So, where, exactly, do the wealthy find this sort of luxe holiday living?
If you’ve ever lingered longingly over a celebrity magazine and wished you, too, could jet off to a private villa with a crystal blue sea just out your door — snap out of it.
The world’s top 5 percent don’t spend their time-off like the rest of us.
While most of us hunt for deals and discounts — even on our most extravagant trips — and maneuver our time off to fit into short holiday windows and off-peak seasons, millionaires can’t be bothered with cost control. A two-week break for the average wealthy — those with at least $30 million in assets and usually more — family costs about $230,000, said John Bird, head of concierge services for Oracle Capital Group, a London-based company that offers a variety of services to ultra-high net-worth individuals, although he’s seen families spend upwards of $3 million on month-long trips.
A new survey of the top 5 percent of wealthy Americans ranks which beach paradises are the most beloved vacation spots for the very, very wealthy. The 5 percent were classified as earning at least $200,000 per year or having $2 million or more. Here, travel experts weight in on why one island stacks up higher than another. Pack your bathing suit, your most potent sunscreen, and little else if you’re headed to one of these celebrated sexy beach hot spots.
Paradise Beach, Mykonos Island, Greece
Meet the beach with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex. Underneath the midday sun, families build sand castles and splash amidst the rolling surf. But don’t let this daytime serenity fool you. Come cocktail hour, this Greek coastal paradise cranks up the heat to sizzling party proportions. The family-friendly vibe evaporates with an invasion of dancers, DJs, and R-rated pleasure-seekers. Mykonos’ Paradise Beach erupts with loud music, flowing alcohol, and a clientele that prefers partying with as few clothes as possible.
Las Salinas Beach, Ibiza, Spain
Say “hola” to Ibiza, where the world’s most glamorous party people come to frolic. Las Salinas Beach, the southern stretch of the island, attracts professional soccer players, stunning models, and A-list celebrities—a sexy, wealthy crowd who live to carouse 24-7 on the white sandy shore. Exclusive bars and restaurants set the hedonistic tone with unlimited cocktails, banging tunes, and flirty patrons.
The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Couples seeking a seductive escape with an air of decorum can reignite their passion on the island of Virgin Gorda. The Baths, a discreet hideaway of sandy beaches and gently lapping water, is embraced by an assortment of towering granite slabs. These standing stones create concealed grottos and intimate coves—the perfect setting for an amorous tryst away from prying eyes.
Lover’s Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
True to its name, Lover’s Beach is an intimate destination that is best shared with someone special. Hidden behind enormous rock formations, this Baja Peninsula cove is only reachable by boat. While the beach’s picturesque beauty is hard to resist, underwater currents on its Pacific Ocean side behave like a scorned lover—unpredictable and dangerous. Instead, visitors should explore the beach’s Sea of Cortez side and its aura of secluded perfection. The water here is warm, calm and inviting; it’s a tempting locale for a sexy seaside romp.
Copacabana, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Welcome to a world where microscopic swimwear is a must: Brazil’s famous Copacabana Beach is an exhibitionist’s haven. Women dare to bear in dental-floss bikinis, while their male counterparts cavort in thongs that leave little to the imagination. This steamy playground attracts body-confident souls who like to soak up the sun, and flash the flesh. The sexual energy here is palpable, although surprisingly, topless bathing is strictly prohibited. But as the adage suggests, isn’t it better to leave something to the imagination?
Tahiti Beach, Saint-Tropez, France
No one does French Riviera decadence like Tahiti Beach. Here the glitterati not only let their hair down, but also drop their bathing suits too. Topless and nude jet setters mix with wide-eyed tourists keen to experience the beach made famous by 1950s silver screen vixen, Brigitte Bardot. Vacationers seeking a hedonistic free-for-all flock to this Cote d’Azur hot spot to sunbathe without tan lines and indulge in the celebrity lifestyle. Private yachts bob up and down on the sparkling Mediterranean, while the beautiful people primp, pose, and sip cocktails on their beach lounge chairs.
South Beach, Miami, Florida
If you’re seeking the American equivalent of the French Riviera, look no further than South Beach. This exquisite getaway has everything: chic boutiques, trendy restaurants, exclusive nightclubs, and stunning Art Deco architecture. Drawing a jaw-dropping mix of models, Hollywood favorites, and musicians, it’s the place to see and be seen. The non-stop party atmosphere accessorized with gorgeous bathing beauties—of both sexes—makes South Beach the hottest American waterfront destination year round.
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia
Got a thing for scantily clad, sun-kissed surfers? If your heart is set on a beach-bound romance with a sexy tanned surfer, Snapper Rocks is your dream destination. Hugging the southern-most tip of the 35 mile-long Australian Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks oozes surfer sex appeal. In the heat of the Aussie sun, the vibe is sultry and flirty. Teasing their land-locked admirers, guys and gals skim across sky-high waves in a sensual dance of seaside supremacy.
Saline Beach, Saint-Barthelemy, Caribbean
This French-Caribbean isle serves as a carefree locale and hedonistic getaway for wealthy vacationers, with 22 beaches to thrill and titillate. For the crème de la crème of seashore sensuality try Saline Beach. With its secluded location—a winding footpath leads to its unspoiled delights—Saline Beach is an oasis of turquoise-hued water and welcoming sand dunes. A certain je ne sais quoi hangs in the air, urging visitors to shed their inhibitions—cheeky beach goers are often spotted taking a dip in the tides ‘au naturel.’
Don’t have $250,000 for a trip? Don’t worry, there are luxurious options for more measured spenders, just a taste of the rich life for the rest of us.
The St. Regis offers a cozy “classic guest room” for $299 a night. You may not get the mountain views of the $2,529 a night Presidential Suite, but marble bathrooms and a fireplace (in select rooms) will make up for it.
One night at the Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul will set you back $283, but included in the price is access to its 4,000 square meter spa. Treatments are indulgent, but not over-pricey: a 50-minute Shiatsu massage will run you 240 Turkish lira ($82).
It’s hard to get the Island experience for cheap, but you can rent a one-bedroom Westside Suite at The Calabash Hotel for $329 a night. While there, you can relax on the beach, play tennis on one of its two courts or hit balls in the snooker room.
Porto Cervo, Italy
There are reasonably-priced options near the seaside town. Stay at the La Murichessa bed and breakfast, a classic Italian home that’s an 11 kilometer drive from Porto Cervo, for as little as 50 euro ($68) and laze around on the nearby beach for free.