Tag Archives: private island

Invest in These: 6 Floating Villas

Flying over the Maldives in a prop plane, islands appear like green pebbles in a blue-green sea. From above, constellations of resorts are also visible, their villas often snaking out from the edge of the land, hugging the sides of boardwalks and perched atop wooden stilts.

Not all villas are tethered to docks, however. At some new resorts, the bungalows have been designed to float on the Indian Ocean. One such project is named The Ocean Flower and includes 185 floating villas arranged in the form of a Maldivian flower. Designed by Dutch architecture firm Waterstudio, the two level villas have three bedrooms, private plunge pools and are priced from around $2.5 million.

The Ocean Flower

The Ocean Flower

“What we tried to do with our office is to take the difference between a normal house and house boat and make them the same,” says Waterstudio founder Koen Olthius. He began designing floating homes in the Netherlands, but now exports the concept to worldwide locations.

The Ocean Flower forms part of The 5 Lagoons, a master-planned resort in North Male atoll, a 20-minute boat ride from the capital of Male that is a joint venture between Dutch Docklands International and the Maldives Government. Waterstudio is also designing the Amillarah, another phase of The 5 Lagoons that will feature10 floating private islands arranged in an archipelago configuration. Each will have a private beach, pool, greenery and a jetty to moor yachts.

In the Maldives, where natural islands are small, scarce and vulnerable to tides and rising water levels, resort developers are progressively turning to floating architecture. “The concept suits [the Maldives] perfectly,” says Dymitr Malcew, a Singapore-based architect. He designed a luxurious floating home concept for a French developer in 2012 and has since received inquires from resort developers and private investors around the world, including the Maldives.

Malcew Floating Homes, Maldives

Malcew Floating Homes, Maldives

Malcew’s house concept features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a terrace and full-height windows that provide optimal daylight and views. The home is built on a floating platform that can be easily moved and electricity is supplied via solar panels, or a network if it is docked at a marina. It also has a water purification system. “I was inspired by the automotive and luxury yacht markets rather than a typical architectural approach,” Malcew explains.

The floating house concept is not confined to the Maldives, however. In Thailand, resorts like The Float House River Kwai Resort in Kanchanaburi features floating villas made of teak wood and bamboo, each having a private balcony and pier. Thai design firm Agaligo Studio has also introduced a modern take on the floating vernacular with the X-Float, a series of floating resort villas on the River Kwai that are made from lightweight steel framing clad with fiber cement siding and plywood. The units are all oriented to maximize river views while also shielding the intense tropical sun.

Hong Kong-based consultancy BMT Asia Pacific has also created floating home concepts it likens to a ‘stationary yacht,’ designed to create novel experiences for holidaymakers. The Sea-Suite debuted in 2014 with three models – Floating Lodge, Houseboat, and Beach Cabin, each of which use an egg-shaped mold as the basis for transportable, easily adaptable and nautically minded lodging designs. The newer SeaScape edition features expansive 40-foot decks on a triangular floor plan. Each villa is customizable and can be expanded with the option to add on a variety of units, including a sun deck or covered pool, making the floating resort up to 1,800 sq. ft. in size. The design also features an underwater bedroom housed in a 13-foot diameter acrylic column that creates an aquarium effect with 360-degree views of marine life.

The Floating Seahorse

The Floating Seahorse

A new project in the Middle East unveiled in December also proposes an underwater bedroom. Kleindienst Group’s new development is called The Floating Seahorse and features a collection of floating villas off the coast of Dubai. The structures are designed like unpowered boats and have three levels: a submerged master bedroom and bathroom designed to offer views of the surrounding marine life, a main level with a kitchen, dining area and deck, and an upper level that has an informal bed, kitchenette and glass-bottomed Jacuzzi. Developers sold around 60 units when the first models went on sale. The remaining seahorses are priced from $2.8 million.

“We are seeing a trend worldwide, where High Net Worth Individuals are looking not only for a penthouse, but that private island feeling,” says Koen Olthius. In his home country of the Netherlands, 50 percent of the population lives below sea level, and the Dutch have spent centuries constructing dikes, pumps, and drainage systems to keep the encroaching North Sea at bay. Floating houses have provided an alternate solution – as far back as the 17th century, barges were repurposed as homes.

