Sailing holidays are fabulous. There’s no better feeling than arriving at a picturesque island with white sand beaches and crystal clear water after a long day of sailing.
There’s nothing worse, however, than discovering you’re not the only one to have found this island, and subsequently fighting for a square meter of space on the beach.
Sometimes, instead of battling the crowds and the peak-season prices, we wish we had a spare 10 million to buy our own private island to retreat to.
Wait, who are we kidding? We wish this all the time.
And this is exactly what rich people do. Celebrities can holiday in the hottest travel destinations in the world, but they can also just buy the place if they fancy it.
So, join us in weeping as we take you through the top 10 privately owned celebrity islands.
Word has it that Jonny Depp fell in love with this gorgeous little island in the Bahamas after filming on location for Pirates of the Carbibean. According to Forbes, Depp paid a tidy $3.6 million for Little Halls Pond Cay. He named two of its six beaches ‘Gonzo’ and ‘Brando’ in honour of his mentors, Hunter S. Thompson and Marlon Brando. He names the others after his family members. After marrying his partner, Amber Heard, back in February this year, the pair hosted a lavish wedding party on the island. Depp spoke to Vanity Fair about this little slice of paradise, saying, “I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom.”
Most men purchase flowers when they’re trying to win back their woman, but Tommy Lee felt that buying a private island for his ex-wife Pamela Anderson would do the trick. So, Anderson was gifted a beautiful island off the coast of Dubai. Originally, she intended on turning the island into a resort with an eco-friendly hotel, but since then, no progress has been made nor talk of the subject. Perhaps she’s planning on keeping the beaches all to herself — and we don’t blame her!
With an estimated wealth of $46 billion, purchasing an island in Hawaii for $300 million mustn’t be much of a slap to the bank account. Ellison purchased a 97% stake of this 140 square meter island from billionaire David Murdock. When Ellison bought Lanai, he took over almost everything, including small, local businesses — restaurants, grocery stores, and art galleries — and some of the larger business, including two of the Four Seasons Hotels, two golf courses, the community swimming pool, and one third of the island’s housing. Lanai is the sixth-largest Hawaiian island, but its population is only 3,200.
Shakira decided to purchase this stunning island in the north of the Bahamas with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz. The Duo bought this $16 million island back in 2011, with the intention of developing it into an eco-friendly, carbon neutral, luxury holiday destination designed as an escape for artists all over the world. Bonds Cay sits just over 120 miles off the coast of Florida and boast 700 beautiful acres. It has five beaches, many private coves, art galleries, luxury hotels and three salt pond lakes.
Leonardo Dicaprio bought this stunning island in the Caribbean Sea back in 2005 for a cool $1.75 million. Blackadore Cay is 42 hectares large, and sits right by the beautiful reef off the coast of Belize. Being the environmentalist that he is (last year he donated $15 million to environmental charities), Dicaprio plans to turn this island into an eco-resort, scheduled to open to the public in 2018. He plans to build a green hotel, an artificial reef and improve on the island’s natural habitat. Lucky us!
No novice to the private island business, Rooster Cay was Murphy’s second purchase. He previously owned another island in the Bahamas called Pearl Cay, which was situated right next to Paradise Island. After selling Pearl Cay back in 2007, he acquired the lovely Rooster Cay, which reportedly cost $15 million. Holding six hectares of unspoilt natural beauty, Rooster Cay sits right by Nassau.
The famous illusionist owns a whopping four private islands in the Bahamas, which he paid a cool $50 million for. Who else is considering a career change right now? Yep, us too. Musha Cay is the only one of Copperfield’s islands that serves as a resort. According to Forbes, it costs the public $37,000 per night (with a minimum of four nights) to stay here. Musha Cay boasts five private villas, a movie theatre, and on-call staff available 24/7. You can even request your own private fireworks show.
Australian actor Mel Gibson bought Mago Island for an estimated $15 million, back in 2005. This stunning island is one of the largest private islands in the South Pacific, at 5,400 acres. Unlike other celebrities, Gibson has decided to keep the island all to himself, maintaining its preserved natural state. Apparently, Gibson only employs a few caretakers to look after the island while he is away. He also runs a cattle farm and is in talks with the local government about other farming and fishing projects — how lovely.
In 2008, the Latin popstar purchased this island for his family for $8 million. Martin’s island is situated off the coast of Brazil, near the stylish resort region of the Angra dos Reis islands. This scattering of islands is said to be some of the most scenic in the Southern Hemisphere.
The owner of Virgin and UK business tycoon purchased Nekker Island back in 1979 for a measly $180,000. Up until that point, Nekker Island was uninhabited. Since its purchase, it has housed guests like Princess Diana, Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela. Branson developed the island with a Balinese theme, and it can accommodate up to 28 guests with room for luxury yachts to anchor offshore. If you’re not of the same stature as these celebrity guests, however, it’s going to cost you $15,000 per day to rent a space here. Branson says his most treasure memories are of time spent with family and friends enjoying Nekker Island’s beautiful beaches and coral reef.
Dream on, friends. That’s all we can do, right? Wrong! We can rent a yacht and sail to gorgeous islands all over the world! Spend winter somewhere warm, and charter a yacht in the world’s best winter holiday destinations.
What do you think of this list? Are there any famous private islands that we missed? Let us know in the comments!