Since it was gutted by fire in 2011, the Great House on Sir Richard Branson’s private island has been undergoing renovations. Now that it’s back to its fully-pimped self again, the £40,000-per-night island is back in business. LUSSO has been having a nose around.
Necker Island’s Great House, an al fresco style Balinese villa with a 1,500 sq ft master bedroom and eight guests rooms, was reduced to ashes in 2011 when it was struck by lightning during Tropical Storm Irene. Just like any run-of-the-mill Hollywood scenario, Kate Winslet carried Branson’s 90-year-old mother Eve through fire and flames to safety. In a heartwarming tale she’s since gone on to marry Branson’s nephew, Ned Rocknroll (or Ned Abel Smith before the dubious deed poll).
Necker Island has long been playground for showbizzy types and A-List celebrity vacationers (Princess Diana, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro, Oprah Winfrey, the Rolling Stones, to name a few). Located in the British Virgin Islands, the 74-acre island sits in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with white sandy beaches, and the odd giant tortoise.
Branson bought Necker at the age of 28 (just six years after starting Virgin Group), from a cash-strapped Lord Cobham for a mere £180,000 – now it’s worth more like £60 million. It took 3 years and around US$10 million to turn it into the manicured resort you see today.
From September you’ll be able to hire the entire island again for groups of up to 30 people, or during ‘Celebration Weeks’ you can book individual rooms ‘house party’-style.
To book your next Necker Island trip, visit www.neckerisland.virgin.com.