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Category Archives: Private Islands

Seven island houses where you can shut out the world – AOL Money UK

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Some people want to live in the heart of the community; others want to get away from it all.

And if this is you, how better to shut out the world than by retreating to your very own island?

From moated manors to remote Scottish retreats, we look at some of the best island homes on the market.

The UK’s favourite homes revealed

Holms of Stromness, Orkney

You get two private islands for your money here: the Inner and Outer Holms of Stromness are tidal islands that form part of the harbour of Stromness. On the Inner Holm is a large building holding a four-bedroom main house and a two-bed annexe. There’s a gorgeous wood-floored living room and a comfortable farmhouse kitchen.

While the islands are connected to the mainland by a causeway at low tide, you’ll need a boat the rest of the time. The property has its own wind turbine, so at least you should have power. Agents Vladi Private Islands describe it as ‘idyllic’ and are asking for offers over 300,000.

Norton Disney, Lincoln

The location of this three-bedroom house is truly stunning: an island overlooking its very own large lake at the heart of 12 acres of managed ancient woodland full of muntjac and roe deer. Unsurprisingly, it’s featured on several television programmes, from Grand Designs Extra to BBC Breakfast.

Six houses that help you beat your energy bills

Valasay, Isle of Lewis

You don’t quite get the whole island to yourself – but not far off, and you certainly couldn’t wish for a more peaceful location. This three-bedroom house, built in about 1910, has been extended and refurbished since. It now includes a decidedly non-traditional spa-style relaxation suite with and indoor Endless Pool and sauna, as well as a modern kitchen and refurbished bathroom and shower room.

There’s a large deck with panoramic views of the Atlantic and an acre and a half of land; more’s available by separate negotiation. Agents CKD Galbraith are looking for offers over 340,000.

Nether Alderley, Cheshire

This glorious six-bedroom manor house is like something from a fairytale, set on an island on a private lake with 12 acres of grounds. Dating mainly from the seventeenth century, it’s full of original features, from stone architraves, fireplaces and flooring to beamed and strapped ceilings.

Now, though, it has all mod cons, with the recent installation of several new bathrooms and a Smallbone bespoke kitchen with Jerusalem stone flooring and a double Aga. Outside, there are barns, stables and other buildings. The Old Hall costs 3.95 million through agent Savills.

St Vincent and the Grenadines

If you can get the $10 million price together – and, let’s face it, who hasn’t got that down the back of the sofa? – then you’ll be lord of all you survey with this Caribbean island resort. This 12-acre island includes 29 private guest cottages, all with sea views and some with private plunge pools.

There’s also a spa, two restaurants and a range of other buildings – and a white sandy beach, unusual in an area that’s mostly black volcanic sand. It’s just 200 yards from the coast of mainland St Vincent, with a dock and yacht anchorage. Contact agent Grenadines Islands Villas for more information.

Seven houses decorated with jaw-dropping bling

Lewes, East Sussex

For total privacy, you’d need to replace the three bridges leading to Chailey Moat with a drawbridge; but otherwise this glorious sixteenth-century former rectory is the perfect retreat. Set in 44 acres, it is now a beautiful seven-bedroom home, with an additional four-bedroom tithe barn and two-bedroom cottage.

Legend has it that the moat was dug singlehandedly in the eighteenth century by the then rector, Richard Porter, but it’s actually believed to be much older and may be all that remains of a medieval fortified farm. The house itself is stunning, with oak-panelled reception rooms and the lovely touch of two Juliet balconies opening directly over the moat. Agents Savills are looking for offers over 5 million.

West Drayton, Middlesex

Set on its own island surrounded by the River Colne, Weir Cottage is rather larger than its name implies. It is currently split into two four-bedroom sections, as well as a one-bedroom annexe, but could be redeveloped, the agents say. In total, there are nine bedrooms, four bathrooms, four reception rooms and three kitchens.

Outside, the two acres of land include a number of outbuildings including workshops, garage, stables, paddocks and storage units. The house costs 1.3 million through agent Coopers.

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Six beautiful Maine private islands that can be yours in time for summer – Bangor Daily News

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Owning a private island in Maine is a dream for a number of people here and abroad. Have you ever wondered how much it would set you back to buy a private island in Casco Bay? Well, weve done that Google search for you. Here are some amazing, albeit pricey, options.

All listings and videos are from Private Islands Online.

Our most expensive private island comes with a lot of amenities for $4.75 million.

Exquisite Maine estate commanding the point of a 16 acre peninsula with 1740 feet of ocean frontage, breathtaking views and its own private island off the coast. Grace, refinement & luxury in brand new construction. Private and serene.

Newly built in 2015, this 5 bedroom 4 full bath and 3 half bath 7,600 square foot estate is located on St. John Island in Yarmouth on Casco Bay and is near a country club and golf course. Amenities include pantry, patio, pool, an attached and heated 3 car garage, porch, sprinkler system and so much more.

Okay, $4.5 million is a lot. But, you do get a lot for the price.

