It’s hard for even the most comfortable couple to not feel a thrill of passion from a secluded private island holiday – and when it’s an island wedding or honeymoon, it can become a fairy-tale experience of a lifetime. Here are PIN’s top ten picks for the world’s best private islands for celebrating romance.
10. Cousine Island, Seychelles
A gorgeous 25-hectare jewel in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, Cousine Island is a perfect secluded spot for weddings or honeymoons – and many celebrities would agree! In 2002, Olaf Locke of Vladi Private Islands helped Paul McCartney and his new wife Heather Mills take over the entire island for their honeymoon, creating a paparazzi-free zone to celebrate their nuptials. The super-exclusive Cousine Island is a renowned bird and animal sanctuary, and this ethos permeates the unique experience they provide to their guests. The environmentally-sensitive island keeps visitors to 10 at one time, and encourages guests to participate in tree planting, helping the island’s scientists with their turtle sanctuary, and other activities, making it ideal for couples looking for a luxurious, yet eco-friendly, romantic retreat.
9. Turtle Island Resort, Fiji
Imagine a beautiful, remote island paradise where the staff wait on you hand and foot, offering champagne-and-lobster picnics and pampering spa treatments? The immense 500-acre Turtle Island is undeniably one of Fiji’s top luxury resorts, and the island’s gorgeous white beaches, tropical atmosphere and excellent scuba diving and snorkeling draw in discriminating celebrity honeymooners like no other. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey celebrated their honeymoon here, but it was the 2004 Britney Spears and Kevin Federline honeymoon that truly put Turtle Island on the map. With only 28 guests allowed on the island at one time and 14 stunning beaches that can be privately reserved, it’s no wonder it has become a premier destination for romance.
8. Le Taha’a Private Island and Spa, French Polynesia
Stepping into the unearthly paradise depicted in the colourful works of Gaughin, it would be impossible not to feel a frisson of romance coursing through one’s veins. French Polynesia, with it beautiful people and carefree attitude, was simply made for idyllic honeymoons and weddings. The glamorous over-water bungalows of Le Taha’a Private Island and Spa are within sight of the main island of Le Taha’a, known across the world as the Vanilla Island for the superior quality of its fragrant beans. The resort, on the small island of Tautau, has become renowned in its own right; In 2010, country music superstar Carrie Underwood honeymooned here with her new husband Mike Fisher, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had a romantic pre-wedding visit here in 2005.
7. Tagomago Island, Spain
Truly rare among European private islands, Tagomago Island is a vast, ultra-private getaway in the Mediterranean Sea, offering plenty of seclusion yet a mere 900 metres from the famous party island of Ibiza. VPI’s Mr. Locke has rented this popular holiday spot to many solitude-seeking EU politicians, Hollywood stars and famous footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo; it’s certainly suited to the most discriminating of tastes, as the 5-suite private island offers every conceivable luxury in a setting of rugged, mountainous Balearic beauty. With rates starting at EUR $100,000 in the off-season, rising to EUR $250,000 during the peak summer season, Tagomago could host an incredibly extravagant wedding or honeymoon, with room for plenty of guests and on the doorstop of the hottest party destination on the planet.
6. Cayo Espanto, Belize
Indulging in a glass of sparkling champagne while watching a spectacular over-water sunset is what romantic holidays are all about – and on Cayo Espanto, love-struck guests are guaranteed a luxury Caribbean wedding or honeymoon to remember. Accessible from the United States but with a unique, exotic flair, Belize has become a hotspot for celebrity visitors, and Cayo Espanto is a particular favorite; a visit to the island worth US $12K was even given out in the “swag bag” to nominees at last year’s Oscars! A small, intimate resort on the pristine Barrier Reef with just 6 uber-luxe villas, Reese Witherspoon and Jeff Toth enjoyed their honeymoon here in April 2011.
Part 2 of this article to come soon – visit again for the 5 top honeymoon and wedding private islands.