The Ultimate Wildcatter Escape: Private Islands

These Wildcatters have secured the ultimate status symbol: owning an entire island.

Owning an entire island is the ultimate status symbol. It’s apparently surprisingly easy to buy your own private island…as long as you’re willing to fork up the cash! Some innovative entrepreneurs have built their own personal paradises for exclusive use of family and friends, while others (luckily for us!) prefer to share.


1. Larry Ellison – Lanai, Hawaii – $300 million

Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison doesn’t own an entire island, but 98% of a 90,00 acre island is close enough in our book. Ellison bought most of Hawaii’s sixth largest island, with plans to develop an ultra luxurious getaway…although the property already comes with two Four Seasons resorts and a few golf courses! Purchased for $300 million in 2012, the resort finally opened for business in 2016.

2. Ekaterina Rybolovlev – Skorpios Island, Greece – $150 million

The granddaughter of Aristotle Onassis inherited his private Greek island, which she sold in 2013 to Russian heiress Ekaterina Rybolovlev. The original owner and mega rich shipping tycoon was perhaps most famously known in the States as Jackie Kennedy’s second husband and was one of the first private individuals to purchase an entire island. The picturesque island was even the site of Jackie and Aristotle’s wedding!

3. Richard Branson – Necker Island, British Virgin Islands – $100 million

Branson created this exclusive 74 acre island retreat that is both luxurious and sustainably developed. The resort welcomes guests for a pretty penny, and the eccentric billionaire has famously hosted many other celebrities, including the Obamas and Princess Diana. Branson scored this piece of paradise for a cool $180,000 back in 1979, which is now valued at over $100 million. Believe it or not, he also owns the neighboring Moskito Island!

4. David Copperfield – Musha Cay, Bahamas – $90 million

David Copperfield owns an unspoiled 150 acre long private resort called Musha Cay in the Bahamas. Decked out in the most indulgent amenities, the property welcomes only one booking at time for its 12 bedroom resort. This sizable island is part of a much larger stretch of mini islands, and celebrities like Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Nicolas Cage own smaller neighboring private island properties.

5. Ted Turner – St. Phillips Island, South Carolina – $23.8 million

CNN founder Ted Turner has owned this gorgeous 4,680-acre island off the coast of South Carolina for almost 40 years. Instead of building of huge resort and opening to the public, Turner instead shared the island with friends and family as a tranquil spot to sail and fish. Formerly America’s largest private landowner, Turner sold his land the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in December, 2017 for a bargain.