These properties combine idyllic settings, exemplary service, and luxury touches to create the ultimate couple's getaway
An escape to a tropical island with your significant other is the essence of a romantic interlude. Island- based resorts around the world cater to couples, but there are a select few that stand out from the crowd. Here are seven top choices where the two of you can find the perfect blend of romance, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Start your day with a couple’s massage; grab a gourmet picnic basket and follow a nature trail to a seaside lunch spot; spend the afternoon snorkeling one of the world’s most colorful coral reefs; enjoy a sunset soak in a heart- shaped hot tub set on a secluded shore; then cap the evening off with a candlelight dinner under the stars. This is a typical day at Fiji’s Namale Resort, and it’s why this boutique adults-only property is a favorite for romantic getaways.
With just 22 five-star villas set within a private 525-acre nature preserve on the less-developed island of Vanua Levu, Namale provides guests with a private and personalized vacation experience. The resort is described as an inclusive vacation experience, but at a higher level than the buffet and beach party scene typical of many all-inclusive properties. Instead, guests create bespoke schedules from a menu of options that range from snorkeling, diving and traditional fishing excursions to waterfall hikes, village visits and immersive cultural experiences such as a kava ceremony. A particular favorite with couples is a private dinner served in a candlelit sea cave on the beach. For info: https://www.namalefiji.com/
Cayo Espanto, Belize
The phrase “award-winning” is overused to the point of being trite. But that’s not the case with Cayo Espanto. Year after year, this private island resort garners impressive accolades from some of the top authorities in the travel, hospitality, and culinary fields. Located three miles off the coast of San Pedro, Belize, Cayo Espanto is a five-star property comprised of six one and two-bedroom oceanfront villas and a single over-water bungalow. Each residence is strategically positioned to provide privacy and unrestricted ocean views, with signature features such as private docks, plunge pools, and generous floor plans that meld indoor and outdoor spaces.
The resort’s chefs are often lauded for their excellence, and Cayo Espanto was named as Belize’s best hotel restaurant in the World Culinary Awards. Bespoke menus are individually crafted for each guest based on their established tastes and preferences. Upon request, the chefs can also assist in creating food and beverage pairings that further enhance the dining experience. Couples wanting more private time can enjoy a gourmet breakfast in bed or a candlelit dinner on the verandah, in keeping with the resort’s ethos of total personal attention.
Guided water sports include private snorkeling trips, scuba diving charters, kayaking, sailing, bone fishing, and deep-sea fishing. Guests can join birdwatching trips to a pair of nearby sanctuary islands or venture farther afield for day trips to ancient Mayan cities and nature preserves. As would be expected from a world-class resort, the on-site spa offers a full suite of services, including couple’s massages. For reservations: https://aprivateisland.com/
Labriz Resort & Spa, Seychelles
Mahe is the gateway to the Seychelles and the most popular island, with more than 100 resorts lining the island’s magnificent beaches. Travelers seeking a more private location can board an inter-island ferry for the 50-minute ride from Mahe to nearby Silhouette Island and the Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa. Silhouette is the third largest of the Seychelles islands, but there are no crowds because more than 90 percent of the island is a national park, and the Labriz is the only hotel on the island.
The hotel sits on a white sand beach at the base of Mont Dauban, a 2,400-foot-high volcanic peak that offers miles of hiking trails on slopes clade in virgin rainforest. The shores of Silhouette Island are surrounded by a marine preserve that offers renowned diving and snorkeling sites. Unspoiled nature is a big draw, but the Labriz resort is a far cry from an eco- camp. The property includes a full-service spa, fitness center, pool, tennis courts, and a PADI five-star diving center. Guests can choose between five on-site restaurants serving fresh seafood and various international, Mediterranean, Creole, Asian, Indian, and Arabic cuisines. For more: https://shorturl.at/gmrX5
Celestia Grand, Greece
The island of Santorini is an Instagram darling, generating an endless supply of evocative images featuring white-and-blue Cycladic villas stacked on oceanfront cliffs or amber-tinged sunset tableaus. The popularity of this most famous Greek island might become a turnoff for some, but even at the peak of high season, when the streets and cafes of Fira Town are at their busiest, it’s possible to find privacy and quiet. You just have to know where to look.
