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1. Johnny Depp
While on location shooting for one of his most popular roles ever as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean in 2004, actor Johnny Depp happened to spot a little island in The Bahamas. That island, Little Hall’s Pond Cay, was purchased by the famous actor for a cool $3.6 million dollars.
The residence is not open to the public. Depp has a few small houses and a fleet of golf carts to transport him and his guests around his private island paradise. As if owning an island weren’t enough, Depp decided to make his mark on the “spit of land” by naming the island’s six beaches after his children.
Complete with five beaches, three, bays, and even several waterfalls, Shakira’s island of Bonds Cay in The Bahamas has been described as less of a retreat and more of an “experience.” Shakira isn’t about to keep that experience all to herself either. With plans to invest, the famous pop star hopes to open the island up to the public.
She wants to begin that project by building several homes, along with having an artists’ retreat where artists can come and relax in the beautiful tropical scenery in order to improve their craft. With the island’s land mass totaling up to 500 acres, it looks like it’s going to have more than enough room for plenty of thinking and creating.
3. Pamela Anderson
Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee bought Pamela Anderson an island in 2007, already after they were no longer together. It was quite a gift, as the island that Tommy Lee bought for his former belle was estimated to be between $7 million and $1.8 billion!
While it’s unclear which of the man-made islands off the coast of Dubai was purchased by Lee for his former Baywatch honey, but Pamela Anderson nevertheless became the owner of one of these magnificent squares of land. And though it probably wasn’t one of the islands worth a billion dollars, it certainly doesn’t look cheap!
4. Leonardo DiCaprio
Back in 2004, while on vacation in Belize, Leo rounded out his 20s by making a big discovery. It was a secluded island not far from the ultra-luxury resort where he was staying. “It was like heaven on earth,” he said, speaking to the New York Times, “and almost immediately, I found this opportunity to purchase an island there.”
Being the passionate environmentalist he is, this Oscar-winning actor set up a resort for the public replete with all the creature comforts (infinity pools, villas, resort-style restaurants) but also bearing a unique feature. Not only has the island been developed, but he’s built a fishing and reef sanctuary, hiring a team of scientists and researchers to study the effects of the resort on the environment. He hopes to develop better ways to make more environmentally-friendly retreats.
5. Mel Gibson
Mago Island is a volcanic island sitting off the coast of the South Pacific island nation of Fiji, and is one of the largest private islands in its region. $15 million dollars later, and the actor-director known for films like Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, and Apocalypto, Mel Gibson, made the island his.
Mel Gibson has been very private about his island (after all, it is a private island) but satellite imagery has revealed that Mago Island has no port, making it only accessible by air. With an airstrip of only 1100 meters (3,600 feet) nobody is going to be landing any jumbo jets there any time soon. Anyone who wants a stay on the island is going to have to fly private.
6. Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts has spent the last 32 years working in Hollywood as one of its most accomplished and revered actresses. Collectively, her films have made a box office income of over $2.8 billion. Her pay stubs have gone from $300,000 on Pretty Women in 1990 to $25 million in 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile.
All that money and hard work has certainly paid off for the Academy Award-winning actress. The island she owns in the middle of The Bahamas isn’t one to be shared or converted into a resort. Rather, Roberts purchased a smaller island as a suitable vacation getaway for her husband and three children.
7. Steven Spielberg
One of the most recognizable directors in film history, Spielberg first made his mark on the industry in 1975, after Jaws came swimming on to people’s screens, making most of us terrified to even jump in our backyard pools. Considered to be one of the pioneers of the New Hollywood era, it’s far from surprising that this legendary filmmaker might also be in the market for an island.
Unlike many celebrities, who choose places in more tropical regions of the world, Spielberg picked an island in the archipelago of Madeira, Portugal, off the northwest coast of Africa. Spielberg’s island is actually two islands, connected by a small landmass, and has so far remained completely uninhabited.
8. Tyler Perry
For many people, turning 40 is a big milestone. While a slower metabolism might mean a few inches around the waist, nobody is going to notice that when you’re sitting on the beach on your own private island, right? At least that might have been the thought process of comedic director Tyler Perry when he bought White Bay Cay Island in The Bahamas in 2009.
A cozy island tucked into a 365 island archipelago in The Bahamas where many stars have purchased their island getaways, Perry’s island is just 25 acres. That doesn’t mean that the famous filmmaker and playwright hasn’t made use of his island. He’s reportedly developing a 14,000 square foot home along with several guest bungalows.
9. Eddie Murphy
Just a hop, a skip, and a 184-mile journey from Miami, Florida, Eddie Murphy’s island of Rooster Cay is just off the coast of the Bahamian capital of Nassau. While the island itself is private, being so close to the populated island of New Providence means that many excited tourists from all over the world often take boat tours in hopes of seeing the famous comic actor at his expensive island getaway.
