Airbnb Magazine
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Airbnb Magazine

Five Idyllic Private Islands You Can Stay On

From a charming cabin in Maine to a riverfront English estate, these private-island Airbnb properties offer the ultimate escape.

A person walks along the Kenyan island at sunset, with the lake in the background.
The magic hour: At sunrise, there’s an ethereal glow as the morning light reflects off the water at the northern edge of Samatian Island in Kenya. Photographs by Collin Hughes.

“It’s completely exclusive. So if you have two people or you’re a party of ten, it’s all yours. You can get away from everyone.” — Caroline Withey

Earthy Escape

The rare Rothschild’s giraffes on nearby Giraffe Island.
A bed surrounded by nets in a rainforest treehouse.
Out on a limb: Surrounded by high waters, tree groves in the area house crocodiles in addition to birds.

Scenic Retreat

Swimming at East Point Islet is a favorite activity of guests. Photographs by Grant Harder.

“Guests love that everything here is built by us or salvaged.” — Liz Kelly

It’s the location that makes Nelson Island “sublime,” says Superhost Liz Kelly, with Andy Wilkinson
By land or by sea: the yurt’s interior; oyster-shucking at low tide; a boat that shuttles guests to and from nearby Egmont.
East Point Inlet showing a tiny island covered in firs.
An aerial view of East Point Islet.

Natural Preserve

Photographs by Collin Hughes.

“One of my favorite things to do is to go through the tide pools, seeing the wildlife. You’ve got to make it over some rather large rocks, so it’s kind of like a hike-slash-climb.”

— Parker Dodd

C.J. Savage, a friend of the Dodd family.
Changing tides: The Atlantic’s waters are calm at dusk, but daytime gets active, with “tons of lobster fishermen” at sea, says Superhost Parker Dodd. “It’s also fun watching all the 100-foot-plus sailboats pass through the channel.”
Staying grounded: “People love that they can kind of center themselves out here,” says Dodd (right) with his brother Collin. “There are a couple of big fields and a bunch of trails to explore. Each brings you out to a new point.”

Riverfront Estate

“It’s great to wake up early, watch the sun rise, and just feel the tranquility of the river and the island.” — Peter Lambert

Peace offering: The setting is uniquely serene, says Superhost Peter Lambert. “You look out the window and see nature. The island is nearly two acres, so you can have a really nice walk around it.” Photographs by Rahel Weiss

Remote Resort

Photographs by Justin Kaneps.

“We want people to feel the spirit of the area and the simplicity of life here; being able to turn things off, enjoy the views, and listen to all the crazy birds that live in the tropics.” — Andrew Werner

Instant immersion: “You get minutes away from Granada, and it’s like, Ooh,” Superhost Andrew Werner says of the isleta. “You can see fishermen drifting by.”
The open-air dining space (right). Andrew’s wife, Jessica Hough, on the shaded grounds (left).

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Sarah Grossbart

Michigan-born writer and editor living in NYC. Loves running in the rain, watching reality TV and yelling at sports.