NEW YORK – As the Greek islands remain the most dreamed of destination for travelers worldwide, the island of Skorpios is soon to become a luxury resort, Town & Country (T&C) reported on March 16.
“In 1963, shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis purchased the island for the relatively modest sum of 3.5 million drachmas, the equivalent of about $14,000 today,” T&C reported, adding that “located off the western coast of mainland Greece as part of the Ionian islands, the 205-acre Skorpios was essentially barren.”
“In order to turn it into a private refuge and playground worthy of the billionaire, Onassis imported 200 different types of trees, brought over sand from the island of Salamina, and bought a mountain on another island for the water supply,” T&C reported, noting that “he also built a family compound of three residences, a helipad, and a small marina, in addition to harbor facilities to accommodate his beloved yacht, the Christina.”
Among the high profile parties hosted on Skorpios was Onassis and Jackie Kennedy’s nuptials in 1968, T&C reported, adding that “the couple exchanged their vows in a small Greek Orthodox ceremony in front of 40 guests (the bride wore Valentino and her sister Lee Radziwill served as matron of honor) before boarding the Christina for the reception.”
“After Onassis's death in 1975, Skorpios was passed down to his daughter Christina; when she died in 1988, the island went to his granddaughter— and only surviving descendant— Athina,” T&C reported, noting that “in 2013, she sold Skorpios to the billionaire Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for $153 million.”
“Rybolovlev's daughter Ekaterina got married on Skorpios in 2015” and “he had always planned to turn the island into a luxury resort,” T&C reported, adding that “in December, Greece officially approved the project, which is expected to be completed by 2024.”
“With an estimated cost of $200 million, the ambitious renovation plan includes a 5-star hotel, villas, a farm and vineyard, a spa, a sports complex, an artificial lake, a larger harbor to accommodate more yachts, an amphitheater, and a helipad,” T&C reported.
According to Kathimerini, “Rybolovlev also plans to add facilities of ‘Davos-like standards,’ in order for Skorpios to host conferences with UHNWIs [Ultra-high-net-worth individuals, i.e. people with investable assets of at least $30 million],” T&C reported, noting that Skorpios’ “weekly rentals will start at $1.2 million.”