Getting away from it all is harder than ever thanks to Wi-Fi, constant connectivity and more iDevices than you can shake a charger at. Still, we’ve managed to pick our top five island escapes where you can adopt a ‘no shoes, no news’ ethos from the moment you arrive.
Peter Island Resort & Spa, British Virgin Islands
Mountainous and jungle-cloaked with secluded coves and idyllic beaches, Peter Island has played host to an impressive array of visitors including explorer Christopher Columbus, Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro and footballer Rio Ferdinand. Reached only by boat or helicopter, the island began life as a resort in the 1960s and has always maintained a wonderfully laid-back and romantic atmosphere. With world-class diving, delicious private picnics, cooking lessons, horticultural tours and a blissful spa, there are plenty of ways to enjoy island life. We recommend heading to The Loop to watch the sunset whilst tucking into a fruit and cheese platter – delivered to you alongside your tipple of choice
Tierra Chiloé, Chile
Recently built onto a culturally rich landscape deep within the Archipelago of Chiloé, Tierra Chiloé is a warm, inviting hotel, with great attention to detail and extremely high service standards. The hotel has been built using native wood and is full of wool weavings and basketry, all of which were crafted by local artisans. The construction mimics the natural environment, becoming a part of the landscape without altering it, and evoking the culture of the islands. The hotel has a team of guides offering tailored half-day and full day outings for guests including cultural trips to UNESCO-listed Jesuit churches, boating, horse riding, biking, trekking and spectacular bird watching. Tierra Chiloé even has its own vessel named Williche for use during maritime outings on the archipelago’s channels and fjords.
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
A contemporary interpretation of a rural retreat, Fogo Island Inn is an island off an island, off the radar and seemingly on the edge of the Earth. Its dramatic location provides the ultimate departure from the everyday: the only views for miles and miles are the pounding waves, rocky outcrops and endless stretches of the swirling navy ocean as it blends into the horizon. The island itself is a collection of 11 communities, each quirky in its own unique way. One of the best ways to while away a day is gently hiking between the villages, exploring the fishing, shipbuilding and native arts industries that have thrived here since the 18th century. Take to the seas in a traditional wooden punt and uncover hidden bays and coves you’ll likely have all to yourself or try to land your own catch of the day. The inn itself, which is a social enterprise, has a host of guides who can take you on everything from intensive multi-day hikes to educational rambles. Thanks to the artistic influences here there are also various art experiences on offer, led by artists and curators.
Capella Lodge, New South Wales
Just two hours from Sydney, Lord Howe Island is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. Subtropical, untouched and brimming with rare birds, flora and fauna, the island is a collage of soaring volcanic peaks, turquoise lagoons, lush vegetation and spectacular coral reefs. A real adventure playground, activities include birdwatching, surfing, guided hikes, snorkelling and diving, to name just a few. At the southern end of the island, the nine-suite Capella Lodge provides a luxurious base with beach-house chic interiors, a relaxed vibe and top notch contemporary Pacific cuisine. After an action-packed day, book yourself in for the three hour Dreaming package at the Capella Spa – guaranteed to leave you feeling balanced and renewed.
Denis Island, Seychelles
With no televisions in the rooms and no mobile phone signal to be found, here you can truly switch off and enjoy the tranquil rhythm of island life. This private 150-hectare coral island, protected by vibrant reefs amid vivid crystalline waters, shelters 25 eco-conscious castaway cottages sitting between casuarina plants and coconut trees bordering the beach. The estate operates its own farm, rearing poultry for meat and eggs and cattle for milk. These along with fruits, vegetables and herbs, freshly caught seafood cooked on the open-grill and an excellent wine cellar, make dining here a real treat. Days on Denis can be spent sea-fishing or diving, as the professional PADI-affiliated dive centre offer courses for novice and advanced divers, playing tennis, canoeing, snorkelling or taking part in fantastic nature tours. Make sure you find time to explore the island which is home to a 100-year-old lighthouse, Toby the tortoise and a tiny chapel.
Claire Powell is Digital Marketing Manager at Abercrombie & Kent.