Written by Retno Wulan
Co-written by Jiayi Ng
If you’ve ever dreamt of 1) spending a lazy day on a hammock, with 2) a good novel lying face down on your chest, while 3) you’re way too mesmerised by the white sandy beach and sapphire ocean – then Indonesia is perhaps the best destination on your travel wishlist.
With over 17,000 islands to choose from, Indonesia offers one of the world’s greatest tropical escapes.
We’re not just talking about touristy points like Bali, Lombok and Bangka Belitung; Indonesia has plenty of private island havens for the crowd haters. There are even different levels of privacy available to suit your needs!
Want to escape from the world and just spend some time by yourself amongst nature? Book out a whole island and enjoy feeling like the whole world is yours.
You can also choose to book one of the exclusive villas in a private resort that’s on its very own island, if you don’t want to be completely alone. You’ll get to avoid the crazy crowds, but still interact with a small group of other people.
Indeed, why squeeze when you can be in solitary bliss? Here are 11 incredible private islands in Indonesia that offer a secluded escape, with exotic sunny beaches and awesome accommodations that will leave you amazed.
– Where you can enjoy feeling like the whole world is yours! Private Islands where the whole world (on the island) is yours:
1. Have an extravagant Robinson Crusoe getaway – Joyo Island
Situated in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, this island lies within easy reach of Singapore.
As one of the bookable private islands in Indonesia, the beautiful Joyo Island (or Pulau Joyo) is blessed with pristine white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters.
Photo via hungrymaz
You can enjoy a holiday like kings at one of its Palaces, as Pulau Joyo has four huge Driftwood Beach Palaces designed to fulfill your castaway fantasy, and two Java Palaces with tropical elements and traditional Javanese Joglo design.
In the Beach Palaces, you may enjoy relaxing on king-sized beds, double Balinese-style day beds, and sea view terraces with sun loungers. In the beautifully furnished Java Palaces, one thing you will enjoy most, is the convenient access to your very own private beach.
Photo via celainee, agnemoti
There are also small balé houses by the pool which can be used for extra guests, that provide a more ‘tribal’ vibe on the island.
Photo via katiekatz31
There’s also a restaurant that offers a unique fusion of Western and Indonesian-styled dishes, and of course, freshly caught seafood!
And that’s not all you can enjoy on the island.
Apart from romantic strolls on the beach, or swims at the pool surrounded by tropical greenery, you may also enjoy a traditional Javanese massage – and for more exciting activities, fishing and even snorkeling!
Photo via a marais, niksikhosla
With a colourful coral reef located just to the south of the island, you can get up close and personal with many weird and wonderful sea creatures as you explore Indonesia’s vibrant marine life.
2. Find tranquility amidst a lush tropical jungle – Pangkil Island
Located 95 kilometers from Singapore, this sister of Joyo Island is home to a tropical forest with a surprising diversity of birds, animals and plants.
Pangkil Island (or Pulau Pangkil) offers exhilarating views of white sand beaches and unsurprisingly turquoise waters, but its charm is not limited to just that. We particularly love the coastal forest with its great variety of vegetation, including palm trees fringing the shores – that makes for really gorgeous photos.
Like those at Joyo Island, you can find “palaces” made from driftwood, imbued with all the tropical elegance the island offers.
This bookable private island has various driftwood palaces available – from the beached terrace Driftwood Palaces with its king-sized beds, and the Tree House situated right on a white sandy beach.
Apart from that, there’s also The Big Hous e, a huge driftwood palace with king-sized beds, two double Balinese beds, and an en-suite bathroom; as well as the Merifield Palace, the biggest driftwood palace of the island – and last but not least, the Pool House.
Photo by pangkil
The Pool House is especially designed to be a driftwood villa in the middle of huge stone structures overlooking the pool. Staying here will give you the sensation of staying at a prehistoric beach hut, and it’s a little more ‘open’ than the other palaces – so you can be sure to enjoy the scenery to the fullest.
The Main House is the dining area with a terrific balcony view, and serves Western and Indonesian-styled dishes to cater to everyone’s taste. They can also arrange BBQ meals whenever you desire, and wherever in the island.
Photo via polly.clarke
If you’re feeling adventurous and craving for some outdoor activities, Pangkil Island offers many island activities like snorkeling, laser sailing with dinghies, sea-kayaking, speedboat-riding, stand-up paddling, fishing and more!
