Caribbean Private Island Resorts

If you're willing to splurge on your next Caribbean getaway, consider booking a few nights at a swanky private island resort. Here, you can escape from it all on your own tiny outpost in paradise. Plus, some of these hotels are all-inclusive, so you can have as many fruity cocktails as you please.

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    Guana Island
    ••• tentpole / Getty Images

    This private island is located just north of Tortola and is a short water-taxi ride from the BVI's main airport. Although it's easy to get to, it feels tucked away, with just a handful of beach cottages and villas on 850 sprawling acres. Groups of up to 36 can rent the entire island, or just take a room and enjoy the tranquil setting (the pristine island is effectively a nature preserve). There are also many activities, including hiking trails, tennis, snorkeling, and dining in the historic Club.

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    Great House at Necker Island
    ••• Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

    For a whopping $36,000 to $53,000 per night you can sleep in Sir Richard Branson's favorite hideaway—the magnate's private-island home in the British Virgin Islands. Necker's Asian-inspired accommodations can sleep up to 28 guests in five Bali-style houses and a lavish Great House (on certain weeks during the year, guests can rent individual rooms on the island, as well). The resort includes private chefs—who serve all-inclusive gourmet meals—as well as private pools, beaches, the Bali Leha spa, hiking trails, sailing, surfing on Josiah's Bay, tennis with a resident pro, and snorkeling.

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    Scrub Island Resort has 52 guest rooms and suites, plus 31 gorgeous villas that dot 230 wild, tropical acres—many on towering hills facing the ocean. While you're here, you can relax on the four private beaches, dine in four upscale restaurants, and splurge on a soothing spa treatment.

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    Centered on Deadman's Bay, Peter Island has all of the amenities you'd expect from a luxury destination property—including a full-service spa and marina—plus an impressively broad range of accommodations, including junior suites, villas, and homes with up to six bedrooms. The Tradewinds Restaurant is known for its Caribbean cuisine, while the resort's beach bar hosts a popular weekly West Indies night with live music and an expansive buffet. The island is located five miles south of Tortola, across the Sir Francis Drake Channel.

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    Young Island Resort
    ••• Villa at Young Island Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. © Bob Curley

    Just offshore from Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent, Young Island provides a lush private sanctuary to its guests while being a three-minute boat ride from the mainland and its many attractions. The property is compact but lovely, with guest cottages located both along the waterfront and hillside overlooking the beachside restaurant and bar. Amenities include a lighted tennis court, a lobster and fish pool you can swim in, hiking trails, and a tiny offshore bar. Request the cottage where Johnny Depp stayed when filming Pirates of the Caribbean, and enjoy a soak in your private outdoor pool while you watch the boats cruising to and from Kingstown.

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    Palm Island resort
    ••• Palm Island resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. © Bob Curley

    Palm Island is one of the most beautiful resorts you will ever have the pleasure of visiting, with impossibly blue skies, brilliant white beaches, and leaning palm trees strung with inviting hammocks. There's plenty of room to roam on this 135-acre island, and guests will quickly discover the resort's tennis courts, croquet lawn, and pitch-and-putt golf course. Rooms have louvered windows and sliding doors to allow al fresco dining and dozing.

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    This 1,400-acre island is home to a variety of fully staffed private luxury villas as well as the Cotton House hotel. Mustique has 71 villas for rent, including 13 historic homes designed by Oliver Messel. A stay here is more like being part of a community—complete with a church, stores, tennis courts, and a stable—than being a guest at a private resort, and there are nine beaches upon which to while your days away.

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    Most distant from St. Vincent in the Grenadines, this remote island paradise has a unique collection of stone-walled villas spread out for maximum privacy. Traverse the island by golf cart or simply stay put and hang your flag out for in-room dining or other services, including spa treatments or yoga. PSV has 22 cottages scattered over 113 acres, so meeting your neighbors is truly a matter of choice here—probably why it is a popular hideaway for celebrities. Tennis, fishing charters, scuba, and hiking are options for more active days.

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    Calivigny Island
    ••• Great house at the Calivigny Island private island resort in Grenada. © Calivigny Island Resort

    Is this the Caribbean or Indonesia? The Balinese-style Beach House makes it hard to tell, but this Calivigny Island resort is located just off the coast of Grenada, a mere 15 minutes from the airport. Reservations are for groups only: the Great House, which also features elements of French Colonial architecture, can accommodate up to 20 guests, plus another 12 who can bunk in style on the resort's luxury sailing yacht. Jet skis, white-sand beaches, a pool with swim-up bar, on-call massages, and fine dining are among the available amenities.

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    The 800-acre Pine Cay, one of the Turks and Caicos islands, is home to the Meridian Club, an eco-friendly resort with just 12 rooms, the secluded and tranquil Sand Dollar Cottage, and a variety of private villas for rent. The island and surrounding waters teem with native wildlife, and in addition to swimming, biking, and hiking, guests can enjoy the resort's Clubhouse, restaurant, pool, golf, tennis, fishing and more. The island boasts a two-mile beach, one of the finest in the Turks and Caicos.

