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Beth Weitzman | Photo: Kwintowski Photography and Mike Toy Photography | December 2, 2013
Cozy up to utter seclusion with a once-in-a-lifetime, private island experience.
1. Paradise Found
The Island: Calivigny Island, Grenada
The Buzz: Indulgence on this rentable privately owned and operated island, which houses up to 50 guests at a time, includes access to for-charter watercraft—a 173-foot Atmosphere Perini Navi sailing yacht and 86-foot Spherefish Hatteras Sports fishing boat, accommodating up to 18 additional people between them. Emerging amid these quixotic surrounds, where luxury and marvel-worthy architecture merge, is the typical beach activity slate. Adding to the mix is a full-size tennis court with basketball hoops and two large, freshwater pools, one with a swim-up bar, which complete the outdoor sport facilities. And, for an additional fee, the sky’s the limit with instructor-led scuba diving, tennis, yoga, as well as musical performances, entertainers, fireworks, massage therapy, hair styling services and more.
Accommodations: Three guest environments, all decked with custom-designed furniture, first-class amenities and lavish in-suite bathrooms, are on offer. The largest of these options, the luxe Beach House Residence, boasting 10 posh suites and breathtaking vistas, blends French Colonial and Balinese style. The Overhang Residence houses equally extravagant suites with a large terrace availing panoramic views. The Calivigny Cottages—a trio of deluxe two-bedroom villas—all claim private outdoor Jacuzzis.
Making It Memorable: With a slew of spots in which to sip and savor, from six glistening sandy beaches to the sprawling Beach House Residence, the garden or on Iguana hill overlooking the ocean, possibilities are endless.
Package Price: A minimum rental of $45,000 per night comes with exclusive use of the island and all its amenities. Select from the Beach House Residence ($65,000 per day for up to 20 guests), Overhang Residence ($55,000 per day for up to 18 guests) and Calivigny Cottage ($15,000 per day for up to four guests). Included in the deal are on-request 24-hour butler service, private chefs crafting bespoke menus, water sports, business facilities, Wi-Fi, use of small motorized vehicles (Jet Skis and motorboats), a sommelier selection of fine wines and well-stocked in-room refrigerators (refilled daily), laundry service, security, and round-trip private car and boat airport transfers. Rates, which may vary during the holiday season and are subject to change, are based on a seven-night/seven-day rental. calivigny-island.com
Offering utmost privacy, Calivigny Island is situated just off the coast of Grenada.
2. Natural Beauty
The Island: Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
The Buzz: Named for an iguana-shaped rock formation on its northwestern coast, Guana Island is the eighth largest island in the British Virgin Islands chain. In 1975, conservation enthusiasts Dr. Henry and Gloria Jarecki purchased the property to preserve it, creating a wildlife sanctuary and a luxe, yet low-key, resort with quietude and privacy. One of the few remaining privately owned and operated islands in this part of the world, the island accommodates up to 42 guests at a time on its 850 acres of undisturbed natural environs. Here, where the Caribbean meets the vast Atlantic, pristine white-sand shorelines, tropical forest and varied terrain avail uniquely diverse recreation opportunities—hiking is prime and spa-going sublime. Along with excellent food and attentive service, is total seclusion, assured by the absence of a marina and public facilities of any kind.
Accommodations: A total of 15 sea-view cottages and a trio of villas (one-, two- and three-bedroom options) offer up 21 bedrooms for up to 42 guests—the island max.
Making It Memorable: Seven sandy-white beaches are ideal for soaking up golden rays by day and saturated sunsets at dusk. Or cruise the Caribbean aboard the island’s 68-foot Sunseeker, and hit the deck to mix and mingle. Daytrips to Tortola, sports angling and water sports for the aquatically inclined are all certain to make the highlight reel.
Package Price: Rent-the-island rates start at $22,000 (plus 18 percent tax and resort fee) per evening for 32 guests, and include the 15 sea-view cottages and one-bedroom villa. If needed, two other villas may be added to reach the 42-guest maximum (if not used, they remain unrented). Price includes all meals, snacks, drinks (excluding Champagne and high-end cordials), use of nonmotorized beach equipment, a beach barbecue with live music, movie nights, Wi-Fi, wash-and-fold laundry service and three round-trip group airport transfers. Bespoke touches are available upon request. Not in need of the entire island? Cottages and villas are also available for individual rental. guana.com
3. Caribbean Queen
The Island: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, British Virgin Islands
The Buzz: Settle into this newly opened luxury private island resort for over-the-top indulgence in a grand island setting, boasting a 55-slip yacht-sized marina, two world-class restaurants, private beaches, a private dining room and, should the occasion call, a ballroom that can waltz in up to 120 people. Well-appointed guest rooms include gourmand-worthy appliances (with names like Sub-Zero and Wolf taking center stage), primo Italian Fili D’oro bed dressings, L’Occitane bath amenities and top-of-the-line technology that accents elegantly modern trimmings. From the culinary team comes cuisine by new Executive Chef Davide Pugliese customized to match any occasion. Pampering takes place in the Ixora Spa, while a fitness center, nature trails, sea kayaks, on-site dive shop, lagoon-style, multitiered pool with waterfalls and a swim-up bar round out the island experience.