The compound amenities include 10 bedrooms, 13 working fireplaces, seven full baths and two half baths, a large original stone pier, a shingle style boathouse, childrens playhouse, helicopter pad, a fully furnished guest house, and a large barn. Just off the shore, Little Clapboard Island is included in the sale and can be accessed from the main island at low tide.

Two islands for the price of one. You cant find that deal at Mardens.

This 60 acre island is a tad cheaper than our two options above, but plenty is included, even food sources!

Two houses, electricity, and well water. Sold with boathouse on shore 5 acres with 300 ft. frontage on Eastern Harbour. Facing the ocean, this 60+ acre island has two sandy beaches, open meadows, spruce, fir and birch trees, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, clams and mussels.


This island is our first to not include a residence. The hefty price tag is definitely for the conserved wooded area.

Offering 140+ acres with shoreline of approximately 12,430+ feet of water frontage in an area steeped with history for its long acclaimed sporting traditions.

The islands timber assets consist of virgin timber and veneer oak. Its varying topography as a cleared farming homestead of years past, steep elevations as well as gentle slopes to several sand or pebble beaches.

The Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership has placed over 342,000 acres and miles of shoreline in the immediate area into conservation, which will forever protect the lands.The pristine natural environment of the region will remain forever protected. It has greatly reduced the availability in this renown area.

The price tag for Sturdivant Island is surely down to location, as its near to Portland.

Grass lawns, mature trees and perennial gardens surround the seasonal one-story cottage, with additional living quarters scattered across the property. The classic cottage has been recently renovated offering a covered porch overlooking the anchorage, open concept living/dining/kitchen area with wood stove, two bedrooms, a loft area, a 3/4 bath, and water views from all rooms. The 3 acre parcel boasts 1,100 feet of varied shorefront with three sandy beaches and many rocky ledges. A deep water pier and float provide access to the island and the regions outstanding fishing and boating activities.

The expanse of the Foster Island is awesome. The southern end offers fields interspersed with pines and birch and breath taking views south out Narraguagus Bay to Trafton and Pond Island and southeasterly to the islands of Dyer and Strout and beyond. Interior pathways meander around and down the center of the island to the northwest and northeast end. It is here you will find a mixture of bold shorefront that transitions into a sandy beach. Just off the eastern side of the Island as the tide recedes, one can see the seals rest upon exposed ledge and warm themselves in the sun as osprey and eagle fly overhead. There are indications of wildlife all around this lovely island making it a dynamic and unique escape from the mainland.

Want to look at more affordable islands? Private Islands Online has plenty of them!

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Song Saa, Cambodia: Private island comfort at a new level – Ballarat Courier

Posted: at 6:47 pm

25 Feb 2017, 12:15 a.m.

A missive revealing an exotic menu, lapping water, candlelight, furniture heavy with history: this resort idyll will take you into a whole new comfort zone.

Song Saa is a luxury resort on a private, jungle-covered island.

Bliss: The view out over the infinity pool.

Blessed seclusion.

Song Saa offers pristine white sand beaches.

The immaculately decorated interiors.

Infinity pool.

Dinner time on Song Saa.

One of Song Saa’s dinner settings.

It’s the closest thing I’ll get to a culinary romance.

In a crisp jungle dawnbut with the promise of heat later in the day, I open the heavy wooden door of my villa to retrieve the rolled notethat’s been slipped between the outside handle. It’s a love letter of sorts.

“Dear Jane,”it reads in a swirling script

“‘Souse day’, good day from all the Song Saa Islanders.

“We trust that you are enjoying our little paradise and the Monk Blessing this morning.

“This evening we would like to invite you for dinner at our main beach area for Kampong Som ocean red snapper fillet and Island coconut creme brulee and tropical fruit compote.

“… From our island bakery you can enjoy Kamping Cham, ripe mango mousse torte, caramel palm sugar infused. With warmest wishes Chendu and Chef Sophat.”

An invitation to dinner, cooked by anotheris a clear signal that I am away from the regular world of routine and rush that I’ve chosen.

The off button has been pressed, permission has been given to relax, here on this tiny island in Cambodia.

But on the journey to one of the kingdom’s newest resorts it’s hard to keep expectations in check.

Chatter about the Song Saa Private Island begins in the hot and dusty inland of northern Cambodia and follows me all the way south to our destination in the Koh Rang Archipelago.

In the coastal town of Kep, once dubbed the Riviera of the south,expat eyebrows raise at the resort’s mention and locals grin.

The resort only five years young and the story of how Australian owners RoryHunter and Melita Koulmandas Hunter came to build such a place ona jungle-covered island in this fledgling country appears to be better known in the kingdom than it does in their homeland (although they haven’t lived in Australia for severalyears).

The kingdom’s first true luxury resort on a private island sounds like the poster child for luxury as well as for care for the community and environment.

It sounds idyllic. A little far-fetched even.

And yet the speedboat ride from Sihanoukville port with leatherseats, cool white flannels and champagne is upstaged after only a few steps on to the silkiest of sand of the private island (staff assure me that it’s not imported) and a walk to the jungle villa with butterflies darting among the greenery.

