With the gradual re-opening of restaurants, many of which are operating at limited capacity or only offering take-away services, eating-out as we knew it might have changed forever. Private dining spaces are becoming increasingly sought after, to enjoy the culinary delights of dishes you haven’t had to cook at home, whilst keeping at a distance from other diners. These special spots take private dining to new levels of luxury, from on-board brunching to sandbar snacking, here are some of the most exclusive eating experiences in the world.
Exclusivity is in ample supply at our private island resorts, where you’ll feel a world away from everything and everyone else. The privately owned island of Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines allows guests to dine anywhere on the 115-acre paradise of palapas dotted along private beaches, and secluded cottages scattered over hillsides, cliffs and coast – simply use the Robinson Crusoe-style flagpole communication system to order anything, from a fresh fruit platter to Caribbean jerk chicken, straight to your hammock.
Meanwhile in the Maldives, Huvafen Fushi offers diners the best of both worlds (above and below sea level) with a selection of unique private dining experiences – including a sandbank lunch of sushi, Maldivian tuna, and tropical fruit, an in-villa grill prepared by your own private chef, native reef fish wrapped in banana leaf with Indian spices served aboard a traditional Dhoni boat, a star-lit dinner only a toes’ dip away from an infinity pool, and an underwater breakfast in the submerged spa. If this wasn’t enough to choose from, sip on the island’s collection of rare vintages eight metres below the surface, in the Maldives’ first underground wine cellar.
Serving up the best Thai specialities, the private island of Cape Fahn just off the Northern tip of Koh Samui satisfies your every desire. Made up of 22 one and two-bedroom villas, each with their own large plunge pool and private sun deck, there is more than enough space to enjoy an in-villa meal, or a lantern-lit dinner on the beach.
With three tempting restaurants to choose from, including on-deck dining at the signature Batheli Restaurant set off the shore in three Dhoni boats on stilts over the lagoon, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Milaidhoo Island. From just-caught seafood delivered straight to your over-water villa, to a private picnic beneath a billowing canopy especially set up on a sandbank, every moment on Milaidhoo Island is one to savour.
On the fringes of the Moroccan desert, shaded by the palms, lies Dar Ahlam. A traditional Kasbah set in a haven of manicured lawns and fragrant almond blossom, it is easy to understand the Arabic meaning behind the hotel’s name, ‘House of Dreams’. With no menu or dedicated restaurant space, meals are crafted from local ingredients sourced from the souk or grown in the hotel’s garden, while guests are invited to dine in the dozens of private spaces dotted in and around the hotel at any time they wish. Sample the spectacular ‘1,001 Night’ dinner, take in the greenery at an alfresco lunch in the garden, or venture outside the hotel on camelback or an Arabian stallion with a picnic to the Sidi Fla volcanic basalt gorges, or beneath a private tent on the shores of the Ouarzazate lake.
An exquisitely decorated Alpine retreat with the feel of a private residence rather than a hotel, Kristiania Lech is just a short walk from the centre of the upmarket ski resort of Lech. With a host of special services including a ski valet, bath butler, reading butler and a leisure time consultant, Kristiania takes service to another level. Go off-piste with a picnic in the snow on the mountainside, draped in blankets and warmed by a hot cocoa or an après-ski Austrian Schnapps paired with Crêpes Suzette.
An adults-only 19th-century fortress turned boutique hotel, Cap Rocat stretches along the coastline for two kilometres, overlooking the Bay of Palma. For a taste of the Mediterranean, step aboard the hotel’s yacht which takes guests on day trips along the southern side and western coast of Mallorca, sailing through the Illes Malgrats, a protected marine reserve. Sample the island’s freshly-caught seafood and sip on the finest Cava as you watch the sunset from the private boat’s deck.
In keeping with its glamorous marina setting, D-Resort Šibenik offers guests a selection of nautical experiences on board the hotel’s own boat, available for day trips and exclusive hire. Spend the day discovering the Kornati Archipelago, known as the natural pearl of the Adriatic, with a chance to stopover at Prvić Island and spot sea turtles and dolphins in the National Park. For a truly special way to end the day, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine on a sunset cruise and see Šibenik from an entirely different perspective.
In a lovely setting surrounded by 34 acres of woodland and gardens in the rolling hills of the Perthshire countryside, Cromlix is home to a Chez Roux restaurant run by the famed Albert Roux OBE. Spend time wandering the grounds before settling down beside the loch, for a lakeside picnic of freshly prepared seasonal ingredients washed down with a bottle of the chef’s own label champagne.
A magnificent 18th-century country house close to the North York Moors, the service at Rockliffe Hall is more reminiscent of a private club than a hotel. Explore the hotel’s Lewis Caroll inspired outdoor area, known as Mischmasch, and its curious cabins, adventure and nature trails, before choosing a secluded spot in the hotel grounds for an outdoor afternoon tea party.