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The World’s 16 Most Expensive Private Islands to Visit

In this article, we will look at the world’s 16 most expensive private islands to visit. We will also discuss the global hotels and resorts industry along with its key players. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the World’s 5 Most Expensive Private Islands to Visit.

Global Hotels and Resorts - Industry Outlook

The Global Hotels and Resorts industry has experienced major fluctuations over the past few years. From 2018 to 2023, industry revenue grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.1%, reaching $1.5 trillion in 2023. However, the industry faced challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a sharp decline in revenue in 2020. Despite the pandemic's impact, industry revenue rebounded by 12.3% in 2023, showcasing resilience in the face of adversity.

Employment within the industry also saw fluctuations, with the number of employees increasing by 9.5% from 2018 to 2023, reaching a total of 16 million. However, the pandemic led to disruptions in the workforce, particularly with business travel declining and online meetings becoming more prevalent. Despite this, the industry has rebounded, though challenges remain as new virus variants and inflation levels affect travel demand. Nevertheless, hospitality is one of the industries hiring in the US rightnow

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Looking ahead to the period from 2024 to 2029, the Global Hotels and Resorts industry is projected to continue growing, buoyed by factors such as the influx of tourist dollars and improving global economic conditions. 

Key Players in the Globel Hotels and Resorts Industry

As an example of the industry’s growth, we are going to look at current developments at the Marriott International, Inc (NASDAQ:MAR), one of the key players in the hotel and resort industry globally.

During the earnings review conference call on February 13, Marriott International, Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) projected returning $4.1 to $4.3 billion to shareholders. In 2023, it integrated 558 properties with over 81,000 rooms, expanding its global portfolio to nearly 8,800 hotels and resorts with 1.59 million rooms. Presently, 3,379 properties are in development, with over a thousand under construction. The anticipated growth in RevPAR stands at 4-5% for Q1 and 3-5% for the year, contributing to an adjusted EBITDA of $4.9 to $5 billion. With net rooms growth projected at 5.5 to 6 percent, Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) anticipates another year of strong expansion and huge shareholder returns.

On the other hand, in 2024, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) is set to expand its global footprint with the addition of 24 new properties across continents, adding to its existing portfolio of 7,000 properties worldwide. This expansion confirms Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT)’s status as a major player in the hospitality industry, offering a diverse range of brands including DoubleTree, Signia, Canopy, and Waldorf Astoria. With each new property, travelers will have more options to choose from, whether they're seeking luxury accommodations or budget-friendly stays.

The Americas will see several new Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) properties, such as the Signia by Hilton Atlanta. This landmark development will be the tallest building on Atlanta's westside and direct access to the Georgia World Congress Center. 

Across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT)’s expansion will continue with properties like the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island, providing luxury accommodations amid untouched natural beauty. In Vienna, the largest Hampton by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) in Europe is set to open with modern amenities and proximity to historic attractions. 

Love for Islands and Beaches - Explained

In a recent Washington Post poll conducted among 1,022 adults, it was revealed that 72% of respondents expressed a favorable opinion about a beach vacation, while 66% did so for a mountain vacation. Interestingly, gender plays a pertinent role as women are 11 percentage points more likely to favor a beach vacation and 19 points more likely to "strongly" favor it over mountains. Conversely, an equal number of men showed contentment with either option.

Furthermore, family dynamics and age impact preferences; 83% of parents with children under 18 prefer beach vacations, compared to empty nesters. Age-wise, 80% of women under 50 lean towards the beach. Regional differences also emerge, with the beach favored by 17 points in the Northeast and 10 points in the South. However, in the West, mountains surpass beaches, with a 76% preference compared to 70%.

One of the biggest reasons why so many people are fond of islands and beaches is the tranquil sound of waves and the vastness of the ocean that induces relaxation and alleviate stress. Secondly, the scenic beauty of these locations, with their sandy shores and clear waters, offers a visually pleasing environment for leisure activities and contemplation. Additionally, engaging in water sports or simply swimming provides a sense of exhilaration and adventure to different types of people. 

Speaking of beaches, Nantucket has been named the most expensive beach destination in the world, according to a recent survey.

On the other hand, the Banwa Private Island, once the world's most expensive island resorts at $100,000 per night, slashed rates to $45,000 during pandemic with an aim to shake off the label. Despite the decrease, a three-night minimum stay still tallies $135,000 for exclusive charters. Individual villa bookings start from $2,500 nightly. The secluded paradise in Palawan's Sulu Sea offers privacy and personal attention, setting it apart from its famed counterparts.

It is also worth highlighting that Cayman Islands are known to be one of the richest islands in the world per capita.

The World’s 16 Most Expensive Private Islands to Visit
The World’s 16 Most Expensive Private Islands to Visit

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Our Methodology

To list the world’s 16 most expensive private islands to visit, we identified the most luxurious private islands in the world that offered an exclusive experience to the guests. While there are no fixed rates for renting these islands, we have tried to discuss the rates for each island to get as close as possible to the actual cost of renting the private island.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Here is a list of the most expensive private islands to visit in the world:

16. Mustique Island, West Indies

Mustique, a secluded gem among St. Vincent and the Grenadines, attracts the celebrity elite with its pristine beaches and exclusive villas. Accessible only via indirect flights, its allure lies in discretion and simplicity. Visitors are predominantly from the UK but are increasingly coming from North America to enjoy the laid-back ambiance, where luxury is understated. With nightly rates ranging from $600 to over $1,000, guests get to prioritize privacy and a highly exclusive environment. It is one of the most expensive islands to go to and is one of the most expensive islands in the Caribbean.

