Fantasy Island…If you’ve ever dreamed of a private island getaway, you’re not alone. Popular with celebrities, private island retreats provide the utmost in seclusion and privacy and are ideal for multi-generational family reunions, spectacular wedding celebrations, business meetings or trips of a lifetime. Indeed, the idea of renting a private island usually conjures up images of multimillionaires spending a fortune to jet off to a tropical paradise in the Caribbean or the South Pacific. If you have a lot of money to shell out, the possibilities are endless. Many would require every credit card you’ve got and more, but others are a little more within reach — especially if you rent with a group of friends.
(CNN) — When even the most secluded beach on the mainland is too crowded, there’s always the option of renting a private island for your vacation. Really. Whether you’re planning or dreaming, here are a few extraordinary places to get away from it all!
Calivigny Island, Grenada
Imagine acres and acres of your own tropical paradise with private beaches and lush tropical beauty and the only other guests are selected by you. For those who want to push the boundaries of luxury, Calivigny Island is more than your average island escape. It is truly the pinnacle of luxury and exclusivity, and one of the most exclusive islands in the world. An exquisite island oasis, it’s located just a 5-minute boat ride from the spice island of Grenada, and a playground for the rich and famous. Situated on 80 acres of land, it boasts six private white sand beaches, can accommodate up to 50 guests, and a highly trained staff of 20 is available to guests 24/7 to ensure needs are met with a five-star level of hospitality guaranteeing a memorable holiday experience. Amenities include a heated pool, Jacuzzi, swim-up bar, giant portable movie screen, tennis courts, basketball hoops, jogging paths, full range of water activities and toys, wakeboard, water skis, snorkeling equipment, fishing equipment, motor boats, Viper speedboat, 27 foot Boston Whaler, 28 foot Munson landing craft, 44 foot Hinckly picnic boat, Video Ray explorer (submersible video submarine) and an arts and crafts studio. For additional fees, boats, musicians and entertainers, fireworks displays, fitness instructors, sports coach, scuba and more activities are available. Calivigny Island is truly a place of unsurpassed splendor and an epitome of world-class luxury living where dreams come true.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
For a true taste of paradise and a life changing holiday, book your stay at Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private island situated in the British Virgin Islands in an unspoiled and stunning area of the Caribbean. At 74 acres, it sits in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sand beaches. Necker Island can welcome guests of up to 28-30 plus an additional six children in an ultra-private hideaway. The property has a free-form infinity pool with a swim-up bar, beachfront 20 pax. Jacuzzi, two tennis courts, as well as all types of state-of-the-art water equipment to provide guests with the opportunity to try kite surfing, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, kayaking, power boat trips and plenty more. It is truly a jaw-dropping destination that will leave each and every visitor with memories to last a lifetime. A favorite of celebrities, Necker has hosted Kate Winslet (who saved Richard Branson’s 90-year old mother from the burning Great House), the late Princess Diana, Rod Stewart and numerous other celebrities.
The Great House
This majestic, airy Balinese villa sits on Devil’s Hill and boasts panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean and neighboring islands. There are six double rooms, each with a balcony (some shared), king size beds with mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms (with showers). On the main level is the Junior Suite with a spacious lounge area and outdoor terrace, while on the upper level, the Master Suite comes complete with outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor bath and a home entertainment system. All rooms can be twin, single or double, however the Master Suite bed cannot be split into a twin.
The Great House is also equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen from which the resident chefs prepare their famous dishes. There is a fully stocked bar where you can be served or you are welcome to help yourself. The Great Room is the hub of the island, complete with snooker table, piano, lots of comfortable sofas and cushions and entertainment system with a large range of CDs and DVDs. The Great Room is surrounded by an outdoor terrace with hammocks, sofas and some of the best views in the Caribbean.
