Kim Kardashian West recently celebrated her 40th birthday with a lavish celebration.
She reportedly rented out the entire The Brando resort in Polynesia, effectively renting an entire private island.
She took around 30 of her closest friends to the island on a private jet.
While food, drinks, and activities were likely included in the buyout, luxury event planner Sonal Shah said that clients of that caliber usually want extras that a private island cannot provide.
Shah estimated that hosting a birthday party on the island could have cost upwards of $800,000 — and that's without the private jet and resort buyout.
Despite a global pandemic that has killed over 1.1 million people around the world and brought tight restrictions that discourage travel and large social gatherings, Kim Kardashian West managed to have her 40th birthday party on a private island with around 30 of her closest friends and family.
Kardashian West has been facing backlash online for what many are describing as her "tone deaf" social media posts about the getaway, but continues to flaunt the lavish escape.
"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she wrote on Instagram, garnering ilk from the many regular people for whom a private island escape during a pandemic is a far cry from "normal."
While little about the event is confirmed, we have some idea of what took place
A chartered private jet that, according to previous reporting by Business Insider's Tom Pallini, may have cost $50,000 per hour.
A full resort buyout that could have cost over $500,000 for five days, according to Insider's estimates.
Goodie bags including GoPros and SKIMS pajamas that may have cost around $700 per guest, according to Insider's estimates.
Let's break it down.
The full buyout of the private island resort where Kardashian West reportedly stayed would cost over $500,000 for five days
The resort sits on the private, 193-acre island of Onetahi, in the Tetiaroa Atoll 30 miles north of Tahiti, and is named after actor Marlon Brando, who once called the island his own private escape.
Representatives of The Brando opted not to confirm whether they were, in fact, the locale of Kardashian West's 40th birthday in an email to Insider.
According to The Brando's downloadable fact sheet, a full buyout of its 35 villas costs $107,846 per night (€92,400), with a three-night minimum.
Page Six's source claimed that Kardashian West spent five days on the island, which would rack up a cost of $539,230.
However, it should be noted that the document states that these prices are valid until March 31, 2020, though no updated numbers have been provided.
Each room at The Brando has its own beach area and plunge pool. Included in the buyout price are all meals and beverages (though special dishes and drinks are available for a premium), one spa treatment per room per day, one excursion per person per day, as well as access to tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym, toys such as kayaks, bikes, and snorkeling gear, and Wi-Fi.
Kardashian West wrote on Instagram, "We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more."
A source told Page Six, "Once on the island they had lavish dinner after dinner, spa treatments and hikes through the nature sanctuary. There was no expense spared."
According to what's included in the buyout, these activities would have all come in at no extra cost.
Throwing an extravagant event on the private island could have cost upwards of $800,000
While most food, drinks, and activities are included in the buyout, Sonal J. Shah, a luxury event planner who has organized lavish events and weddings on many a private island over the course of her 18-year career, told Insider that celebrities are not quite like the rest of us, and that what's included in the resort buyout might not be up to snuff.
"We're talking very high net worth individuals that would want to do something like this," she told Insider. "Their level of what they're used to and what they would want is so far beyond the reach of a lot of normal individuals. You would think everybody was just hanging out by the pool and partying, but a lot of these people have very specific requests for alcohol, very specific requests for different things that they want that all needs to be brought in."
The main cost of planning an event on a private island is having everything flown in, according to Shah, who said that most private islands, even those with fancy resorts, have limited resources.
"To put on a party like that, everything has to be flown in," she said. "I've been to a lot of private islands, toured them for particular clients, some celebrities, some not celebrities, but typically these islands are not equipped to be able to throw a party like that — especially with higher-end clients, their food needs, their décor needs, even entertainment, all those logistics, like a firework display, it's not something that's readily available on that island."
She said that planning an event like that, whether it's for 10 or 100 people, "would be an enormous undertaking," and estimates a few months of planning time, especially since it involves sourcing local vendors and flying in early to prep the event, which she said usually takes a week or so.
Shah said most resorts and private islands, even a place like the famous Necker Island, which she's been to, are great for honeymoons and vacations, but that hosting events is a whole different beast.
While she said that these resorts all have gorgeous places to stay, they usually lack the infrastructure needed for a big event, citing food, flowers, décor, lighting, music, tents in case it rains, A/C units, and staff, even special china and glassware, as things to think about and fly in.
"You're basically making a venue for a particular client," she said, and estimates, without knowing the particular details of Kardashian West's event, that her party would cost between $800,000 and $900,000 to make happen.
She added that she would charge a minimum of $80,000 to $100,000 for her event planning services, keeping in mind that she would have to go ahead of time to scope the place out — see what the transportation situation is and what security measures there are, for example — as well as be there ahead of the event to prep for it.
The private jet charter likely cost around $900,000 round-trip
According to that same source, Page Six reports that Kardashian West chartered a Boeing 777 for around 30 guests.
The plane in question was reportedly the Crystal Skye chartered from Crystal Cruises, and is described on its website as the "world's newest and most spacious luxury jet." It features 88 lie-flat beds with 24-inch TVs and a separate restaurant and bar area.
Representatives of Crystal Cruises declined Insider's request for comment. However, Business Insider's Thomas Pallini previously reported on this particular plane, writing that "a jet of this size complete with a full staff would typically cost around $50,000 per hour to charter."
The flight time between Los Angeles and Pape'ete, French Polynesia's capital, which, per Flight Radar 24 (h/t Vicky Mochama), is a route the Crystal Skye plane recently took, is 8 hours and 40 minutes. Let's round that up to 9 hours, which brings us to a total cost of $450,000 for a one-way flight, and $900,000 round-trip.
Kardashian West also reportedly gave guests goodie bags, which may have cost more than $700 per guest
According to TMZ, Kardashian West also gave each of her guests SKIMS pajamas, KKW Beauty products, GoPros, and waterproof disposable cameras, among other goodies.
While we don't know the exact number of guests Kardashian invited, it's been reported to have been a party of between 30 and 40 guests.
Let's say there were 30 guests:
30 sets of Skims's summer sleep set at $118 each = $3,540
30 sets of KKW Makeup's Classic Complete Bundle at $240 each = $7,200
30 of the latest GoPros at $349.98 each = $10,499
30 waterproof disposable cameras at $15.75 each = $472
This brings us to a total of $21,711 just for the goodie bags, at almost $724 per goodie bag.
So all in all, we're at an estimated minimum cost of $2,340,941 for the five-day getaway
Things were normal indeed.
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