The 3.5-hectare island, Koh Ouen,is just one part of Song Saa.

Wooden bridgesconnect it to its “sweetheart” the four-hectare nature reserve of Koh Bong,to the Vista restaurant and bar area and the over-water villas.

In an arc shape, without railings, the bridge walk to breakfast is both deliberate and giddying as schools of snapper dart back and forth in the turquoise water underneath me.

In the over-water pavilion, as oatmeal with cinnamon lemongrass and kaffir lime is served alongside tropical fruit cooled by wet stones, the putt-putt of fishing boats can be heard in the distance.

Just as intoxicating is the jungle villa No.11 with itsheavy doors between bedrooms and conversation-pit lounging areas; half-moon pool overlooking its sweetheart island, outside showers, furniture of recycled fishing boats and a drinks station where fresh limes, lemongrass vodka and tonic water are refreshed each day.

Koulmandas Hunter designed almost every piece of furniture before having it custom made.

“All of the floors in the villas are old recycled housing materials from Thailand and Cambodia. The pool tiles are a local stone from the mainland and all the work stations are made from 100-plus year old Cambodian beds,” she says.

If rustic sophistication were a thing, this would be it.

Be prepared too for the most elaborate turn-down service with ladders required to draw the curtains, restocking of the fridge, fluffing of the pillowsand the lighting of many, manytealight candles enclosed in lanterns.

Request an in-villa movie night and you will return to a screen the width of the lounge area, movie projector and boxes of popcorn.

A private island this might be, but it is also one piece in the Song Saa story as the project director, Ben Thorne of the Song Saa Foundation, says of the first government recognised marine reserve that rings 200 metres around each island and across a five-hectare stretch of ocean.

“Fishing in the archipelago is the predominant source of food and income and nutrients for the local communities,” Thorne says.

“We know that we have transient turtles come through the area and a high abundance of commercial fish species such as snapper and barracuda so the ones that are caught outside the reserve have protection in around the Song Saa islands.

“Once we’ve protected enough fish in our own marine reserve there will be juveniles going out beyond the waters of the marine reserve. It’s about protecting and creating a legacy for the local fishermen as well as the local environment here.

“And we want guests to be able to go out and see this diverse reef, which we’re proud to say we have.”

To see how the foundation works,I cross the waters, not by luxury speedboat but bylongtail to Song Saa’s closest village in the community of Prek Svay, loosely translated as Mango River. Stilt houses line the waterways and fishing and cashew farming is a source of income.

Dotted with coconut trees,about 30 per cent of staff are from the community and the foundation runs English lessons and beach clean-ups as part of its conservation club. Many are employed from nearby Sihanoukville and staff are gearing up for World Ocean day and mangrove planting.

I receive my Buddhist blessing from two monks and then from a small child a gift of bugs wings as I leave the village.

Back at the villa the rolled dinner invitation has arrived inviting me to the main pool area at the edge of the ocean under a canopy of twisted and thatched dried vines.

There’s just one one other couple dining on a small deck in the middle of the pool, clearlymarooned and loving it.

There’s another 30 or so guests here,I just don’t see them often.

Every night is a new dining place,from the beach clubto the end of the jetty, all timed for sunset and maximum serenity.

One guest I do talk to has just arrived for a break from her heavy-duty job in industrial China for a week of spa treatments and yoga classes and I understand the repeat visitation.

This tiny island is the place for a punctuation mark of sorts. The honeymoon, the anniversary, the present to yourself.

For me it’s been the shortest, sweetest romance of all time.

*Take a kayak or catamaran with picnic to explore the area.

*Snorkel around the islands to spot grouper and parrotfish.

*Hire the spa sanctuary for exclusive use under the stars.

*Join the daily morning yoga class.

*Explore Koh Bong with a conservation team member to spot kingfisher, sea eagles and Malaysian plover.

Siem Reap and Phnom Penh Airport have multiple daily services to many Asian gateways, including Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Kuala Lumpur.

From Phnom Penh Airport transfers to Sihanoukville Port in BMW 4WD (four hours) for the speedboat ride to the island (45 minutes).

From Siem Reap flights operate daily with Cambodian Angkor Air on the ATR72 aircraft to Sihanoukville International Airport (50 minutes) before transfer to the port.Departing Siem Reapat 4.30pm every Monday and 2.25pm every Tuesday-Sunday, staff transport guests from the airport to the island.

It costs from $890 a night for a one-bedroom Jungle villa with pool inclusive of breakfast, speedboat transfers, high-speed internet and satellite TV, mini bar restocked daily, non-alcoholic beverages, use of of the resort’s kayaks, sailing boats, and snorkelling gear, guided tours, 15-minute foot ritual and some daily laundry. There is no charge for children under 12.

Jane Reddy stayed courtesy of Song Saa Private Island.

The story Song Saa, Cambodia: Private island comfort at a new level first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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5 gorgeous private islands you can visit by cruise ship – USA TODAY

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Jodi Ornstein, Editor, Porthole Cruise Magazine Published 8:23 a.m. ET Feb. 22, 2017 | Updated 12:00 p.m. ET Feb. 22, 2017


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An aerial view of Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas.(Photo: Holland America)

Planning a cruise to the Bahamas or the Caribbean for the first time? There’s a concept with which you’ll have to become familiar: The cruise line private island. Nearly every major brand has one, and they factor into a wide range of itineraries in the regions.

