You’re stranded on a deserted island. What three things do you wish for?
Correct answer: a private plunge pool, a butler, and a beach bar with excellent frozen drinks, preferably set on the deck of a sailboat.
Private island resorts are having a moment—and the timing couldn’t be better. A globally tumultuous 2016 has exacerbated the travel trend of seeking remote corners and untouched places, of getting away from it all and feeling physically far away from all your worries. It doesn’t matter what’s keeping you up at night at home; you’re likely to sleep easy when your biggest immediate concern is what drink will look best in your sunset Instagrams.
If a bit of escapism is exactly what the doctor has in store, consider these nine openings that are pushing the envelope of luxury, from the Maldives to Belize. The best part? Several will run you less than $500 per night.
St. Regis Maldives
The St. Regis Maldives, from above. Source: St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
You’ll find a majority of private island resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles, and Fiji, where small, outlying land masses make the perfect setting for a dreamy hotel. And yet, this spot—St. Regis’s first private island property—might be one of the dreamiest places to sleep in the Indian Ocean. Opened on Nov. 1, it has 77 butler-serviced villas shrouded in lush tropical flora, with many hovering directly over the water. The style is all blond-wood minimalism, putting the spotlight on the palm trees that sprout in every direction and the crystalline waters that lap at your doorstep. Rooms from $1,771
Cempedak Island, Indonesia
Duplex bamboo constructions at Cempedak Island.Source: Cempedak Island
From the shore, the 20 duplex villas that make up Cempedak look like shrunken mountains jutting straight out of the coastline, all woven bamboo and alang alang grass, each with a balcony, deck, and pool. This well might be the world’s most ambitious bamboo architecture project—which will come as no surprise to those who are already familiar with the owners’ first project, Nikoi Island, which garnered a slew of hospitality awards for its innovative design and sustainability initiatives. (The two properties are fairly close to each other.) Just like its big sibling, Cempedak takes sustainability and community projects seriously. But that doesn’t make it any less a hedonist’s paradise. Opens March, rooms from $350