Since beginning on Saturday Night Live in 1980, Murphy’s films have made him the sixth highest-grossing actor in the world. No doubt all this pressure to keep performing has given him a reason to get away once in awhile, and a $15 million dollar private island purchase sounds like just the way to it.
10. Nicolas Cage
For the entire first decade of the new millennium, if you were a film studio writing a check, there’s a good chance it was going to Nicholas Cage. Once one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, Oscar winner Nicholas Cage wasted no time buying some truly extravagant toys and real estate with all that hard-earned Hollywood cash.
In 2006 Cage sprang at the chance to own a $3 million island in the Exuma Island chain in The Bahamas. Considered by Variety to be exceptionally beautiful, Cage’s little getaway in paradise boasts warm sandy beaches and a well-protected cove. Cage hasn’t gotten any less busy in Hollywood though, and decided to sell his private island for a whopping $7 million.
11. Lenny Kravitz
According to Travel + Leisure magazine, The Bahamas has a new ambassador, and that ambassador is none other than that musical demigod in leather pants and shades, Mr. Lenny Kravitz. Not only is Kravitz the proud owner of his own island in the balmy archipelago, but he is also second generation Bahamian, his mother having immigrated to the States from there.
When describing his beautiful, pink-sanded island, Kravitz paints a picture of disappearing from the world. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kravitz said, “I have a few shirts and a couple pairs of pants, and all I do is hose them down, hang them up and rotate them. I have no keys, no shoes and no money. I just live, and it’s good.”
12. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
When married country music star couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill purchased their own slice of island paradise in The Bahamas’ Exumas, they admitted that they really didn’t know what they were getting themselves in to. “You’ve got to have staff houses,” McGraw said to Architectural Digest. “You’ve got to have infrastructure. Water. Electricity. You don’t quite put all that together at first.”
After hiring McAlpine, the same architects who designed their Nashville, Tennessee home, the couple finally moved in to their private island paradise in 2012, nine years after they first purchased it. McAlpine built for them not one, but eight distinct pavilions connected by a thatch-roofed loggia.
13. Larry Page
Regularly featured in Islands Magazine’s “Top 20 Most Beautiful Islands in the World,” it would seem that Eustatia Island of the British Virgin Islands is Google co-founder Larry Page’s favorite place to get away from the world. Can’t say we blame him though: even the name alone, “Eustatia,” is a Greek word meaning “good place to stay.”
Actually located very close to Sir Richard Branson’s own island, Eustatia is a completely solar-powered island and is a place that welcomes guests as well as Page himself. In case Branson, or anyone else for that matter, wants to visit, Page has constructed several luxury villas for friends and family.
14. Ricky Martin
Located in the Angra dos Reis municipality of Brazil, not far from bustling Rio de Janeiro, is a place known for its fields of fresh coconuts, delectable bananas, and rows of orange trees. Just off the coast, Ricky Martin, also known as the “King of Latin Pop,” owns his own private island getaway.
While Martin hasn’t spoken often about his personal slice of heaven, the island’s lush green appearance, surrounded by sapphire blue water, gives the impression that no amount of stress could ever follow a person there. Plus, with the Brazilian mainland nearby, there’s enough amenities to justify its $8 million price tag.
15. David Copperfield
There must be something drawing magicians to islands. For example, in the ancient Greek classic The Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew sojourn for a time on the Greek island of Aeaea, home of the sorceress Circe. Whatever the cause may be, it was strong enough to compel master illusionist David Copperfield to spend a whopping $50 million on Musha Cay, a 100-acre island in the Exuma Chain in The Bahamas.
Not content to stop with just one island, it seems, Copperfield went ahead and bought ten more! This completed an archipelago now dubbed the Islands of Copperfield Bay, which is what Copperfield describes as “the most magical vacation destination in the world.” That magic doesn’t come cheap though: one night will cost $57,000.
16. Gene Hackman
Located in the water between the evergreen beauty of Washington state, the Canadian border with British Columbia, and Vancouver Island, are the San Juan Islands. There, surrounded by nature and accessible only by boat is Gene Hackman’s private north Pacific Ocean island, Fawn Island.
Even though it is surrounded by other islands similar in appearance, Hackman’s stands out. Not only is the island already perfectly inhabitable, with a 3,514 square foot, 3 bedroom 5 bathroom house, but it boasts several guest houses. That makes this house ready for a seasoned acting legend like Hackman to come home and put his feet up. Most recently, the private island was sold for a price of $3.9 million.
17. Sir Richard Branson
When he was 28 years old, Sir Richard Branson did something that most guys in their twenties could only dream of doing: he bought a private island. The island in question, Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands, was sold for a modest $320,000 in 1978. Rather than use it as a private partying spot for him and his friends, like many might do at that age, Branson did something remarkable.
