Barring the inside of a volcano, there aren’t many places on the face of the Earth that are unavailable to the billionaires of the world, and even that’s just a matter of investing into the research and development of some sort of lava-proof submarine! So where do you go when just about every corner of the world is an available option? Chances are you’re not seeing the sites at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., checking out Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, or palling around with Goofy at a Disney World theme park. For the billionaires of the world, it’s island retreats, safaris, lush condominiums, and exploring the world’s oceans in chartered superyachts or privately owned submarines.
The reasons billionaires often choose these more spacious and remote locations as opposed to more accessible locations like the Hoover Dam isn’t necessarily “because they can”, it’s because of the very nature of being a billionaire. These individuals can be carrying extremely sensitive information with them in regards to their careers. A billionaire or their family members are oftentimes prime targets for kidnappings in an attempt to get a huge payday from a ransom. The locations they pick must be suitable for a number of criteria such as private and discreet locations, large accommodations to house their security, families, and other employees, and should generally be in areas where they are surrounded by their ilk, as opposed to desperate individuals.
Now that we’ve had a run-down of the “whys”, let’s take a look at some the “wheres” with these ten popular vacation spots of the wealthy elite.
10. Richard Branson’s Necker Island
Necker Island is an island located in the British Virgin Islands owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the popular and sprawling Virgin brand name and investment group. The 74-acre island has become a popular destination for the wealthy to hold weddings and similar events, or just to have a little get-a-way. These retreats are fairly intimate, as the island only accommodates 28 guests.
There are a few stipulations to the ownership of the island: any legitimate scientific endeavor to study the rare Virgin Islands dwarf gecko must be allowed, and the beaches, up to the high-water mark, must be open to the public. The latter has easily been deterred by security personnel making it very hard for the public to use the beaches when high profile guests are vacationing on the island, generally by setting up large temporary perimeters that the public isn’t allowed to cross.
9. Laucala Island
Laucala Island was once owned by Malcolm Forbes, the Forbes magazine publisher who was known for his love of extravagant spending when it came to things like travel. Since the passing of Forbes, the island was purchased by Dietrich Mateschitz, the head of the Red Bull Energy drink company.
There are only a small number of villas on the island where travelers can vacation or live, and cost per day at said villas range between $7,000 and $36,000. The villas have up to 25 butlers, and each one has its own buggy so guests can travel the island at their leisure.
Luacala has been known to be hired out in its entirety by the extremely wealthy vacationers.
8. Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
This private Maldivian Island costs a little over $27,000 a night and comes with just about any luxury you could name and about as much privacy as you could hope for: the villas on the island sleep only twelve people total. The island itself can only be reached by a private seaplane. You definitely won’t have to worry about anyone taking your spot on the beach.
The island itself comes with its own diving instructor, masseuse, cleaning services, and private chef. It even boasts its own library. In addition to lavish interior bathrooms, there is even an outdoor bath, stocked with various soothing oils and lotions.
The price-tag includes all your meals, a fully stocked wine-cellar, and any other luxury you choose to take advantage of during your stay.
7. Superyacht Nirvana
The Nirvana yacht built by Oceanco and Sam Sorgiovanni is the ultimate in relaxation and privacy as it travels the open ocean. The superyacht accommodates 39 but 27 of those positions are for a full crew. The yacht is up for sale but is available for charter.
This superyacht includes a 3D-theater, a stage and dance floor for your live entertainment, and a full gym and spa among other amenities. Don’t want anyone to see you boarding? That’s okay. This yacht also has a full helipad for guests wishing to arrive via helicopter.
The yacht is for sale for roughly $267 million dollars.
6. Rural Ireland
It may not be a lush private island, but billionaire filmmaker Steven Spielberg likes to take his vacations in the open beauty of rural Ireland. Despite the more rustic locale, billionaires like Spielberg don’t stay at a Holiday Inn and stop in a kitschy pub for the obligatory Guiness; his package includes cottages in the quiet and removed harbor village of Ballyvaughan and his tour guide is poet David Wythe.
The package also includes a hiking tour as opposed to relaxing spas and villas, with stops to meet a number of musicians and philosophers. It’s truly the epitome of “getting away from it all.”
5. Cottar’s 1920s Camp and Cottar’s Homestead
Outside of a get-a-way to a private island, there really isn’t a retreat more associated with the wealthy elite than the safari, and there is no better place to go on safari than Cottar’s 1920’s Camp or Cottar’s homestead.
The Camp and Homestead are the locations where the guests stay when going on any of the Kenya safari tours. The Camp is a series of 6 luxury tents that accommodate a group of 12 and rests near the path of The Great Migration at the right time of year.
The Private Homestead, a step up from mere tents, is an exclusive rental homestead with a staff of 8, and sits next to the Maasai Mara National reserve. Guests of the homestead can also take advantage of bodyguards and a private masseuse.
4. David Copperfield’s Musha Cay
Musha Cay is a 100-acre island owned by illusionist David Copperfield (one of 11 he owns) and boasts a number of attractions you won’t find on other private island retreats.
Like most private islands, Musha Kay has a very small number of villas and a staff that outnumbers the maximum number of guests (a comfortable 24), but has a number of unique additions, such as a drive-in movie theater, an arcade, a laser tag arena, and a pirate’s treasure hunt that actually results in finding an actual treasure; It better, since the treasure hunt costs an additional $20,000.
The island is available to rent out all but 10 weeks of the year, when Copperfield’s own family uses it for their vacation.
Bermuda is a get-a-way for many billionaires, and many of them call the grouping of island “home” as many keep second residents there when they want to get away from the stress of work for a while. It’s a great escape from the public eye and it gives the worlds richest an opportunity to be surrounded by more of their own ilk as Bermuda has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
A number of billionaires keep second homes here, including Ross Perot Sr. and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Croatia boasts more than just a beautiful coast; one can visit the archaeological remains of an ancient civilization, as well as tour a 13th century medieval castle. There is a lot of history in the country and it has been a place to relax for Bill Gates, who arrived to Croatia in his mega-yacht with his family to visit the Skradinski waterfall. It has also been a vacation destination for Laurene Powell, the widow of Steve Jobs.
On top of being a vacation spot for the world’s richest, it could even be a good spot for a business trip, as Forbes magazine named it one of the 45 best countries for business.
1. The Hamptons’ Billionaire Lane
When some billionaires want to get away from the city but the idea of treading too far from work is out of the question, they can always go to their second homes in the seaside resort in The Hamptons on the fork of Long Island, New York.
There is probably no bigger congregation of billionaire estates in the world than the one on Meadow Lane in Southampton. The road boasts estates owned by high profile billionaires David Koch, buyout mastermind Leon Black, Gerald J. Ford, and “just barely a billionaire” Calvin Klein.