While some are bigger (and more elaborate) than others, they all are designed to serve up that perfect beach day, offering beaches lined with lounge chairs, water sports (normally available for an extra charge), activities such as zip lining and usually at least a few bars overlooking the water. There also often are kiddie play areas, and a staple of the experience at nearly all of the islandsis a big beach barbecue.

One of the newest private islands, Norwegian Cruise Line’s just-unveiled Harvest Caye, just off the coast of Belize, also serves as a hub for tours to the mainland of the country. In fact, Norwegian doesn’t even like to call it a private island. It’s a new gateway to Belize, the company says (scroll through the carousel above for USA TODAY’s first look at Harvest Caye).

Could Harvest Caye be the Caribbean’s new cruising hot spot?

Looking for that classic private beach experience on your next cruise? Here are Porthole Cruise Magazine’sfive favorite private islands.

1.Half Moon Cay. Consistently voted No. 1 among private islands in Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards, this Holland America-owned escape boasts miles of white sand and water sports, nature hikes and deep-sea fishing. You can reserve a private seaside air-conditioned cabana (for up to 25 people) or encounter gentle rays at Stingray Cove. Half Moon Lagoon, the islands aqua park, is a favorite for kids.

Dont Miss:One excursion lets you ride horseback along a winding trailto the highest point of the island. After taking in the panoramic view, you head back down to a beach to ride right into the surf, getting a rarechance to experience what it’s like on a swimming horse.

Two-story beach villas are available for an extra charge at Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay.(Photo: Holland America)

2. Castaway Cay.Theres no need to tender to shore at this Disney Cruise Line-owned island, where ships pull right up to a custom-built pier a rarity among private islands operated by cruise lines. Children will love Scuttles Cove, an expansive kiddie area supervised by Disney counselors, and there also are a number of water play areas. Kids (and adults, too) also will have a chance to interact withDisney characters who wait on the island to greet them.

Dont Miss: You can book an open-air massage in a private cabana overlooking Serenity Bay, Castaway Cay’squiet adults-only beach. You’ll hear the sounds of the waves and be buffeted by a cooling ocean breeze during the treatment.

The Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay, Disneys 1,000-acre private island in the Bahamas.(Photo: David Roark)

3. Great Stirrup Cay. Cruises to the Bahamas with Norwegian Cruise Line always feature a day at this250-acre private island, which has been getting a lot of upgrades in recent years.Relax on white-sand beaches, perhaps in a private beachfront cabana; snorkel, kayak, or parasail; or take part in a sting-ray encounter.

Dont Miss: A new lagoon retreat debuting this summer will feature a secluded, pristine beach area; exclusive dining options; luxury beach villas available at an extra charge; and even a swim-up bar along the waterfront. It’ll be open on a complimentary basis to passengers staying in suites and Haven cabins on Norwegian ships. Passengers who book a spa massage on the island also will gain access as will a limited number of additional passengers willing to pay an extra charge.

A couple walks along the beach at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas.(Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

4.Labadee. One of two private beach destinations operated by Royal Caribbean, Labadee isn’t actually an island. It’s located on the north coast of Haiti. But it has much in common with the private islands operated by other lines, as it’s a self-contained hideaway. Surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery, Labadee offers pristine beaches, plenty of water sports and thrills such as the Dragons Tail Coaster, a 30-mile-an-hour ride through the lush mountainside. (Royal Caribbean’s second private beach destination, is CocoCay in the Bahamas, which often is included as a stop on voyages to the Bahamas).

Dont Miss:Labadee boasts the 2,600-foot-long Dragons Breath Flight Line, long billed as the longest zip line in the world over water. From the takeoff point at 500 feet above the beach, youll soar down the side of a mountain at 40 to 50 mph.

Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination of Labadee is located on the coast of Haiti.(Photo: Royal Caribbean International)

5.Princess Cays.Situated on more than 40 acres and featuring more than a half mile of white-sand shoreline, Princess Cruises’ private island offers a local craft market, activities that range from volleyball to water sports, a cool over-water deck that makes for aperfect for fish-spotting. There also are private air-conditioned bungalows for up to four peopleavailable for rent, and a supervised sand playground for kids called Pelicans Perch.

Dont Miss:For sweeping views that take in thebeach andoceanand your ship in the distance, too, make your way to the Crows Nest Overlook, an observation tower that boasts 360-degree views of the island.

Paddle wheelers are among the water toys that can be rented out at Princess Cays, Princess’ private island in the Bahamas. Snorkel equipment, sea boards, floats and kayaks also are available.(Photo: Princess Cruises)

Porthole Cruise Magazine is one of the most widely read travel magazines focused on all things cruise related. Published bimonthly, it offers ship reviews, destination features and stories on the latest trends in on-board cuisine, spa services, entertainment and more. It’s available on newsstands and by both print and digital subscriptions.