Necker Island has since become a luxury resort where one night will cost you minimum $77,500. The island has been home to such enormous celebrity names as Princess Diana, Mariah Carey, Kate Moss, and even Nelson Mandela. Even Google co-founder Larry Page, who owns his own island, got married on Necker Island. That certainly speaks to Branson’s island’s prestige and beauty.
18. Jay-Z and Beyoncé
According to Forbes, as of 2017 music titans Jay-Z and Beyoncé became a billion dollar pair. As one of the world’s most famous and successful power couples, the two have accumulated wealth not just through their album sales and concert tours, but also through numerous side business initiatives. But how do they spend all that wealth?
One way the couple seems to like to show their appreciation for one another is by giving each other lavish and expensive gifts. After Beyoncé bought Jay-Z a five million dollar watch for his birthday, Jay-Z decided to up the ante by buying his wife her own island in the Bahamas for $4 million. Talk about true love!
19. Ted Turner
When visiting St. Phillips Island off the coast of South Carolina, one might be shocked to see just how untouched the island appears. That’s exactly what media mogul Ted Turner intended when he purchased the island back in 1979: to preserve a piece of the coastal Lowcountry region that he loved so much.
While the island does come equipped with a cottage and has been used on numerous Turner family retreats, Turner himself made sure that the main focus was always on nature. With numerous hiking trails and animals that have been coaxed back to their habitat, the island is not so much about paradise, and more about appreciating the natural beauty of our world.
20. George Clooney
As one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, George Clooney and accomplished human rights attorney wife Amal Alamuddin have made quite a luxurious purchase for themselves. Located 37 miles west of central London in the middle of the Thames River, the magnificent pair have bought not only a 10 bedroom, 8 bathroom, and 8,949 square foot house — but they bought the island it was built on as well.
This private island itself is relatively small in size, 5.5 acres, but its setting is picturesque. Besides, how many people can say they own an island next to London? While the actual price of the island was never released to the public, estimates from the Wall Street Journal put the cost of purchasing such an exquisite piece of land at $12 million.
21. Celine Dion
When you’re one of the best selling artists of all time, you probably don’t have a lot of moments just to yourself. Thankfully, for those rare days when she can get away from it all, Celine Dion built for herself and her family a luxury retreat on a private island near Florida. All told, it’s worth an astounding $45 million.
Not only is it situated on prime ocean side property, but the pool at the center of the house is filled with nearly half a million gallons of water and includes a lazy river and two giant water slides. Dion’s Jupiter Island is fit for the Roman god himself, coming complete with an ice cream bar, tennis court, golf simulator, and televisions that retract from the ceiling.
22. Aristotle Onassis
Considered to be the ultimate symbol of status and celebrity, Aristotle Onassis’ island of Skorpios was most recently sold for an astounding $130 million. When the late shipping magnate purchased the private island in the Ionian Sea off Greece’s west coast in 1962, it was sold for a mere $11,000. So why such a jump in price?
The answer might lie in the history that the island contains. After Onassis purchased the island it became the site of his wedding to none other than Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, widow of the assassinated American president John F. Kennedy. The island was so lovely, and no doubt home to such warm memories, that Onassis requested to be buried there after he died.
23. John Wayne
During the 1960s and 1970s, a fierce debate in the US Congress was raging over the fate of the Panama Canal. The Panamanians wanted control of the canal, while the United States was unsure if it was willing to loosen its grip on it. In sidled John Wayne. Differing with many of his friends and fans, he sided with the 1977 agreement giving the canal back to Panama. For his support, Wayne was granted the island of Taborcillo.
Also known as the John Wayne Island, Taborcillo has become something of a monument to the late, great Wild West actor. The island comes complete with a museum, a sheriff’s jail, a walking tour recreating an “Old West”-style town featuring such activities as shooting and horseback riding.
24. Roger Waters
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters isn’t just a talented songwriter, singer, and bassist. Among his many accomplishments in the music world, he is responsible for one of the largest rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, which held an audience of 450,000 people. He is also the co-owner of Bonds Cay with Shakira.
Together, the two made plans to “reinvent the concept of tourism.” In an article in the New Zealand Herald, a Miami-based business partner said of their plan, “It’s not about having 200 speedboats and an 18-hole golf course. I would say it is an explosion of the senses. It’s a concept more related to art and culture.”
25. Marlon Brando
Before Hollywood Golden Age legend Marlon Brando purchased his private island from the Tahitian government, it was already a spot of luxury reserved for Tahitian royalty. While scouting locations for his 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, Brando “discovered” the island. After seeing it up close, Brando described the island of Teti’aroa as “more gorgeous than anything I had anticipated.”