Where do the world’s billionaires, big-name CEOs and celebrities spend their vacations and romantic escapades? The following islands are frequented by the rich and famous for their exclusive resorts and rare beauty. These stunning islands have some of the world’s most sough-after holiday destinations and facilities that separate them from the rest.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Billionaire Richard Branson owns this island, which is rented out to only one party at a time. Guests can get all the VIP treatments imaginable, from travel planning to management of sports events, all provided by the resort’s 60 staff.
Branson acquired this 300,000 sqm property in its barren form and invested a total of US$10 million to transform it into a luxury resort. The centerpiece of the property is a hill-top, 10-bedroom Balinese villa overlooking the beaches. Guests have full access to private beaches, pools, sports equipment, tennis courts and a personal chef.
The island can host special occasions like weddings and parties. In fact, Google founder Larry Page got hitched on the island in 2007.
St Barths Island
St. Barth is where Beyonce, Madonna and Hugh Grant stroll in their beach suites every summer. The island is so far the most publicized island resort in the Caribbean owing to its celebrity status.
The island’s population is mainly made up of rich people. But unlike some private island communities, the residences here are low-rise and blend well with the Caribbean landscape. Nobody bothers to lock their car while sunbathing as the crime rate in the island is almost zero.
The Saline Beach is where thick-skinned swimmers get nude in public while struggling against spectacular breakers. Another tourist spot is the Shell Beach. The most accessible beach from the capital town of Gustavia, this beach is known for its shell-covered shore and unspoilt water. Most beaches at the island have offshore reefs, a large percentage of which are part of a marine reserve.
The island attracts 200,000 visitors annually. There are 25 hotels across the island, with classifications ranging from 3-Star to 4-Star Luxe hotels. Visitors have 400 private villas to choose from.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Seeing the island from a plane, one can easily mistake Bora Bora for a giant turquoise trapped in a floating emerald. And the spectacular reefs around the island look pretty much like a string of pearls from above. As you draw nearer, you’ll get more amazed with the sight of crystal clear lagoons, white sand and tropical vegetation.
Bora Bora is the home to some of the most expensive hotels frequented by Americans. According to the Hotel Price Index , courtesy of hotels.com, room rates in Bora Bora increased by 18 percent in 2010. Hotel rates averaged $606 per night, making the island the most expensive tourist spot for US-based travellers. This makes the island’s hotels almost $400 more expensive than those in the nearby island of Arue where room rates went down by 22% last year.
Bungalows that line the shore provide an ideal honeymoon accommodation and best sunset views. Some rooms extend the aquatic experience indoor with their transparent glass floor like the Bora Bora Le Meridien Resort. Glass flooring in overwater bungalows was unique to the hotel until Sofitel Motu adopted the same concept.
The Palm Jumeirah , UAE
This artificial island is one of the infrastructures comprising The Palm Island group of The World Islands, an ambitious land reclamation project of the United Arab Emirates government. The Palm archipelago is touted as the Eight Wonder of the World by its developers.
Van Oord, one of the project developers, poured calcerous sand fill on 10.5 metre-deep seabed to form the Jumeirah reclamation. To create an artificial reef and attract divers, two F-100 Super Sabre fighter jets were sunk near the island. Around 40,000 workers were hired for the Palm Jumeirah project, which costs around US$12.3 billion.
The island became the largest known man-made island in October 2007. To date, the island has 500 resident families and around 30 hotels, including Atlantis, The Palm.
Isla de sa Ferradura
The island ranked first in the 2006 List of Most Expensive Private Islands by Forbes magazine.
The breathtaking horseshoe-shaped island can accommodate a group of 14 people for a daily rate of $28,000. The island boasts of 130,000 sq ft hacienda and elegant lounges. Major attractions include artificial caverns fitted with amenities like whirlpool, bar, spa and solarium and infra red cabin.