Private Island Party

Life is good. Especially while entertaining on David Copperfield’s Musha Cay retreat. Here, Lara Shriftman Author of Party Confidential, takes us on a journey to the islands. A summer soirée here in paradise is a party to remember. 

I love talented people. And, my very good friend David Copperfield is one of the best entertainers in the world. When I say entertainer, I do not refer to his wildly successful show at the MGM Las Vegas hotel. I mean as an incredible, thoughtful, and creative host. In 2004 he hosted my book party for my first book Fête Accompli at his gorgeous four-story apartment in Manhattan and then he hosted me and my son at his private island, Musha Cay, in the southern Bahamas. The island is one of the most magical places to visit, vacation and host a party, wedding or any special occasion.

Musha Cay, hidden among the out islands of the Exumas, in the Bahamas, only 90 minutes by jet from Miami, represents the ultimate private island escape. Copperfield has created a tropical retreat available for private rental only, and has brought to life dream-like experiences for up to 24 guests, or as few as two. Comprised of 150 lush and beautiful acres on 11 islands with 40 secluded sugar sand beaches, the retreat offers outmost seclusion, excitement and luxury. Musha Cay features five luxury homes, each with its private beach, with 12 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms all together. Sound dreamy? It is.

Before arriving to the dream-like island, guests are asked to provide their food preferences to a personal chef for the outmost experience. For seafood lovers, the local waters have plentiful lobster, tuna, mahi mahi, and grouper. To top it all off, the island has a 500 –bottle wine cellar where guests can pick their own bottle of wine to go with their meals.

Imagine a dining table, on the dock overlooking the sea, with torches and candles creating a magical setting together with the moon’s reflection of the waves. It’s here. Flat bottom boats take guest to one of the private beaches of pure white sand. Having an enchanting picnic or taking a stroll on the beach, are both equally breathtaking with the sound of the surrounding waves. You literally feel as if you have escaped to another world.

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay have endless amenities and adventures. There are all sorts of activities including snorkeling, windsurfing, paddle boarding, sailing, island touring, waterskiing, fishing, pool, and a hot tub. There are daily arts and crafts, face painting, cave exploring, pirate parties, scavenger hunts, hermit crab races, football, table tennis, hiking trails, and more. Something for everything is what I look for in a vacation and Copperfield’s island provides just that.

Here are some of the events David hosted for us on our stay that you can do at home, too. Be as creative as you want. Even though the island may not be accessible to most people, Copperfield has great ideas to do at home instead.

  • Scavenger Hunt

Organize a pirate scavenger hunt.

  • Pizza Making Party

Make fresh pizza dough and have small bowls of toppings so the chef can make customized pizza to each guest’s request. Make customized printed aprons and hats for your guests. At Musha Cay all of the guests wore hats and aprons with Copperfield Bay printed on them. Place tables and candles in the sand. Copperfield had the bar serve fresh coconut juice in real coconuts.

  • Picnic on the beach

Get a great picnic basket and don’t forget the picnic cloth and some cozy pillows.

  • Karaoke Night

Have fun with karaoke after dinner. Make sure you have songs from all your favorite artists.

  • Drive- In Movies

Have a drive-in Movie Theater, where you serve popcorn and a candy bar, just like in the movies.

David Copperfield’s Tips to Being a Great Island Host

  • Don’t ever miss an opportunity to WOW the guests with details and make each event better than the one before.
  • Every time a guest makes a comment about how they thought that they would arrive and the island would have been an illusion… smile and laugh like you’ve never heard that joke before.
  • Every interaction with a guest provides an opportunity to make a life-long impression.
  • All of our food counts as zero calories, so indulge.
  • Golf carts are not toys… make sure all guests have proper driving instructions and then cross your fingers.
  • Make sure the bar is strong enough for 24 guests to all climb up and dance on it. Then recommend they do exactly that.
  • Karaoke in a private environment always makes for an interesting evening. Once engaged, plan on serving snacks followed by a midnight breakfast.
  • Always make the guests feel at home, so constantly find ways to personalize the guest’s experience by picking up on little facts about what they like and surprise them by making it happen.
  • Always challenge yourself to make unforgettable events, all while keeping it simple and letting the natural beauty of the islands lead the way.
  • Try to create a new dining and cocktail experience every night, in a different location.  Don’t just change the settings, change the entire experience.
  • When guests are departing, make sure to count heads.  Most guests never want to leave.
  • You can never have enough Patron Tequila.
  • When guests are cooling each other off by squirting Champagne, try to hide the good Moet and Dom.

Lara Shriftman’s 5 Tips to Being a Great Host

  • Create a great mix of people. Invite old friends, new friends, and friends you think might want to meet each other.
  • Have an even number of men and women, or at least something close to it.
  • Over invite.
  • Be gracious.
  • Introduce people to other people that they don’t know when they arrive.
  • Always create a friendly vibe.

Chic Guest Tips

  • Guests of guests do not bring guests.
  • Always arrive on time or within 10-15 minutes of the start of the party.
  • In most instances, if you are going to leave early, don’t say good bye to the host, since that lets people know that they can leave and you don’t want to be the reason for the end of the party.
  • If you know ahead of time you will be late or have to leave early, let the host know as you are leaving with your regrets.


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