Spare No Expense to Vacation at the 17 Best Beaches in the World
Many people can manage a vacation or two to the shore each year for some getaway time. However, the super-rich who love the sun and sand have a different agenda: They want to visit the best beaches in the world.
These exotic destinations feature little-known atolls and private islands, but they have two things in common: amazing beaches and high prices.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Widely regarded as one of the best hotels in the world, especially for honeymooners, the Four Seasons Bora Bora is a dreamy collection of thatched-roof bungalows and villas perched above crystal clear light blue water. Reserve the three-bedroom beachfront villa estate for an average of $18,000 per week to enjoy a private white-sand beach, private swimming pool and excellent sunset views. Once you’ve had your fill of couple time, you can either make new friends or invite old ones to join you on Dream Yacht Charter’s Lagoon 620, which fits 12 passengers and goes for approximately $35,000 per week, to whisk you around the South Pacific islands.
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Calivigny Island, Grenada
Calivigny Island sits just off the south coast of Grenada in the Antilles. This spectacular island resort belongs to French billionaire businessman Georges Cohen. For approximately $140,000, you and up to 49 of your friends can move in and enjoy a luxury vacation for 24 hours. Note that there is a seven-day minimum stay. Gourmet meals, prepared by private chefs, are included in the rental rate. Other perks include maid, laundry and security service, plus a full array of water sports and activities and private car and boat transfer to and from Grenada airport. The resort’s main residence boasts Persian carpets and furniture designed by Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier. Five luxury villas offer sweeping views of the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans.
Canouan, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Pink Sands Club on the tiny island of Canouan bills itself as “unashamedly romantic and wickedly glamorous.” Built for $126 million, the resort has only 26 suites and six villas. Prices start at approximately $2,300 per night in high season for a single room. The resort’s residences are scattered around the 1,200-acre property — one villa is a sprawling, nine-bedroom estate that rents for around $20,000 per night. Guests can enjoy a world-class spa, a Jim Fazio-designed golf course with waterfront views from all 18 holes, three tennis courts, fitness facilities and charter boats. They can also enjoy gourmet cuisine in eateries ranging from informal to high-end. The prices might be high, but the hotel view is certainly worth the money.
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Cap D’Antibes, France
Stay at the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden Roc, which has been playing host to the likes of Winston Churchill and Pablo Picasso since 1887 and still epitomizes the glamour of the jazz age French Riviera. The immaculate tennis courts, pools and the hotel itself are perched on a cliff over the Mediterranean. The suite on the top floor will set you back about $9,600 per night. The resort is a short 15-minute drive to Monaco, where you can gamble in style.
Capri has long been a favorite destination of sophisticated and wealthy Europeans and comes with price tags to match. The impeccable service and sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast help justify the approximately $3,000 per-night price for the penthouse suite at the beloved J.K. Place Capri, and for approximately $73,000 per week, you can boat about on a yacht rental like the Anne Marie.
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Laucala Island, Fiji
Ringing in at an approximately $44,000 per night, the Hilltop Estate at the Laucala Island Resort in Fiji is accessible only by private road, and renting it requires approval from the private island’s owner, meaning not just anyone with the cash to spare can come. If you make the cut, you’ll enjoy total seclusion, sweeping views and a private pool with waterfall. When you want a little more civilization, the resort has five restaurants and spa treatments on demand. Even if a vacation in Fiji is expensive, it’s a life-changing trip that is worth the cost.
Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia
The Brando is the place to stay on the Tetiaroa Atoll of French Polynesia, which is famous for its natural beauty. A three-bedroom villa at the Brando runs about 12,300 euros ($15,122) per night during the high season, and the resort can only be accessed via private plane. You’ll naturally want to bring back a souvenir of a strand of famous French Polynesian pearls, which are of the highest quality and come with prices to match.
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The Hamptons, N.Y.
Located a short helicopter ride away from Manhattan, Southampton is the most exclusive of all the high-end enclaves on Long Island that comprise the Hamptons. You can make like Bill and Hillary Clinton and designer Tory Burch and rent a summer house in the Hamptons, like 269 Great Plains Road, which can be rented for about $675,000 per summer. Use Blade to chopper out on a private flight starting at approximately $4,000, and have dinner at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, where a bottle of $2,000 of Bordeaux will go perfectly with your wood-grilled quail.
