How to Vacation on Your Own Private Island

You don't have to be a millionaire to vacation on a private island. There are many ways to go about booking your fantasy escape—here are our five travel tips to have you get private-island bound in no time.
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 (Brand X Images)

It’s a tantalizing fantasy of castaway bliss: vacationing in the secluded environs of a private island. The world is filled with privately owned islands big and small, a number of which remain uninhabited, undeveloped, and under the radar of all but natural forces. But a great many also have secluded and exclusive resorts or rental accommodations that let you experience private-island nirvana. Here are five ways to fulfill your private island vacation fantasy.

Book into an island resort
Many private islands are home to resorts and hotels that welcome the public. Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island, Georgia, is privately owned and managed—much of it now the property of former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulsen—but guests are welcome at the island’s collection of casual-chic lodges and cottages. If you’re seeking very upscale seclusion, you can bunk in Sir Richard Branson’s private, tropical resort on Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands. The bar rises even higher at the luxe-plus resort on Laucala Island, where villas run from $4,000 to $35,000 a night. The Fijian island, owned by Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz and the former property of publishing titan Malcolm Forbes (who is buried on the island), opened its 25-villa resort in 2009 after a sweeping $30 million redevelopment. Looking for something a little less fancy? Rent the rustic wood-paneled lakeside fishing lodge on 26-acre Rabbit Island, in Ireland’s Mayfly Country, where you can fly fish for fat trout by day and warm yourself by a cozy fireplace by night.

Book a vacation rental on a private island
Private islands aren’t necessarily pristine preserves dotted with simple thatched huts. Many private-island owners have encouraged development or established and planned vacation communities, lined with a full roster of rental villas, condos, and homes. Figure Eight Island, along North Carolina’s southern coast, is a windswept barrier island with guarded access and scores of spacious oceanfront and sound-front homes available for weekly rentals. In the Turks & Caicos, you can rent private vacation homes through the Meridan Club on little Pine Cay, where sand dollars dot the powdery, private beaches of the Caribbean.

Published: 20 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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