Some find personal space by spreading out to less- visited parts of the island. But bespoke luxury and privacy can also be found right on the edge of town. Celestia Grand is a collection of seven private villas set atop a west-facing oceanfront bluff overlooking the harbor. Though small in size, this exclusive property delivers a full range of five-star indulgences. On arrival, guests meet with a personal concierge to craft a bespoke resort experience. Villas decorated in original artwork feature grotto-style bathrooms, spacious social areas, and private ocean-view terraces with plunge pools.
In-room dining is provided by a personal chef who prepares sumptuous in-room breakfasts, lunches, and candlelit al-fresco dinners. Other services enjoyed in the privacy of the villa include yoga classes, spa services, and wine tastings. For guests seeking more than cloistered bliss, the concierge staff can also arrange private yacht cruises, escorted shopping excursions, and helicopter tours. Visit: https://www.celestiagrand.com/
The Muraka, Maldives
The Maldives is known for pristine coral reefs and upscale resorts set on stunningly beautiful private islands. Over-water bungalows are de rigueur at many properties, and resorts are constantly upping the ante with ever larger and more luxurious versions of their waterborne retreats. For the ultimate in immersive aquatic experiences, couples can set their sights on Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, which is home to a one-of-a-kind villa known as The Muraka.
The portion of this expansive over-water villa that is visible from the surface includes two private bedrooms, bathrooms with ocean-facing tubs, and an extensive private deck and plunge pool — all with private 24-hour butler service on call. The Muraka’s real wow factor is the master suite, which lies some 16 feet below the surface. The sleeping area and adjacent viewing room sit beneath a transparent acrylic dome that provides 180-degree views of the reef and passing fish life. The bathroom is equally as stunning, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows beneath the waves.
The Muraka isn’t the only immersive experience that awaits at Rangali Island. All resort guests can dine beneath the waves at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, sample premium vintages in the submerged wine cellar, and enjoy award-winning cuisines at 12 additional restaurants set around the resort’s landscaped grounds and beaches. For more information: https://www.conradmaldives.com/
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
There are rooms with a view… and then there’s St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain. Travel writers could wear out a thesaurus trying to capture the experience of sleeping in one of the luxurious cliffside rooms where the missing fourth wall opens to expansive vistas of blue Caribbean waters, amber sands, and the emerald slopes of the island’s most famous landmarks. The design blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces and incorporates memorable touches, such as infinity plunge pools seemingly floating in space.
Captivating views of the Piton peaks, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, are not the only reason why Jade Mountain is considered one of the most romantic and memorable resorts in the world. This sister property to the acclaimed Anse Chastanet resort shares a 600-acre oceanfront nature preserve that takes in two of St. Lucia’s finest beaches and lush valleys and hillsides crisscrossed with hiking and bike trails. Guests have exclusive access to the Jade Mountain Club where they can sample the culinary creations of James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser, along with several additional dining options at Anse Chastanet. Additional indulgences include spa treatments at on-site Kai en Ciel and a visit to the Chocolate Lab to savor locally made treats. For more: https://jademountain.com/
The Brando, Tahiti
The Brando is a dream five decades in the making. Actor Marlon Brando came across the pristine Tahitian atoll of Tetiaroa while filming the 1960s classic Mutiny on the Bounty. It became his lifelong dream to create a low-impact luxury resort in this special location, but it was a dream that came to fruition after his passing. In 2014, The Brando opened as one of the world’s most sustainable 5-star luxury properties, dedicated to sustainability and zero carbon footprint hospitality. It became the first resort in the world to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.
Set on a small island within the atoll’s lagoon, The Brando is a collection of 35 private villas set in lush foliage overlooking the lagoon beach. Villas showcase a warm, organic style that incorporates both sustainable natural materials and modern energy-saving technologies. While traditional in appearance, they provide a full range of modern comforts, and blend indoor and outdoor spaces to create an atmosphere of seamless relaxation. Each villa is provided with a private butler service and there are two gourmet restaurants on site. Couples can create shared memories with special spa packages and private sunset lagoon cruises. See more at: https://thebrando.com/