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Ibiza is famous for having one of the best party scenes in the world, but it has a luxurious side, too. The Villa Titanium near the center of town comes with a staff of 24, yoga tents and a hammam, and rents for approximately $279,000 per week. When you need to get out of the house, nightclub Amnesia has a VIP table you can book for approximately 20,000 euros — or about $24,500.
If you fall in love with Ibiza, guess what? It’s cheaper to live in this luxury travel destination than New York City.
Lankanfushi Island, The Maldives
The 18,300 square-foot Private Reserve villa at Gili Lankanfushi resort in the Maldives has the distinction of being the world’s largest overwater bungalow, but that is far from all that makes it superlative. Rates start at approximately $12,495 per night, which will get you a customized wine list, a butler, a natural coral pool, a private spa, a waterslide and an in-villa cinema.
Marina di Portofino, Italy
Marina di Portofino was once a quaint fishing village on the Mediterranean coast. Today it’s an exotic beach destination for celebrities and billionaires. Hotel Splendido is considered an essential stop on the world luxury-hotel circuit, according to Conde Nast Traveler. The truly rich go for one of the hotel’s three suites. The Dolce Vita offers guests a private setting in a green, lush hillside away from the main hotel for about $4,000 a night. The suite offers a panoramic view of Portofino Bay and has a large private garden that’s perfect for sunbathing.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
This small principality, which tucks into the French Riviera, is the ultimate beach getaway for the rich and famous. Monaco’s calling cards include predictably perfect weather, exquisite French cuisine, charming ports, luxury hotels and magnificent beaches. The Hotel de Paris has everything you can think of, including a big price tag. The top accommodation at the Hotel de Paris is the Charles Garnier Diamond Suite, which, depending on the season and exchange rate, costs about $8,500 per night. For that price, you’ll get 1,830 square feet of luxury and a 41-square-foot terrace that looks over the Place de Casino. The suite has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge lounge with a dining area.
Musha Cay, The Bahamas
A personal fireworks show, deep-sea fishing and personalized treasure hunts can be added to an already ultra-exclusive stay at Musha Cay in the Bahamas, where up to 24 guests can be accommodated for rates starting at approximately $39,000 per night. The entire island must be rented, so you’ll have complete control over who you’re spending your time with. And when you need to shake things up, take a helicopter and head to the tony Graycliff in nearby Nassau, which has been a high-society restaurant since it opened in 1740 and offers afternoon tea, wine luncheons, and private dining. Shopping at Gucci and Versace at shopping mecca Crystal Cove beforehand strongly encouraged.
You’ll want to rent an oceanfront estate on the tony, preppy island of Nantucket, which can go for as much as $11,429 per night. And once you’ve had your fill of the island by land, charter a yacht, like the Zoom Zoom Zoom, for approximately $180,000 per week. Have dinner at Topper’s, where a bottle of Krug champagne to toast your trip with, costs approximately $1,795.
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Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
This private island in the British Virgin Islands owned by Richard Branson has played host to everyone from Barack Obama to Princess Diana. It is available for up to 34 guests, with rates beginning at approximately $80,000 per night. If you need a break from the 100 person staff that tends to your every need at Necker Island, head to the stunning Mahogany Run Golf Course to play a round or two of golf. Although Hurricane Irma caused significant damage to the island, current projections have the resort re-opening in October 2018.
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North Island, Seychelles
When you’re staying where George and Amal Clooney honeymooned (and rumor has it that Prince William and Duchess Katherine also stayed here), you’ll know you’re getting the best of the best at North Island in the Seychelles. You’ll want to book the 8,000 square foot Villa North Island, which comes with a private beach and a coconut grove, at approximately $11,800 per night. Eat out at the acclaimed Zez at the Four Seasons on a neighboring island, where the dining terrace looks out on incredible views of the ocean.
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Jet-set capital Saint-Tropez in the South of France offers plenty of opportunities to drop serious cash, like a stay at the luxurious villa Le Mirage, which goes for between approximately $10,000 and $14,800 per night. Top DJs play to guests sipping on champagne (like a bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage listed on the menu for $40,000) at beach club Nikki Beach Saint Tropez as they lounge on daybeds, which must be rented for about $150 per day.
Teo Spengler contributed to the reporting for this story.