The Best Island Resorts around the Globe
The Best Island Resorts around the Globe
Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
Popular Phuket is only a 30-minute speedboat away, but Koh Yao Noi has a totally different vibe – think sleepy beaches, low-key fishing towns and chilled out resorts, including the Six Senses. Most of the thatched villas (complete with private plunge pools) look out to sea and surrounding greenery, kicking you into unwind-mode as soon as you drop your bags.
The main draw is the spa. Sign up for a bespoke wellness screening, then get a programme tailored to improve your sleep quality, fitness or immunity.
The Residence, Zanzibar
It’s a tried-and-tested holiday: safari in Tanzania’s vast Serengeti National Park, then flop on a beach in Zanzibar. And if you want a local sun-and-sea resort with real style, this is it. Thirty-two hectares of tropical gardens and mile-long sands meet spacious villas dressed in floaty white fabrics and wooden four-posters.
In between massages in the spa and Middle Eastern-inspired feasts in the restaurant, join a sailing trip on a traditional dhow or head out to spot the island’s adorable red colobus monkeys.
Sun, sea, laid-back living: if you’re dreaming of a beachside holiday, these island resorts will satisfy your wildest dreams. Spread out your beach towel and soak up the five-star service, activities galore and unmissable local experiences.
It’s best-known as the place where Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels – his private villa, complete with writing desk, is still on the hotel grounds. But GoldenEye is no museum. This laid-back resort in Oracabessa has everything you’re looking for in a Jamaican holiday, from sunset rum punches to stand-up paddle boarding sessions on luminous turquoise waters.
It’s an especially good pick if you’re travelling with a crowd: as well as one-bedroom beach huts, there are luxe three- and five-bedroom villas opening right up onto beach or palm-lined lagoon.
Forte Village, Sardinia
Perched on the sands at Sardinia’s sun-licked southern tip, Forte Village is actually made up of several hotels. But whether you book into its family-friendly Castello Garden – ringed in greenery – or romantic, seaside Le Dune, you’ll get access to a wealth of resort activities.
Nine pools, more than two dozen restaurants and a rambling thalassotherapy spa give everyone plenty of space to spread out, while sports academies, hiking trails, golf and diving keep active types occupied. You’ll almost have to force yourself out to explore; though it’s worth making the effort, as you’ll be rewarded with atmospheric towns and secret beaches.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Maldives
Icing sugar beaches. Clear azure waters, rippled with coral reef. Swaying palms and cocktails sipped from coconuts. This luxurious Maldivian resort, perched on its own private island in the Dhaalu Atoll, is the picture of paradise. But despite its castaway looks, you’ll not be roughing it.
From the rambling overwater villas – with private plunge pools – to the subterranean restaurant Decanter, which serves up a five-course tasting menu paired with fine wines, you’ll want for nothing at the St. Regis.
Rosewood Baha Mar, Bahamas
There’s plenty to see in the postcard-perfect Bahamas: pink sand beaches, swimming pigs, colonies of wild flamingos. But with so much to enjoy at the Rosewood Baha Mar, no one would blame you for staying put. The location is prime, right on Cable Beach in Nassau.
There is a myriad of dining options, including a glamorous French restaurant by Daniel Boulud. A grand courtyard pool space, nine tennis courts and a locally inspired spa entice too. But you need to head out, and when you do, helpful staff can sort the lot – whether you want a private boat trip to an uninhabited island or a visit to a rum distillery.
Ikos Aria, Greece
When it comes to family-friendly holidays in the Mediterranean, Ikos has it nailed. And with four resorts in Greece and Spain, including this one in Kos, the brand is setting a whole new standard for all-inclusive resorts. No naff buffets or electric blue cocktails here: Ikos delivers a paid-up stay with serious style, featuring excellent food, superb wine lists and water sports on tap.
The location isn’t half-bad either, on a photogenic cove in Agios Stefanos, a few minutes’ walk from basilica ruins and a paddle from Kastri Islet, with its blue and white church.
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