The Bali Houses
These six beautiful private houses are built in authentic Balinese style and each can accommodate a couple or single, however they cannot be split into twins. Some of the Bali Houses are split levels complete with a meditation room. Bali Hi, Bali Cliff and Bali Beach are built on a cliff in order to maximize views, sea breezes and the sounds of the sea. They are quite close together with one shared plunge pool but all with private en-suite bathrooms. Bali Cliff has a stunning fully open-air bathroom. Bali Beach – as you might expect – overlooks the beach! Bali Lo, Bali Buah and Bali Kukila are built in the middle of the island and boast wonderful views with a large private pool. Golf buggies (mules) are provided so you can drive to and from your Bali House to other areas of the island. Guests driving the mules must be 18 years old and hold a valid international driving license.
There are plenty of places to lie on the beach and enjoy the sea. Main Beach is where most of the water activities are based and where you will find the Tennis and Beach Pavilion. Turtle Beach is a more peaceful palm-fringed beach, with hammocks hanging between the trees and an aqua-trampoline anchored to the sea floor. There are many other places where guests can find a peaceful spot to relax and the more energetic can take the 2-hour walk around the island to view the flora and fauna.
The Great House boasts a large infinity pool with beautiful views and a Jacuzzi; however the Beach Pavilion has one of the most stunning pools around! This is located at Main Beach and can be accessed from both land and beach sides. There is a swim-up bar complete with rocks in the pool where guests can sit and enjoy a drink. It is a free-form infinity pool with a stunning waterfall. Within the pool complex is the thatched Crocodile Pavilion, complete with a large solid teak crocodile table where guests can be served fresh food from the Pavilion’s gourmet kitchen.
A large private pool can also be found at Bali Lo, Bali Buah & Bali Kukila along with a plunge pool at Bali Hi, Bali Cliff & Bali Beach.
We have a large selection of state-of-the-art equipment, enabling us to provide guests with the opportunity to try kite-surfing, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, power boat trips and plenty more. We also provide snorkeling equipment for those who want to go out and blow some bubbles with Necker’s underwater wildlife! The watersports building is located right on the main beach and not only is it a perfect place to find all the water toys you need, but it is also somewhere to take it easy and enjoy the views! There is a decking area with chairs for spectators and even a hammock so you don’t have to be involved in the sports to come down and join the action. Not only is there plenty of equipment in a fantastic location, but there are also highly qualified instructors who are all very eager to give you the chance to try all the sports that are available.
If all the activities on Necker Island weren’t enough to keep you busy, this private island paradise now has a new world-first – a 3-person aero submarine called Necker Nymph. This underwater ‘aircraft’ has been designed especially for Virgin Limited Edition and takes exploration under the sea to a whole new level – or should that be depth?! Discover some stunning parts of the British Virgin Islands you might not get to see any other way! Use of Necker Nymph is charged additionally.
The Tennis Pavilion
Also located in the Main Beach area; here guests have access to two flood-lit courts and a viewing pavilion. Equipment is provided, although enthusiasts may wish to bring their own. There is also a professional tennis coach who is normally a resident at Necker for those who wish to perfect their game and also arrange tournaments.
Bali Leha – The Necker Island Spa
Leha Leha is the Balinese way of describing peace, relaxation and daydreaming, and there is no better place to do this than at the Necker Island Spa. Bali Leha is built into a cliff overlooking the sea and whilst being pampered by our fabulous range of treatments you will be able to enjoy beautiful ocean views, or close your eyes and drift away to the gentle sounds of the sea. There are two fully trained resident beauty therapists offering a fabulous range of treatments that can be taken in our truly stunning spa. Many treatments can also be taken in a room or on the beach (please note that these are not included in the normal rates; a treatment list is available on request).
Located at the Great House, this fully equipped, air-conditioned gymnasium has stunning sea views that will definitely take a guest’s mind off their workout!
Food & Drink
Fine food is the highlight of any guest’s stay and the rates are fully inclusive of all food and all beverages, including champagne. Wonderful chefs prepare food that we have become famous for and it is up to guests whether they want to dine on lobster and caviar or a Sunday roast! Dining can be formal or informal, inside or outside, themed or traditional or a mixture of everything!
