There's no experience quite like it – treading sands where no other footprint can be seen, lazing under coconut palms in complete solitude, watching sunsets, just you and someone special. Unique and unforgettable, escapes to your very own islet or coral cay are top of the bucket list for many. This guide hops from rentals that offer a slice of a private island in Hawaii all the way to the shimmering seas of Southeast Asia, aiming to help you plan that one-of-a-kind vacation.
Volcanos and hibiscus blooms – a private island in Hawaii
Private island rentals in Hawaii might not sit on their own exclusive piece of land in the Pacific Ocean, but they do come with all the seclusion and remoteness you could want from these types of escapes. They can transport you to the rugged rises of the mighty Na Pali coastline of Kauai, where cracked volcanic ridges cascade straight into frothing waves. There are others engulfed by tropical gardens filled with naupaka blossoms and hibiscus, tucked beneath the smoking calderas of Big Island.
Tropical enjoyments in private island rentals in Florida
As the Sunshine State rolls southwards, past the buzzy beachfronts of Miami and away from the oak hammocks of the Everglades, it soon fragments into little glistening cays and barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the home of the Florida Keys, where sought-after vacation homes double up as some of the rare private island rentals in Florida. Like tiny Melody Key and Sunset Key, the places you're likely to get are home to their own dashes of cloud-white sand and swimming coves where reefs teeming with fish come right up to the door.
Your very own private Caribbean island
In the province of the Bahamas and the Caymans, it's hardly surprising that there are plenty of these jet-setter getaways. You can look for rentals that give the vibe of a private Caribbean island by focusing in on some of the most exclusive destinations. Honeymooners often love the Turks and Caicos, which are known for their blinding-white beaches that slope softly into azure seas. Yachters will love the regattas and sailing days that await in the USVI. And then there are authentic Caribbean fish fries and rum bars to enjoy in places like Anguilla and Jamaica.
Romantic island breaks in the Maldives
It's easy to see why the Maldives are such a doozy for island adventures. They dash through the Indian Ocean for 100s of miles. And they are home to some of the world's most treasured honeymoon resorts and villas. The result is a country where you can score overwater cabanas or reef-side pads and be totally immersed in the tropical vibe. Check out the South Ari Atoll, the Malé Atoll, and the isle of Kuda Huraa, for some of the very best private rentals.
Private island stays in Belize
Be ready to be wowed by the sheer opulence of private island stays in Belize. These five-star villas and sprawling mansions pop up on glistening coral banks in the midst of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – second only to the Great Barrier Reef, in fact. They are homes fit for Hollywood's finest, with infinity pools rolling down to meet turquoise ocean, free-standing bathtubs with views over the Caribbean Sea, dedicated chefs and butlers – you get the idea.
Be the master of your isle in the Philippines
There are literally 1000s of islands to pick from in the Philippines. Loads of travelers are tempted by well-known resorts like Boracay and Cebu, but they can't offer that Robinson Crusoe feel of a desert island escape. For that, you might need to jet off on a short-haul domestic flight or hop on a ferry, which opens up lesser-known corners of the archipelago nation. Along the finger-like land mass of Palawan, there are rugged rocks topped with palm-shaded cottages only reachable by sea, for example. Down in Siargao, the surf breaks give way to hidden lagoons where coastal villas line empty shores.