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Executive Edge Art of Travel

A private island escape - sound unattainable? One of this year’s travel trends is private islands for all. Who hasn’t fantasized about flying off to an exotic retreat to have your every whim catered for? As 2017 draws to a close, everyone is making travel bucket lists for next year. So we've selected 8 tantalizing private islands within reach for 2018’s travels from a Hollywood hot spot in the Turks & Caicos to our very own Makepeace Island upstream from the Noosa Heads. Jet off to Zaya Nurai Island near Abu Dhabi, an Aman private island in Montenegro or your own atoll in the Maldives, Cheval Blanc Randheli. After an African safari, chopper to Azura Quilalea Island in Mozambique or sip breakfast champagne at The Brando of French Polynesia. Or be amongst the first guests to newly opened Bawah Island northeast of Singapore.

In keeping with The Art of Travel's theme this month, Executive Edge's Yvonne Verstandig, and The Departure Lounge's ‘Luxury Muse', illuminates 5 private islands in her article Paradise Found

Cheers to next year’s private island travels!

AZURA Quilalea Private Island FRENCH POLYNESIA The Brando - Tetiaroa Private Island

In the pristine waters of Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago, Azura Quilalea is an African-chic, Robinson Crusoe castaway private island for the exclusive use of 18 lucky guests to retreat. Nine luxurious seafront villas have the Indian Ocean literally at your doorstep. Take a few steps from your villa into the water for some of the most spectacular, undisturbed snorkeling in the world amongst the Quirimbas marine sanctuary reefs. Scuba straight off the beach. Kayak the mangroves, deep sea fish, or lounge in a hammock beneath the giant baobabs. Whilst sailing on the island dhow, watch dolphins frolicking as the sun sets or spot humpback whales on their seasonal migration past Azura’s shores. It is paradise found for marine life lovers. More island indulgence? On the clifftop, Spa Azura offers unique African treatments against the backdrop of the ocean lapping against the headland cliffs.

The local Mozambique Butlers at Azura stand out. They are part of Azura’s commitment to the community and upliftment of the country’s people. Your Butler will attend to your every whim with genuine warmth and friendliness. Menus are based on what is fresh and likely caught that day. Dining is a simple understated affair. Expect lots of Mangrove Crabs as well as Crayfish at your beach dinner.

Stay 6, Pay 5 - Valid for travel January 8– 16 December, 2018

PLUS Virtuoso amenities - room upgrade*, daily breakfast for 2, choice of guided snorkeling safari at the Canyon for 2 or USD 100 equivalent gift voucher at Trading Store & early check-in/late check-out*

Kimberly Rosbe's Azura Benguerra Travel Blog

“The ‘basic’ champagne is Champagne Ruinart and, yes, you can have it for breakfast!” A toast begins each day to playtime in paradise.

The former Polynesian home of Marlon Brando, The Brando, is an all-inclusive luxury resort in Tahiti only accessible by a 20-minute flight from Papeete by private aircraft. The exquisite atoll of Tetiaroa sits on one of a dozen privately-owned small islands (motus) which surround a breathtaking three-mile wide lagoon. This Polynesian eco-friendly resort fuses carefree luxury with cutting-edge technology in its 35 secluded villas with private plunge pools on blinding white beaches. The Brando’s two restaurants showcase local-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine. Fancy a holistic treatment inspired by ancient traditions? The luxurious spa and wellness center nestles around a serene lily-covered pond to escape the world.

In this biodiverse natural sanctuary, embark upon naturalist-led tours or professional-led photo safaris. Or learn to play the ukulele or a Polynesian dance. Or get back to basics and explore the island paths on bike and picnic on your favorite beach.

Yvonne Verstandig’s 'Luxury Muse’ Private Islands article on The Departure Lounge featuring The Brando

Fly Free! – Free round trip tickets for inter-island flights between Tahiti and Tetiaroa for 2 adults for a 3-night minimum stay January 11 - June 30, 2018. Value of EURO 900

PLUS Virtuoso amenities - daily buffet breakfast for 2, EURO 100 resort credit per villa & early check-in/late check-out*

Cheval Blanc Randheli MONTENEGRO Aman Sveti Stefan Island

North of Male, a group of unspoiled islands surrounded by a large coral reef called Noonu Atoll contain an exclusive oasis.   Conceived by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, Cheval Blanc Randheli is an invitation to experience French “Art de Recevoir”. In every villa, a 'Majordome' looks after guests' every desire, whilst the ‘Alchemists' design tailor-made activities and unforgettable outdoor experiences. A fleet of traditional wooden dhonis and excursion boats await to sail the waters of the atoll. Hidden by lush vegetation, each villa encloses a private universe of spectacular interior design from materials from the Indian Ocean - coral, rattan, bamboo and mother-of-pearl. 

