At some point in the 16th century,piratesweary from pillaging and plundering took a break on Frégate Island, a 740-acre haven some 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa. The island’s remote location, dense jungles, and pristine waters made for an ideal hideaway for the bandits, who claimed Frégate as their own. Stories of buried treasure still persist on the island, but its true gems today are the powder-sand beaches, lush tropical grounds, two restaurants, spa, and 17 ocean-view villas that compose the 13-year-old Frégate Island Private resort.
With seven beaches and capacity for only a few dozen guests, Frégate offers vast stretches of sand for every visitor. The first people to reach Anse Macquereau beach each morning can flip over the "Do Not Disturb" sign, ensuring privacy from all but the occasional Seychelles fody bird, Frégate beetle, or Aldabra giant tortoise. (Frégate is home to the second-largest population of the reptiles.) At the beach, or on a hike along the island’s craggy cliffs, you can discover one of the rarest treasures on Earth: a pristine paradise all to yourself.
ACCESS 20-minute helicopter ride or 90-minute boat ride from Seychelles’ main island of Mahé.
OVERNIGHT 16 one- and two-bedroom villas plus a Presidential Villa with three separate sleeping structures, an open-air living area, and a media lounge. Each villa has an infinity-edge pool.
FEATURES A four-room spa, two restaurants and bars, two main swimming pools, a dive center, an observatory, and badminton, tennis, and volleyball courts.
DIVERSIONS Mountain biking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, lounging on seven beaches, and guided nature walks. Hike to the hilltop gazebo or the Tree House, set in the highest branches of a banyan tree, for the ultimate views.
Frégate Island, +27.21.556.99.84, www.fregate.com; prices from $64,650 per night for as many as 44 people, including all meals and nonalcoholic beverages; individual villa rates from $3,700