The Floating Seahorse, Interior

The Floating Seahorse, Interior

In recent years, floating structures have again grown in popularity, particularly in the face of extreme weather. The obvious advantage is that they move vertically with fluctuations in water levels caused by tides, heavy rainfall or other flooding. They are also easily relocated.

But beyond the pragmatic reasons, floating homes are also appealing to prospective residents because they afford an intimate proximity to water, and a feeling of openness, with light and views that are more akin to a boat than a house. A ‘normal’ house requires a large margin with the water level to prevent flooding. With a floating home, openings in the façade can safely be placed just 35 cm above the water level.

In the United States, floating homes are most common on the West Coast, particularly in Seattle where Lake Washington, Lake Union, and The Locks offer sheltered water edge conditions ideal for floating structures. Standing inside the floating home is an incredible feeling, says Eric Cobb, a Seattle-based architect who works on floating homes. “When you are on the first floor, you are maybe a foot off the water level and it feels like you are on a boat. It’s an amazing experience to have a sliding glass door off your bedroom and the water right there.”

SeaScape Luxury FLoating Villas Concept

SeaScape Luxury FLoating Villas Concept

In recent years floating homes in Seattle have become increasingly regulated due to their impact on the shoreline. “They are big, they create massive shaded areas and it impacts eco systems,” says Cobb. Municipal regulations now prevent the development of new floating home slips, although the resale market is thriving.

Koen Olthius at Waterstudio believes such municipal regulations reflect an “old-fashioned way of thinking” and stands in the way of allowing floating homes to proliferate into the mainstream market and create what he believes is a more sustainable housing model. “The experience we have in Holland makes us experts in how large and small foundations can be,” he says.

Many architects argue that since floating systems are adaptable and can be moved at short notice without leaving scars on the environment, this makes them a more sustainable and durable way to build. BMT’s SeaScape model, for example, is designed for offshore locations around small islands where a minimal footprint is key. The overall power load is also mitigated by the option of installing solar panels on the roof, as well as by natural ventilation. “While we haven’t specifically focused on green features in the design, a number of them are intrinsic to a waterside location — improved natural ventilation from sea breezes and temperature moderation through the hull from seawater,” says Sichard Colwill, Managing Director of BMT Asia Pacific.

Amillarah Private Islands, Dubai

Amillarah Private Islands, Dubai

The concept also provides a solution for humanitarian causes, particularly in low-lying, flood-prone regions. Luxury developers have funded much of the recent innovations to floating homes, but Olthius says a new wave of demand is coming from land-strapped and flood-prone cities from the Ukraine to China.

In the UK, design firms have proposed similar typologies as a means to deal with flood-stricken areas of the nation and as a solution to London’s housing shortage. Baca Architects recently developed a buoyant home for an NLA competition to address the capital’s housing crisis. The project aims to install prefabricated floating housing on disused space along the 50 miles of rivers and canals in Greater London, as well as the 150 hectares of additional “bluefield” space in its docklands, marinas and basins.  For Koen Olthius, the transition to water homes is simply a matter of plugging them into the existing grid. The demand for floating homes is clear, he says, now it’s a matter of negotiating with municipalities and insurance companies and educating them on the long life span of water homes, and their low maintenance costs.

The Float House River Kwai Resort, Thailand

The Float House River Kwai Resort, Thailand

If sea levels begin to rise as predicted, municipalities may have no choice but to embrace the floating home model. For the moment, some countries are more open to the idea than others. Waterstudio has spent the past two years working on a project in Florida, but have encountered considerable resistance from the local community. “If I have an empty space of land, you understand that I can build there, but if I have a piece of water, everyone complains,” Olthius says. “In the US people have a stronger feeling of rights and of privacy compared to other parts of Europe or Asia. These homes can benefit the whole community.”

However, even if there isn’t a dramatic rise in sea levels, Olthius says he is committed to building on water. “We are concerned with urbanization, with the price of land, the need for land,” he says. “Water gives us three things: space; safety and flexibility, and a very short response time to changes we cannot foresee.”

Story Credits

This article was first published in Palace Magazine.