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8 Best Caribbean Cruise Line Private Destinations – Cruise Fever

Posted: at 1:33 pm

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Private destinations are popping up all over the Caribbean with current offerings and soon-to-be-available ones as well. Heres what guests can enjoy exclusively now and into the future.

Disney has always been a private island leader with its exquisite Castaway Cay for featuring a convenient dock from the get go as well as a narrative of exploration. Highlights here include areas for families and just for adults, a fantastic snorkeling lagoon complete with a submerged former ride submarine from Walt Disney World and a floating waterslide platform.

One of two Royal Caribbean International destinations exclusively accessible to its guests is CocoCay in the Bahamas. The island newly has an updated South Beach with a shuttle transfer, lounge chairs, floating bar, beach beds, bungalows and loungers. Elsewhere is an aqua park, beach hammocks, suite guest cabanas and available eco-tours.

Norwegian Cruise Lines first 250-acre private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay, showcases beach retreats, a snorkel trail, water sports, parasailing, cabanas and more with shore excursion options as well. For dining, it offers a complimentary Beach Buffet and Abaco Taco bar, and LandShark Bar and Grill for a la carte priced items is coming soon.

Half Moon Cay from Holland America Line is one of the nicest private islands. Single- and double-decker cabanas are even available for the most seclusion, and a shipwreck-style bar gives the beach an interesting focal point. Fun activities range from local craft shopping to exhilarating personal water craft riding or leisurely kayaking.

Harvest Caye is the newest entry on the list having just opened for Norwegian Cruise Line guests. An attached pier ensures easy access to a massive pool facility, nature center, private cabanas and a series of zip-lines including a super man variety that traverses over the pristine beach below. Plus, tasty dining already includes the aforementioned LandShark Bar and Grill.

Labadee is Royal Caribbeans second private destination now with its own dock. The most dramatic attractions here are the Dragons Breath Flight Line zip-line, 300-foot-long Dragons Splash Waterslide, 30-mile-per-hour Dragons Tail Coaster and Arawak Aqua Park. Of course, for those looking for more leisure, Nellies Beach has you covered.

This one has yet to open, but come October 2018 it will be a very unique private island that can accommodate guests ashore in the evening for extra entertainment while the casino can operate onboard. Highlights are set to include an attached dock, 11,400 feet of beaches, a Bahamian village, restaurants, bars, shops, a 2,000-seat amphitheater and zip-line.

Princess Cruises Princess Cays offers guests over 40 acres of seclusion across more than a half-mile of shoreline. Besides a free barbecue, the resort boasts beaches, an observation tower, water sports and volleyball. Also available are snorkel equipment, sea boards, floats, kayaks, paddle wheelers, banana boat rides, aqua chairs, beach clamshells and bungalows.

Jason Leppert is the Editor-in-Chief of Popular Cruising, the leader in video cruise reviews.

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Vomo Island Fiji Luxury beach resort and spa

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 4:31 am

VOMO is a private island escape offering a choice of 28 resort villas + 4 luxury holiday residences. Home to long stretches of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this 5 star, all-inclusive resortmerges contemporary design sophistication with the islands stunning natural surrounds. A new style of luxury that is understated, organic and genuine.

With two spectacular private islands to explore, renowned snorkelling and diving, creative dining options and hip bars, award-winning day spa and more, VOMO has become one of Fijis favourite luxury resorts for couples and families needing a genuinely transformative escape.

If you crave time-out, whether alone, as a couple or with family, make an escape to Vomo Island Fiji. Rest assured; its the luxury youve been looking for.

Pristine beaches for miles. And miles.

Spectacularly pristine & private. The real world is world’s away.

Sunset over Vomo Lai Lai island

Two private islands. Unlimited ocean play.

Nature’s lounge room. Perfect daytime viewing.

Set on two private islands, just 15 minutes north of Nadi International Airport by seaplane or helicopter, VOMO instantly becomes your personal paradise the moment you arrive. Step ashore and explore an intoxicating mix of world-class cuisine, scuba, snorkelling, hiking, luxury spa experiences, island hopping, blissful seclusion, tranquillity and of course, sunset cocktails; all served with a generous dose of genuine hospitality.

Twenty-eight (28) stylish villas and retreats perfectly positioned to take advantage of island views, ocean play and all resort facilities.

Four (4) stunning beach holiday houses touted as the pinnacle of South Pacific luxury holiday homes.

Central to every Fiji holiday is the Bula Spirit. VOMO has cleverly created a perfect balance of world-class experiences; accommodation, cuisine, scuba, snorkelling, hiking, spa, island hopping, blissful seclusion, tranquility and a healthy cocktail quota, all served with genuine Fijian hospitality. More understated than youd find on the mainland yet still with the warmth and style of welcome guests have come to love from the happiest people on earth.

VOMO expresses all that epitomises the Bula Spirit, yet in a quieter way. A unique Fijian experience youll only find on VOMO.The authentic luxury experience youve been looking for.

