Balm for the soul
Sir Richard Bransons Necker Island Resort in the heart of the British Virgin Islands provides the kind of laid-back luxury in beautiful surroundings that is a balm for the soul.
Sir Richard bought the island in the late 1970s and began a development programme that would see it grow into an exclusive resort.
I immediately fell in love with Necker Island when I visited it for the first time, he says, and Im very passionate about it, what with it being my home and spending most of my time there. My most treasured memories are pretty much all from times spent with friends and families on holiday on Necker.
Developed with a Balinese theme, the island can accommodate up to 28 guests in open-sided villas that allow the breeze to waft through and provide spectacular 360° views.
Fringed by a reef, the inner anchorage is limited, but a substantial jetty allows guests to be dropped off by tender from larger vessels that are anchored off the leeward side of the island.
Situated a short helicopter hop or boat ride to the northeast of Virgin Gorda, the entire island is generally rented on an exclusive basis to single groups at $53,000 per day. There are periods, however, when couples, families or smaller groups can stay on the island on a hotel basis, just booking one or two villas.
Either way, the guests are always considerably outnumbered by the staff, who are trained to provide the highest level of service and attention.
Necker Island is surrounded by sandy beaches, coral reefs and turquoise waters, says Sir Richard. The team who work here genuinely enjoy delivering memorable experiences.
Frequently in residence and available for charter is Sir Richards 32-metre carbon-fibre cruising catamaran, Necker Belle. For a completely different experience, the three-man submarine, Necker Nymph, can also take guests on underwater flights to depths of 30 metres.