Private Island Investment: Espalmador, Spain

Espalmador is a 137 hectare island in the Balearic Islands that lies between Ibiza and Formentera in the Mediterranean. The Balearic Islands are a Spanish archipelago near the western Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula with the most famous of the islands being Mallorca and Ibiza. Within the Balearics, Ibiza, Formentera, and Espalmador are known as the Pitiusas, or Pine Islands.isla-de-espalmador_6_vladi-private-islands

The Pitiusas are famed for their abundant, year-round sunshine and wonderful beaches. Sheltering just off the south coast of Ibiza, Espalmador is both protected from the open sea, and close to the south side of Ibiza. It is easy to enjoy the best of Ibiza which is just a short boat ride away. Espalmador provides a tranquil sanctuary to escape to with beautiful surroundings and proximity to some of Spain’s most frequented destinations in the Mediterranean.isla-de-espalmador_5_vladi-private-islands

Immediately to the south of Espalmador is the Illetas promontory of Formentera, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. There are currently two houses on Espalmador, plus a chapel, a watchtower, and additional outbuildings. The houses are all built on private land, but the watchtower lies on public land, due to Spain’s coastal law, which also affects other parts of the island.

www.vladi-private-islands.de

This article was first published in Palace. 

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

6 Luxury Hotels Opening 2016

With numerous hotels set to welcome guests as we venture into the tail end of 2016, we thought we would bring you up to date with a round up of six establishments everyone is anticipating, starting with the most obvious of course.

Trump International HotelTrump International Hotel, Washington DC

The Republican presidential candidate opened his latest hotel earlier this week in Washington DC. The Trump International Hotel sits on what was the Old Post Office Pavilion that is considered a historical landmark. The $200 million hotel is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is connected to the White House and the United States Capitol. While the hotel was originally slated to be completed in 2018, it seems that developers have been pushing the project ahead to be ready in time for the US election in November.

Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc Miami Beach

With actor Robert De Niro as his partner, chef Nobu Matsuhisa will open the doors to his third hotel later this week. Located at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort, the hotel was designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. Boasting 206 guest rooms and suites, the interior design was inspired by natural materials that bring to mind a Japanese beach house in the middle of Miami. Nobu Hospitality also operates Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Nobu Hotel City of Dreams in Manila, Philippines.

Four Seasons Hotel New York DowntownGuest room at the Four Seasons New York Downtown

This will be the second Four Seasons hotel in the Tribeca district and is dubbed the little sister to the flagship New York property in Midtown. The hotel will open in the Tribeca district, a short stroll from the new World Trade Center, Wall Street and the Soho neighborhood and serve as a dual residential and hotel property. The 185 rooms are designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Dinner will be served by Wolfgang Puck and his CUT steakhouse restaurant and bar.

L’Hotel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel

The French hotel group is set to open a five-star ski chalet in the French Alps. Featuring 42 alpine-inspired rooms that are made of wood and stone, the accommodation promises luxury. Located in the heart of the Trois Vallées, the largest ski domain in the world, the hotel will also feature a cinema, spa and Fouquet’s brasserie, modeled after the iconic restaurant on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Fouquet’s is also part of the Barrière group.

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at VoavahFour Seasons Private Island Maldives

Located on a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in Baa Atoll, Maldives, this luxury hotel and resort is one for those who prefer an ultra-secluded and exclusive private island getaway. The reserve is home to one of the largest groups of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean and to a globally significant biodiversity. The property, which opens at the end of this year, spans five acres and can accommodate just 22 people in the seven-bedroom beach house. It also comes with a dive center, spa and 62-foot superyacht.

Hilton Bali Resort

Bali is set to get a new sprawling luxury resort destination under the Hilton brand. Perched on a 40-meter high cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Hilton Bali Resort will feature 408 suites and villas, a secluded beach with designated surf area, spa and nail salon, seven restaurants including Japanese, Balinese and Italian cuisines, indoor tennis courts, and open-air amphitheater, gardens, conference centers and chapel for destination weddings.

Private Island Raffled to Lucky Winner

It may have sounded too good to be true but it turns out that the Australian couple behind Kosrae Nautilus Resort in Micronesia really did sell their property through a raffle. Doug and Sally Beitz are now one step closer to their dream of moving back to Australia thanks to one lucky winner named Joshua (his full name is being withheld by the by the current owners to protect his privacy)

“His name is Joshua and he’s from Australia,” Doug said, adding that he lived in New South Wales state. A video posted on Facebook revealed the winning number, drawn on Tuesday evening by a computer, to be ticket 44,980.