Vomo Island Fiji offers world-class island resort facilities whilst still cleverly embracing the raw, natural luxuries of its South Pacific surroundings and traditionalFijian culture. Pristine. Private. Untouched. From exceptional accommodation & service to spectacular sunsets it isthe holiday luxury youve been looking for.

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Vomo Island Fiji Luxury beach resort and spa

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A Private Island in the Bahamas for $8.9 Million – Caribbean Journal

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:38 am

In the market for a private island?

Right now, the Bahamas is easily the regions number one private island destination, with a wide portfolio of islands and cays on the market.

And if youre looking for something a bit different, its time to think about the Berry Islands, the largely unknown archipelago of the southern Bahamas.

Theyre home to Bird Cay, a 250-acre island at the southern end of the Berry chain, about 30 minutes by air from Nassau.

Bird Cay has 4.75 miles of water frontage, with sandy beaches, turquoise waters, trails, palm trees and coconut groves.

Yes, you can land a seaplane here.

HG Christie, which has the listing on the property, says one could even construct a few golf holes on the island.

Bird Cay is also just a short distance from Chub Cay, home to a private resort club, restaurants and a 5,000-square-foot airstrip with regular and chartered flights to Nassau.

This is quite simply a tropical paradise tailor-made for a business retreat, a family compound, or a stunning island resort., the brokerage says.

See the full listing here.


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A Private Island in the Bahamas for $8.9 Million – Caribbean Journal

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5 Reasons the Cruise Lines’ Private Islands Are Travelers’ Favorite … – Travel Agent

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:37 am

What makes a private island such a sought-after destination? Cruise experts at CruiseCompete say private islands rank number one on cruisers’ to-do lists for five reasons:

1. A unique opportunity for relaxation: Private islands offer cruisers an escape from the pressures of everyday life.

2. The chance to live like royalty: On an island like Holland Americas Half Moon Cay, the staff caters to guests’ every need. For a fee, passengers can reserve private cabanas where they will be attended to by private butlers. The butlers fill beverage glasses, prepare foods, and even offer cool cucumber to sooth eyes against the hot sun.

3. Ramp up the adrenaline: Private islands offer an array of activities including water sports, jeep tours and island explorations. Families are welcome as there is plenty to do for all ages.

4. The makings of an epic travel story: Between the beauty of the islands and the potential adventures available, cruisers will have all components for a memorable trip.

5. Paradise on Earth: The Caribbean waters, coral reefs, and beaches combine for some of the most beautiful scenes in the world.

Costa Cruises: Costa Cruises guests visit Catalina Island, off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The island offers activities such as volleyball, snorkeling and massages on the beach. Cruisers can also rent jet skis, go for banana-boat rides or just relax on the beach.

Disney Cruise Line: Disneys Castaway Cay provides plenty of fun for all ages. The island has cruise ship docking capabilities which allows guests to easily travel back and forth to their ship. Attractions include: Castaway Family Beach, Serenity Bay for adults, a teens-only activity area, and supervised programs for children.

Holland America: Holland Americas Half Moon Cay has been ranked Best Private Island by Porthole Cruise Magazine for 16 consecutive years. The island, located on Little San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, allows guests to feed stingrays, enjoy water sports, and have access to private cabanas with butler service.

MSC Cruises: MSC Cruises is currently developing their own reserve island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay will offer a 2,000-seat amphitheater, restaurants, bike rentals, zip lines, and a pavilion for weddings and celebrations. Ocean Cay is set to open to guests in October 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegians private island, Great Stirrup Cay is located in the Berry Island chain of the Bahamas. The island offers an array of water sports including snorkeling, paddle boats, sailboats and kayaks. The cruise line also stops at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize.

Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises ships visitPrincess Cays, located on the southern portion of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. Cruisers can rent aqua bikes, seaboards, paddleboats, sailboats or rafts. The island has umbrellas, tiki huts and hammocks for beach-goers.

Paul Gauguin Cruises:Paul Gauguin visits Motu Mahana, part of the Society Islands. The island offers local crafts and cuisine, music, and vanilla plantation tours.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises: Coco Cay, designed exclusively for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises passengers, boasts a 20,000 square foot aqua playground named Caylanas Castle Cove. The two lines second island getaway, Labadee, features seven different neighborhoods that have individual offerings.


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5 Reasons the Cruise Lines’ Private Islands Are Travelers’ Favorite … – Travel Agent

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Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, Solomon Islands: The South Pacific’s best kept secret – Blue Mountains Gazette

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:39 am

16 Apr 2016, 12:15 a.m.

Luxury gets a Solomon Islands spin at this stunning resort.

Tavanipupu Private Island Resort. Photo: The Bondi Travel Bug

The island resort: Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.

Bungalows at Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.

The Royal Bungalow at Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.

Dancers at Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.

We’re experiencing a Pijin language version of ‘Who’s on First’. Nudagus is telling us he is not the most important Gus on Tavanipupu Island. “There’s another Gus,” he says. “The other Gus is the boss so I’m ‘Nudagus’. A-nother-Gus.” He points to his ‘Nudagus’ nametag.

