Where to spend New Year's: Private islands to usher in 2019
Ringing in a new year is always a triumphant affair. It's mostly adorned with deafening fireworks, intoxicated company and the roving crowd. But if you're looking to get away from all of the above, to a place somewhere more intimate to round up the year — these islands (near and far) could make your last day of 2018 even more spectacular. Who knows? Celebrating 2019 on a quiet and conscious note might just be what you need.
Bawah Island, Indonesia
Just a mere hour's flight from Batam, Bawah island is located in the Anambas Archipelago of Indonesia and made up of six smaller islands and three lagoons. Right in the heart of the island, you can find the rustic chic Bawah Reserve which is surrounded by more than white sand beaches and clear waters. No shoes needed here, Bawah Reserve promotes the "barefoot" experience on its almost entire stone path laid compound. All-inclusive rates cover everything except alcohol, giving you a piece of mind and allowing you to enjoy all the facilities and nature inspired activities such as scuba diving.
Solomon Island, Oceania
Overlooking the Marau Lagoon, Solomon island's 13-hectare space may seem secluded — until you set your eyes on coconut groves, bungalows decorated with rattan furniture and wide verandas adorning the island. The main resort on the island — Tavanipupu Private Island Resort is nothing like your traditional resort as no wi-fi, air-con or drinkable tap water is provided; encouraging you to be one with nature. Have an adventurous afternoon snorkeling, kayaking and paddling in tranquil waters or explore the island by bike.
Turtle Island, Fiji
You do not have to worry about ruckus making kids as this is an adults-only island. With only 14 villas on the island and a maximum of 28 guests across the entire island, you can expect privacy and undivided attention from resort staff. Celebrate the new year with a sunrise horseback ride, followed by champagne breakfast by the beach; all included as part of the Turtle island package. To complete the whole Turtle island experience, take part in the local meke, lovo or kava ceremonies — fully appreciating the local Fiji culture.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Be taken back in time to a traditional Vietnamese fishing village at Six Senses Con Dao where each villa is made up of wood and has its own private pool. Get your cameras ready as sweeping views of snap-worthy islands surround the destination. Watersports are a highlight — explore nearby islands by taking a boat out or if you are up for a sweat session, guided hikes and treks, as well as heritage excursions, are available. Your stomach will be thanking you with unpretentious Vietnamese and European cuisines. What would New Year's be without a cheeky glass of alcohol? The hotel bar features a comprehensive drinks menu with at least 13 pages worth of drink options.
Pangkor Laut, Malaysia
Malaysia offers more than just good food. Off the west coast of Perak, Malaysia, Pangkor Laut offers guests accommodations either by sea or in the tropics. You can satisfy your Instagram stories quota as the island offers impressive views one after another. Taking on a rustic feel with its lacquered wood interior whilst providing modern amenities, houses are also sufficiently spaced apart to guarantee privacy and intimacy. Spend the last day of the year relaxing at their in-house spa where a half day package takes four hours — something that you can afford to enjoy as you close the final chapter of this year.