Private Island Vacations In the Caribbean vs the United States vs Mexico ... and 6 more
Edited by Kathy McGraw, Eng, Maria Quinney
Although many private island resorts cater exclusively to the rich and famous, with prices to match, there are affordable options for a private island vacation for the rest of us. Yes, you can be treated like royalty at an exclusive resort locked away on its very own island without breaking the bank. Even better, if you arrange to go with a group, you can save even more on the rental costs. Here, we've come up with a list of amazing private island resorts in the United States and the Caribbean, some that are affordable, and some that are not so much.
Method 1: In the Caribbean
With its clear turquoise water and warm year-round weather, the Caribbean is a top choice vacation destination for people all over the world. Some of the resorts listed below have a full-time staff while others do not. One other thing to be aware of is that some of these reports don't have televisions or Internet access.
- 1Young Island, Saint Vincent & Grenadines. This all-inclusive resort features 29 cottages spread out across the island for maximum privacy. White sand beaches and a tropical garden await your exploration. Activities include windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing, and glass bottom boat excursions. Scuba diving is available but is not included in the all-inclusive rate.Advertisement
- 2The Meridian Club, Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos. With just 13 suites featuring screened porches overlooking the Caribbean, the Meridian Club allows couples to get away from it all for a one-of-a-kind vacation. Snorkel, kayak, swim in the sea or the freshwater pool, play tennis or go jogging along one of the many trails through this tropical paradise. Or do nothing at all. Shoes are not required, even for dinner.Advertisement
- 3Petit Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent & Grenadines. Set on an 115-acre private island, the Petit St. Vincent resort has just 22 cottages placed apart from each other so you can be as private, or as social as you like. You can even choose to dine exclusively in your rooms and never have to see another soul. Aquatic activities of all sorts are available, whether you want to spend your days sunning yourself on the beach and wading in the warm tropical waters, or you want to get adventuresome and go snorkeling, windsurfing, or sailing.
- 4Fowl Cay, Bahamas. If you have ever wanted a home in the Caribbean, Fowl Cay is the next best thing. The resort consists of six villas, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, which become your home away from home while you are on the Cay. Every guest gets their own personal motorboat with which they can explore the nearby islands with unlimited gas.
- 5Palm Island, Grenadines. Palm Island is a luxurious resort set on a 135-acre tropical paradise. It features many of the amenities you would expect at a larger resort while maintaining its exclusive private island feel with just 43 units spread out over its surface. Private infinity pools and luxurious rooms and villas are complemented by the beauty of crystal clear seas and abundant greenery throughout.
- 6Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. If you want to stay at Sir Richard Branson's private island, you can rent the entire island, or enjoy renting a room there at specified times during the year known as "Celebration Weeks." But, whatever you do, you'll have to pony up plenty of cash. The entire island can be rented for $80,000, including room, board, and luxury service for only $80,000! Renting a room will set you back four figures.
- 7Over Yonder Cay, Bahamas. Amid the lovely Exumas sits this pristine eco-friendly resort on 72 acres of white sand beach and tropical forests. There is room for 28 guests to enjoy the island and all of its luxuries, including a masseuse, movie theater, tennis court, nine-hole golf course, Yoga instructor, and much more.
- 8Musha Cay, Bahamas. How would you like to spend a week in one of five luxury villas on a private Caribbean island with sparkling white sand beaches, gigantic palm trees, and colorful tropical gardens? Guests of Musha Cay get their every whim attended to by a 30-person live-in staff, including a chef and a masseuse.
- 9Calivigny Island, Grenada. Just five luxury villas are spread out on 80 acres of beach and tropical jungle, this resort boasts not just one, but five chefs preparing exquisite cuisine for the resort's upscale guests. The island has room for 18 guests, and it even has a fleet of boats for guests' use.
- 10Little Whale Cay, Bahamas. Small, luxurious and charming, Little Whale Cay and house up to 12 guests in three villas spread out of the island. The resort is staffed with a chef and a masseur and has a beautiful infinity pool to swim in with views of the sea for when you don't want to take a dip in the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Method 2: In the United States
If you don't want to venture away from the Continental United States, there are quite a few private islands on lakes, rivers, and off the U.S. coast where you might vacation with your family. From rustic cabins in the Northeast to fabulous villas in the South, you can choose from a single home for just your family where you must look after yourself, to a fully-staffed hotel-like experience.
Unlike in the Caribbean, which is more resort-oriented, the affordable private islands in the United States are mostly of the self-serve variety, which means you need to cover and prepare your own food. But, staying on a private island where you can fish all day with no one else around to bother you still sounds pretty good, even if you have to make your own supper.
- 1Inn at Cuckold's Lighthouse, Maine. Off the coast of Maine sits this delightful little island, complete with its namesake, Cuckold's Lighthouse, which dates back to 1892 and has been lovingly restored. This island is perfect for honeymoons and couples looking for that perfect New England getaway.Advertisement
- 2Laurel Island, Connecticut. Perfect for a family fishing trip, this island is located in Lake Connecticut and can accommodate up to 36 people. There is no staff on the island, so you're on your own for food, although local catering is available for an additional fee.
