Great Mercury Island $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:This 5,000-acre isle, 25 minutes by helicopter from Auckland, is the private retreat of two millionairesa haven so hidden that even the paparazzi can't find the celebs who stay here. Mere mortals can visit, too, assuming they can afford the $20,000-a-day price tag. Included is free range of an island so large and varied that it feels like a small country, with miles of pristine white beaches, sensational scuba diving and fishing, and all manner of toysfrom boats and Jet Skis to off-road trucks and motorcycles. There's also a superb chef whose food has kept the likes of Queen Elizabeth II happy. The two villas can sleep up to 20 people between them and are airy mazes where irregular, white-plastered passageways lead to individually themed bedrooms full of whimsy, wit, and every conceivable creature comfort.2005 Hot List
When to go: Summer (Dec.March).
Which room to book: The main lodge's master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and easily the best bathroom; failing that, the driftwood-strewn Shipwreck Room
Amenities: Beach, Gym, PoolSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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