05.10.11 11:38 PM ET
Will & Kate's $1 Million Honeymoon
It’s official: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on their honeymoon. The newlyweds reportedly landed in the Seychelles Tuesday morning following sightings of Prince William and a police car full of luggage leaving the couple’s home in Anglesey Monday.
For the sake of privacy, the couple reportedly chose the lush, private expanse of Fregate Island Private. The resort can accommodate a maximum of 40 people, with 16 villas that cost between $3,880 and $5,700 per night, as well as a presidential villa that comes with a price tag of $14,400 per night.
Each villa is outfitted with a private pool, Jacuzzi, and personal buggy for transport around the island, as well as a butler and chef who will pick organic produce from the island garden based on guests’ desired tastes. Guests can choose to eat in the resort’s two restaurants, from a 60-foot perch in a banyan tree house, or in the comfort of their villa. For fun, Will and Kate are free to kayak, hike, windsurf, scuba dive, bike or take a guided nature walk around the island.
Neither the royals nor the Seychelles will comment on whether anyone else will be allowed on the island, but presumably, they didn’t choose such a secluded spot just to share their honeymoon with random couples from Australia and New Jersey. Assuming they bought up every villa for privacy, and to house security, that’s $800,000 for lodging. Even a 50 percent discount means $400,000 for 10 days.
The couple, who chose to delay their honeymoon slightly, reportedly arrived via private jet—an easy $100,000 or so round-trip, depending on the model they flew, to Mahe Island airport. They then transferred to Fregate Island via a 20-minute chartered helicopter—a service that costs $2,400 each way for a copter that holds up to 10 passengers.
In addition to private luxury, the 1.2 square-mile-island is known for its eco-friendly operations. It’s home to 140 bird species, including the world’s seventh rarest bird, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, as well as a growing population of Aldabra giant tortoises. The island’s full-time staff of environmentalists plant two trees for every guest arrival; the island is home to more than 800,000 trees.
The island is all-organic, from the food to the spa treatments.
“When it’s bird-nesting time, you can see all these birds flying around the trees,” says Suzanne Snart, spokeswoman for the island resort. “It’s just beautiful.”
The island is also all-organic, from the food to the spa treatments. Every ingredient included in the menu of spa offerings (including native crops such as pineapple, vanilla bean, coconut milk, and avocado) is plucked within two hours of application and combinations are based on ancient recipes. Offerings include $175 facials, a $360 anti-cellulite treatment and a bespoke couple’s massage named the “Lanmour Honeymoon” for $865.
Snart could not confirm that the couple is on the island. “Even if it were the case, I wouldn’t have the information until after they left,” says Snart. “It’s been business as usual.”
Of course, the greatest cost of the royal honeymoon is security. Prince William is considered to be the highest security risk—the same level as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles—as second in line to the throne. With 24/7, armed personal protection, he’s one of the costliest members of the royal family to protect (in total, guarding the royal family is estimated to cost more than $80 million a year). A spokesman for Scotland Yard, which provides the personal protection officers for the royal family, said it would not discuss matters of security.
But a security detail team for a full 10-day vacation will easily add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the final vacation bill. Figure a half-million. Add $100,000 for transportation and $400,000 for lodging, and you’re north of $1 million even before any incidentals. Though given the $60 million or so the wedding itself cost, that looks like something of a bargain.
Lauren Streib is a reporter for The Daily Beast. She was previously a reporter for Forbes.