If you’re already planning this year’s holidays, why not lock in one of these luxurious island getaways? With some of the most stunning archipelagos in the world on our doorstep, these exquisite resorts will offer unforgettable getaways where crystal clear waters, beautiful nature and plenty of sunshine will give you the rest, relaxation and recuperation you deserve.
An opulent retreat deserving of its accolade as the ‘Best South Pacific & Oceania Luxury Architectural Design Hotel’ in the World Travel Awards, Te Vakaroa Villas in Rarotonga is an oasis of tranquillity and refined elegance.
As you step into this exclusive haven, a sense of serenity will take hold, signalling the start of an extraordinary escape. The award-winning accommodation is nestled discreetly along the pristine beachfront of Muri Lagoon and comprises six luxurious villas, impeccably designed to merge with the Island’s natural allure, each offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Designed by renowned architect Lawrence Sumich, the resort harmoniously blends with its lush surroundings, where spacious interiors converge into outdoor spaces adorned with inviting loungers and a horizon-edged, heated infinity pool. The villas themselves are thoughtfully appointed and incredibly comfortable, offering convivial communal areas for dining and lounging as well as intimate spaces for relaxation, and moments of secluded repose.
Exquisite, daily tropical breakfasts are just the beginning of the culinary experiences here. With dining options ranging from Sails restaurant to the vibrant flavours found along the island road, guests can indulge in Rarotonga’s vibrant and flourishing culinary scene as well as its plentiful natural wonders. From beachfront strolls to adventurous kayak expeditions, the Island’s many splendours beckon from the unparalleled vantage point this accommodation offers. The only dilemma will be deciding whether to venture out and explore or savour every moment within the embrace of this heavenly escape.
When to Visit: The best time
to visit Rarotonga is between April and November, when the weather is warm and dry, with temperatures ranging from 24 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
How to get there: Air New Zealand flies direct from Auckland to Rarotonga. When you land on the island, you will be driven 20 minutes to Te Vakaroa Villas via private transfer.
Insider’s Tip: Exploring the Muri Lagoon is a must while on holiday here. Make time to hire a glass bottom boat, or embark on a wind surfing or sailing adventure. The Rarotonga Sailing Club at Muri Lagoon welcomes all visitors.
Set on the enchanting Tetiaroa Atoll, The Brando stands as a sanctuary where nature and luxury converge, creating an unparalleled oasis. The atoll, sculpted by volcanic forces and protected by its enduring coral reefs, embodies a place of ethereal beauty and Polynesian authenticity (once the getaway spot of Tahitian royalty), and was somewhere famously cherished by the iconic actor Marlon Brando. Brando’s passion for environmental sustainability and appreciation for the Island’s untouched allure underpinned the realisation of a dream — The Brando. Since its inception in 2014, this exquisite, private accommodation has remained committed to its namesake’s vision, standing as a pinnacle of sustainable luxury in the heart of the Pacific. The resort’s architecture, defined by its LEED Platinum Certification (the first resort in the world to achieve that status), mirrors the delicate balance between modern luxury and an ethos deeply rooted in nature’s quiet rhythm.
Here, each of the 35 villas and one private residence are meticulously and sustainably designed where tranquillity reigns supreme and rest and rejuvenation unfold effortlessly. Immerse yourself in their cocooning embrace or explore the Island’s bountiful wildlife and breathtaking nature.
You can also indulge in The Brando’s exceptional culinary offering from revered chef Jean Imbert (ex-Plaza Athénée and Maison Christian Dior in Paris) or treat yourself at the resort’s peaceful Verua Te Ora Polynesian Spa.
When to Visit: The months between May and October are dry season in French Polynesia, which means the weather will be warm and humidity low.
How to get there: You can fly directly from Auckland to Tahiti, before jumping on a short but spectacular 20-minute flight to Tetiaroa onboard a private aircraft with Air Tetiaroa.
Insider’s Tip: Alongside exploring this exquisite Atoll on your own, book in a tour with one of the Island’s expert guides. You’ll get to experience the true Tetiaroa as you discover the wildlife, flora, archeology, culture and geology of this breathtaking spot, under the water, on land and from the sky.
Situated within the pristine expanses of the Great Barrier Reef, Haggerstone Island offers an exclusive haven for intrepid travellers seeking seclusion and unparalleled natural beauty. Established in the 1980s by Roy and Anna Turner, who built its five rustic villas out of driftwood and have been welcoming guests there since 1993, this remote paradise, shrouded in jungle wilderness, offers a unique experience in the heart of one of the most stunning parts of Australia.
Accessible from Cairns, Haggerstone Island stands as a gateway to unspoiled coral reefs and remarkable marine biodiversity. The Island caters only to a small number of guests at any one time, offering a range of activities that span from exploring shipwrecks and kayaking to snorkelling and fishing, harnessing the sheer abundance of marine life and the captivating marine habitats that lie just beyond the Island’s shores.
Nestled along the serene coastline, the Island’s five beachfront villas stand as individually-designed sanctuaries, blending Papua New Guinean and African architectural influences. Each villa boasts an air of undone luxury and offers absolute privacy and breathtaking ocean vistas, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the relaxed ethos of the Island, where connection with nature is paramount.
From the spacious and luxurious House Mawu to the open-plan Kwila Hut and the Beach Hut exuding a castaway allure, there is a villa to suit any kind of guest, or for those looking to do something really special, the whole island can be hired exclusively, resulting in an utterly unforgettable experience for 12 of your nearest and dearest.
Alongside the activities and accommodation, guests will enjoy some of the freshest food, thanks to Haggerstone’s commitment to sustainably sourced ingredients, seafood fished daily and organically grown produce from its onsite orchard.
Ultimately, Haggerstone Island’s unique, off-the-grid offering will see you revel in the simplicity of island life while immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. This will make for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
When to Visit: The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is between the months of May and October, when rainfall is low, temperatures are perfect for swimming and underwater visibility is high.
How to get there: First, you must fly from Auckland to Cairns, from there, you can either charter a private (and very scenic) two-hour flight to the Island, or catch pre-organised flight to Weipa with Qantas, then board a private charter to Haggerstone’s air strip.
Insider’s Tip: All daily adventures on Haggerstone’s 45-foot jet boat are included in the accommodation cost, as well as equipment, so make the most of all the intrepid options on offer during your stay.