Castaway on a Thousand Islands

THE privately owned Isle Des Indes, in Indonesia's Thousand Islands group, is now open to guests.

About 65 kilometres offshore from Jakarta and surrounded by a marine park, a reef and white-sand beaches, guests arrive on an 18-metre vintage motor sailing yacht, the Raden Mas, originally from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, or by speedboat or helicopter.

Since businessman David Salman bought the eroded island 20 years ago it has been replanted with casuarina and pandanas and a stone breakwater has been built to stop damage from ocean currents.

It's the third property in Salman's Des Indes collection. The other two are villas Des Indes I and II in Seminyak, Bali.

Traditional buildings are set across the one-hectare island. Just 20 metres from the water is a two-bedroom joglo, an original Javanese nobleman's house built without nails. A Malay guesthouse is on the east of the island; three metres off the ground is a Balinese lumbung (traditionally used for rice storage); and there's a freestanding bale (pavilion) where guests dine and relax.

The villas have antique furniture that Salman has been collecting for 40 years.

The child-friendly island can accommodate eight adults and has a manager, chefs, butlers and cleaners.

Snorkelling, water-skiing, scuba diving and fishing are on the activities list. Or take the 10-minute walk around the island.

For exclusive hire only, the island costs from $US3509 ($3583)a night, including all meals and return transfers (minimum three nights stay).