Photo via maxhumpston, clemchia, aspirehongkong, saidaufar
You can also throw a picnic to amuse guests (and yourself) at nearby islands, like Big Pangkil Murbai, Binyoso, Lina, and Mapur, with beaches as lovely as the one surrounding the resort island.
In the evening, enjoy the beautiful bonfire at the beach, as part of your holiday package!
3. Tiny paradise for a fulfilling holiday – Isle East Indies
As a part of the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu) region, this 1-hectare island is the perfect place to kick off your shoes, and enjoy unspoiled white sand between your toes, without signs of any other travellers.
It has the perfect size and atmosphere for honeymooners, close friends, and families – this secluded Indonesian gem is tucked away in the gleaming Sea of Java.
Your private journey to paradise begins from Jakarta’s Ancol Marina,where you will board Raden Mas, a vintage and opulent yacht built over forty years ago by a British aristocrat.
When you reach the luxurious resort with East Indies’ ‘Colonial Antique’ styled accommodation – you will find 4 houses dotted around the small island which accommodates a maximum of 10 adults – providing absolute privacy and tranquility.
The main house is beautifully designed in traditional Javanese Joglo style with a large living and dining pavilion, two master suites and two bathrooms, while the Melayu-styled guesthouse has a master suite with an adjacent bathroom.
Photo by isle east indies
The other type of accommodation is the Lombok’s Sasak Lumbung that provides a double bed and separate toilet and shower area. There is also a breezy freestanding pavilion, which makes a great place to enjoy some delicacies and drinks.
When you’re feeling a bit sporty, water activities available include water skiing, kayaking to neighboring islands, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing – all of which are great things to do with your partner, friends, or family members.
The Bale is the island’s dining venue, and it comes with cushioned daybeds, and offers a fusion of Eastern and Western dishes, which includes fresh catches of the day. You can enjoy colonial-style dining while watching ocean waves crashing on the shores.
Photo via dwilaisono
4. Perfect for a romantic candlelit island getaway – Krakal Island
Situated in the midst of Karimunjawa Marine National Park, Krakal Island offers a private getaway with the pristine beauty of colourful reef and marine life.
Photo by kurakuraresort
With antique petrol lamps decorating the island, and tasty delicacies for two available, this is your chance to experience that deserted yet romantic island life as never before.
This beautiful private island with its palm trees and lush greenery, powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear blue water, is the stuff of romantic dreams. And one great thing is that it provides an authentic island life experience as there’s no electricity available.
That’s why petrol lamps, torches and candles are provided, and if you’re unable to charge your electronics – you will be well forced encouraged to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Without kitchen facilities available on the island, staff from Kura Kura Resort will provide a picnic hamper with your choice of specially prepared food for overnight stays.
What’s on the menu you ask? Tasty, freshly caught lobsters, prawns and fish bought directly off the fishing boats, and cooked in Mediterranean or Indonesian style.
As for the activities, Karimunjawa is known for the richness of its marine life, and your main itinerary will includes lots of snorkelling through one of Indonesia’s best coral reefs, diving, island hopping or island cruises.
Photo by kurakuraresort
For adrenaline junkies, try swimming with sharks in an island breeding sea-pool.
Note: Guests will be provided with a mobile phone to contact Kura Kura Resort at any time, and the speedboat from the resort can reach Krakal in 30-minutes if needed – they definitely have you covered!
Private – Where you can book an exclusive villa in a private resort that’s on its very own island where you can enjoy privacy without the loneliness:
So maybe you’re not too keen on the idea of being stuck on a secluded island with nobody else there (except your family or friends). What if you fight? The mere thought of sulky relatives and pissy friends being your only company terrifies you.
Maybe you’re a born extrovert who’d rather mingle around with fellow tourists and share travel misadventures.
But, the privacy and serenity of staying at a private island still tugs at your heartstrings. Woe is me (you)! Guess they were right when they said you can’t have everything in life…
Or can you? 😉
An exclusive island space with minimal tourists but still offers human interaction? These five private island resorts that we’re going to introduce to you offer just that – the best of both worlds.
5. Go eco-friendly and enjoy rustic tropical living – Tiger Island
Situated 85km north of Jakarta, Tiger Island (or more popularly known among locals as Pulau Macan), you can enjoy a pristine private island with rustic tropical accommodations thanks to Tiger Islands Village & Eco Resort.
Photo via workastraveler
Serene, clean, and surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, the island is a sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. Tranquil white sandy beaches will soothe your weary feet, while the aquamarine sea rejuvenates your mind and soul.
