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Stage and Screen Travel

11 private islands you can actually hire

HomeNews hubTravel tips11 private islands you can actually hire

You don’t have to be a James Bond villain to command your own private island. These heavenly hideaways are all available for exclusive hire.


North Island, Seychelles

This tropical paradise has impeccable celebrity credentials; Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and George and Amal Clooney all honeymooned here. The island itself is a star; North was chosen from thousands of locations to play the idyllic Tracy Island in the 2004 movie Thunderbirds, starring Bill Paxton, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sophia Myles. With lush jungles, granite peaks and crystalline waters as a backdrop for the 11 eco-friendly villas, gym, spa, bar and restaurant, stunning rockpool and flawless service, it’s little surprise that exclusive hire of North’s pristine 200ha carries a $100,000 per night price tag.

Necker, British Virgin Islands

Sir Richard Branson’s lush hideaway in the British Virgin Islands has hosted the likes of Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates and can accommodate 34 people at a cost of around $80,000 per night. Exclusive hire includes use of the Great House with eight bedrooms and one master suite, six Balinese-style houses dotted around the island as well as the wall-less pagoda-style Temple House, Sir Richard’s own residence. Lemurs, flamingos and wild tortoises roam the photogenic landscape.

Osea Island, UK

This storied hideaway with a distinguished creative pedigree could be the world’s most convenient private island – it’s just one and a half hour’s drive from central London. Accessible via the atmospheric causeway made famous in the movie The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, Osea’s tranquil 350 acres with eight kilometres of beaches and coastline in Essex’s Blackwater Estuary have long been a magnet for the creative industries. Owned by British music producer Nigel Frieda, Osea has two state of the art recording studios, which have served The Mystery Jets, Mick Jones (The Clash), Labrinth, The Weeknd and Sigma. A mix of residences from 100 to 300 years old, from a grand Edwardian mansion to beachside and village cottages, add to the photogenic appeal that’s made Osea a location for productions as diverse as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV series Super Star, BBC1’s Great Expectations, music videos and shoots for commercial campaigns. Record companies favour Osea for their exclusive bashes and, ironically, it once housed a rehab centre popular with rock stars.

Musha Cay, the Bahamas

Celebrity magician David Copperfield bought tropical Musha Cay for a reported US$50 million in 2006 and set it up lavishly, with five houses, a cinema with two-storey screen, private speedboats, tennis court and a billiard table once belonging to Houdini, plus a resident entertainer. The showman also owns the 10 surrounding islands, one of which boasts a landing strip for those who prefer to BYO aircraft. Musha Cay’s 150 acres and 40 stunning beaches are all yours for $100,000 a night for up to 24 guests.

Zizanj Island, Croatia

Available only on an exclusive buy-out basis, Zizanj Island is a vision of verdant olive groves on gentle slopes, a magnificent villa for 14 people, private beach, and the deep blue Adriatic. Just eight kilometres from the Croatian mainland, Zizanj is one of the most accessible private islands in a country that’s an increasingly desirable shooting location, with HBO’s Game of Thrones among recent productions filmed there.


Written by Amy Cooper