We Found a Private Island You Can Rent
You've seen 'Castaway'? It's like that. Plus villas.
Cities fluctuate between buyers’ and renters’ markets, but private islands? Those only exist in the assets of gold-coin swimmers like Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry and Richard Branson — until now.
Quilalea — off the coast of Mozambique — is a private, uninhabited island that you can rent from Azura Retreats. Previously, the nine villas on the 86-acre marine-sanctuary isle were available to rent individually, but now the entire domain is open to you and your friends to live out your Pirates of the Caribbean or The Beach vacation of your dreams (or Survivor, we guess).
Azura Quilalea 1 (3 images)
While Azura promotes the destination as “‘Robinson Crusoe’ castaway style,” they’re not leaving you completely marooned. Mozambican hosts will be on the island to provide normal hotel amenities like turndown service as well as serving food and drink (including a sunset cocktail of the day). So you won’t have to fend for yourself with a makeshift fishing pole (unless you want to).
The luxury retreat offers all the on-water activities you expect from an island paradise: fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and even Indian Ocean-originated dhow sailing. And no matter what time of the year you go, the location in a marine reserve is home to all manner of ocean creatures.
“From July to November, pods of humpback whales might pass around the island and salute you,” writes Luxatic, “and from November to April nesting turtles will come right next to you on this island’s lovely beach.”
Azura Quilalea 2 (4 images)
For the accommodations, there are four Kaskazi villas, four Kusi villas and one Villa Quilalea. There’s not a bad one in the bunch — all located on the beach with king beds, outdoor showers and phenomenal views — but go ahead and book the latter for yourself. Situated on a cliff, the king-of-the-island abode is the only one with an infinity pool and private ocean alcove.
The prices of the Kaskazi, Kusi and Villa Quilalea per night are $1,650, $1,790 and $2,390, respectively, including food and drink. If you book the whole island to yourself, just multiply that over all the lodging and multiple days, and you get the idea — big chunk o’ change.
But considering private islands are normally accepted as the purview of billionaires, and rising oceans from climate change make them an untenable investment, we’ll gladly take the rental.
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