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Sustainability meets luxury at these private islands

From the Maldives to Indonesia, find out the best eco-friendly private islands for your next getaway.

There is nothing like a private island paradise to help you unwind from long days in the office. Take your pick from some of the world’s best eco-friendly private islands.

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

If you are looking for your own slice of paradise, then Song Saa Private Island off the coast of Cambodia is the place for you. Take in the seemingly unending crystal-blue waters while you recline on the private beach or enjoy a cosy dinner for two in one of the island’s 24 luxurious villas. For the ultimate experience, why not try the overwater Royal Villa? It caters for 12 diners, houses oversized sunken bathtubs, king-sized beds and two vanity bathrooms. Better yet, the accommodation comes with its own mojito-making station.

Song Saa was awarded the Most Romantic Resort Hotel at the 2018 Love Travel awards but another reason to fall in love with it is through its take on sustainability. The resort’s buildings are made with reclaimed timber and each villa is fitted with thatched roofs, repurposed furniture and upcycled décor. Plus, all the food used at the resort comes from locally sourced ingredients and nearby villages.

Nihi Sumba Island, Indonesia

Formerly known as Nihiwatu, Nihi Sumba Island is a haven for adventurers. Listed as the Best Hotel in the World in 2016 and 2017 by Travel + Leisure magazine, it provides the ultimate island resort experience. From snorkelling and scuba diving to horse riding and spa treatments, the resort has something for everybody. You can even take a tour of the island’s chocolate factory if you’re looking for a sweet treat.

To protect the environment, the resort is powered completely by biofuel. It actively recycles and most of its produce is sourced from its organic garden.

Plus, it further supports the people of Sumba Island through the Sumba Foundation, which provides projects that provide clean water, education and healthcare services.

Cempedak Private Island, Indonesia

Off the east coast of Bintan Island, Indonesia, is Cempedak Private Island. The resort is surrounded by pristine sandy beaches and lies within a rainforest oasis. Cempedak takes eco-friendliness to the next level as its design is sensitive both to the environment and the local culture.

Bamboo is used as the primary material for all its buildings and to further take advantage of the natural environment, its villas have crescent-shaped roofs. The roof design captures the island’s cool breeze and releases hot air, keeping the villas cool. This ultimately removes the need for air conditioning.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Maldives

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is a beautiful island paradise boasting 50 luxury villas – either on land or over the ocean – with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide unobstructed views of the glistening waters. Guests can spend time in the outdoor cabanas, relax in the private pools fitted with semi-submerged sunbeds, or go snorkelling on the magical coral reef surrounding the island.

The resort opened as Hyatt Group’s first sustainable tourism development. It was the first in the Maldives to follow EarthCheck standards for construction and operation – an advisory group for travel and tourism organisations that grants environmental certifications. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa reduces its impact on the environment through water conservation, energy-saving techniques and solid waste management activities.

Soneva: Thailand and the Maldives

Soneva has three private island resorts that each incorporate environmental sustainability. The Soneva Fushi in the Maldives was the company’s first island resort. It has an integrated waste management centre and uses one of the largest solar plants in the Maldives.

Around 90% waste at Soneva Fushi is recycled; food waste is turned into mulch for gardens; styrofoam is turned into blocks for construction; and glass waste is turned into artwork. In 2017 the resort was named the world’s most eco-friendly and sustainable hotel in the Asia-Pacific at the Green Hotelier Awards.

The Soneva Kiri on Thailand’s Koh Kood (Ko Kut) island is accessible via plane from Bangkok. The resort provides plenty of entertaining outdoor experiences including fine dining from an overhanging tree pod, an observatory to gaze at the stars at night and an open-air cinema right on the waterfront. It has 36 spacious villas and all its furnishings are made of sustainable materials

The Soneva Jani is a collection of water and island villas in the Maldives. You can opt for a villa with a slide straight into the water, or one with a retractable roof for stunning night-sky views. The resort has a ‘no news, no shoes’ policy where guests are required to remove their shoes and encouraged to completely immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere of the island. There are no televisions in the villas and guests have the option of switching off the wi-fi for a completely disconnected experience.

Plus, all three resorts have a fruit and vegetable garden to provide fresh produce for guests.

Find out about Richard Branson’s private Island which hosted a major event for the world’s best entrepreneurial minds.

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