The raffle was streamed live, where the couple picked one lucky winner out of more than 50,000 people from more than 100 countries. Their home on the remote island is one that they have been taking care of for more than 20 years. With a population of 6,500, the island is one that will certainly attract those who love adventure.

The island of Kosrae also has an international airport, schools and a volcano. Though little is known about the winner, it is likely that he will emerge into the spotlight as soon as some eager beaver from the media sniffs it out.

Australian Couple Raffle Private Island Resort

If you had a tropical island resort to sell, the thing to do would be to engage a realtor and wait for the offers to come rolling in. In the case of one Australian couple, they decided to raffle it away. Having lived on the island since the 1990s, they now want to return to Australia to enjoy being grandparents.

Doug and Sally Beitz have now made their 16-room Korae Nautilis Resort and the 42 sqm island it sits on available to the lucky winner in a raffle that will be drawn Tuesday. To be apart of the raffle, one simply has to purchase a $49 ticket and await the results. “We’ve tried to market it in a way where we are attracting people like ourselves,” Doug Beitz told AFP. Their aim was to attract like-minded individuals who enjoy “warm weather, likes meeting new people from around the world, is adventurous”.

Living on the remote tropical island – it has just over 6,000 residents – is no easy feat, as Beitz can attest. He calls the island that sits north of the Solomon Islands and southwest of Hawaii a “big life change”. The attraction, other than the allure of owning a tropical island, happens to be that the resort is debt-free, is profitable (with $10,000 cash in the business bank account) and is already a popular place for diving and fishing. Flights regularly come in from Guam and Hawaii.

The prize happens to include the manager’s four-bedroom residence, five rental cars, two 10-seater vans, a pick-up truck and the resort restaurant. The Beitz family originally said a minimum of 50,000 tickets would need to be sold for the contest to go ahead but they removed this requirement after the raffle began attracting global interest. News reports indicate that more than 53,000 have already bought raffle tickets. Working out the math here, the family hoped to effectively raise $2,450,000 from the sale, which still sounds like a bargain.

Doug and Sally’s son Adam said it was his idea to stage a raffle to allow someone else the chance to live in paradise and run their own business. “Everyone has crazy ideas, this one just wouldn’t leave me alone,” he told Australia’s Channel 7 earlier this month. “The thought of selling it in a traditional way is really boring.”

This story was written in-house, based on various online reports and the AFP wire service. The image is via the AFP.

Indulge in These: 5 Luxury Residences for Summer

There are holiday rentals, and then there are luxury holiday rentals. If you’re planning that well-deserved break, might as well do so in absolute class and opulence. With rental services companies such as Airbnb on the rise, travelers have been shifting their preferences for hotels to these more homely options.  Whether you’re in the exotic Seychelles, or perched atop the French Alps, make yourself right at home with these five dream properties.

At the summit

Lease of Luxury_LO_Courchevel

Name: Le Hameau de la Volière.

Where: Courchevel 1850, in the French Alps. Amid the lush vegetation of the Chenus, at an altitude of 1,850m (which gives the town its name) and a stone’s throw away from the centre of Courchevel 1850. Right by the skiing pistes, with unblocked views of the valley.

What: A trio of ultra-luxurious chalets in pale wood. Exotically named Les Bastidons, Cryst’aile and Nanuq, each comes with five rooms bathed in natural light over three or four levels, all designed by Christophe Tollemer in an exquisite, contemporary style.

Capacity: 12 persons per chalet.

Services: Evok Hôtels Collection, managers of this property, have provided everything, and more: indoor pool, spa (with Clarins products, no less), gym, wine cellar, and a home cinema.

Extras: Personal chef, butler, fitness instructor on demand.

Price: €40,000 (S$62,000) per week for 12, or €3,300 per person.

www.voliere-courchevel.com

Private island

Lease of Luxury_LO_

Name: Cousine Island.

Where: The Seychelles; 6 km south-west of Praslin Island.

