If you need solitude and silence these new and improved secluded island retreats give you the chance to get away from it all.
Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
Guests at Bawah Reserve don’t have to rush. There, you’re invited to take your time…
Eilean Shona, Scotland
Owned by Vanessa Branson, Sir Richard’s sister, this forest-fringed and bracken-blanketed 1,260-acre complex of cottage rentals
Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie spent a holiday here in the 1920s and was captivated by what he described in a letter as the “wild rocky romantic island.” There are no roads, just a spiderweb of paths, mossy mounds, and heather-covered hills. It’s a place to scrabble over boulders and picnic on the sand. Sea eagles wheel overhead, while otters and seals bask on the rocks.
There’s a rambling main house that sleeps 20 and can be rented with or without a chef. For smaller groups or solo travelers, there are eight cottages, hidden in the woods or on sheltered bays. Shepherd’s Cottage is a 45-minute walk along the coast from the disembarkation point.
It’s also the only place to get Wi-Fi on the island; there are pockets of cell phone reception, but this is a place to log off. Guests bring their own provisions, although there is a shop open for a couple of hours each week where you can stock up on venison casserole and fish pie. eileanshona.com
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
There’s only one resort on Desroches, a sliver of coral in the Indian Ocean, but technically the island isn’t private. It’s shared by the hotel and two villages, and the interactions between them are a large part of what makes it such a distinctive escape.
Desroches, part of the Seychelles’ little-visited Amirantes Group, is a 35-minute flight from the main island of Mahé. The Four Seasons resort, which opened last March after a complete overhaul of a preexisting property, is a cushy base for checking out the island’s 933 acres. Having the run of the place also means an array of unique activities, including yoga sessions on the very runway where your flight from Mahé lands and family movie nights under the stars.
The marine educators of the Discovery Centre guide visitors on snorkeling trips that reveal the aquatic wonders in the region, which is too remote to be affected by commercial fishing. This access to unspoiled nature is perhaps the most luxurious part of staying on Desroches — and the biggest benefit of this island’s version of going private. fourseasons.com