What's Worth It
An East African archipelago nestled in the Mozambique Channel. A bright and breezy Windward atoll in the South Pacific. A heavily wooded volcanic island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. And a predominately vacant cay in the Gulf of Thailand. For those in need of some serious off-the-grid RNR, don’t just getaway – hideaway this time around at one of the world’s very finest.
MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL, THE INDIAN OCEAN
19 miles off the coast of Mozambique, Southeast Africa, sits a collection of islands known as the Bazaruto Archipelago, a marine reserve and national parkas of 1971. The largest of the six (Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina or Paradise Island, Shell), Bazaruto, or Ilha de Bazaruto, Island of the Mist, is a gem of sandy hills and warm, azure waters drifting in from the Mozambique Channel. Abundant with sea life and sunshine year-round, visit during the humpback whale migration from July through September, avoiding the cyclone season from November through mid-May.
GETTING THERE. While its isolated location and predominantly remote setting attracts travelers looking to hideaway, this is also what makes transit to and from the island slightly more trying. Start by flying into the busiest airport in Africa: Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. From here, take a chartered or commercial flight direct to Vilankulo Airport in Mozambique; or via Beira, Inhambane, or Maputo, the capital. Once in coastal Vilankulo, your 15-minute private transfer will drive you to the jetty where you will transfer to a speedboat (45 minutes) or light aircraft charter (15 minutes), dropping you at paradise’s door.
THE ANANTARA RESORT. Centered around indigenous cultures and grounded in authenticity, the Anantara brand has been emanating refined quality, emphasizing sense of place, and echoing the essence of their surrounds since 2001, now in 13 countries. The Bazaruto Island Resort and Spa is comprised of 44 luxurious villas, offering everything plush-tropical from dozing in a hammock beneath your thatched-roof patio to taking an afternoon dip in a private plunge pool – all with a view of the glitzing, glittering sea.
FRENCH POLYNESIA – THE SOUTH PACIFIC
A Windward atoll of the seven Society Islands (Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea, Raiatea, Taha’a, Tahiti), Tetiaroa was named after the Polynesia word meaning “stands apart” or “at a distance”, sitting 30 miles northeast of capital Tahiti – best visited during the coolest, sunniest months of May through mid-October. This highly desired slice of South Pacific paradise last changed hands from a royal bloodline to Hollywood actor Marlon Brando’s in 1966 after multiple failed attempts. Brando first fell in love with the island while scouting locations for his 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, nailing down his 99-year lease a few years later.
GETTING THERE. Multiple global carriers provide weekly flights to the international airport of Papeete, Tahiti – some select services even offer nonstop routes departing from Auckland and Los Angeles, for example. Once at Papeete Faa’a International Airport, enter the private terminal and board Air Tetiaroa’s private aircraft, landing you in nirvana just 20 minutes later.
THE BRANDO RESORT. Reflecting the owner’s appreciation and adoration for Tetiaroa’s delicate ecosystem, rare biodiversity, and pristine condition, The Brando Resort’s 35 villas were developed with conservation and sustainability in mind; and created with the strong desire to share it with others. Built to the highest environmental standards with the LEED Platinum Certification under its belt and continuous efforts to reach 100% energy independency, the resort strives to be the most luxurious eco-friendly option on the market today.Inspiration for its design was drawn from Tetiaroa’s tropical climate and heavily influenced by Polynesia’s rich heritage while embracing the island’s diverse antiquity – creating more of an experience rather than just a stay, and providing a special sense of place, peace, and tranquility for everyone who’s fortunate enough to visit.
PETIT SAINT VINCENT OF THE GRENADINES
THE CARIBBEAN SEA, ATLANTIC OCEAN
Declaring independence in 1979, the seven largest Grenadine Islands and Saint Vincent island joined to form one country, known today as St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Comprised of partially submerged volcanic mountains covered thickly by forests, and hot and humid nearly year-round, these chain islands are best visited outside of cyclone season in the cool, dry months of February and March through mid-April – to enjoy the Caribbean sun from the comfort of its blue, breezy coasts.
GETTING THERE. Northeast of Grenada, southwest of St. Lucia, and west of Barbados, PetitSt. Vincent sits in the eastern Caribbean Sea, its main gateway the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Barbados, a quick and convenient flight from multiple mainland ports including select nonstops from Miami, New York, Toronto, and London. Once in Barbados, transfer to the small twin engine, six-passenger aircraft bound for neighbouring Union Island, where your private car transfer will escort you to the private boat launch, arriving in Petit St. Vincent just 20-minutes later (while private aircraft charters directly from Barbados, Grenada, and St. Lucia are also available; as are private jet, private yacht, and private sailboat arrival services).
THE PETIT SAINT VINCENT RESORT. The southernmost private island of Petit St. Vincent is home to a single resort, accommodating a maximum of just 87 guests in 22 cottages and villas, and remaining quaint and remote even amidst peak season so the guests’ peace and quiet is never compromised. Furthest south from the rest yet close enough for fellow island views, each amenity breathes tranquility and exudes uninterrupted ease, from the award-winning Balinese spa to quality Italian linens. Aside from its refreshing tones, also notably different about the island is its unplugged component where televisions and WIFI are simply forgotten – an idea certainly not for everyone, but perhaps exactly what the reclusive-vacationer may be seeking.
KOH KOOD OF KOH CHANG ISLANDS
THE GULF OF THAILAND, THE INDIAN OCEAN
One of the things most adored about hot, tropical Thailand (or Siam, as it was known before the 20th century), and sought out by its visitors, are the stretches of snow-white sand bordering its turquoise seas, and their largely uninhibited nature – particularly on private islands like these. Best to be visited during the dry season from December through early-April, the fourth largest island of Thailand, Koh Kood, or Ko Kut, most often falls to the wayside against big hitters like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, despite its ancient trees, pristine beaches, rich jungles, and idyllic fishing villages.
GETTING THERE. The Thai capital of Bangkok is one of South Asia’s busiest transportation hubs, so flights from any other big-city airport are generally a breeze. From here you can take a connecting flight to Trat, the closest town to Laem Sok Pier and only a 20-minute drive from the center and one-hour from the airport – or take a rental car, public transportation, or private transfer directly from Bangkok, a five-hour journey by car. Once at Laem Sok Pier, the southernmost tip of the peninsula, take an express boat (90-100 minutes), high-speed catamaran (75 minutes), or speedboat (60 minutes) directly to Koh Kood – or chose to rent your very own.
THE SONEVA KIRI. Inspired by their natural surrounds and vision for an environmentally conscious lifestyle, Eva Malmstrom Shivdasani and her husband, Sonu Shivdasani, built their home on a deserted Maldivian island, unaware that it would grow to 24 villas, marking the beginning of the world-renowned Six Senses name. Pioneers in the mission to balance luxury with nature and remote peace with divine comfort, their ambitions expanded with their successes across 14 countries – with a philosophy reaching far beyond that of the perfect vacation. Although the brand changed ownership in 2012, it has continued to draw awareness and provide a call of action to dozens of initiatives around the world; from “Action Against Hunger” in Nepal and Rajasthan, India, to the “Soneva Forest Restoration Project” in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Soneva (after their names Sonu and Eva) Fushi (meaning ‘island’ in Dhivehi), their first property, was completed in 1995, the Soneva Kiri Resort following suit fourteen years and six properties later, currently hosting 35 villas.