First up, I’d say Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles. It’s incredibly exclusive – there are just 17 residences on the island, which is about the size of Monaco, and each has its own infinity pool. On top of that, the island is just mind-bogglingly beautiful. One of its beaches, Anse Victorin, has been voted the World’s Best Beach by The Times.
All the other beaches on the island are beautiful too and just as deserted. The sand is the colour of ivory and the waters are not only crystal clear, they’re teeming with wildlife.
As a result, it’s famous for its scuba diving and snorkelling, with tropical fish, reef sharks and turtles. During the plantation era, a lot of the island’s flora and fauna was almost wiped out. But what’s even more wonderful about this place is that tourism funds an environmental programme to restore habitat on the island and protect rare species.
- Anse Victorin beach on Fregate Island: so beautiful that it doesn’t look right without a lot of applications, .doc files and a trash bin hovering over it.
Second, I would say Constance Halaveli in The Maldives. It’s on North Ari Atoll which is surrounded by the most gorgeous lagoon - even the 20 minute seaplane ride there from Male will blow your mind.
It has absolutely staggering views, white sand, palm tree strewn beaches and crystal clear waters stuffed with exotic sealife like rays which makes for some brilliant snorkelling. Accommodation is mostly in villas over the water, which each have their own private infinity pools, and everything from the food to the treatments in the spa is top notch. It’s stunningly beautiful, incredibly peaceful, and very, very quiet…
The Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman is also incredible because of its location. It’s sandwiched between a dramatic mountain range and a one-mile pristine white sand beach. Oman really does have rugged beauty all of its own. There are 82 eco villas, retreats and suites scattering the coastline that leads down to the world-famous Six Senses Spa, and all of the villas have their own pools.
There’s also a stunning hilltop restaurant as part of the resort with amazing views over the Gulf of Oman and the surrounding mountains. Add in butler service and you have a really breathtaking experience.
- Six Senses at Zighy Bay: you almost expect to see X-wing fighters sweep in from the sea
It’s so often about location, location, location when it comes to holidays, so for that reason, I’d also recommend Four Seasons Koh Samui, Thailand. It’s perched on top of a hillside terrace looking out on to the Gulf of Siam and one of the most incredible panoramic views I’ve ever seen. The resort is a dream of coconut trees, tropical forests and torch-lit walkways linking hidden pool villas. A vast treehouse spa sits halfway up a hill, with a snowy white sand beach and clear turquoise ocean beyond. It’s just breathtaking, totally heavenly.
- Four Seasons Koh Samui: totally tropical
Which brings me to the Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico (top of page and below). It’s situated on the Riviera Maya which has some of the best beaches in the world, but on top of that, you’re surrounded by mangrove jungles filled with wildlife and Mayan temples to explore. Plus just off the coast is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which is the second largest coral reef in the world, where swimming with whale sharks is a must. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is simply one of the most stunning properties in the Caribbean, which is saying something. It’s spectacular.
- Banyan Tree Mayakoba: whale shark not pictured