Luxury vacations keep us happy in our day to day life, but can you imagine taking those vacations to the next level? Not with a vacation home, though those are nice too, but rather an entire island. A private island, whether you develop it to share with visitors or keep it all to yourself, is the ultimate in luxury vacations. Here are several people who took the leap into island ownership.
After purchasing Leaf Cay in the Exumas Islands for $3 million in 2006, actor Nicolas Cage, who was already a fixture in the Bahamas and well-known in Nassau, learned that due to a rare iguana species on the undeveloped island, development would be a challenge. In addition to the rare iguana species, the island is full of long sandy beaches, tropical palms, a freshwater pond, an airstrip, a protected marina, and an extra power backup.
Next is actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio who is turning his dreams of creating an eco-resort into a reality. In 2018, the resort will be ready for guests on his private island, Blackadore Caye. This island is located in Belize near the massive Belize Barrier Reef. DiCaprio originally purchased the island for $1.75 million in 2005 and then started talking about his eco-resort dream in 2007.
The same year his twins were born, 2008, singer Ricky Martin spent $8 million for the purchase of his own island in Angra dos Reis off the coast of Brazil. We know very little about the actual island, including the name, however that may be the point – privacy.
Billionaire Louis Bacon purchased Robins Island, New York for $11 million in 1993 at a bankruptcy court auction. After the purchase, Bacon worked diligently to restore the long-neglected island including the import of full-grown oak trees to replace those which had been harvested for lumber. He also has worked replacing non-native grasses and reducing the overgrown deer population. The ultimate in a private island, it contains three main houses with additional visitors’ cottages, caretaker quarters, barns, and out-buildings and Bacon hosts a traditional English pheasant hunt for wealthy guests.
Russian investor and billionaire Roman Abramovich purchased St. Barthelemy Island in St. Barts for $90 million in 2009 and then renamed it Abramovich Island. As it turns out this was a good investment as it is now touting an estimated value of $12.9 billion!
Sir Richard Branson
Finally we have businessman Sir Richard Branson who purchased Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1979 for the paltry sum of $180,000. His island has become a veritable playground for the rich and famous as they flock to the quaint private resort that accommodates 34 guests and up to six children. The entire island is the resort and guests have included Steven Spielberg, Princess Diana, and the Obamas. Branson shared his story of how he came to own Necker Island in a post on Virgin’s website: “How I Bought Necker Island“.
So are you ready to take the plunge and buy your own private island yet? Can’t afford an island just yet? Try looking for a vacation home instead!