Right now Nudagus is more important than the other Gus as Nudagus is the Gus bringing the cocktails. We wonder whether he is called ‘Nudagus’ at home or what his name would be if the other Gus left the resort. But that way lies madness and we return to gazing at the radiant sunset over the lagoon.

Tavanipupu Private Island Resort is the Solomons’ most luxurious destination. Located in Marau Sound in Guadalcanal Province, it’s 25 minutes by air from Honiara in an eight-seater Islander aircraft to a grass airfield, followed by a 20 minute boat ride to the resort.

The manicured resort is as stunning in real life as anything you could find in a travel brochure. There are just 11 bungalows of three different classes plus a ‘Royal’ bungalow and each is free-standing, spacious and quite luxe, certainly by Solomon’s standards. All wooden with thatched rooves, vaulted ceilings and ‘kastom’ (traditional) furnishings and dcor plus shells and flowers the bungalows reflect the serenity and beauty of the resort. My four-poster king bed is enveloped by a sprawling mosquito net that sways under the ceiling fan, the bathroom is modern and expansive and a porch with a day bed, hammock and lagoon views beckons.

Don’t expect Wi-Fi, TV, air-con or drinkable tap water in your room. You won’t miss them anyway. Tavanipupu is about the languid lagoon, sultry breezes, scuttling hermit crabs, reef snorkelling with endless visibility and the get-away-from-it-all story of a lifetime. They do have room service though just bang the drum on your front porch and you’ll get Nudagus. (Or Anuda-staffer, but let’s not start that again.)

Anuda drum announces that lunch or dinner is served in the open-air dining room next to the bar. The menu mostly consists of fish from the lagoon and their own organic vegies and eggs. The meals we have are excellent and we also enjoy a breakfast on the porch, delivered right on ‘Solomon’s time’ 45 minutes late. Which couldn’t have mattered less. Romantic dinners on the jetty are also popular.

In addition to the sublime snorkelling, you can explore the island by bike or on foot and the tranquil lagoon by kayak or paddle board, although some parts of the lagoon are culturally significant and off-limits to women. All genders can take a sunset cruise, go on the market trip to Marau station on Thursdays or join a fishing expedition ($AU150) to catch your dinner. You can arrange a day on your own sandy cay with a gourmet lunch and there’s even a cosy little overwater Spa where you can have a massage while gazing into the water.

Locals claim Tavanipupu is the South Pacific’s best kept secret but the secret was blown somewhat when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed here during their 2012 tour of the Pacific. They tell the tale of the cordon of coconuts laid around the Royals’ bungalow by their security detail, who no doubt had a protocol to follow, even though the greatest threat would have been tripping over a coconut. They tell of Prince William’s love of the cocktail he ordered, declaring it the “best Pina Colada in the world”. And they claim this is where Prince George was conceived. How the Cambridges must have loved the paparazzi-free seclusion.

The Royal connection continues on the adjacent island of Marapa, where Wills and Kate visited the local traditional village. We follow in the Royals’ paddle prints and take a dugout canoe on the short, wobbly ride across the channel.

We receive a triple ‘welkam’ women splash in the shallows, girls dance gracefully and men and boys put on an aggressive haka-like display. A palm tree planted by the future king of England now holds pride of place in the centre of the village. The villagers display their cooking, carving and construction skills with joyous, bright smiles and as we leave, they farewell us with laughter and waves while the youngsters show off with somersaults from the jetty. Visits here or to other villages can be arranged at Tavanipupu.

This may not be the easiest resort to reach but the experience is transcendent and you’ll be able to drop the name Tavanipupu into conversations. Just pray they haven’t hired a third Gus.

Solomon Airlines flies direct from Sydney and Brisbane to Honiara with connections to Marau airstrip. See; Phone 1300 894 311.

If you have a night or two in Honiara, stay at the Heritage Park Hotel. See;

Rates from $A200 (Island) – $300 (Royal) per bungalow per night. Transfers to and from the local airfield are included. Meal packages essential unless you plan to survive on coconuts, crabs and fish you catch yourself include full breakfast, a two-course lunch and a three-course dinner are available for $A85 per person per day.

Mal Chenutravelled as a guest of Solomon Islands Visitor Bureau and Solomon Airlines.

The story Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, Solomon Islands: The South Pacific’s best kept secret first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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How 30000 pieces of bamboo came together to create the private island of Cempedak – Web In Travel

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:41 am

When we first saw Cempedak Island, I believe our little group uttered a collective Wow and then we were stunned into silence. Rising from the white sand was a bamboo structure with a spiral roof that resembled an ocean wave.

That, we later learnt, was the boathouse, the building that would house the bar and restaurant, in other words, the lobby if this were a hotel in the traditional sense of the word.

The resort is built around the terrain so that it is at one with the nature of the island.

This is no traditional hotel though. Cempedak is the new all-bamboo private island resort developed by the same folks behind Nikoi Island. Located 30 minutes by boat from the island of Bintan, Indonesia, it is due to open sometime mid-March and its been more than three years in the making.

