It is no secret that celebrities love private islands, but they are also the playground of the world’s super rich. Along with yachts and private jets, private islands are among the ultimate status symbols for those with whom money is no object. Forbes.com recently featured a number of private islands that have been attatched to some of the world’s most prolific billionaires. Here is what they had to say.
Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the first of many highly publicized private island resorts. Branson built Necker as his own home but you can be a paying house guest. Things may have changed, but for many years it regularly lost money, and I doubt profit is high on his list of motives for keeping Necker as an awesome escape, since he spends so much time there. Likewise, Julian Robertson, of Tiger Fund fame, the original mega-rich hedge fund guy, turned his New Zealand dream home into a posh boutique resort – you can even stay in his actual house.
I’ve never been to Necker Island, but know lots of people who have, and the charm is obvious: your own private Caribbean island with an excessively huge staff. I’ve been to other Branson “resorts” and can vouch that the record retailer/airline founder/space traveler/rail magnate knows how to put on the show. I’m including this because it is a famous and longstanding example of the theme. There are plenty of competing private islands out there these days, most notably Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s newer Laucala in Fiji. (Necker is almost always rented for ‘exclusive use’ meaning to one party of up to 28. Rates for this are $54,500 or $56,000 per night – around $2000 a head if you fill it! – and includes everything, from booze to boat transfers to the airport to a staff of 60 that indulges your every whim.
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