Next Time, Why Not Rent a Private Island?

By Erin Caslavka Deinzer, October 9, 2017

Most people aren’t likely to receive an invite to Necker Island from its owner, Sir Richard Branson. But in fact, the entire 74-acre island, located in the British Virgin Islands, can be rented out to groups.

For your next incentive program, why not create your own version of “Castaway” (albeit with more creature comforts) by sending your award winners, board members or top execs to a secluded island? A handful of one-of-a-kind experiences can be had right here in North America.

Haida House at Tllaal lies between the beach and a rushing river on Graham Island, British Columbia. Accessible via ferry from Prince Rupert, the 10-room cedar lodge—owned and operated by the Haida people—is set among a forest and offers totem-carving demonstrations and weaving workshops. In 2018, the tribe will unveil another eco-tourism property: a fly-in, 12-room floating lodge on the nearby Peel Inlet.

Set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, Singer Castle on Dark Island was built in 1905 by the president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Crafted from pink granite, the 28-room castle overlooks the St. Lawrence River and is accessible via chartered tour boats. The Royal Suite, which sleeps up to six, grants the occupants access to an entire wing of the castle. “Beauty and the Beast,” anyone?

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway of South Carolina, Goat Island is a short boat ride from Wild Dunes Resort (which is within minutes of historic Charleston). Guests of the resort are transported at twilight through the salt marsh aboard pontoon boats; upon landing, tiki torches and swaying palmetto trees set the tone for a true Lowcountry outdoor experience.

While San Francisco may be one of the most visited cities on the planet, not many people know you can stay overnight on a small island that’s a 10-minute boat ride from shore. East Brother Light Station, a fully restored, Victorian-era building, has been an active lighthouse for almost 150 years. Bed-and-breakfast guests enjoy the use of the entire island—including the Fog Signal Building, where one of the five bedrooms is located.

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