Your Own Private Island
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East|16 June, 2018

Tropical getaways have gotten so exclusive, you and your partner will be the only people at the resort

Mark Ellwood

Fitness executive Jim Worthington had one goal for the luxury trip he was planning to celebrate the birthday of his girlfriend, Kim Levins: privacy. “I wanted to be 100 percent away from everybody,” he says from his office in Bucks County, Pa. “It was her 30th birthday, and I didn’t want to share it with anybody but her.”

So he booked the couple into Gladden Private Island, a tiny hotel off the coast of Belize that opened in December. It consists of a single two-bedroom villa. The island “is less than an acre. You could walk from one tip to the other, and it would take less than 30 seconds,” he says, laughing. “It was like being Robinson Crusoe—you have no idea the staff is even there.” He and Levins spent their days enjoying the solitude, sitting at the edge of the water for four or five hours straight, saying perhaps three words. “The beauty of where you are is unbelievable,” Worthington says. Indeed, the two were so impressed that they’re planning to make the island a regular vacation spot, taking a week to decompress there every 18 months or so.

It might sound like a risky proposition: rather than a vacation villa, a personal hotel with a full cadre of staff to cater to a couple’s every whim (from $2,950 per night for two, all-inclusive). But this is the hottest new niche in high-end travel—not a penthouse suite but an entire island just for you.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK MIDDLE EASTView All

The Novo Abides

Mike Novogratz, former Goldman Sachs partner and the loudest crypto bull on Wall Street, has made and lost a fortune on Bitcoin. He’s still all-in.

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Weaponizing Uncertainty

Trump’s tariffs were meant to make the U.S. a safe option for businesses looking to expand. It’s not working out that way.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

The Immigration Hackers

An Obama-era department of techies is working to streamline paperwork from inside the Trump administration. Results are mixed.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Letter From London, March 2029

A message from post-Brexit Britain about what the 2019 split from the EU hasn’t delivered.

8 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Saudi Weighs More Bank Mergers

Gulf bank consolidation trend gathers pace with Saudi plans.

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Money Markets Mixed Over Fed Rate Hikes

There is little agreement among commentators as to whether the Fed will continue to hike rates in 2019.

1 min read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Hey, Paul Ryan, What's Up? Budget Deficits

The professed fiscal hawk leaves behind a legacy of unsustainable shortfalls.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Dell EMC Bullish On 2019 Outlook

Cloud and technology giant plans further expansion in the Middle East.

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

Artificial Intelligence Has Some Explaining To Do

Software makers offer more transparent machine-learning tools—but there’s a trade-off.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
1 January, 2019

What Buffalo Got, And Didn't Get, When Tesla Came To Town

After $750 million in subsidies and years of delays, critics say Elon Musk hasn’t done enough for his solar panel factory

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East
December 16, 2018