lucky enough to be staying at the resort. There are two eateries on the island, and guests can request to dine in their villa or on a quiet beach.
Each guest at North Island is treated to a completely tailored experience, based on their own preferences and dream vacation. You tell the staff what you are hoping to get from your time here, whether that’s a romantic getaway, family vacation, or simply to relax, and they’ll make it happen.
This boutique villa resort on the island of Zakynthos in Greece offers world-class luxury villas with separate pools, private beach access, and breathtaking views over the turquoise waters. These villas contain mesmerizing Greek art and top-of-the-range amenities.
There are two eateries at the resort. Enjoy the traditional Greek and Mediterranean menu or try the contemporary Asian Fusion. And for a more intimate experience, request for your personal butler to serve you dinner on the beach or in your villa.
This is one of the best resorts in the world to explore Greece’s stunning seas as a family. The resort offers plenty of excursions and adventures, including watersports, culture trips, and even fitness activities. There is also a waterfront resort spa to help you relax and get into vacation mode.
Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
Found on the private island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, The Brando Resort offers unique luxury vacations. Access to the white sand island is by private plane, and guests are treated to an enriching sustainable and cultural experience.
Amidst the lush jungle are 35 villas, with a choice of one, two, or three bedrooms. The thatched roofs and nature-inspired furnishings add to the authentic island feel. There are a total of four dining spaces and bars in the resort, which include a vegan menu, wine cellar, and treetop seating.
The island is often visited by sea turtles and exotic birds, making exploring the island even more fascinating. Experiences on offer include the resort spa, outdoor and water sports, and even cultural activities like Polynesian dance lessons.
Summary of the Best Luxury Resorts in the World
Whether you’re looking for travel inspiration or need an excuse to spoil yourself, you really can’t go wrong with a private island resort. Staying in one of these resorts means waking up in a plush bed to have coffee on your private terrace and soak in the sunrise.
Then you’ll be spending your day on beautiful beaches, floating in private plunge pools, and enjoying delicious island food. All before sitting down at an on-site restaurant and sipping on a cocktail or two, and retreating once more to your luxury suites.