26 MAY 2004

Buying into paradise

Brooke Shields and Marlon Brando took getting away from it all to a whole new level, snatching up an entire island of their own. And they are not alone. The list of island-buying celebs – Tony Curtis, Nicolas Cage, Bjorn Borg – is long and growing. “There is this amazing feeling that comes from knowing this little part of world is yours and yours alone," says one island owner.

Music legend Diana Ross certainly knows about that feeling – she honeymooned on now-ex-husband Arne Naess’s private rock near Tahiti. And Nicolas Cage bought into it, too, when he picked up a 50-acre island in the Bahamas in 2000 along with his then-wife, actress Patricia Arquette.

If that all seems rather too much of a challenge, renting a developed, fully staffed isle is a no-fuss alternative. Richard Branson’s 74-acre Necker Island in the Caribbean, which features a ten-bedroom Balinese villa and two luxury homes, has been rented by celebs ranging from Harrison Ford and Robert DeNiro to Pamela Anderson.

The question of whether to rent or buy isn’t a problem for some lucky stars. Icelandic pop singer Bjork was given the local isle of Ellidaey by her country’s prime minister as a reward for having "enhanced the glory and fame of Iceland".


Richard Branson owns his very own private island - the Caribbean paradise of Necker
The 74-acre isle offers the key ingredients most celebs are in search of while on holiday - privacy and tranquillity
Some stars don't need to either rent or buy, they simply receive their getaway isle as a present. Bjork's isle of Ellidaey was a gift from the government of Iceland in recognition of her putting her homeland on the international map
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