Saturday, 4 March 2017

A few of my favourite island getaways

Picture this: you are supine on a banana lounge, sifting sand through your sweetheart’s toes, studying cotton-wool clouds that appear to have been Velcro-ed onto the sky.  You have just slurped down a chilled mojito from the beach bar and are mustering up the energy to walk over the crystalline sand and slip into the turquoise sea. Before you can say “mi wantem bia”  (“I’d like a beer”) I give you a few of my favourite island getaways.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. Image: Justin Mott (Mott Visuals).

Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa 
Chances are you won’t venture far if you stay at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. The resort is all about indulgence. Soak up the sun on a day bed by the infinity pool, sip cocktails as the sun slips over the Pacific in the uber-cool KamaLounge  or just mosey over to Natadola Beach to continue your schedule of lazing the day away. Located on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, the resort is about 40 minutes’ drive from the airport.  Visit

The lobby of Anantara Layan Phuket.    Image: Supplied
Anantara's The Residences, Phuket
Located along Phuket's stunning sunset coast, The Residences at Anantara's Phuket Layan resort overlooks breathtaking Layan Beach. The boutique collection of 15 spacious private pool residences is next level: perched on the side of a jungle-clad hill with panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, The Residences will make you want to bask in barefoot luxury for the remainder of your days. It's the ultimate rock-star hideaway where you can bring the entire entourage and skinny dip in your private plunge pool away from the paps.

Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia is paradise on legs. Image: @carlagrossetti
Pangkor Laut Resort
White-sand beaches, clear greeny-blue seas and villas with skinny legs standing knee-deep in the sea makes this feel like the poshest piece of paradise. Intimate, tranquil and elegant all at once the island is a fixture on the A-lister circuit. Rimmed by lush vegetation, the island is renowned for its abundant birdlife and electric sunsets. Cue couples canoodling in the sand, friends sharing cold beers by the bar and the more active doing laps of the island in a kayak. The late and great Italian tenor Pavarotti declared Pangkor Laut paradise. Expect opera on the playlist.

The Champagne Pools on Fraser Island are one of many reasons to make a beeline for this island.
Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island
The beaches on this, the world’s largest sand island are, as expected, pristine. But it’s the translucent blue of the freshwater lakes and craggy cliffs at Indian Head that are the real show-stoppers. By respecting their surrounds, the eco resort’s staff really go the extra kilometre in inspiring guests to reduce their environmental footprint, too.  

Iririki Island Resort has recently undergone extensive refurbishment.    
Iririki Island Resort, Vanuatu
Staff at Iririki Resort start working their charm the minute you are spat off the ferry from Port Vila. A highlight of staying at the resort is that it stays true to that laidback South Pacific vibe. At Iririki, expect your day to go something like this: wake up, enjoy coffee and breakfast on the verandah at Micheners, meander down the palm-fringed path to the beach, swim, kayak, have lunch, enjoy a siesta, flick through a book, enjoy a cocktail and kava by the pool, have dinner, go to bed. Iririki offers an annual special:  get a resort credit of $200 with any room booking of 5+ nights.

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