Double Island Resort, Double Island
Tel: 61 74 058 4000
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Barrier Reef's priciest private playground, Double Island is just ten minutes by motorized dinghy from Palm Cove Jetty (about a half-hour north of Cairns)—but, as celebs like Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, and Charlize Theron know, it's a world unto itself. The entire 46-acre island must be booked at once, and since the value is better for larger groups, bringing friends is a good idea. Up to 40 people can stay in the ten exquisitely appointed garden rooms and ten spacious apartments, all of which have private terraces and abut the 80-foot lagoon pool. Guests get unlimited access to a beachside pavilion, fully stocked bar, air-conditioned gym, and indoor cinema with a 52-inch plasma-screen TV. The island's resident housekeeper, groundskeeper, barman, and renowned chef are on call 24/7, and the food is so superb that many guests do little more than gorge themselves and lounge about. Those who need action can commandeer boats, sailboards, or kayaks, or make use of fishing or snorkeling gear. And guests with special requests (like beachside massages or a guided helicopter trips), need only ask.