Infinite Bliss Stay 7, Pay 5 and/or Stay 4, Pay 3 (valid  for travel January 11 - December 19, 2018 excluding February 12 - 19 & March 26 – April 3)

PLUS Virtuoso amenities - room upgrade*, daily breakfast for 2 & USD 150 food & beverage credit 

On a mile of sandy beachfront in the center of Montenegro’s Adriatic coast between the coastal villages of Przno and Sveti Stefan lies Aman Sveti Stefan Island. A fortified fishing village dating back to the 15th century, uncover your own little private island base to explore the historic wonders of centuries past with major scenic and cultural attractions just a stone's throw away.

Choose from 50 guestrooms, cottages and suites with an historic ambience or the 8 fireplace suites with Juliet balconies overlooking the sea at Villa Miloèer which have been restored with a harmonious blend of old European grandeur and contemporary style. Expect to step back in time for dinner in a setting reminiscent of its fabled past. Aman Sveti Stefan’s Villa Miloèer offers personalised guided excursions along the Montenegrin coast including boating on the Adriatic, visiting the old town of Budva and the well-preserved baroque city of Perast and exploring the Bay of Kotor, a World Heritage Site.

Pay homage to the region’s incredible past with a stay at Aman Sveti Stefan Island.

Aman Special Offer

ABU DHABI Zaya Nurai Island

A slick, hip, Asian-style lair on the Arabian Gulf a mere 15 minutes from the cultural and entertainment explosion of Abu Dhabi, Zaya Nurai Island is the most unique and exclusive private island resort in the Middle East. Cool and contemporary, 42 colossal beach villas showcase white linen, bleached wooden furniture, outdoor terraces with private infinity pools, white billowing curtains, massive sliding glass doors and St. Tropez deep day beds. Five restaurants ranging from Mexican, Levantine seafood, International and Italian serve up locally grown organic fruit and vegetables, line-caught fish and biodynamic wines. Dance at the boho ‘Smokin Pinapple’ Beach Club, yoga at sunset, watch a movie at the outdoor cinema, jetski off the beach, or sip cocktails at the ‘Book Cellar’. Be sure to don your Versace sunglasses and finest designer gear, this place is oh so chic.

Early Bird Special – 15% off with 2 months advance booking March - October 31, 2018

PLUS Complimentary Treats

Makepeace Island Australia

Upstream from the Noosa Heads and owned by none other than Sir Richard Branson himself and Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey, Makepeace Island is a 25 acre heart-shaped island for the entertainment of up to 22 privileged guests. Barefoot luxury and tranquility amongst the secluded Australian wilderness with all the attractions of Queensland's Sunshine Coast a mere boat ride away.  Resident kangaroos, wallabies and echidnas roam outside large Balinese style open plan spaces overlooking the river and lagoon pool. Share a glass of bubbles in the 15 person hot tub, circumvent the island on kayak, take a 4WD beach tour or a sunset lake cruise. End your day with a  gourmet picnic at a secluded oasis on the northern beaches.

Private Island Hire -  AUD 5500 per night for first 4 guests exclusive use includes all meals, transfers and on-island activities (additional guests are charged at AUD 600 per person)  

PLUS Virtuoso amenities - USD 200 beverage credit & early check-in/late check-out*


A short hour’s flight from Miami on its own private island in the Turks and Caicos, COMO Parrot Cay is a well-known celebrity hot spot and Hollywood’s favorite retreat in the Caribbean. Just reopened in December after a stunning renovation, detox in style at Parrot Cay’s Eastern-influenced Como Shambhala Retreat which soothes weary souls with yoga, meditation, Pilates, acupuncture and Ayurvedic treatments. Since it opened in 1998, the property caters to guests with names including Donatella Versace, Amber Valletta, Raquel Welch, Bruce Willis and Paul McCartney, just to name a few. Arriving via boat from the mainland and whisked away via golf buggy down a bumpy mile path, the island has no restaurants (besides the resort), no shops, no houses, no stores and most importantly for the famous, no paparazzi. For the not-so-famous, it’s just as special. Accommodation interiors are whitewash with teak finishing and range from garden view singles to ocean facing rooms to one to five-bedroom suites and villas. Dinner is served alfresco beside a 5, 500-square foot infinity pool or at the Terrace restaurant which serves healthy organic fare to compliment a feel-good vacation regiment at the world-renowned spa. Consider it a health retreat for the privileged.

Kimberly Rosbe’s Turks & Caicos article on The Departure Lounge featuring COMO Parrot Cay

Stay 4, Pay 3 (valid May 1 – December 15, 2018)

Stay 7, Pay 6 (valid January 5 – April 30 for rooms and suites only, valid May 1 – December 20, 2018 for all accommodation except estates)

* subject to availability upon arrival

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