What: A little private tropical paradise caressed by the waves of the Indian Ocean, Cousine Island had until recently only had four pretty villas decorated in a graceful colonial style. A new presidential villa was launched in April this year. Nestled amid the luxuriant vegetation, but at only 30 m from the beach, the 625 sqm villa contains two spacious suites with bathrooms, a study, living room, dining room, gym and spa. To get around, guests use the electric golf carts.

Capacity: 16 to 20 persons for the five villas.

Services: For the presidential villa: A butler, a chef and a chambermaid.

Extras: The Guest Conservation Ambassador, an ambitious eco-system sustainability program that encourages guests to participate in the conservation of this exceptional natural environment.

Price: On request.

www.cousineisland.com

Blue sky

Lease of Luxury_LO_Paros Villa Lavinia 1

Name: Villa Lavinia.

Where: Paros, in the Cyclades islands, a 30-minute flight from Athens. On a hill overlooking the port of Naoussa.

What: A large, all-white and recently built villa, with an adjoining two-bedroom guesthouse. The main villa contains five double rooms on two levels (with verandahs on the upper floor) and a bright, sun-lit interior, blending perfectly with the modern décor. The guesthouse has direct access to the charming garden featuring olive tress and aromatic herbs. Day beds next to the pool and a large outdoor reception area ideal for barbecues.

Capacity: 14 persons.

Services: Daily cleaning, cooked breakfasts and concierge services.

Extras: The magnificent Kolymbithres beach with its beautiful sand and enormous granite formations is just a few minutes away on foot.

Price: €15,000 per week.

www.brightbluevillas.com

Barefoot

Lease of Luxury_LO_

Name: Villas Stylia

Where: In the village of Trou d’Eau Douce, on the east coast of Mauritius. In a pretty garden at the edge of one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. A 10-minute boat ride from l’Ile aux Cerfs.

What: Six modern, comfortable villas recently opened by Patrice Hardy (ex CEO of the Naïade Group) and his son Alexandre. Four villas with a garden view, and two villas with direct access to the lagoon. The beach is a mere 50m from the garden. Each villa contains three bedrooms (including one for kids with bunk beds) and three bathrooms, as well as a vast open concept living-cum-dining room that give on to the private pool.

Capacity: Up to nine persons per villa.

Services: Service staff including villa manager, concierge, gardeners. On demand: massages, airport transfers, personal chauffeur, guide, baby-sitter, car or scooter rentals.

Extras: A shared kitchen with a chef who will cook breakfast and delectable meals at reasonable prices. The chef can also prepare dinners or barbecues by the beach.

Price: From €200 per villa per night.

www.myvillasmauritius.com

TRANSPARENCY

Lease of Luxury_LO_Rua Iposeira 150-11

Name: Villa Iposeira.

Where: Rio de Janeiro. In the São Corado neighbourhood, within 10 minutes of Ipanema.

What: A futuristic architect’s villa. Completely see-through, the house is the centrepiece of a four-hectare park with lovely palm trees and a fountain. No walls can be found here, just immense bay windows that give incomparable views of the ocean and nature. There are even three majestic trees taking pride of place in the large drawing room… The 900 sqm of the villa boast not only elegant reception rooms with tasteful contemporary art pieces, but also four luxurious en-suite rooms. The dining room with its imposing table can accommodate up to 20 lucky guests.

Capacity: Eight persons.

Services: On demand.

Extras: A huge infinity pool.

Price: From €700 a night.

www.whereinrio.com

 

This story first appeared in a slightly different form in L’Officiel Singapore.

Four Seasons Offers New Private Island in Maldives

If you’re looking for a private island experience like no other, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ first private Maldivian island at Voavah, Baa Atoll should do the trick.

Set to open in late 2016, this remote five-acre oasis – part of the company’s selection of Extraordinary Experiences – is entirely yours throughout your stay, including its seven bedrooms, Oceans of Consciousness Spa, dive center and 62-foot (18.9 meter) yacht. The double-story resort also features an open-air living room, dining room, kitchen, pool deck, gym, library and loft lounge; and if that’s not impressive enough, the over-water spa will also be available for a variety of wellness therapies and rituals, including yoga, high-end beauty treatments and Rossano Ferretti hair consultancy services.

maldives_four seasons_voavah

As the island is the world’s only exclusive-use UNESCO retreat in a World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the resort was constructed in consultation with local environmental groups with the aim of maintaining the balance between humans and nature so the conservation angle is very strong. Activities such as diving with whale sharks, snorkeling with manta rays, swimming with turtles and surfing are only some of the unique educational conservation activities Four Seasons has to offer.

