Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com and Google Maps
Perhaps the ultimate show of wealth is the private island. They’re incredibly expensive to buy and maintain, and offer unparalleled privacy for anyone who wants to escape from the spotlight.Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the newest owner of a major private island: he paid an estimated $600 million for 98 per cent of Hawaii’s Lana’i in June.
But many other private islands, like the British Virgin Island owned by Richard Branson, were snapped up decades ago at relative steals.
Hedge fund manager Louis Moore Bacon bought Robins Island, off the coast of Long Island, for $11 million in 1993.
David Copperfield's Musha Cay is actually spread across 11 islands in the Bahamas. Penelope Cruz and Sergey Brin were both married there.
Celine Dion owns a private island 15 minutes from Montreal. She recently listed the property, which is home to a 24,00-square-foot-mansion, for $29.3 million.
Russian mogul Roman Abramovich bought St. Petersburg's New Holland Island in 2010 with the intention of building a $400 million art museum.
Skorpios Island, off the coast of Greece, was the private island of the late Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis and is reportedly still owned by his granddaughter Athina.
Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen owns a 292-acre private island off the coast of Washington. He recently listed the property, which has a caretaker's cabin but no main house, for $13.5 million.
Richard Branson bought Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands for $200,000 in the 1970s. It now rents for over $50,000 per night.
Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones owns a trio of private islands that spell out his initials. They are part of a 3,000 acre wildlife preserve he owns on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
Earlier this summer, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison paid an estimated $600 million for 98% of Lana'i, a pristine island in Hawaii. The 141-square-mile island, previously owned by billionaire David Murdock, has 3,200 inhabitants.
Billionaire British businessmen (and twins) David and Frederick Barclay bought Brecqhou, one of the Channel Islands, in 1993.
Director/producer Tyler Perry bought White Bay Cay, a 25-acre island in the Bahamas, in 2009. He's building it out with a home and guest bungalows.
Country music duo Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are building a 15,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home on their 17-acre island, Goat Cay.
Telecom tycoon Craig McCaw and his wife own this 780-acre island off the coast of Vancouver. It has a 5,000 square foot main residence, golf course (designed by Jack Nicklaus), and air strip, and was recently listed for $75 million.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.