Image: St. Catherine's Court
St. Catherine's Court  /  Getty Images
Jane Seymour's recently restored Tudor court is surrounded by 15 acres of manicured lawns, flower gardens, terraces and orchards.
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updated 1/15/2007 11:55:17 AM ET 2007-01-15T16:55:17

In a pristine corner of white-sand Caribbean paradise, magician David Copperfield has discovered something truly magical, but he is not sharing it with just anyone. The master illusionist, known for making his audience members disappear and reappear again in unexpected places, recently paid some $50 million for the ultra-private, ultra-swank Musha Cay, an exclusive resort contained within four small islands in the outer reaches of the Exumas in the southern Bahamas.

Musha Cay at Copperfield Bay is yours starting at a mere $24,750 per day — the price includes seven of your dearest friends. The resort is so private that you get to pick the guests, no more than 24 total, to be spread out among the island's five lavish English colonial-style villas (each with its own secluded beach).

With Musha Cay, Copperfield brings new meaning to the term "disappearing act." Covering 150 acres and surrounded by remote islands that keep the world at bay, his Caribbean slice of heaven pampers guests with everything or nothing. And if it is nothing you want, your most difficult decision might be choosing which of the resort's 25 perfect beaches to try. More strenuous activities include massage, gourmet dining and watching your very own evening fireworks displays from the beach.

Copperfield isn't the only celebrity to set up shop as innkeeper to the in crowd. From Jane Seymour to Mick Jagger, a number of A-listers are renting out their pied-a-terres by the week or starting up hospitality ventures. After all, they didn't get to be successful without a little business savvy.

Actor Michael Douglas, for example, is a shareholder in Ariel Sands, a resort property and hotel in Bermuda that takes its name from Shakespeare's “Tempest” and has been in the Douglas family for decades. And music industry icon Chris Blackwell, the man who introduced the world to the likes of Bob Marley and U2, owns a string of resorts in his home of Jamaica (including the exclusive Goldeneye, once owned by James Bond creator and author, Ian Fleming).

In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio purchased Blackadore Caye, a 104-acre island off the coast of Belize. The famously eco-friendly star is planning on turning the island — a 25-minute boat ride from the Belize Barrier Reef — into an exclusive resort that makes green in a green-friendly manner.

Image: Necker Island
Necker Island  /  Getty Images
Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands is so romantic, the billionaire balloonist tied the knot here himself.
Naturally, the Caribbean is a perennial draw. Francis Ford Coppola first went to Belize while filming “Apocalypse Now.” Today the legendary director owns three resorts in the area, including two in Belize (Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux) and one further afield in the Guatemalan rainforest (La Lancha). But even better known is Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island, in the northeastern reaches of the British Virgin Islands, stunningly gorgeous playground. The 74-acre island is 15 minutes by boat from Virgin Gorda, and even faster by helicopter (a free ride if you've flown to the BVIs on Sir Richard's Virgin Airlines).

Necker's centerpiece, a ten-room villa known as The Main House, is furnished and decorated with one-of-a-kind pieces from Bali and features ocean- and island-view terraces in every room. For additional privacy three smaller guesthouses are within walking distance of The Main House; all three were originally built in Bali before finally gracing the sun-drenched cliffs of the island.

But not all of these celebrity-owned resorts are island paradises, as evidenced by our list compiled for your convenience: world-class hideaways owned and operated by the A-listers among us.

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