15. Thanda Island, Tanzania

Thanda Island lies in Tanzania's Mafia Archipelago. Spanning 20 acres, it boasts eco-friendly infrastructure, including solar panels and a desalinization plant.Collaborating with Tanzania Marine Parks and Sea Sense NGO, it supports research on sea turtles, whale sharks, and coral reefs. Surrounded by coral reefs, its waters host diverse marine life, including dolphins and five turtle species. Mafia Island nearby offers further marine exploration and cultural experiences. 

The property is available for $10,000 per night for upto ten guests. It is one of the most expensive private islands in the world.

14. Como Cocoa Island, Maldives

Guests can enjoy world-class service, spa treatments, private diving reefs, and an infinity pool. The elegantly designed suites and villas, inspired by Dhoni boats, offer stunning ocean views. With amenities like Ayurvedic treatments, yoga classes, and a library, guests can truly unwind.One can get a three bed COMO sunset villa for over $11000, excluding taxes. 

13. Lanai Island, United States

Lanai, part of Maui County, Hawaii, lies across the Auau Channel from Maui, formed by the extinct volcano Lanaihale. It spans 140 square miles (363 square kilometers), ranking as the sixth largest Hawaiian Island

Four Seasons Resort Lanai is one of the top resorts in Lanai, Hawaii. It costs around $2000 per night for a room of 2 adults. It is also one of the largest private islands in the world. 

12. Tagomago Island, Spain

Located in the Baleares, Spain, Tagomago Island offers a truly exclusive retreat with its 600,000 square meters of pristine land, serene beaches, and captivating views of the Mediterranean. The luxurious villa, the island's sole residence, has modern interiors equipped with cutting-edge technology. With five double bedrooms, each featuring a spa-style en-suite bathroom and panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea and Ibiza's coastline, guests are treated to unparalleled comfort and relaxation. 

Rates start at $21,352 per night, accommodating up to 10 guests. It is one of the most expensive islands in Europe.

11. Fregate Island, Seychelles

Fregate Island Private offers an unforgettable retreat with rates starting from $4,272 per day for a standard room.The island is famous for its snorkeling, diving, and proximity to prime fishing spots, actively participating in conservation efforts through the Seychelles Bill Fish Society tag and release program. It was also named CNN Travel Top 10 beaches.

10. Velaa Island, Maldives

Velaa Private Island is popular for its commitment to privacy and peace as it offers a secluded tropical paradise in sync with the tranquil Maldivian lifestyle. Guests experience unparalleled care and attention with personalized butler service. The resort boasts unique dining experiences, including the Tavaru Tower with Teppanyaki grill cuisine, and Aragu, which blends European and Asian flavors. Activities range from sunset cruises to underwater adventures, while the Velaa Spa combines advanced technology with traditional techniques for a rejuvenating experience. 

The price of rooms ranges from $3121 to $5558 at Velaa Private Island. It is one of the 10 most expensive islands in the world.

9. World Islands, United Arab Emirates

The World Islands, situated off Dubai's coast in the Persian Gulf, form an artificial archipelago resembling a world map. Composed largely of sand dredged from local waters, the project was initiated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and developed by Nakheel Properties. Dutch firms Van Oord and Boskalis undertook construction, mirroring their work on the Palm Jumeirah, as part of Dubai's ambitious artificial island developments.

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort offers luxurious 5-star accommodations with stunning sea views. The resort boasts a range of amenities including a garden, outdoor swimming pool, and children's playground. Guests can enjoy complimentary WiFi and parking throughout their stay. It may cost around $6000 per night for a four bedroom beach villa in Antara. 

8. Laucala Island, Fiji

Laucala, part of the Northern Lau Islands in Fiji, is a 10 km2 paradise east of Taveuni. Home to the exclusive Laucala Resort, it boasts stunning landscapes across its 5 km length and 3 km width. With its private ownership and luxury amenities, it's a haven for travelers. The daily rate for the 1-bedroom residence at Laucala is $6,180. Additionally, each guest enjoys a 90-minute spa experience upon arrival. 

7. Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island is nestled off the Cambodian coast. Its allure extends beyond pristine beaches and lavish villas, as it focuses largely on marine conservation and sustainability. The resort, comprising Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, intimately linked like sweethearts, reflects the passion of its founders, Rory and Melita Hunter. Stylish villas seamlessly integrate with lush surroundings, inviting moments of serenity for yoga or quiet contemplation. A two room over water villa with private pool can cost around $7000 per night. 

6. Cayo Espanto, Belize

Cayo Espanto, situated off Belize's coast in the Caribbean Sea, is among the 450 islands of the Belize Barrier Reef. Originally nameless, it was part of the Pinkerton Islands until 1997, when US-American estate agent Jeff Gram purchased it. As part of the Belize District, it is privately owned, offering exclusivity to visitors. With its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, the island provides a luxurious retreat for those seeking seclusion and natural beauty. A full island rental costs around $17,000 a night.

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Disclosure: None. The World’s 16 Most Expensive Private Islands to Visit is originally published on Insider Monkey.