We stock a fine range of international wines, top quality spirits, international beers and excellent house champagne. If you would like us to ship in something special, simply give us plenty of notice (generally there is no extra charge unless the item is particularly rare or extra shipping is involved). No limit is placed on the amount of food or beverage consumed and guests are encouraged to treat Necker like their own home: therefore they are welcome to help themselves to anything they want, any time.
Richard Branson designed Necker Island to be his family’s holiday home and his own children spent almost all of their school holidays there since they were infants; therefore it is no surprise that Necker Island is child friendly. The only time where Necker is best left to the grownups is during our couples-only Celebration Weeks where it’s time for the adults to enjoy themselves! In addition, there are special Family Fun Weeks, when whole families are welcome on island.
On Necker there are plenty of things for children to do: there is a large range of children’s DVDs, toys, books and games. There are all of our usual activities, however Concierge can also arrange activities such as treasure hunts or beach Olympics. We have cots, baby baths and babysitting is provided at an additional cost. Children’s meals can be provided any time. Guests can bring their own diapers and formula or let us know in advance what they will need and we will make sure we have it in time for their arrival.
Weddings & Honeymoons
It is hard to think of a better place to get married and we love weddings on Necker. Please contact your Villa Specialist for more information. Necker Island is in an ideal location for a romantic honeymoon in paradise; Celebration Weeks are ideal for this too as it is not necessary for a couple to take the entire Island.
Birthdays, Anniversaries & Other Celebrations
We can arrange practically anything to help mark a special occasion – fireworks, hundreds of balloons, a non-stop feast – you tell us what you want and we’ll make it happen!
Musha Cay, Bahamas
Hidden among the out-islands of the Exumas in the Bahamas, located 85 miles southeast of Nassau, eleven private islands – not just one – of Musha Cay are yours to explore. Over 700 acres of lush, natural beauty belong to you and 24 of your guests alone. Musha Cay is privacy redefined. Five spectacular guest houses, each with its own private bath.
David Copperfield owns this special 100-acre island of Musha Cay and its surrounding chain. It was purchased in 2006 for $50 million and with an additional $40 million and five years of extensive remodeling, it has been made into what many have dubbed “the most magical vacation destination in the world”. Musha Cay has been a tropical getaway and served as a millionaire’s playground, as well as a celebrity haven. It has hosted the weddings of both Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Penelope Cruz’s nuptials to Javier Jarden while the likes of Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Johnny Depp are all rumored to have spent time on the lush property. Musha Cay’s guests have exclusive use of the island’s more than 150 acres with a maximum of 24 guests to enure the private island experience. The island is surrounded by sugar white sand beaches, gin clear turquoise waters and a beautiful unspoiled, tropical environment filled with exotic flowers, palm trees and abundant tropical foliage. The accommodations capture the romance and elegance of luxury island living of bygone eras. Musha Cay boasts a free-form pool, Jacuzzi, four hot tubs, bicycles, water sports gear, speed boat, 37-foot Midnight Express Windsurfer, 28-foot Nautilus Rib Catamaran, 23-foot Jet Boat, two 22-foot Boston Whalers, Yamaha Wave Runner jet skis, Sunfish sailboats, two Hobie Cat sailboats, top-of-the-line/3 pax. Bombardier Sea Dogs and a tennis court. A staff of 30 caters to guests every whim.
Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
Richard Branson’s Necker Island is currently a steal starting at $42,500 per night while its Great House is being rebuilt — after that, the price goes up. But if you’re looking for other options in the area, Guana Island starts at about half that — roughly $22,000 nightly for up to 32 guests — with seven beaches, a tennis court, sailboats and pedal boats, more than a dozen trails and a spa among its amenities. (A massage overlooking the Caribbean sounds pretty good about now!)
For those seeking to push the boundaries of luxury, opulent villas on private islands with private beaches and full staff, as well as all of the bells and whistles (as in private water toys etc.) are available for rent. These tropical getaways fulfill the romantic fantasy and mystique of being on your own private island. Imagine… another world and it’s just hours away!