Escape to private islands and more highlights from The Life e-magazine

Velaa private island in the Maldives.
Velaa private island in the Maldives. PHOTO: VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND

Private islands are no longer the sole preserve of the rich and famous. Think of them as the business-class version of beach resorts that are more affordable and nearer than you imagine.

Savvy travellers who desire the plush amenities of a resort away from the holiday crowds are choosing private islands dotted around Singapore. The exclusive isles include Cambodia's Song Saa Private Island, with villas on water, wellness sanctuaries and starry nights.

In the latest issue of The Life, out today, Life journalist Benson Ang highlights six private islands in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Fiji, the Maldives and the Bahamas. Each is owned by an individual or corporation, and hosts just one resort for maximum privacy.

Another Life journalist, Natasha Ann Zachariah, travels to one such private island in Pangkor Laut Island, Malaysia. The city girl puts aside her smartphone amid nature's serenity and the resort's luxurious amenities. She dines well on fresh maguro sashimi, is pampered with a three-hour royal spa treatment and treks in the forest.


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While it is possible to forget time on private islands, beauty and fashion journalist Gladys Chung reveals another face of luxury in her interviews with three next-generation movers and shakers from the world of luxury timepieces.

Each player discusses how their passions have shaped the design of their timepieces or their watch business.

Mr Maximilian Busser, 48, founder of MB&F, for instance, draws inspiration from the sleek bodies of luxury sports cars.

Many of his timepieces resemble complex science-fiction toys.

Meanwhile, Life journalist Deborah Lee meets a married couple, Mr Roger Loh and Madam Patsy Lee, who collect porcelain pieces used to pay coolies in 19th century Singapore. Coolies were paid in that currency - which could be used only in Singapore - as their paymasters did not want them to return to China after making money.

The couple own 50 treasured pieces with intricate shapes and coloured glazes.

Also, The Life showcases 10 objects of desire that are chic picks from Singapore labels. These include a dragon rocker inspired by animal-themed heartland playgrounds of the 1970s and 80s, and a glass light that resembles a takeaway drink plastic bag.