“As the latest addition to our Extraordinary Experiences collection, the island speaks to the company’s commitment to perfecting the guest experience and our ability to re-imagine the limits of luxury travel in creative and innovative ways. It’s just one of the many ways we’re constantly evolving our offerings to deliver the kind of memorable, fully-customized and exclusive experiences our guests want and value,” said Mike Crawford, President, Asia Pacific.

maldives_four seasons_voavah

The property is also projected to be a favorite amongst the rich and famous for its seclusion and exclusivity. To put into perspective how isolated it is: it takes a 40-minute seaplane transfer from the Male International Airport, or 20-minute speedboat ride from the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru to get there. Surrounded by fine white sand and azure waters, Voavah is only one of the 75 islands of Baa Atoll, of which 13 are inhabited. If you’re expecting a larger crowd though, you might want to look instead to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which can sleep 34 adults, perfect for all your VIP party needs.

Valentine’s Day: 5 Island Hideaways

Everyone is getting into the Valentine’s day spirit and, if you have not already figured out what to do, TripAdvisor has some high-end options. The company released their list of romantic hotels in Asia and we have to say, we were impressed. Think white sandy beaches, staff who cater to your every need and of course a respite from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Tempted? So are we.

The team at Luxuo knows that you may be hard pressed for time to filter out the whole list, so we decided to give you a helping hand and narrow it down. Here then is our selection five romantic island destinations that would make Nicholas Sparks envious.

Komandoo Maldives Island Resort, Maldives

This truly is a perfect honeymoon destination, not simply because it is in the Maldives but because it is an adults-only retreat. Surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, the water villas are situated over the Indian Ocean.Komandoo-Maldives-Island-Resort-02

Though you have a beautiful view of the sapphire blue waters, each villa also comes with a private Jacuzzi and terrace. Accompanied by top-notch service, it is no wonder the resort topped the list.

The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Thailand

The-Place-Luxury-Boutique-Villas-01

This romantic getaway in the hills of Ko Tai is truly breath-taking. With nine boutique villas, each with its own private infinity pool, it is private and serene. While you immerse yourself in nature, let the service crew cater to your needs, be it a warm welcome or massages on the sundeck. One TripAdvisor reviewer offered praises for the boutique villa for putting “a lot of thought into the whole guest experience”. We have to agree.

Kandolhu Island, MaldivesKandolhu-Island-1

Now, you will be on a private Island resort but the staff certainly can’t stop some uninvited guests from making an appearance outside your terrace. Home to a rich colorful and lively house reef, some reviewers have had the opportunity to interact with turtles and dolphins and even a “myriad of beautiful fish” as they snorkel steps from their villa. The intimate island hosts 30 villas in five different styles.

Tokoriki Island Resort, FijiTokoriki-Island-Resort-01

Located in the tranquil Mamanuca group of islands, there are numerous ways to access the island resort. Another adults-only resort, it has several contemporary and Fijian-style ‘freestanding’ villas to choose from. You can enjoy the tropical outdoor shower, relax by your personal pool or simply enjoy the sunset and stargaze from your hammock. There is much to do on the island and it must be noted that there are special packages for a romantic getaway, making it an ideal choice.

Baros, Maldives09_Baros Maldives 2

Made of sandstone and timber by expert craftsmen, the beachside and water villas look like they have always been a part of the island. We can’t help that this is the third resort on the Maldives that we fell in love with but who can blame us. With the finest rooms, service and restaurants, this resort rounds off our list of romantic destinations to enjoy. A reviewer’s tip is the twilight dinner for two on the sand bar.

For more on TripAdvisor’s list of most romantic hotels, click here.

Greek private island

Celebrities lining up to snap up Greek islands

Greek private island

Johnny Depp has reportedly become the latest celebrity to take advantage of Greece’s plunging economic woes to score a deal and gift himself a small private island.

According to the Athens Macedonian News Agency, Depp is said to have purchased a piece of uninhabited land in the Aegean Sea spanning about 0.2 km for 4.2 million euros.

