Five luxury beach resorts
As winter drags on we can't help but daydream about holidaying on a private island somewhere. A luxury resort with all the facilities, the beach on your doorstep and not a care in the world.
To further the dream we've picked five sun-drenched luxury resorts that are frequented by the rich and famous:
Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, it doesn't get much better than this French Polynesian paradise. You might recognize the resort from Vince Vaughn's movie 'Couples Retreat' - while the movie left a lot do be desired, this resort certainly does not.
The 44-acre properly is complete with multiple pools, a swim up bar, a private saltwater lagoon containing native fish and stingrays and over 100 ultra-glam accommodation options including over-water villas. It's luxury and then some.
The view from the flight to Aitutaki, over Rarotonga, is breathtaking enough - the crown of emerald green islets set in the impossibly blue waters is a sight that can't soon be forgotten. This island is the second most visited in the Cook Islands and it's easy to see why.
With this resort, location is everything. It is situated on its own private isle - Motu Aitutaki and is right on the world-famous Aitutaki Lagoon. Thatched-roof, over-water bungalows, open-air showers, and uninterrupted panoramic views - this resort is as food as it gets in the South Seas.
It's Sir Richard Branson's private island - so you know there was no expense spared here. This jewel in the middle of the British Virgin Islands can accommodate up to 28 guests and will set you back a whopping US$53,000 to US$54,000 a day. High profile guests here have included Google co-founder, Larry Page, Kate Winslet, Oprah, Jimmy Fallon and David Beckham.
The Bali-style villas are nature-inspired and offer 360-degree views of the surreal surroundings. Choose from the six Bali Houses, Temple House (Richard Branson's residence) or the Love Temple. Accommodation is also available on Necker Belle, a luxury catamaran.
The coolest thing to do on this island is to try out 'Necker Nymph' - a 3-person aero submarine. This underwater 'aircraft', commandeered by a trained pilot can take you up to 100 feet below the surface of the ocean - offering a whole new view to sea exploration.
This luxury beach resort has the privilege of being the first in coastal Orange County. Perched on top of a 150 foot cliff, the cascading views of the Pacific Ocean and the rolling Laguna hills are a truly unique sight.
This resort has attracted the likes of just about every well-known celebrity including Michael Jackson and US Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Carter. Exuding an old-world charm, the resort pulls out all the stops when it comes to a luxurious getaway.
This tropical pearl in the South Seas is 12 square kilometres of unadulterated bliss. The island is in the beautiful archipelago of Fiji and is privately owned by Dietrich Mateschitz, the billionaire owner of Red Bull. Often referred to as the 'Garden of Eden', the resort has played to host to many A-listers including John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey.
With just 25 ocean-view villas, this ultra-exclusive spot is perfect for basking the sun, cosmos in hand and not a care in the world. As Luxury Insider puts it, "Perfection now has a new location."