- 3Oar Island, Maine. This 38-acre island is off Maine's coast in Muscongus Bay. It has just one cottage that can accommodate six people, so it is ideal for just one family to enjoy. Boats are available for guests' use for fishing or exploring. There is no staff on the island, so you will need to bring your own food.
- 4Seabird Key, Florida. At 10 acres, this little island has one cottage suitable for a family or small group of friends to enjoy its beaches, gardens, trails, and its Boston Whaler, available exclusively for your use. Go fishing or snorkeling in the pale green waters of the Keys, or head out for a fishing adventure on the seas. The boat is equipped with everything you need.
- 5Dolphin Jump Key, Florida. With its waterfront cottage, fully stocked with everything you could want, and set on a picturesque island in the Gulf of Mexico, this little resort is perfect for a honeymoon or couple's retreat. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking.
- 6Sunset Key, Florida. This 27-acre resort is just 10 minutes from Key West and offers a luxurious island vacation for up to 150 people at a time. It has 40 cottages and is fully staffed.
- 7Coupon Key, Florida. This resort is comprised of a 4.500 square foot house with eight bedrooms and six bathrooms. It doesn't have staff, so you have to make your own food, but you get the entire island to yourself and can enjoy the beaches and activities such as snorkeling and fishing right from the island.
- 8Whiskey Island Lodge, New York. Hearken back to the Golden Age at this posh resort island on the Hudson River. Choose from the main lodge with its 8 bedrooms and four bathrooms or the two bedroom guest cottage. It's perfect for family fishing trips or a romantic honeymoon.
- 9Dry Island, New York. Located on Upper Saranac Lake, this private island takes up 12 acres and has a lodge and a cabin for your use. You can opt to serve yourself, have staff tend to your needs, or a combination of both. Activities include sailing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and water skiing.
- 10Little Palm Island, Florida. Little Palm Island offers the best in luxury resort living. It has just 30 elegantly appointed suites, and it's staffed by a full complement, including a masseuse and chef. Relax by the beach or in the hot tub, or go kayaking or snorkeling: all equipment is provided.
Method 3: In Mexico
Mexico has a Caribbean and Pacific coastline, but not too many islands around it. The following "island" is more of an art piece, but, we're including it here for completeness' sake.
Joysxee Floating Plastic Bottle Island, Mexico is a unique "island" that is man-made out of floating bottles and is just large enough to fit the small building where the owner lives. He has a room for rent, and promises that you can "party all night and return to the tranquility of a hand made tropical island."
Method 4: In Central America
The equatorial climes of Central America are well-suited to the needs of vacationers looking for a tropical escape. Many of the private islands in this region are quite affordable, either for a couple or a small family or group.
- 1Popa Island, Panama. Five brightly colored huts on stilts and connected by a series of wooden walkways between and around them make up the accommodations on Popa Island. Your only company on the island will be the owner, Francine, and the two monkeys that live there.
- 2Isleta El Espino, Nicaragua. The facilities on this private island are off the grid thanks to the power of solar. With just five guest rooms, the lodge, nestled in the branches of the mangroves is an idyllic retreat.
- 3Bastimento, Bocas Del Toro, Panama. The owner of this little island rents out a cabana to travelers interested in eco-tourism. The cabana itself is solar powered and uses a catchment system to provide fresh water from the rains.
- 4Coco Plum Caye, Belize. This resort is made up of three individual islands separated by water shallow enough to walk between them. The waters around the island are perfect for snorkeling as there are beautiful coral reefs surrounding it.
- 5Dunbar Rock, Honduras. You can rent this private island villa for the weekend for just $43,500 and have it all to yourself and your friends. For that price, you get a full staff to attend your every need, what's not to love?
- 6Islas Secas, Panama. Nestled between a network of 16 private tropical islands, this resort is perfect for the active traveler who wants to enjoy snorkeling in the reefs of heading out to deeper waters for a session of scuba diving.
- 7Royal Belize, Belize. Consisting of three beautiful villas on a 7-acre private island, Royal Belize is perfect for those who want to spend time alone, with family, or with a special someone. Whether you enjoy napping on a hammock, fishing, or snorkeling, you'll enjoy your time on this perfect island paradise.
Method 5: In South America
The islands of South America are luxurious as well as expensive and cater to the very wealthy and the famous. The beautiful waters of the southern oceans beckon the rich from all over the world to this sun-drenched paradise.
- 1Ilha Grande, Brazil. Just off the coast of Angra dos Reis, Brazil, this island features two beautiful villas. Enjoy the peace and solitude that comes from having a beautiful island all to yourself while sipping drinks or napping in a hammock amid the twitter of birds dancing in the trees overhead.