Piers (right) and crew mates have been at work the past three years working with bamboo, one piece at a time

Waiting for us was Piers Berry, the project manager, looking like a veritable Robinson Crusoe. How a man hailing from England, who last worked in Panama and whos never built a resort before, ended up with this project, well, thats a story for another time.

But you can sense that for Piers, this is a dream project come true which engineer gets to create an all-bamboo resort on a private island in the middle of nowhere after all?

Piers has been hard at work the last 36 months. Hes carted a total of approximately 30,000 pieces of bamboo across the seas from Java and Sumatra on 280-foot-long barges. Hes had to treat and process them for termites and beetles. He can tell you stuff about bamboo that would make you fall in love with this unassuming plant. With his crew of 120 70 of whom work on the island theyve built a total of 20 villas, each taking three months to complete.

The attention to detail is amazing from specially-made ceiling fans to coffee tables to bamboo pegs that hold the structures together. Using local building techniques from Bali and Java, the resort has been built around the terrain.

The attention to detail can be seen from ceiling fans to coffee tables.

Said Piers, The vision was to work with what was there, and build around it, so that the resort is symbiotic and complementary with the nature. We did everything with local staff and local stuff. We used local building techniques and kept adapting, taking into account weather conditions.

Piers has clearly adapted well himself somehow he found the time to get married in those three years. Ive been lucky. I met Mark (one of the owners) in England at the right time and I also got to meet my wife.

With the opening date drawing near, he said he cant wait to finish it and see the first customers.

Owner Andrew Dixon is also looking forward to the opening. I am very excited about how the buildings are coming together. The big difference from Nikoi is the landscaping we had a team based there for a year and they sourced and propagated from the island, and its blending in nicely with the buildings.

Using local building techniques, the crew has had to adapt to weather conditions as well.

His favourite building, like mine, is the boathouse with the spiral roof. Makes you want to surf on it, he laughed.

With Cempedak being his second project, after Nikoi, clearly Dixon is more experienced and knew what to expect going in. But still I had forgotten all the little details which are killing me from how to present the menu to glass ware. We also made things hard for ourselves like hand-making the speakers from black bamboo and the iPod docking stations.

Our turntable is made out of bamboo, except for the motor. It started as a joke. My son was looking for a turntable and I said, wouldnt it be a laugh to have one made of bamboo. He found a maker in Canada, communicated with them and it took a few months for it to be made.

Dixon said its the attention to details that customers notice. Its easy to buy a Bose stereo for the room but thatd be easy to replicate. People want unique and different. When you go into a room, you can tell whos paid attention to the details, the little finishes.

Villa with a view

I am a great believer in design being functional and practical so we do mock-ups of everything. We make it, finetune it so we have the beta version, then the refined version.

I likened it to the tech worlds mantra of test, fail fast and learn and Dixon laughed, Yes, except thats pretty hard when it comes to furniture. The tech world plays with a few keystrokes, we make things.

The interior of the villa

But he said it was precisely because we now live in such a high-tech world that people appreciate the art and craft of building and making things by hand.

With Nikoi celebrating its 10th anniversary this May, Dixon said customer tastes havent changed that much except for a stronger emphasis on unique experiences, local and sustainability.

People want food and drinks to be locally-sourced, they like homemade and craft products, and there is more interest in sustainability. That topic was new 10 years ago and we tried very hard not to ram it down peoples throats then, but now its become a business case rather than just marketing.

We learnt a lot of lessons in sustainability from Nikoi and can put them into practice more on Cempedak. Technology is more available and affordable now. I like tech thats unseen and we have tech that monitors energy and deals with waste.

Technology has also changed enormously on the operations front. Ten years ago, we didnt have wifi, now you wouldnt dream of not having wifi. The customers ability to share their stories Facebook is huge marketing tool for us. Our guests are acting as our PR and marketing agents. Charging for wifi is stupid, it prevents people from doing the marketing for you.

We have developed our own POS system a cloud-based app on the iPad. Four or 5 years ago, we had iPads in front of house but nobody used them, but now they are being used back of house.

Dixon is testing a new butler technologyon Nikoi, a concierge service on mobile web. Guests can order room service, request for change of pillows and book spa treatments.

The flora and fauna on the island are all part of the experience of staying on this private island. If youre lucky, you may even get to see the native pangolin. The island is also home to the Nicobar pigeon, believed to be the closest living relative of the dodo bird.

He is conscious this may take away the island feel. One good thing about Nikoi is that you had to walk to the bar to order services and that made for a communal feeling at the bar. Well see how the usage goes. So far its been promising.

He expects business for Cempedak to also come from word of mouth as it does with Nikoi. About 10% of business comes through TripAdvisor and now that its using Siteminder for its bookings, Dixon expects more direct bookings through its website.

Cempedak will also be differentiated from Nikoi in that it will be an adult-only island. It should be priced 20-25% more than Nikoi.

Cempedak, for adults only

Private islands are still unique. In our area, theres not a lot of private islands and thats our attraction. People want space and privacy thats the new luxury, said Dixon.

And as excited as he is by the imminent opening of Cempedak, he said, I will be happier once its opened.

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