Photo via vinamy
Driftwood huts is where you’ll be spending the night and dreaming, in open-styled rooms built against the backdrop of the blue sea. As you lay leisurely on the fluffy beds, you will enjoy the healing sound of the waves, as well as beautiful sunsets.
Photo via shaytheglow, vinamy
From your hut on Tiger Island, you will be able to spot a small, powdery-white sand island you can actually make your way to – where you can relax and get sun-tanned. It is the Deserted Island, a place where guests may feel like shipwrecked explorers or something more imaginative!
And that’s not all the facilities included in this secluded pretty island. When you need a place to relax and enjoy the ocean view, just head to the Main Hut, Bamboo Bar, or Sundeck – where you’ll find great music to accompany the view.
Photo via tantry momon
The best part about the resort; it’s environmentally friendly! The resort (and whole associated island) is designed to be fully eco-friendly with reef transplantation programmes – and is equipped with solar cells, wind turbines, and rainwater collection systems. They even educate guests to be more environmentally careful as well.
Photo via ryllee, marissaprasetio
As for the activities, the seas here are calm and great for swimming; and of course, snorkeling is a must-do activity here. Lose yourself in the beauty of the coral reefs, and exotic sea creature discovery!
Photo via yoga42indonesia, rahmat.petra, pumpela, rockchicksrock
The resort can also arrange for scuba diving trips, if you’re interested. There are some interesting wrecks in the region, and small speed boats are available for hire to take you around to the best dive sites.
PS: If you want to stay dry on land, while still having the same amount of fun, you may try island hopping, sea-kayaking, tennis, badminton, and many more!
6. Surf the beauty of Mentawai – Aloita Resort
Located on a small private island called Simakakang, and less than 10-minutes away by speedboat from Tua Pajet, Aloita Resort is a great destination for those who love tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches, tranquil waters – and most importantly, surfing!
Spend an unforgettable tropical getaway in bungalows and cottages, built with a simple yet beautiful semi-modern style, each with its own dedicated path to the beach.
In addition, each accommodation has its own private outdoor courtyard, complete with an outdoor shower, and a storage area in the rear of the residence, along with shaded racks for your surfboards. Cool, isn’t it?
If you’re craving for a more intoxicating view, simply head to the private pier, where an amazing “A” Bar extends over a long, private, white sand beach.
But, remember, the main attraction of Mentawai is surfing, so it should be on top of your holiday list if you choose to come here. Hit up those world class waves that are just a short speedboat ride away from the resort, including the famous lefthander Telescopes.
Photo via sylvibodi
However, there are waves to suit all surfers’ levels, from a hardcore wave ripper, to a beginner.
Besides surfing, you may want to try scuba diving, especially since the resort is located near several of Indonesia’s best reefs – some of which you can find just in front of the beach!
Photo via jannihonscheid
(To spot spectacular reefs and amazing marine life at the ocean cliff, you really need to visit Setan Island, that’s just a short speedboat ride away.)
After a delightfully exhausting day, it’s time to pamper yourself at Aloita’s Spa and Massage with special remedial treatments for back or shoulder pain, and even migraines.
Feeling hungry? Have a gastronomic experience at its open restaurants, which serves a buffet of seafood dishes using fresh and local catch of the day, along with various Indonesian and Italian dishes.
7. Stranded in mountainous tropical Shangri-la – The Waterhouse
Nested in a beautiful island with mountainous rainforests, golden sand beaches, and the sparkly sea, The Waterhouse provides everything you need to experience the a private island escape – Maldives style.
Photo by docastaway
With total capacity of 36 peoples (including staff), this is a perfect place to throw a private wedding party, family gathering or just to share the world with a loved one.
Photo by docastaway
The over-water wooden cottages offer a beautiful 360 degrees view of the ocean, and comes with a bathroom, huge bed and mosquito net. There is no better way to sleep, than to the lullaby of the sea. To add to its perfection, there’s also a private walkway to the golden sand beach.
Photo by docastaway
You will be able to enjoy diving and snorkeling, as you get up close and personal with the amazing underwater life surrounding the colourful island.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see neighbouring islands’ secluded beaches, trekking through the mountainous jungle to see monitor lizards, monkeys and many kind of birds too!
When you feel restless, try kayaking, sailing, water skiing, or knee boarding – then end that amazing day with a rejuvenating massage at the spa.
Photo by docastaway
After those amazing activities, treat your stomach to its restaurant’s mixture of delicious Indonesian, Chinese and Italian cuisine – based on the daily fishermen’s catches of crabs, fish, squid, octopus, lobsters, or prawns – all cooked up to standard to wow your taste buds!
