Private islands have long been a hallmark of the ultra-wealthy. Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, and Leonardo DiCaprio are just a few celebrity island owners – and that doesn’t include the tech moguls, hedge fund managers, and CEOs who have also staked claims to isles of their own.
The good news is you don’t have to be a billionaire to holiday like one. Lucky travellers can temporarily shack up in heavenly island hideaways around the world. Below are seven private islands you can rent by the day, week, and sometimes even month.
If Robinson Crusoe had been stranded on one of these, the story would have ended much differently.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
We begin with the private island that is arguably the world’s most famous: Necker Island. Sir Richard Branson‘s personal corner of the British Virgin Islands is the stuff of legends, with guests like Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, and Robert De Niro taking up residence. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a celebrity to stay. Necker Island is available for exclusive hire from US$78,000 per night for up to 34 guests.
Situated approximately 900 metres off the coast of Ibiza, Tagomago offers a respite from the party island’s endless festivities. Guests stay in a charming white-washed villa decked out in designer accoutrements and original artworks. Amenities include a large pool, an outdoor whirlpool, a steam bath, a sauna and, of course, the surrounding Mediterranean with all the water sports equipment you could possibly want.
Isleta El Espino, Nicaragua
Isleta El Espino takes a different but divine approach to the private island. The eco-friendly residence is off the grid, with electricity from solar panels and filtered water straight from the lake. Local fishermen drop off their hauls, the chef plucks fresh veggies from the organic garden, and even the ginger beer is homemade. The accommodations are rustic-luxe and include the ultimate tropical fantasy: a treehouse bedroom.
Wadigi Island, Fiji
Fiji‘s Wadigi Island combines luxury accommodation, gourmet dining, pristine beaches, and absolute privacy. Though it accepts only six guests at a time, the Pacific Ocean paradise still comes with a staff of two gourmet chefs, a hostess, a maid, and a boat captain. Activities like wakeboarding, waterskiing, windsurfing, snorkelling, boat trips, and kayaking are included in the price, as are your meals and beverages.
Private Island Retreat, Greece
This Greecian retreat feels remote, but is actually just a 45-minute speedboat trip from Athens. Its 300 hectares boast sheltered beaches, ancient olive trees, and other pristine scenery. There are almost no buildings on the island beyond the century-old, 6-bedroom villa that has been in the same family for generations. A gourmet chef is available on request and a speed boat or sailboat can be hired at an additional charge.
Tucked away from the mainland of Mauritius is a private island protected by volcanic rocks and a vast turquoise lagoon. The charming villa is an open, airy, wood-and-stone number that makes the most of its incredible surroundings. For recreation, visitors can take a dip in a natural bathing pool, dine on fresh-caught calamari and shellfish, or play on two famous golf courses nearby for a reduced rate. Then again, you could easily stay an entire week and never cross the bridge once.
Motu Tane, French Polynesia
Located just across the channel from Bora Bora, Motu Tane offers a romantic and stylish way to experience the charms of French Polynesia. The tropical isle’s thatched bungalows can be booked by only one group at a time, allowing for ultimate privacy and relaxation. A private chef is on hand to arrange beach BBQs and Tahitian feasts, and the island’s boat is at your disposal for offshore explorations.