Located on the pristine Belize Barrier Reef, 20 miles from the mainland and a 30-minute helicopter transfer from Belize City, the newly opened Gladden Private Island is intended to be the ultimate personal refuge. Its 3,000-square-foot villa was designed for a single couple (although there is a second bedroom, should you wish to bring along children or friends), and it comes with a separate dining pavilion and pool deck. A rooftop terrace affords a stupendous 360-degree panorama of coral reef and aquamarine sea.
The island’s managing couple, who live with the rest of the staff on an adjacent islet in order to preserve their guests total privacy, previously worked as captain and chef on superyachts in the BVI and the Mediterranean. If you tire of perfect indolence, then you can head to nearby Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, which boast some of the best scuba diving in the world. (From April through June, 30-foot whale sharks congregate in the protected area.) Alas, a personal tropical paradise does not come cheap.