Spiced pumpkins and holiday music aren’t everyone’s cup of cider. If you’re willing to trade a “quiet night” for sea air, sunshine, and chilly Sauvignon, take note: it’s springtime in the sultry Southern Hemisphere, when temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and where, in December, the island’s waters will be warmed by full summer sunshine.
Betsy Cox, CEO of Blackbook Concierge and wand holder for discerning clients, says it’s no surprise that people are yearning for summer globally this year. “They went through the pandemic in the Hamptons, Miami, and Malibu, then they went to the Mediterranean,” she said. “Now they’re dying to go to a truly exclusive place where they won’t see anyone they know.”
After Oceana and Southeast Asia spent two years sitting on some of the harshest COVID-19 bans on the planet, resorts and developers are proving they’re not wasting their time by announcing a series of ultra-luxury sanctuaries equipped with privileges that simply cannot be matched in the Caribbean.
Start by exploring Lizard Island, an exclusive resort of just 40 rooms and villas surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
This sea off the coast of Australia has long been home to the likes of Kate Hudson, Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron, and Russell Crowe. Now they are demanding security for the island’s newest villa, The House Opened in July after nearly 30 years of a ban, Getaway is a spacious four-bedroom home perched on a small peninsula among unspoiled beaches.
Australian businessman Steve Wilson, who built the house (from around $11,000 a night with a three-night minimum) on the resort island founded by his late father in the 1970s, calls the villa the “special answer” to a unique land. “We are the only habitable outer reef island, and we are very close to the continental shelf, where the coral is down to 1,000 feet,” he said. “You have to see it to believe it.”
In keeping with this Earth-sized natural wonder, an airy design by Australian architect James Davidson makes extensive use of organic materials such as stone and wood. In addition, the villa has staff and a personal fleet of watercraft, including the 56-foot Riviera yacht.
Meanwhile, the private islands of Vatuvara, Fiji, from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s famous silent recording in 2018, now boast another unforgettable natural feature that is a natural feature that lies beneath the waves. Closed for two years, the three-villa all-inclusive resort (from $
600 per night, including private jet island transfers) returned in January with refreshed amenities and a focus on organic food grown on a dedicated luxury island. — Chain woes are a thing of the past, and a swimmable marine garden includes giant 2-foot-long mussels that would otherwise be extinct in the wild in Fiji.
Cox sends her biggest fish to Koh Rang Noi, a rare private island off Phuket that she calls “one of those places where word of mouth is the only limit”. The resort is home to three fully furnished villas, ranging from four to eight bedrooms, with prices starting at $5,000 per night. For larger groups or custom stays, an entire island can be purchased—prices will start around $50,000—with the option of adding a range of yachts (depending on group needs), plus three smaller boats for sport, windsurfing equipment, and a fleet of 15 jet skis. After a day floating on the water, the whole crew can relax in the 43-seat cinema.
John Sutherland, who runs Koh Rang Noi, says he recently explored some kind of hospitality swap with his “favorite castle owner in Scotland,” in which she and her team of butlers She will play hostess for customers from the island and Sutherland, and the team will travel to Scotland. “This island is absolutely amazing,” he said. But it’s also about the quality of the people taking care of you. The staff make all the difference. “