Whether they want to be or not, celebrities are always in competition with one another for the best film roles or maybe the top of the music charts. Regardless of how famous you get or how much money is in your bank account, it seems like nothing flaunts your status quite as well as owning your very own private island. Some famous names buy an island with plans to turn it into a luxury resort, while others merely want a quiet place they can relax with their family and friends without having to worry about their photo being taken. Owning your own island may seem crazy to some, but to those who have the money to spare, it's not all that crazy...especially if they have their own private plane to take them there.
Here are some of our favorite celebrity islands, past and present, from Johnny Depp's island retreat in the Bahamas to late Marlon Brando's French Polynesian haven.
Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock | iStockphoto
Depp's island, Little Hall's Pond Cay, can be found in the Bahamas and is a tribute to some of the most important people in his life, with each beach dedicated to someone specific. For example, "Gonzo" beach is named for his friend, the legendary Hunter S. Thompson, while other beaches are named "Paradis," "Lily Rose," "Jack," (after his previous partner and their kids) and "Brando" (after his mentor, actor Marlon Brando). He's also named a favorite snorkeling spot "Heath's Place," in honor of the late Heath Ledger. The reclusive actor reportedly bought the island in 2004 for $3.6 million to find privacy for himself and his family, and keeps it as exclusive as possible. He also reportedly announced that the island is run solely on eco-friendly solar power.
In a 2009 interview with Vanity Fair, Depp said about his island, "I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom.”
Photo Credit Arnold Wells | Wikimedia Commons and Google Earth
Gibson reportedly bought Mago Island, which measures at around 5,400 acres, in Fiji for anywhere from $9 to $15 million (depending on what source you're reading) back in 2005. The Daily Beast reported that Gibson had plans to keep the island relatively untouched, save for a home he was planning on building, meaning that he gained many environmentalist fans. Apparently, it's one of the largest privately-owned islands in the South Pacific and considering it's basically the size of a small country, I'm not surprised.
Photo Credit Georges Biard | Wikimedia Commons and Google Earth
Talented actor, and adamant advocate for environmentally friendly living, Leonardo DiCaprio bought his very own Belizean island, named Blackadore Caye, back in 2005 for a reported $1.7 million. Spanning 104 acres, this island is set right between the mainland of Belize and Ambergris Caye, meaning that he has the famed Barrier Reef nearby. Years ago DiCaprio announced his plans to build an eco-friendly resort and make his island public, but we have yet to see anything concrete in terms of development.
Photo Credit Siebbi | Wikimedia Commons and Google Earth
This famous magician owns Musha Cay, which is part of an archipelago, near the Bahamas, and is apparently longer than 100 miles. Years ago Copperfield allegedly claimed to have found the fountain of youth on his island, with many publications reporting that he told them he was able to watch dry leaves and small dead animals come back to life in front of his very eyes. I'm not sure about his claims but if it's true, there are certainly some people out there (Salma Hayek and Jennifer Aniston) that may be bathing in those waters monthly. If you're dying to find out for yourself, you can spend a week at the private island resort where Copperfield charges around $37,500 a day, with a four night minimum and a maximum of 24 guests allowed to stay at any one time.
Photos Courtesy of Copperfield Musha Cay
Brando was one of the first big celebrities to buy himself an island back in 1965 and even helped buddy Johnny Depp out when Depp was hunting for his own. Brando's Tetiaroa haven, found in the South Pacific, was actually more than a simple island, it was a series of land masses that made up an entire atoll, spanning around 2.23 square miles across 13 islands. The actor apparently fell in love with the tropical beauty of the land back when he was filming Mutiny of the Bounty and lived on one of the islands right up until his health began failing in 1990. Purchased by Pacific Beachcomber, the islands are all set to be made into The Brando Hotel, which will feature 35 private villas and six-star facilities.
Photo Courtesy of Marlon Brando Official Site and Google Earth
While most of the celebrities on this list favor tropical islands that really showcase their status, Celine Dion's island is surprisingly modest...all things considered, of course. Located in her home province of Quebec, this island is set in the Mille Îles River. While the location is pretty low-key, the mansion built on it is a testament to her diva-status. While tourists aren't welcome on the island itself, you can sneak a peek of Île Gagnon while on board a boat tour.
Photo Credit Georges Biard | Wikimedia Commons and Google Earth
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
As country music's biggest power couple, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw needed a private place to call their own, which is why they bought their own island in the Bahamas. Their island is found in Exumas, which is filled with luxury resorts, cute towns, and other retreats owned by people like Oprah Winfrey. This stretch of land is apparently fully developed and features many different hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as plenty of sunny beaches.
Photo Courtesy of Tim McGraw Official Site and Google Earth
It's pretty tough to reach a higher status than the late John Lennon. The Beatles member bought his very own island in the late 1960s, which happened to be the craziest height of his life making a private island pretty necessary to get away from it all. Found in Ireland's Clew Bay, Dorninish island was purchased for only £1,700 (around $2,737) and features 19 acres, originally meant to be his holiday vacation spot. When the island wasn't used as intended, it ended up being taken over by a group of 25 hippies, against the local residents' wishes, and became the group's campground for two years. Lennon reportedly had plans to retire to the island prior to his untimely assassination in 1980. The island can easily be seen from the mainland and stands as a must-visit spot in Ireland for any true Beatles fan.
Photo Courtesy of Oddsock | Flickr and Google Earth
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