Pumpkin spice and holiday music aren’t everyone’s cup of cider. If you’d gladly trade a “Silent Night” for sea air, sunshine, and chilled Sauvignon, take note: it’s already springtime in the sweltering Southern Hemisphere, when temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and where, by December, the waters of the island will be warmed by a full summer sun.
Betsy Cox, CEO of Blackbook Concierge and magic wand holder for discerning customers, says it’s no surprise people are craving the summer part of the globe this year. “They spent the pandemic in the Hamptons, Miami and Malibu, then they went to the Mediterranean,” she says. “Now they’re dying to go somewhere really exclusive, where they won’t see anyone they know.”
After Oceana and Southeast Asia have spent the past two years sitting on some of the toughest Covid-19 lockdowns on the planet, resorts and developers are proving they haven’t. lost time, unveiling a host of super luxurious sanctuaries loaded with perks that simply cannot be matched in the Caribbean.
Start by discovering Lizard Island, an exclusive resort of 40 rooms and villas, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. This offshore slice of Australia has long been a gathering place for low-key celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron and Russell Crowe. Now they claim the safety of the island’s newest villa, the House. Opened in July after nearly 30 years of red tape, the Getaway is a sprawling four-bedroom perched on a small peninsula between pristine 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 “special answer” villa to a unique stretch of land. “We’re the only habitable island outside the reef, and we’re very close to the continental shelf, where the coral drops to 1,000 feet,” he says. “You have to see it before you believe it.”
suitable for this Earth-caliber natural wonder is an airy design by Australian architect James Davidson that makes extensive use of organic materials such as stone and wood. Additionally, the villa comes with staff and a fleet of personal watercraft, including a 56ft 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, this one under the waves. Closed for two years, the three-villa all-inclusive resort (from $4,300 per night, including island transfer by private plane) came back to life in January with refreshed amenities, a focus on conscientious luxury , organic, island-grown food that stock-chain woes are a thing of the past, and a swimmable sea garden that includes giant two-foot-long clams, otherwise 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”. At just under 10 acres, the resort is home to three fully-equipped villas, ranging from four to eight bedrooms, with prices starting at $5,000 per night. For larger groups or a custom stay, the whole island can be purchased – rates should start around $50,000 – with the added option of a range of yachts (depending on the group’s needs) plus three smaller boats from sport, windsurfing equipment and an armada of 15 jet skis. After a day on the water, the whole crew can relax in the 43-seat cinema.
John Sutherland, who operates Koh Rang Noi, says he recently explored some sort of hospitality swap with his “favorite castle owner in Scotland”, in which she and her butler team would play hostess for guests from the island and Sutherland and the team would be traveling to Scotland. “The island is absolutely fabulous,” he says. “But it’s also about the quality of the people looking after you. The staff makes all the difference. »
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