This is the time of year, just as the chill sets in, that you start daydreaming of an escape from the grey skies of Northern climes to a sun-kissed beach on a faraway island. As the days get shorter and the mercury falls further, you long for the feeling of the sun warming your skin and soft sand between your toes...
This is the perfect time to start planning a luxury winter break to a place where the sun is always shining. The ultimate luxury escape is to a private island: imagine having a deserted beach all to yourself and the chance to spend your holiday relaxing in complete seclusion. After all, isn’t complete privacy the ultimate luxury?
Here are three luxury island hideaways which offer the perfect winter escape to the sun:
Song Saa is Cambodia’s first private island resort, and has received many awards and accolades: from Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘Hot List’ to Travel and Leisure’s ‘It List’ for its stylish chic, to awards and recognition for its commitment to sustainability and the environment. Located in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Song Saa Private Island boasts stylish villas built with sustainable local materials fitted with all the modern luxury amenities expected of a world-class resort. Set among tropical reefs and an unspoilt habitat, Song Saa is the perfect romantic escape. All 27 villas have private plunge pools and sun decks. Those who love to be as close to the ocean as possible will find the over-water villas irresistible, while those who want complete privacy can choose an ocean-view villa with a private beach. Winter is the best time to travel to Cambodia. This is when the weather is dry and temperatures are high but not unbearably hot.
How to get there: Song Saa is only a 40-minute ride on the resort’s luxury speedboat from Sihanoukville, where an international airport is located.
Peacock Island, Bahamas
Think ‘beach paradise’ and the picture-postcard-perfect white sand beaches of the Bahamas come to mind. The three tastefully decorated luxury private villas of Peacock Island are surrounded by lush gardens and are just steps away from the ocean. Imagine taking a stroll at sunrise on a deserted beach, spotting the green turtles and flamingos who make the island their home, or lazing in the afternoon by the infinity pool with a fabulous sea view. The private masseur is at your service: ease your sore muscles and the accumulated stresses of daily living, while your personal 5-star chef prepares your favourite dishes made with fresh organic ingredients. Dine al fresco under a starry sky and the sound of the ocean waves meeting the shore. Each luxury villa has a terrace looking out over the ocean and all the mod-cons like wifi, i-pod docks, flatscreen TVs, and a Nespresso coffee machine. The fitness centre located on the seafront is fully equipped and open 24 hours a day. Enjoy a private spa treatment or a massage, or a yoga class with a view on the deck overlooking the sea. The winter months are when the Bahamas get little rain, so you’re guaranteed great weather.
How to get there: Peacock Island is located in the Berry Islands, 55 km from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, and 225 km south east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The island of Mauritius boasts some of the best beaches of the world. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the island’s powder-fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters are hard to resist. L’Ile Paradis (Paradise Island) is perched on a rocky volcanic outcrop in the middle of a lagoon, just 100 metres from the coastline. This private island can be easily reached via a bridge causeway. This luxury 4-bedroom villa is a fine example of local traditional architecture, with the interiors tastefully decorated in a contemporary style. The large open veranda has spectacular views of the ocean and a stone stairway leads down from the villa to a natural bathing pool and a private beach. The villa’s household staff keep everything neat and tidy while the in-house chef spoils guests with delicious Creole meals. Since Mauritius is in the southern hemisphere, it experiences summer when it’s winter in most of the northern hemisphere. This means the months from November to April are the hottest months. This is the perfect destination for a luxury Christmas holiday!
How to get there: L’Ile Paradis is only 25 km from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in the capital city of Port Louis.
The go-to girl for luxury hotels, Lisa Corcoran knows how to travel in style. Join Lisa on her quest, with a little help from her friends, to seek out those special places which stand apart from the rest.