The World’s Most Outrageously Expensive Vacations
These private island resorts offer all the relaxation you could ever want—with the outrageous price tags to match.
Musha Cay, The Bahamas
At Musha Cay, a personal fireworks show, diving, deep-sea fishing, and even a customized treasure hunt can be added to your already-luxurious stay. Part of the “Out Islands” of the Exumas, Musha Cay and The Islands of Copperfield Bay (as in David Copperfield) are a collection of eleven beautiful isles of pure private heaven. As the resort claims, you get to choose who the guests are. It’s an all-or-nothing affair: you must rent the entire island with as many as 24 guests in five guesthouses. The daily rate starts at $39,000 for up to 24 guests, and includes all meals and beverages. Here are more of the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
Just a short boat ride from the mainland, this tiny four-acre island offers some serious pampering. A personal chef, personal dive master, butler, and the entire staff out on the dock to greet you as you arrive. Then you have your own villa—there are only seven—right on the emerald water’s edge with infinity plunge pools. Rates for Cayo Espanto are all-inclusive and start at $1,595 per night per villa. Or you can rent the whole island with a group of friends for $13,500.
Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
Though the island has 850 acres, it has no public access and yet has seven white-sand beaches for an average of about 30 guests. The island is rich with plants and animals, especially bird species, and snorkeling is possible on three reefs. Sign up for yoga, try your hand at tennis lessons, and have a drink at The Club, a colonial Great House. Fly into Beef Island and the resort’s boat can pick you up. A sea view cottage starts at $695 all-inclusive per night for couples in low season, and go up from there for the villas. You could also book one of these 10 all-inclusive cruises for the best vacation ever.
Cocoa Island, Maldives
Perfect for both romantic getaways and family vacations, you might say that at this resort you won’t exactly be staying on an island. That’s because your accommodations are out over the turquoise waters and connected to Cocoa Island by boardwalk. But these aren’t little straw huts. Accommodations range from split-level suites to two-bedroom villas and offer private sun decks. Activities include catamaran snorkeling trips, amazing scuba diving, fishing, and island hopping trips to experience the local culture. Dine at the resort’s restaurant Ufaa on South Indian-style organic fare, or some Asian and Mediterranean options. Or just stay out over the water for room service. Rates start at $900 per night. To find luxury closer to home, check out the best island vacations in the United States.
Villa Corallina, Tahiti
Tahiti certainly captures the imagination, but this little resort goes further toward a Robinson Crusoe experience than most others, giving you a chance to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Located on Motu Fareone, a tiny island off the coast of Moorea, Villa Corallina is composed of one villa. That’s it. No roads, just beach, coconuts, and the sea. Food can be catered from Moorea or you can take the free shuttle boat across the lagoon for your meals. If you are looking for supreme solitude in paradise, this is it. Rates start at $430 per night for two in the villa.
Bunga Raya Island Resort, Malaysia
Off the coast of the natural wonder of Borneo is this small resort island, where 47 villas built by local craftsmen look out from hillside perches over the beach and the South China Sea. Dive with sea turtles and whale sharks, explore virgin forests and mangroves, and remove all stress with some spa treatments. All units are air-conditioned and offer WiFi and other modern amenities. Despite the tropical environment you still have access to a high-quality wine cellar, as well as several restaurant choices, some reachable only by boat. Rates start at $1,700.
Mantangi Private Island Resort, Fiji
Between hiking in the rain forest and snorkeling or diving in the crystalline waters, you’d think this was a health vacation resort. Matangi Private Island Resort is set on a 240-acre volcanic isle laid out like a horseshoe, and island-lovers generally have this destination at the top of their lists out of all of Fiji’s 332 islands. Bamboo construction with thatch roofs epitomizes the island life. Stay along the beach or take to the trees in the island’s famous treehouse which features an outdoor Jacuzzi and lava rock shower. Rates start at $770 per night.
Fregate Island Resort, Seychelles
Just south of the equator in the Indian Ocean and a short flight from the main island of Mahé, is Frégate, a jungle-covered granite island speckled with boulders and surrounded by seven beaches like powdered sugar. Central to the island is a 125-meter granite peak and amid the abundant green you’ll find giant tortoises and the magnificent towering banyan trees. Seventeen villas (one of them presidential) built with mahogany and African teak wood and cool marble floors feature ocean views. They have both a Jacuzzi and private infinity pool. Eat in one of the restaurants or create a gourmet beach picnic. Many of the fruits and vegetables are grown right on the island. The resort has a strong ecological commitment; you can even adopt a giant tortoise. Rates for a Frégate villa for two start at 4,700 Euros (about $5,495) and include food and activities such as guided hikes, windsurfing and a welcome massage. Don’t miss these 15 go-to beach vacations of the rich and famous.
Sonora Resort, British Columbia
A private island doesn’t always mean the tropics. Sonora Resort marries the insular solitude with the beauty of the North. See grizzly bears, kayak in the sea, go fly-fishing, or take a wilderness tour. At the end of the day, relax in a five-star spa before returning to your spacious suite with a spectacular ocean view. Arrival is by water taxi or you can take a 50-minute helicopter ride from Vancouver. In the low season, Sonora Resort room rates start at $645 ($850 for couples) and change during the high season to $1,005 ($1,270 for couples). These include all fine dining meals, most drinks, and all resort facilities–tennis, saunas, and stocked fly-fishing ponds. Extra activities include a glacier tour by helicopter, salmon fishing, or even whitewater rafting.
Indigo Bay Resort, Mozambique
Situated off the coast of Mozambique, this resort caters to nature lovers. The islands are home to 180 species of birds, a variety of butterflies, suni antelope, and even crocodiles. A top dive destination in the Indian Ocean, the waters show vivid coral and attract five species of dolphin and sea turtle as well as the rare dugong. The Indigo Bay Resort offers 30 beach chalets and 14 villas all built with thatch, reed, and wood to blend with the ecosystem, but with a luxurious touch and creature comforts such as air conditioning and satellite TV. All-inclusive rates start at $910 for a room for two. For something more affordable, these 10 cheap travel destinations feel like VIP adventures.