Likewise it was reported last month that Brad Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie-Pitt were eying up Gaia Island to possibly snap it up and add it to their real estate portfolio which already includes a French castle.

AVAILABLE FOR RENT: THE ACROPOLIS

As part of Greece’s bailout plan, the government will have to sell off €50 billion in assets. And much of that will likely come from selling off some of their 1,200 to 6,000 islands.

Aside from wealthy celebrities, it’s reported that affluent Russian and Chinese investors are also lining up to pick up Greek properties.

privateislandsonline.com has a directory of islands for sale with prices starting at €3 million, including Gaia Island which, according to the site, has yet to be snatched up.

Described as “the perfect millionaires’ playground,” Gaia spans 43 acres and is part of the Echinades. The waters are also said to present prime conditions for water sports, sailing, fishing, deep sea diving and swimming.

ARISTOTLE ONASSIS’ PRIVATE ISLAND SOLD

Other celebrities who already own property in Greece include Sean Connery and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

Long Island, South Carolina

A Private Island in South Carolina Asks $29 Million

Long Island, South Carolina

Long Island, an undeveloped, roughly 4,600-acre private island in South Carolina, is on the market for roughly $29 million.

The price does include a big contingency, said co-listing agent Sink Kimmel of the Nichols Company, a realty based in Charlotte, N.C. The list price accounts for one of the current owners, James Triplett, potentially building a roughly 75-foot-long bridge to another island that would link Long Island to Charleston by land. Long Island is currently reachable only by boat.

Mr. Triplett has spent his career running companies specialized in structural engineering for transportation and would build the bridge if it is possible.

The sellers would consider many scenarios if the bridge didn’t work out, including refunding roughly $4 to $5 million of the purchase price.

The current owners put 4.8 acres under an easement with the South Carolina Battleground Trust. Within the easement area is Star Fort, an earthen cannon fortification which garrisoned the Massachusetts 55th Volunteer Infantry, an all-black Civil War regiment.

There are other Civil War relics on the island, which lies just 11 miles from downtown Charleston, Mr. Kimmel said.

Source: PropGOluxury via WSJ

Isola di Mal Ventre

Sardinian private island goes on sale for $2 million

Isola di Mal Ventre

Isola di Mal Ventre, an island off the coast of Sardinia, is on sale now for a mere €1.5 million (around $2 million).

The 200-acre island, which has belonged to a British businessman since 1972, is entirely wild and isolated. The only marks of civilization: a few columns dating to Roman times and an old sheperd’s cabin.

SEE ALSO: WORLD’S LARGEST ARTIFICIAL ISLAND FOR SALE

Isola di Mal Ventre beach

Of course, this means there is no infrastructure in place for amenities such as electricity or water.

SEE ALSO: BILLIONAIRE LISTS JAMES ISLAND FOR $75 MILLION

While the infamous mistral wind is known to blow on the west coast, the southeast coast offers a long beach with powdery sand and turquoise waters.

Necker Island photo

Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean island paradise reopens

Necker Island photo

After burning to the ground in a spectacular fire two years ago, Sir Richard Branson’s luxury Caribbean Necker Island hideaway has reopened for business.

Necker Island Great House main room

It was a headline-grabbing event in 2011, when the main house was set ablaze by a suspected lightning strike forcing guests, including actress Kate Winslet, to flee. The actress was also lauded as a hero for hauling Branson’s 90-year-old mother Eve to safety.

Necker Island  Great House master bedroom

But the main Great House resort on Necker Island, Branson’s private island hideaway in the British Virgin Islands, has been restored after a two-year renovation. Inspired by Balinese designs, each of the eight guest rooms features a balcony, king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms.

Necker Island bedroom view

The Master Suite, meanwhile, clocks in at 1,500 square feet (140 square meters) and offers panoramic views of the tropical island, a two-person Jacuzzi and a kitchenette.

Necker Island Bali Beach

Necker Island — its Great House and six individual Bali cabins —  can accommodate up to 30 guests plus six children. The price tag for renting out the island paradise? A round US$60,000 a night.

Chess for two

The 74-acre island has hosted a bevy of celebrities and powerful elites including Diana, the Princess of Wales, Princes William and Harry, and former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Beach bonfire

Spalathronisia

Greek island can be yours for $13 million

Spalathronisia

An uninhabited private island off the coast of Greece will go on auction at a starting price of 10 million euros ($13.2 million) in September, the company organising the sale announced Wednesday.

