Why not buy an exotic island? Thatâ€™s the exact question billionaires are not asking themselves. They simply skip this question altogether, and buy their private islands. Why? Because they can afford to do so without wasting time pondering over the hows and whys of this hefty financial investment.Â
The great advantage to being worth billions is that you can buy an island. An island gives rich folks a spot to relax and get away from the prying eyes of the public and the media.
Mel Gibson, who starred in the blockbuster films â€œThe Patriotâ€ and â€œBraveheart,â€ bought a tropical paradise called Mago Island in the South Seas.
Located in the Fiji Islands chain, Gibson paid more than $10 million for his island getaway. The island totals more than 5,000 acres, a fitting place for a man of wealth.
Heâ€™s expressed a keen interest in maintaining the tropical flora and fauna and plans to build only a small domicile in order to maintain the wild and pristine South Seasâ€™ atmosphere.
Actor Johnny Depp is hiding out on an island about 10,000 miles distance from Gibsonâ€™s place. Depp christened his little Caribbean island with the insolent name of â€œThe F**k Off Island.â€
The local population still calls it â€œLittle Hallâ€™s Pond Cay.â€ DeppÂ isn’tÂ fond of the snoopy paparazzi and uses it to ensure privacy for his family.
He paid the bargain basement price of $3.6 million for his paradise, and itâ€™s rumored that several Hollywood stars reserve time here for rest and relaxation.
Billionaire Aristotle Onassis started the island-buying craze for billionaires when he bought Skorpios Island in the Ionian Sea for his new wife, the former Jackie Kennedy.Â The couple fell in love with Skorpios after they were married here.
Athena Onassis inherited the island from her grandfather and is reportedly shopping for a buyer. Rumors are flying that Madonna has been looking at this island. Other billionaires have expressed an interest in buying Skorpios.
Should a bidding war start, the price could easily exceed the rumored $200 million asking price. If sold at that price, it will be one of the most expensive islands ever.
High-tech wizard and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison bought a piece of Hawaiian paradise for something in the neighborhood of $600 million. Called Lanai, Hawaiiâ€™s sixth largest island, Ellison bought the island from another billionaire, David Murdock of Dole Foods.
Ellison will never run out of pineapples for his roasted ham as the island is famous for growing pineapples. The 141 square-mile island also has golf courses, resorts and upscale housing. The island is home to 3,000 people, so Ellison does have neighbors.
British Billionaire Richard Branson is probably the worldâ€™s most expensive landlord. He bought a piece of the Virgin Islands called Necker Island. He promptly went about fixing up the place, building homes with a Balinese motif and adding a staff of 60.
Moguls can rent Necker Island for a thrifty $50,000 a night. The spacious rooms come with 200 strutting flamingos and a cute three-man Captain Nemo submarine for an additional $2,500. Volcanoes and giant squids are not included.
Branson bought the island for small change in 1978. Virgin Island realtors speculate that Necker Island is now worth about $100 million.
Finally, eccentric Yankee billionaire Ted Turner bought St. Phillips Island in the former Confederate state of South Carolina in 1979. Turner, the founder of CNN, probably bought the 5,000 acre island to create a personal nature preserve.
His neighbors are a group of African settlers who have retained their language and their hunting and fishing traditions on the nearby island of St. Helena. The Africans and Turner got into a big spat, and Turner donated 68 acres of land to the settlers.
At present, the Turner island is under the eye of a caretaker.
Our wealthy friends have the means to get away from it all through buying their own islands. Some rich people are nice, though, to allow us ordinary folks the opportunity to experience exotic island living at $50,000 per night.