- 2Piedade Island, Brazil. This exclusive resort island frequently hosts high-powered heads-of-state, models, and starlets, and for a good reason. It is fully staffed by live-in help who are on-hand to pamper guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Method 6: In Canada
While not as luxurious as their tropical counterparts, private islands in Canada are beautiful snapshots of a wilderness untouched by human hands. The coast of British Columbia is dramatic and beautiful with its high cliffs, rocky beaches, and Orca pods, while the lakes of central and eastern Canada are great for fishing and kayaking.
- 1Shoal Lake Island, Kenora Ontario. This private island comes with a local guide for you exploring and fishing pleasure. This lodge can sleep up to 12 people, so bring some friends, beer, and hot dogs, or catch fish for your supper.
- 2Nelson Island, British Columbia. If you're looking for an off-the-grid retreat without sacrificing creature comforts, this little island is perfect for you. Kayak in the ocean and perhaps see an Orca pod or two
- 3Frank Island, British Columbia. This island is sort of like an all-inclusive resort meets an eco-tourist cottage. Completely off the grid, you can use power guiltlessly and enjoy all the amenities, such s they are. Meals are included in the rent, so bring your appetite.
- 4Deepwater Island, Georgian Bay. This picturesque little island is rocky paradise in the middle of the lake. Surrounded by deep waters, this retreat has everything you could want for getting away from it all.
- 5Crow Rock Island, Kenora. This island boasts Swiss-style chalets on a rugged island environment. Enjoy utter privacy while you look out over the water and watch the boats go by. Go fishing or just relax on the deck out back.
- 6Grasshopper Island, Roseneath, Ontario. The blurb for this rental on AirBnB says that you can bake bread in a 100-year-old oven and little baby farm animals. Also, you can explore the surrounding waters in kayaks or canoes that are available on the property.
- 7Honey Bee Island, Landsdowne, Ontario. A cute cottage on a tiny island, Honey Bee Island is cozy and homey, a place where you can relax and feel like yourself without any pretense. Fish in the water, go boating in the lake, or just sleep in the hammock, its's up to you.
- 8Lake Wahwashkesh Island, Parry Sound, Ontario. This island holds two cottages and a bunkhouse. It has a beautiful deck from where you can gaze upon the still waters of the lake. There are a swim raft and boats for your use, as well.
- 9Magical private island, Kingston, Ontario. Get back to nature at this "magical" place where you'll travel back in time to a point when there wasn't electricity or phone service. If you want to get away from everything, this is the place to do it.
- 10Breakwater Island, British Columbia. Located in the Georgia Strait, this island is a rustic dream. It has a log cabin and everything you could want for a quiet weekend fishing with just the call of the eagles and the deer to keep you company.
Method 7: In South Pacific
Bright tropical water, lots of white sand beaches, and warm sunny days are the order of business among the islands of the South Pacific. The private islands in this region cater to watersports enthusiasts from all over the world and offer some of the best diving and snorkeling anywhere.
- 1Laucala, Fiji. With just 29 guest units, Laucala is a private paradise of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush tropical forests. The coral reefs that surround the island provide endless opportunities for snorkeling, while the long stretches of deserted beach call for a towel and some sunscreen.
- 2Vatuele Island, Fiji. With its surrounding deep water drop offs as well as shallow coral reefs, Vatuele Island is a top spot for divers seeking adventure in the South Pacific. While there are 18 luxury villas on the island, you can't rent just one; you must rent the entire island at once. It's ideal for small weddings, honeymoons, or a diving vacation with friends.
Method 8: In Europe
Whether you want to drink fine wine and eat gourmet food or spend the weekend underwater without getting wet, you'll find what you want in the private islands of Europe. A unique underwater inn and a luxurious Venetian island are among the delights to be found here.
- 1Utter Inn, Sweden. When you first approach the property, it appears as a tiny house floating on the surface of Lake Malaren in Vasteras, Sweden. But, once you enter the house, you descend into an underwater haven, surrounded by the waters of the lake.
- 2Isola Santa Cristina, Italy. In the middle of a lagoon near Venice is this private island with room for just 16 guests. Dine on gourmet cuisine and fine wine with good friends and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere with no interruptions from the outside world.
Method 9: In the Indian Ocean and Africa
The Indian Ocean and Africa are home to some of the most beautiful coastlines and waters around the world. If you enjoy snorkeling, diving, or relaxing on and endless beach, check out the following private island paradises.
- 1Reethi Beach, Maldives. On the Baa Atoll, this luxury resort is ideal for people who enjoy doing all things aquatic. Snorkel in the surrounding reefs, or if you're adventurous enough, go scuba diving in the Indian Ocean.
- 2Fregate Island, Seychelles, Africa. On one of the innermost islands of the Seychelles, off the coast of Africa is this luxury resort. Enjoy the clear waters of the Indian Ocean and the warm winds blowing across the sand as you are pampered by the island's attentive staff.
Categories : Travel & Leisure
Recent edits by: Eng, Kathy McGraw