March 13, 2009 / 5:04 PM / 10 years ago

Travel Picks: Top 10 luxury islands

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - While city breaks, country retreats and resort getaways are all well and good, nothing beats the decadence of escaping to a luxury island.

Men’s website has come up with a list of its Top 10 Luxury Islands. This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Musha Cay, Exuma Cays

You’ll have to be friendly with magician and owner David Copperfield to visit, but once you’ve arrived you’ll never want to leave. Comprising four private islands, 85 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas, the mini-archipelago offers some of the best diving anywhere.

2. Mustique, West Indies

There’s a good reason rock stars and royal family members jet across the globe to vacation on the private island of Mustique. Spread across 1,400 acres of tropical paradise with aquamarine surf and pristine white beaches, island operator the Mustique Company allows only a select group of people to stay.

3. Turtle Island, Fiji

With more than 500,000 trees planted over 30 years by its entrepreneurial owner Richard Evanson, Turtle Island has dozens of private beaches and a stunning resort comprising 14 eco-friendly villas. The Blue Lagoon, the 1970s film starring Brooke Shields, was filmed here.

4. Palm Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Made up of 32 islands, it would be easy to miss Palm Island in the archipelago that makes up Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. But 135 acres of tropical paradise await you, with a private resort catering to your every whim. Just 40 guest rooms maintain exclusivity and a Michelin-star restaurant.

5. Bermuda, North Atlantic Ocean

Bermuda’s mix of colonial-style architecture and paradisiacal settings has attracted the rich for years. The Fairmont Southampton is a top place to stay to enjoy Bermuda’s pink-sand beaches, amber sunsets and green gardens.

6. Barbados, Caribbean

The 166-square-mile island is completely flat, meaning luxury hotels and fine-dining restaurants are aplenty along its white-sand coastline. The Sandy Lane - Luxury Golf & Spa Resort at St James, is a prestigious place to stay and much-publicized wedding venue to Tiger Woods a few years back.

7. Cocoa Island, Maldives

Cocoa Island has it all — silky white sand, a lagoon that couldn’t be bluer and a five-star resort. Set over water, 33 villas are available for guests with manicured gardens, swimming pools, an on-site spa, yoga pavilion, and an elegant restaurant.

8. Mnemba Island, Indian Ocean

Although only 2.8 miles off Zanzibar, Mnemba Island is about as far from civilization as you’re ever likely to feel with only 10 beachside lodges, each with their own verandas overlooking white beaches, blue waters, and glowing sunsets. The island is just one mile in circumference, with a conservation barrier that protects the coral reefs, giant turtles, ghost crabs, and tropical fish that surround it.

9. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Second home to Sir Richard Branson, Necker Island is the Virgin entrepreneur’s very own private island in the heart of the British Virgin Islands. Spread across 74 acres of tropical forest and sand beaches, this island was snapped up by Branson in the late ‘70s and transformed into a first-class island retreat visited by Princess Diana, Mariah Carey and Oprah Winfrey.

10. Cousine Island, Seychelles

Part luxury resort, part nature reserve, Cousine Island is just 62 acres in size and can only be reached by helicopter. The five-star Cousine Island Resort and Spa is the perfect place for travelers looking for high-end creature comforts with stillness and natural beauty.

Editing by Belinda Goldsmith

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