The sale of the island, part of the Spalathronisia archipelago that sits 500 metres from the Halkidiki peninsula, is just the latest from the country’s crisis-hit landowners.

The auction of the 10.4-hectare Aegean island looks set to outstrip the sale in March of six Ionian private islands to the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who paid 8.5 million euros for them.

Greece’s privately owned islands have been sold off in greater numbers due to a recent increase in property taxes by the government as it attempts to refill its coffers after four years of economic crisis.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s daughter bought the Greek resort island of Skorpios in April, where shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s. The sale price was not specified, but Greek media reports placed the value of Skorpios at more than 100 million euros.

A Russian Billionaire Bought Aristotle Onassis’ Island

skorpios island

The daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev has bought the Greek resort island where shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis famously married Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1960s.

Greek media reports on Saturday placed the value of Skorpios island at over $100 million and said Ekaterina Rybolovleva, 24, wanted it not only for leisure but also business purposes.

She purchased Skorpios, in the Ionian Sea off western Greece, from Onassis’ 28-year-old granddaughter, Athena Onassis Roussel, the only surviving descendant of the shipping magnate.

Aristotle Onassis purchased Skorpios in 1963 and turned the barren island into a luxury resort by planting thousands of trees and importing sand. In 1968 he married Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the assassinated U.S. president John F. Kennedy.

After Aristotle Onassis’s death in 1975, Skorpios passed to his daughter Christina, who died of a heart attack at 37 in the late 1980s after a history of drug abuse, weight issues and four failed marriages.

Onassis, his son Alexander, who was killed in an airplane crash aged 25, and Christina were buried on Skorpios. Athena Onassis Roussel was three when her mother died.

The island is covered with 200 species of trees, brought by Onassis to once deserted island. The island has several beaches, best known is East Beach, where Onassis brought sand from the island of Salamis.

Source: DailyMail

skorpios island home

Bahamas Abacos

Jay-Z Buying An Island In The Bahamas

Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles

The Sun reports that Jay-Z is buying an island in the Bahamas. He is spending $2 million on his own land in North Abaco so his wife Beyonce and daughter Blue Ivy can have a vacation in peace.

The couple could transform the island into something similar to Richard Branson’s Necker Island and use it as a place to holiday with their daughter, Blue Ivy.

“He’s getting it partly to mark their fifth wedding anniversary but also, with Bey back in the spotlight, it’s getting impossible for them to do normal things such as go to the beach with Blue.”

“A private island means they’ll be able to have quality time with minimum staff and security.”

D'Arros Island

L’Oreal heiress sells island paradise in Seychelles

Arros Island

Copyright: Vladi Private Islands GmbH

L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France’s richest woman, has sold a string of private islands in the Seychelles to a firm linked to an ocean conservation foundation.

Bettencourt, 89, bought D’Arros Island along with several neighbouring islets for $18 million in 1998 and recently sold them for $60 million to a Seychelles-registered business, Housing and Habitat Minister Christian Lionnet said.

The stunning islands are located in the Indian Ocean, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) southwest of the main Seychelles island of Mahe.
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orsos island

Own A Floating Island for $6.5 Million

orsos island

An Austrian firm has come up what it hopes is the next big thing for the mega-rich: a man-made, floating island with a list price of 5.2 million euros ($6.5 million)

Measuring 20 by 37 metres (66 by 121 feet), the “Orsos Island” has no engine but can be anchored anywhere its owners choose and then towed to another location the other side of the world if they so wish, Hungarian-born Gabor Orsos said.

Boasting 1,000 square metres of living space, the Orsos island was designed to combine the best of mainland real estate and a super yacht at a reduced cost.
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Oracle boss Larry Ellison

Oracle chief buys Hawaiian island

Oracle boss Larry Ellison

Oracle boss Larry Ellison has bought a Hawaiian island from a fellow multi-billionaire businessman, the governor of the US Pacific Ocean state said.

Ellison, co-founder and chief executive officer of the tech giant, has purchased 98 percent of the 141 square mile (365 square kilometer) island of Lana’i from its owner Castle & Cooke, governor Neil Abercrombie said on Wednesday.
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