If you have the money, nothing is out of purchase reach and that includes land. Many celebrities have been investing in land for years, as real estate is a wonderful way to invest and spend your money, particularly if the property is in a great location. If it also helps to bring some privacy to otherwise very public lives, why not own your own private island.
This is not a totally new trend, for example back in 1962 while shooting Mutiny On The Bounty, Marlon Brando became enamoured with Tahiti. In 1966 he purchased the island of Tetiaroa there and over the years Brando used it as a secluded hideaway from his life in the Hollywood spotlight.
Over the years the list of celebrities who own islands has grown. Some are totally private and others rent villas and have hotels. Since technology makes owning an island easier to manage, many celebrities have invested in their own island paradises. They keep the locations vague and thus private to escape paparazzi, nosy neighbours and autograph hounds by vacationing to them regularly. Here are ten of the top celebrity-owned island paradise retreats.
10. Necker Island
- Where: British Virgin Islands
- Celebrity owner: Sir Richard Branson
- Price paid: $175,000.00
Sir Richard Branson is not exactly a celebrity; but he is well-known and certainly wealthy enough to be one. Branson’s Necker Island is one of the first most expensive private islands owned by celebrities to become a full-fledged resort. Branson pretty much showed the way for other private island resorts. Set aside the staggering rental rates for a bit ($47,000 per day). Necker Island occupies 74 acres of land and is surrounded by coral reef. A turquoise ocean laps against the white sand shores. The rooms offer panoramic views of the scenic island and the surrounding waters.
9. Goat Cay Island
- Where: Exuma Cays, Bahamas
- Celebrity owners: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
- Price paid: Not available but asking price was US $1,200,000
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are two of the biggest country music stars of our time. So it is no surprise that they invested in their very own private island. Although it is not clear how much they paid for it, Goat Cay must have cost them a pretty penny. The island is said to be fully developed. Like other most expensive private islands owned by celebrities, Goat Cay harbors beautiful sandy beaches and exciting nature trails and McGraw and Hill are in the process of building a home there.
8. Blackadore Caye
- Where: Belize
- Celebrity owner: Leonardo Di Caprio
- Approximate Price paid: Over $1 million (asking price was $1.75 million)
“Titanic” star Leonardo Di Caprio purchased the island of Blackadore Cay in the year 2005. The 104-acre island in Belize is a stone’s throw from the Great Barrier Reef. It appears that the environmentally-inclined Leonardo has big plans for his private island. The actor was reportedly in talks with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to create a green luxury hotel on the island. If Leo has his way, Blackadore Caye will house a solar-powered eco-resort with exclusive private villas.
7. Little Halls Pond Cay
- Where: Bahamas
- Celebrity owner: Johnny Depp
- Price paid: $3.6 million
Johnny Depp reportedly fell in love with Little Halls Pond Cay while shooting “Pirates of the Caribbean”, enough so to convince him to buy his private island for $3.6 million. The 45-acre island in the Bahamas is everything that most expensive private islands owned by celebrities should be, including a lagoon surrounded by palm trees, and six untouched white sand beaches (each named after a member of his family). The island also has a water body called “Heath’s Place”, named after the late Heath Ledger. The homes here are solar-powered. For transportation, a fleet of golf carts comes handy.
6. Angra dos Reis Island
- Where: Brazilian Coast
- Celebrity owner: Ricky Martin
- Price paid: $8 million
It comes as no surprise that Martin chose Angra when he purchased his island in 2008. It has long been a hot spot for the homes of South America’s rich and beautiful. The father of two, Martin loves having his private little piece of earth, his island just off the coast of Brazil. He’s definitely enjoying it and he is “livin’ la vida loca”. We do not know what his future plans for the island are.
5. Leaf Cay
- Where: Exuma Cays, Bahamas
- Celebrity owner: Nicolas Cage
- Price paid: $8.5 million
Actor Nicholas Cage also joined the private island bandwagon when he purchased Leaf Cay for $3 million in 2006. This was not the actor’s first venture with private islands. At the time of purchasing Leaf Cay, the actor already owned a home on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Leaf Cay is located within Exuma Cays in the Bahamas, and his neighbours on other nearby islands include Johnny Depp, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The island houses several buildings including luxury hotels. High-profile visitors can use the 1,500-foot airstrip and the marina. The island’s power supply comes from the Bahamas government, as well as a solar powered back-up system.
4. Rooster Cay
- Where: Bahamas
- Celebrity owner: Eddie Murphy
- Price paid: $15 million
Funny man Eddie Murphy is among the top-earners in Hollywood. So it is not too surprising to hear that he parted with $15 million to buy a private island of his own in the Bahamas. The actor bought the island in 2007. Like many most expensive private islands owned by celebrities, Rooster Cay is a picture of untouched beauty, and it remains a pristine paradise. Not much is known about Eddie’s plans for the property, but it is believed to be ideal for developing a resort.
3. Bonds Cay
The idea of having one’s own private island appeals to most celebrities, but only goes to those who have the financial buying power. Columbian pop star Shakira pooled resources to get hers. The singer got together with Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and Spanish pop star Alejandro Sanz to purchase the Bahamian island of Bonds Cay for $16 million. The 700-acre island already houses luxury hotels and condos in addition to expansive private beaches, art galleries and an 18-hole golf course. The talk is that this trio of owners plan to develop the island and turn it into an artists’ retreat.
2. Musha Cay (now known as The Islands of Copperfield Bay)
- Where: Exuma Cays, Bahamas
- Celebrity owner: David Copperfield
- Price paid: $50 million
Magician David Copperfield owns not one, but 11 islands in the Bahamas. He paid a total of $50 million to buy them all. One of them, Musha Cay serves as a private resort and the 150-acre Musha Cay is available for rent at $37,500 per day. Musha Cay combines luxury living with exclusivity and privacy. Villas on this island like the Beach House or the Palm Terrace are fully equipped with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and butler service. Originally they were called Musha Cay, but now they’re the Islands of Copperfield Bay.
- Where: Hawaii
- Celebrity owner: Larry Ellison
- Price paid: $500 million to $600 million
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison purchased 98 percent of this sixth largest Island in Hawaii. Lanai is a 141-square-mile resort island. The purchase is the most expensive single island transaction in history. The price of the final transaction remains undisclosed, but some media reports have put the figure somewhere between $500 million and $600 million. Ellison purchased the island from Dole Foods’ billionaire owner David Murdock. The extravagant Ellison is expected to invest in this popular tourist paradise, making it even more luxurious. Speculation also runs rampant as to whether Ellison will change the name to Ellison Island? Time will tell.
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