Accommodations: Along with 52 guest rooms and suites is a swank collection of two-,
three- and four-bedroom villas. Depending on sleeping arrangements, 204 is the max number of guests accommodated on the island at a time.
Making It Memorable: Jaw-dropping views—will it be immaculate beachfront or a dramatic cliffside vista?—of shimmering turquoise seas are the standard.
Package Price: A complete island buyout starts at $49,500 per day (all accommodations and daily minimum food and beverage spending included). Not in need of the entire island? Cottages and villas are also available for individual rental. scrubisland.com
4. Small Wonder
The Island: Petit St. Vincent, the Grenadines
The Buzz: Since its 1960s debut, this 115-acre dreamland has attracted a who’s who of savvy travelers. Recently emerging from a major reno, the island remains unplugged—no international dial phones, TVs, radios, clocks or Wi-Fi—making way for relaxation in abundance. Each of the island’s 22 rustic chic cottages feature indoor/outdoor living spaces, air-conditioning and views of aquamarine seas. Opt for Cottage 17—a celebrity favorite—and behold your own private beach. In addition to the main dining pavilion, with the face-lift also comes the open-air Goatie’s, a beach restaurant and bar. But dining in-room remains a popular choice. Ivory sands, hilly hiking terrain and a well-inhabited reef in which to preview thriving aquaculture are just some of the highlights here. Others include off-island hops to pristine Tobago Cays or Mopion Island, courtesy of the island’s yacht, Beauty, and crystal-clear seas that give water sports—from kayaking and windsurfing to snorkels and scuba dives—top billing. Alfresco movie nights are another popular island pastime, as are sense-awakening sojourns to the hillside spa for therapies overlooking the sea.
Accommodations: Nestle in one of 22 beach havens—16 one-bedroom cottages and six two-bedroom villas—set on beaches and bluffs availing exquisite vistas. Maximum guest occupancy is 56.
Making It Memorable: Marvel at stunning panoramas at the top of Telescope Hill.
Package Price: A complete island buyout accommodating 44 guests is $27,000 per night for a five-night minimum except in August when it is a seven-night minimum for a special rate of $15,000. An additional charge for 45 to 56 guests, per night is applied. Rate includes three meals daily, nonalcoholic beverages and the use of nonmotorized water-sports equipment and facilities on the island. Not in need of the entire island? Cottages and villas are also available for individual rental. petitstvincent.com
5. Truly Magical
The Island: Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay, Exuma Cays and the Bahamas
The Buzz: You may know this island as the spot where Spanish supercouple Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem tied the knot, or by its illusionist owner, David Copperfield. Either way, it’s magic—an über-exclusive oasis catering to one group of up to 24 guests at a time. Every enchantment is customized, with a lush setting that paints an ideal backdrop for fantasy moments to unfold. An island-chic vibe, mated with modern amenities and services, equals spoils galore (think: air-conditioning, state-of-the-art technology, Wi-Fi, customized menus and 24/7 butler service). Hop on a golf cart to get around, and, for additional fees, enjoy bespoke entertainment—scavenger hunts, fireworks and, really, anything else you can conjure up.
Accommodations: A quintet of exquisitely appointed residences boast one to five bedrooms, with a total of 12 bedrooms and 13.5 bathrooms scattered throughout. All sanctuaries, from the simple to the exotic to the oh-so-romantic, are straight-up plush.
Making It Memorable: The top nod goes to the spectacular 20-foot- wide and two-mile-long sugar-white sandbar set in the middle of the ocean—perfect for picnics at low tide. When there’s a surge, source a perfect spot on one of 40 private beaches or a surrounding atoll—abracadabra, bliss!
Package Price: An all-inclusive daily rate of $39,000 for 12 guests with each additional guest at $1,500 per night for up to 24 total, which would be $57,000, with a four-night minimum stay required. The rate includes fully customized meals, beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic, plus fine wines and Champagnes), unlimited use of all equipment and an array of activities. Cheers! mushacay.com