It might be time to look to get your own private islands get away…
If this year has taught us anything it is that living in a congested society where we have to increasingly rely on others to keep safe, maintain social health standards and be pleasant is an onerously difficult task. As the French philosopher Jean Paul Satre would put it – “hell is other people”.
Distancing is the new luxury, and the wealthy are proving characteristically good at indulging in its most decadent form; purchasing remote private islands (along with other extravagances such as yachts, submarines and trips to space).
Perhaps inspired by Richard Branson’s famous $180k purchase of Necker Island in the 1960s or by Marlon Brando’s eccentric buy of a whole atoll in French Polynesia – those with large disposable incomes and a burning desire for privacy and safety are busy looking beyond the shores of the mainland to purchase their own private escapes.
According to The Financial Times popular destinations include the Bahamas, off the shores of Belize, the Mediterranean, the Maldives, Thailand and across the Pacific Islands. With prices starting at $5MM and sky rocket upwards of $100MM due to exorbitant infrastructure costs, shipping, labour and land value, this is not a whim for the faint hearted.
Even with the inconvenience and high price tags, buyers are lining up to snatch up the best islands out there. Celebrities are joining in too – reports constantly surface of Johnnie Depp, Leonardo di Caprio and others buying islands in a bid to secure some much-needed privacy. DDW takes a closer look at some of the best famous private islands out there, the ones for rent and one for sale….
Mago Island – Fiji
This volcanic island sold to actor Mel Gibson for a whopping $15 MM (a price that has reportedly offended the island’s original native ancestral inhabitants). Previously owned by the Tokyu Corporation of Japan, Gibson revamped it adding new homes, camps and guest cabins. The island is rich in trails, wildlife and benefits from stunning white sand beaches.
Musha Cay – Bahamas
Magician David Copperfield bought this stretch of the Bahamas for a reported $50MM. Sprawling across 283 hectares over 11 islands with 40 white-sand beaches – this is one of the exclusive private island collectives in the world. Google co-founder Sergey Brin had his wedding here and celebrity guests are frequent (Opray, Jim Carrey, Travolta… the list goes on). The good news is to stay you don’t have to be a star or in the market for an island – you can rent. A villa on Musha Cay goes for around $85k a week or if you’re feeling flush, you can hire the whole island for circa $300K a week. What a steal.
Saddleback Cay – Bahamas
Another cheerily inexpensive island – this time for sale at the modest price of $11.8MM. So named for its unusual ‘saddle ‘ shape – this is a unique island in one of the most sought after locations in the Bahamian Exumas. Complete with major and minor beaches, pre-set infrastructure, an airstrip and well-known local fishing and coral reefs, this is a must-buy for anyone in the market to relocate or have a Caribbean hideout.
Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island – Maldives
This island sheltered within the Maldivian archipelago offers the ultimate in private luxury. Only available as a full-island rental (at a cool $45K night) this palm-lined paradise was conceived by award-winning architect Guz Wilkinson as a perfect blend of modern and traditional Maldivian luxury.
With five guest villas and a main residence the island can sleep up to 12 guests who will be treated to all inclusive five star service including personal trainers, chefs, masseuses and 24-7 staff. Walk through its sugar-sand lined beaches and dive through its private coral reefs – you will never be the same again.
Rooster Cay – Bahamas
Eddie Murphy is one of the highest paid actors in history and rightfully so – his films have collectively garnered billions in the box office. And Mr. Murphy has not been shy about spending his hard-earned cash on eccentricities – Rooster Cay is no exception. Situated in the Bahamas near Johnny Depp’s Little Halls Pond and the Aga Khan, this island has it all – beaches, reefs and world-class fishing. Not bad for the Nutty Professor.