Ever wanted to experience the life of luxury as a twenty-first century castaway? This month, Luxe Lavs contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno discovered four boutique hotels that give you the experience of being on a private island—without having to rough it.
Richard Evanson bought Turtle Island in 1972 and transformed what was a wild island with goats and one generator into Turtle Island Resort, a luxury resort that focuses on family and romance. The staff members become part of the guests’ family; some staff have even been with the resort almost since its inception. Bure Mamas are there to take care of couples’ every wish. With 14 private beaches, Turtle Island attracts people who want to get away from it all—but with each other. Evanson wants couples to be together at all times on his resort, even in the bathroom. His unique concept became a signature experience for guests.
The large double open shower has “BULA,” the Fijian word for welcome, spelled out in tiles on the floor, and the two shower heads are staggered to fit a taller and a shorter person side by side. The vanities and dual sinks share a long space near to the two toilets that are next to each other, separated by louvered blinds. Amenities include Pure Fiji shampoo, conditioner, and lotion with a rich coconut scent. The indoor hot tub, which has ample space for two, is situated near the canopy bed. Hot tub, shower, nap, repeat.
Fregate Island Private is a secluded paradise located in the Seychelles, four degrees south of the equator and 35 miles off the Mahé coast. The island has seven of its own beaches, including coral reefs and jungle trails, and is a sanctuary to more than 100 species of tropical birds. The 16 residences are crafted in balau wood, each with a private pool and beach buggy. Personal butlers are dedicated to making sure every possible desire is fulfilled.
The Beach Villas and the Royal Beach Villas are Fregate Island’s signature accommodations opening onto the beach and the azure lagoon. They offer one or two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a separate living area. Designed by Pierre Jean Picart, the bathroom villas respect Polynesia’s authentic style and are constructed with wood. The tile by the dual sink makes for stress-free water splashing and the wood surrounding the bath is a nice touch on bare feet. Guests can have their bath prepared with fresh squeezed coconut milk, flowers, and candles for a tropical twist. The amenities are all made in French Polynesia specifically for the hotel, and include the authentic tiare and vanilla-scented monoï as well as natural exfoliant soap made with the black sand that is found on certain local beaches.
Located three miles off the coast of Belize is the boutique private island resort Cayo Espanto in the Caribbean. The concept is pampered relaxation, privacy, and personal service with 30 staff members in starched white uniforms ready to accommodate every need. The resort, with its seven villas, was designed by Los Angeles firm Darrell Schmitt Design Associates, an interior designer for more than 35 years, who has also created some of the world’s most acclaimed hotels and spas. Darrell and his team personally oversaw the design and enhancements at Cayo Espanto. The essence of the interior design work has everything to do with the ambiance of the island. The design is pristine and simple, with a seamless flow of indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing for the natural surroundings to become a part of the interiors.
The bathrooms are wood, including the ceiling, with bright blue shutters and doors to echo the sea. The vanities have only one sink, which can be a drawback for couples. The soft lighting accents the golden wood. A turquoise shuttered door opens into a natural-lit shower with a second glass door opening to the outdoors. The palm trees sway through the top of the shower’s clear glass door while the opaque bottom half is well-designed for privacy. Each villa has its very own plunge pool with twin lounge chairs at the end of their own private dock.
Petit St. Vincent, which is located in the southern tip of the Grenadines, is a 115-acre privately owned island with 22 cottages nestled beside the beaches and into the bluffs. Here you must unplug, as there are no televisions, telephones, or Wi-Fi in the rooms for ultimate escapism. A simple but charming flag system is used to communicate with staff.
The bathrooms continue this attention to simplicity and sustainability. A stone archway leads to sleek accents beside rugged exposed stone quarried from the island. Dark, rich, brownish-red wood mirrors have curved contemporary glass lighting attached to the wall. Fixtures are sleek chrome on white porcelain with white wood cabinets. The bathrooms are open with a curtain separating them from the bedroom. To conserve water, there are no bathtubs, but there are double sinks and gray rock-lined shower areas. Fragrant Bulgari amenities are provided along with a canvas beach bag, as well as Woolite for keeping bathing suits clean and bright after swimming in the ocean.
Want to discover more luxe lavs from around the world? Check out:
- Luxe Glamping Sites Around the World
- Over-the-Top Hotel Suites in Major Cities in Asia
- Luxury Hotel Rooms That Will Remind You of Summer All Year Long
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com