Nestled in the bird-filled tropical jungle of Christmas Island National Park and overlooking a vibrant coral reef, Swell Lodge is like nothing else on Earth. Offering total privacy, extraordinary wilderness and breathtaking ocean views, this exclusive haven is perfect for couples looking to escape the everyday.
Related article: How’d you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?
It’s all just for you
From the moment you step off the plane and meet your guide, all your island needs are taken care of — so you can just kick back and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Marvel at the verdant rainforest as your guide navigates around the resident red crabs and pulls up at your secluded hideaway.
Currently the only eco-chalet on the entire wild and wonderful coastline, Swell Lodge is breathtaking. A floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall glass frontage opens up to an expansive deck, taking in the rugged charm of the surrounding landscape and sunsets over the ever-changing ocean. Inside, the solar-powered eco-chalet delivers on creature comforts. Think king bed, tiled ensuite with hot shower, ceiling fan and even satellite wi-fi: all pretty impressive considering each piece was carried in and assembled by hand! Soak up the mesmerising Indian Ocean swell, keeping an eye out for dolphins, as your peruse your personalised itinerary and revel in the romantic sense of splendid isolation.
All stays are all-inclusive, so airport transfers, daily guided activities, snorkelling equipment as well as drinks and meals (some prepared by your own personal chef on your balcony) are already sorted. What a relief! Start the day with a relaxed, self-serve continental breakfast, join your guide for a morning of exploring, then find a scenic spot on your own with a chef-prepared picnic lunch. Fancy an afternoon tipple? Raid the fridge for a complimentary selection of wine, sparkling wine, beer, cider, gin and tonic (with fresh island limes) as well as an assortment of soft drinks.
As sunset colours streak across the sky, converge on the oceanfront balcony to toast another glorious day. Dine on a locally-sourced feast, cooked on the balcony by your private chef, as seabirds soar past and the swell rolls in — longer stays include dining at some of the island’s best restaurants. Then snuggle with your sweetheart beneath a blanket of stars as the opening credits roll on Swell’s outdoor cinema screen. You’ve never had a movie night like this!
Sir David Attenborough is a fan
Often called the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ and located north-west of Perth and just below Indonesia, this Australian territory is a bonafide wildlife wonderland. Named on Christmas Day 1643, but only settled in the late 19th century, over half the island is national park and the island’s flourishing and unique ecosystem is a source of fascination around the globe. Sir David Attenborough named the annual migration of the island’s fifty million red land crabs from forest to sea as his favourite Australian phenomenon and one of the world’s top ten natural wonders, dubbing Christmas Island “the Kingdom of the Crabs.” A special community of seabirds and forest birds, including several rare species, and a fascinating marine landscape underline the island’s reputation as a remote-but-enthralling eco hot spot.
Snorkelling through the silky tide of the Indian Ocean is an experience in itself. Slip into the crystal-clear, bath-like 28℃ water directly from the Flying Fish Cove jetty and you’re already amongst the action. Glide through a colourful neighbourhood of lionfish, clownfish, turtles and reef sharks and follow the contours of the coral reef. A short boat ride will put your within reach of the resident dolphins as well as manta rays and whale sharks (depending on the season). Divers are in for a treat too with some of the longest drop-off diving walls in the world, found just 20 metres from shore.
Dial it down
Back on the island you can traverse the rainforest trails, discover secluded beaches, spectacular waterfalls, tidal rock pools and blowholes, and even enjoy a round of golf! Want to really embrace island time? A qualified masseuse and personal yoga instructor are on hand to guide mind and body to new levels of relaxation. A signature one-hour, in-chalet massage with a soundtrack of ocean swell is heavenly, while a yoga session on your oceanfront deck will leave you both with a renewed sense of wonder and calm. The eco-chalet’s iPad features an interactive compendium app, allowing you to keep tabs on your power usage, as well as a free Spotify account with Bluetooth speakers so you can relax to your favourite tunes, or enjoy some Swell selections.
Be the first
Only just opened in June 2017, be the first of your friends to visit this remarkable and little-known Australian paradise before its secret is discovered! Check out the lodge’s website here.
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Image credit: Chris Bray