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    At 1,000 acres, Parrot Cay is quite large by private island standards, but it still feels intimate. Part of the Como Resorts chain, the private island has two restaurants, and a variety of spa and wellness programs. The broad range of accommodations includes rooms, suites, beach houses, villas, and three large estate homes—the largest, called The Sanctuary, is owned by fashion designer Donna Karan.

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    Cayo Espanto is tiny—so small, in fact, that its sixth villa is not on dry land but rather located at the end of a dock built right over the water. One villa is as luxurious as the next, however, and what this little speck of green lacks in size it makes up with fine dining, attentive service, and a bevy of activities (mostly oriented around the water).

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    The terms "private island" and "affordability" rarely walk hand-in-hand, but Coco Plum Cay defies expectation. Ten ocean-front cabanas occupy this intimate 16-acre resort located just eight miles off the coast of Belize, and a short 15-minute boat ride from the island's barrier reef. Enjoy three traditional Belizean meals a day, snorkeling, kayaking, and tours of the mainland––including the Mayan ruins in western Belize––all for under $300 per night.

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    It's safe to say you'll never have to fight for a beach chair on Royal Belize. With just three residences on seven-and-a-half acres, and mealtimes and activities (including use of their Wave Runner, kayaks, and snorkels) tailored to your schedule, you'll feel like royalty, too. When you arrive, you'll be whisked away in a helicopter from Belize City; not only is it the quickest route, but it's also a pretty glamorous way to start a vacation.

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    Turneffe Island is really Turneffe Atoll, a coral-encrusted landmass 25 miles off mainland Belize. The island is a hot spot for fishing, snorkeling, and both deep and shallow reef-dives. The eco-friendly Turneffe Island Resort offers both traditional guest-house rooms and free-standing cabanas furnished with elegant hardwoods and canopied beds that convey a rustic, Hemingway/Lost Generation feel. Service is top-notch, as is the daily Caribbean-fusion cuisine, but come for the marine life; Turneffe Island sports some of the most diverse and populous in the world.

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    Windsurfing, snorkeling, and bone-fishing—if these seem incongruous to you, you're probably not on Kamalame Cay, one of the most exclusive of the many tiny islands in the Bahamas. Three miles of beach abut lush gardens on the resort property, which features just over a dozen accommodations and a generous-sized staff to cater to your every need. Feeling romantic? Have Kamalame's personal chef prepare a dinner for two on the beach. Adventurous? Take a deep-sea fishing expedition or an eco-tour of Andros Island. And when you've finished all that, kick back at the Cay's full-service spa.

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    Copperfield Suggests Fountain Of Youth Exists On Private Island
    ••• Marc Serota / Getty Images

    World-renown illusionist David Copperfield owns the 700-acre Musha Bay and its 40 sugar-sand beaches. Five Tudor-style guesthouses, each with their own private beach dot the main island. Expect extravagant dining with paired wine courses, relaxing evenings at the Cay's outdoor movie theater, as well as massage therapy, tennis instruction, yoga, and on-call fireworks displays at your desire. All land and water amenities except scuba are included with the rate, which run upwards of $25,000 per week.

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    Little Whale Cay
    ••• Pool at Little Whale Cay private island resort, Bahamas. © Little Whale Cay

    Three villas and a one-to-one (or better) ratio of staff to guests ensure the most personalized and attentive service at Little Whale Cay. Food is flown in fresh daily and prepared and designed by the island's private chef to guests' palate and preference. Amenities on the Cay's 93 acres include a sea-view infinity pool, tennis court, fitness center, and watercraft rentals. The retreat also touts its own airstrip, for convenient travel between the island and the mainland.

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    The all-inclusive Jumby Bay, a Rosewood resort, features 40 private villas spread over about one-third of the 300-acre Long Island (not the one in New York). The island is known for its wildlife and beaches, especially the postcard-perfect Jumby Bay Beach. In addition to native species like the Blue Pelican and Hawksbill Sea Turtles (which nest here), the tropical land is home to a population of wild sheep descended from a herd brought to the island by 16th-century Spanish farmers. Resort amenities include a Sense spa, tennis, two pools (including a 25-meter freshwater lap pool), and excursions to Antigua.

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    Next to Little Torch Key in the Florida Keys, Little Palm Island is dotted with bungalow-style villas and exudes an aura of relaxation with its myriad spa services, Zen garden, and reiki and yoga classes. When you're ready to get up off the yoga mat or beach chair, however, you'll find plenty to do here, from swimming in a lagoon-style pool to diving with PADI-certified instructors, fishing, and boat outings to the nearby Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.

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    Melody Key isn't a resort—it's a true private-island home, all yours to enjoy and explore during your stay. Located off Summerland Key, the island features a heated pool, jacuzzi, and a single residence with 5,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space, including three bedrooms, multiple balconies, and a wet bar with a 300-gallon saltwater aquarium. A crow's nest atop the house provides panoramic views of the Florida Keys, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.