Unless you’re Richard Branson and have your own private island complete with butler service and a yacht, you probably don’t think that kind of exclusivity is in the cards as a vacation option. But it is, you just have to know where to look. We did some checking around and found a few off-the-map spots where you can rent your own island paradise for a night, week or a month. In fact, even Branson’s place is an option, for the right price.
Little Harvest Caye Placencia, Belize
Not far offshore from the gorgeous village of Placencia, is a 1.5-acre island that could be all yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1855 per night. If that feels pricy, it sleeps 14 and comes with five private suites, each offering beautiful seaside and mountain views, big bay windows and cool evening breezes that build off the Peninsula—at no extra cost. Bedrooms have soaring wood ceilings, and open onto a white sandy beach connected by thatch walkways. Also, there’s your own private pool. Wash the sand away in bathrooms with natural stone floors and admire the hand-carved accents. There’s also a staff on the island to attend to your every whim, a golf cart for your transportation needs and kayaks and a ping-pong table for recreation. If you start feeling landlocked, charter the boat and driver to the nearby village of Placencia.
Popa Island, Panama
This island getaway in the Bocas del Toro archipelago is for the budget minded travelers. The brightly colored eco-friendly bungalows go for $160 per night. The bungalows have thatched roofs and are suspended by sticks above the water. Here, mangroves and a coral reef are your neighbors, as well as two monkeys that are the islands mascots. Adventure seekers might be interested in the crocodile night safari.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Surrounded by the sparkling blue Caribbean waters, 74-acre Necker Island shines with its Balinese-style homes, each with private pools and never-ending views. This is the place where rock stars hide and celebrities seek. While it rents for 78,000 a night, it’s currently closed for renovations after Hurricane Irma’s devastating destruction last year, but will reopen in October of this year. The island has two private beaches, two infinity pools, a swim-up bar, a hot tub that seats 30, a gym, mini submarine and a personal chef and other staff.
See you don’t have to live like a millionaire, to vacation like one. You just need a few eager friends and loved ones to split the bill.