8. When modern luxury meets nature’s beauty – Seraya Hotel & Resort
Located on the island of Seraya Kecil, 10km off the coast of Labuan Bajo, Seraya Hotel & Resort is where modernity and nature come together to form a unique island experience.
Photo via giovanifilbert
Laze your days away in a quaint white wood bungalows right on the beach front. No more endless walking to find that perfect sunset spot – it’s right at your doorstep.
Photo via eleniez
If you think you’d like more space, feel free to splurge on a Panorama Villa, and get a huge terrace (and living room) and a big pool facing the sea!
Photo by naomibishop, patricia nydia
And if you ever feel like leaving your room, the island has plenty of secrets waiting for you to explore. Catch a glimpse of traditional fishing at the tiny fisherman village in the south, or go kayaking around the island’s crystal clear waters.
Photo via gunawanmapawa, ingridschneider
Manta Point, a renowned diving and snorkeling destination, is also a mere stone’s throw away. Don’t know how to dive? Seraya’s diving courses are open for both beginner and advanced divers, so no worries.
Photo by nataschaelisa, naomibishop
The hotel also organises boat trips to the nearby Rinca and Komodo islands – don’t miss out on a handshake opportunity with the biggest lizard stars in the area (just kidding, please run away if a Komodo dragon approaches you)!
9. Maldives? No, this is heaven on earth – Misool Eco Resort
If you ever wanted to run away to a place where it’s just you and untouched nature, Misool Eco Resort is it.
And by untouched, we mean it. This gorgeous resort is located on a private island within their own Marine Protected area, and actively takes part in conserving the surrounding marine life.
Photo by Misool Eco Resort
Luckily for you, that means undamaged coral reefs and amazing biodiversity are all available here.
Chill out on your private hammock on the verandah with a book, or step right into the sea from your cottage and enjoy a swim with the fishes.
If you want more privacy, Misool Eco Resort also has a series of villas located in more secluded parts of the island.
Photo by Shawn Heinrichst
Of course, since you’re in Raja Ampat, how could miss out on exploring the natural scenery? Traverse the clear seas on a kayak, or climb up high to get an awe-inspiring view.
Photo by marshallsastra, mtmamalang, argadia
Not to forget the one-of-a-kind diving and snorkelling opportunities at the resort’s own dive centre – you can even swim with sharks!
10. Where relaxing is a serious business – Nikoi Island
Tea at 3pm, Tuition at 4:45pm, Dinner at 7pm… scratch all that out, because at Nikoi, things like schedules don’t exist.
Photo by canlandexiaorong
Here, relaxation is a serious activity. Nikoi refrains from setting activity schedules and putting signs on the island in a bid to keep things casual. Want to go for a midnight swim? Fancy a dive in the early morning? Just let the resort know!
Photo by andy maviare
When you’re not busy swimming, sailing, island hopping or enjoying the island’s myriad of other activities, you’ll love hanging out in your own beach house. These little cottages are built on stilts, giving you the best ocean views far and wide.
Photo by parisas8, lessnaked, chloe_t
Photo by sammyesquire
Kids will also enjoy Nikoi’s selection of child-friendly activities. Boulder-climbing, treasure hunting, fishing and many other activities are readily available to knock out those hyperactive little monkeys of yours.
Photo by andy maviare
A brand new Scallywags Club is also in the works. We have no idea what it is, but with a tagline like “Born to be a pirate, forced to study”, we reckon your kids are going to love it.
Photo by hyukopee
11. Go back to the basics – Telunas Resorts
Can you live without WiFi? If that sounds like death to you, why not try curbing yourself of your internet dependency at Telunas Resorts?
This resort offers two choices: the Beach Resort or Private Island experience. While the latter will provide you with a more exclusive and luxurious experience, the Beach Resort offers the very best of simplistic island life.
Photo via Adrian Prasetyo, Ele Nana
Here’s where you’ll learn to appreciate good old fun instead of constantly swiping on Pokemon Go. There are no Pokemon here (even if there are, you’ll never know because there’s no WiFi), but you’ll get to do all sorts of things:
1. Dock jumping
2. Marshmallow roasting on beach, and many more!
3. Mangrove river tour
4. Nature trekking
5. Stand-up paddleboarding
Photo by hibeverly, Kelvin Ang cheekiemonkies
We doubt you’ll have the time to think about where Mewtwo is.