×

Island Escapes In The Indian Ocean

Lauren Hill

Contributor

What makes the perfect winter escape? Some say a private island is hard to beat. With the majority of its waters in the southern hemisphere, the Indian Ocean provides the climate you’re in search of at this time of year. Travel to the Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, the Maldives and Tanzania for some of the most captivating private islands in this part of the world.

North Island, Seychelles

North Island embodies the Seychelles’ paradisiacal image. Tropical forests grow in the shadow of the island’s granite peaks and lush vegetation provides a home for an abundance of birdlife and the resident Aldabra giant tortoises. The shores are pristine, the sand is powdery white, and the sea is a vivid turquoise. This environment is the legacy of a decades-long conservation project to revive the island’s natural ecosystem. The resort is built for optimum sustainability as well as barefoot luxury. Stay in one of the 11 luxury villas, dine on a private beach, and scuba dive, fish and kayak off the coast.

North Island, Seychelles

Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles

It was around a decade ago that the ecologist Steve Hills, having just completed his work in rehabilitating Fregate Island, began his endeavour in returning this island back to its original pristine state. Today, much of the island is devoted to lush forest, with a section set aside for the island’s eco-conscious resort, Six Senses Zil Pasyon. Here, you’ll find eco-luxury villas built into the hillside, with restaurants, bars and a swimming pool at the water’s edge, a dramatic spa that’s been built into the giant granite boulders, and idyllic white-sand beaches hidden by lush foliage.
Six Senses, Zil Pasyon

AndBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Over in Mozambique, make the journey to the marine life-rich Bazaruto Archipelago. This chain of idyllic islands, which lies off Mozambique’s southern coast, is known for its turquoise water, white sand, islands of dramatic sand dunes and protected marine life including whales, whale sharks, turtles and the rare dugong. This resort is positioned on Benguerra Island’s northwest shores, with 10 beachfront casinhas, two cabanas and a three-bedroom Casa Familia joined by an oceanside pool, open-sided living area and beach bar made from a traditional dhow. Explore the surrounding environment before having fireside cocktails and a starlit dinner on the island’s shores.

AndBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Thanda Island, Tanzania

This exclusive-use island off the coast of Tanzania comes with just one ultra-luxury villa and two bandas, accommodating a total of 18 people. The fact Thanda Island has its own marine reserve means you have exceptional access to marine life-rich waters. Snorkel, scuba dive, kayak and sail here, or visit the neighbouring islands. You can then join a yoga or meditation session in the outdoor sala and soak in the rim-flow pool before having lavish dinners created each day from the fresh fruit, coconut and seafood. The island also has its own luxury cruising yacht, Over the Rainbow of London - a classic 1930s yacht for exploring the region.
Thanda Island, Tanzania

Time + Tide Miavana, Madagascar

Miavana feels more intrepid than your average island resort. Situated off Madagascar’s wild northeast coast, the island is accessed by helicopter, and once you’re here, you’ll find yourself at the heart of a 37,000-acre marine reserve on the edge of protected land spilling over from the mainland. With this in mind, conservation is key to the resort’s operation. This philosophy flows through to the architecture and design, which fuses Malagasy influence with modern luxury. The island’s 14 villas back the sandy shores and a village-like Piazza provides an indoor-outdoor space to relax, dine, drink and socialise.
Miavana, Madagascar

Joali, Maldives

When Joali opened towards the end of 2018, it stood out from its neighbouring islands with a first-for-the-Maldives immersive art philosophy. You’ll still see the same attention to gastronomy, wellness and the marine environment — Joali has its own coral nursery and resident marine biologists — but you’ll also find art installations around the island. Sit back in a manta-inspired treehouse and take time to seek out the playful artworks. The villas are exceptionally stylish with particular attention to detail. Restaurants and bars are dotted across the island but make sure you spend at least one evening in the overwater Japanese restaurant, Saoke, overseen by the two-Michelin-starred chef Takagi Kazuo.
Joali, Maldives

The Nautilus, Maldives

The endeavour of a Maldivian entrepreneur, Nautilus is one of the most recent openings in the Maldives. It’s also among the most exclusive. This island has just 26 beach and ocean villas. Each of these is designed to give guests the feeling of being on their own private island, and every aspect of the stay is personalised. Here, you can dine at any time in the overwater restaurant Zeytoun Lounge and have a spa treatment without having to schedule an appointment. Experiences include snorkelling and diving in the Unesco Biosphere Reserve designated Baa Atoll, swimming with whale sharks and manta rays at Hanifaru Bay, and taking out the island’s water toys.
The Nautilus, Maldives

Become a member to join the conversation!

Become part of the world's leading travel & lifestyle community!

Related articles