Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Necker Island is one of the best hotels in the world. It is also the private retreat of Sir Richard Branson who rents his holiday island when not there. So you can feel like a billionaire staying at Necker in the Virgin Islands. Although located in the Caribbean, you will mostly feel like in Bali as the architecture and décor is deeply inspired by the Southeast Asian island. 14 suites, in private bungalows/villas are available for hire, for you, group or shared with other travelers in search of peace and luxury.
Each villa is finely decorated with real works of arts purchase by the owner on his various trips. You could be on the beach, or on a hilltop with stunning views over the ocean. The architecture is focused on letting the air breath in, which offers many wide and open spaces, with beautiful views. Some rooms even have their own pool and Jacuzzi.
The food is equally excellent as your private chef will cook anything you want. Of course fresh seafood is a must. People lucky enough to get to Necker Island come for the peace, the exclusivity and the sea. You can enjoy many water sports, from sailing to kite surfing and of course diving. Laziness can also be rewarded…
Necker Island is a magnificent hotel with a very warm feeling. Being a holiday home makes a difference from standard luxury hotels, and especially with staff who are all super attentive to your every needs, but not in your hair all the time. It is a perfect location for people with very deep pockets, and especially those who to get away from it all.
Necker Island, a 15-minute boat ride from the small port of Limerick Bay on the island of Virgin Gorda, is a true tropical paradise. It is here, on the blue waters of the British Virgin Islands, that Richard Branson, the charismatic CEO of Virgin has found his eden. Over the years, he has undertaken major developments to make this small desert island a haven of luxury. An extreme refinement associated with a remarkable respect for the environment…
On Necker Island, Bali dominates the architectural influences. Everything that is built here comes directly from the island of the gods: the decorative elements (carved doors of the Bali Cliff, the house where Richard Branson lives when he stays on the island), armchairs, furniture…and even the straw of the roofs. For months, British architect Jon Osman traveled throughout Indonesia in search of furniture, traditional wood and stone carvings, and anything else that could help recreate the refined atmosphere of Bali in the Caribbean. In Brazil, he himself chose the trunks that would be used to build the framework. Assembled on site, it was then disassembled and transported to Necker for final installation, supported by a 3 ton master beam.
A lot of wood in the decoration by Lory Johansson and June Robinson Scott. Teak for the terraces, woven bamboo for the ceilings. The walls of the Big House are made of volcanic stone taken from the island, the floors of fresh Yorkshire tiles. Disparate objects from Africa and Asia complete the “explorer’s home” style. In the living room, an amusing conch-shaped glass table filled with large shells sits next to the huge pool table. A model ship here, a painted wooden box there, a game of solitaire a little further on: Necker is indeed the home of a great traveler.
In the rooms, which all open onto the turquoise sea, the beds are protected by a mosquito net. Lava stone floors, carved wooden furniture, outdoor shower… The colorful West Indian fabrics combine perfectly with the white linen sheets. No TV, but the telephone. No air conditioning either. Air circulation is natural through the large openings.
“It didn’t seem right to own an island like this and only use it for a few months of the year,” explains Richard Branson. So Necker is an island for rent. When its owner is away. Wealthy businessmen invite their friends for birthdays, weddings, or a getaway from Wall Street. Stars stay there with their families. On the guestbook: Lady Di signed twice with her children William and Harry, whose handwriting is still in school. Further on, Roger Taylor, the drummer of Queen, Melanie, of the Spice Girls… Like Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Robert de Niro, Mel Gibson, Rosanna Arquette, Bryan Ferry, Annie Lennox or George Michael, they have all stayed in the Master Suite with its swimming pool on the terrace. An apartment rather than a room. Comfortable without ostentation. The bed designed by Scott and Johansson is made of four pillars from the Dutch colonial era, the legs are from a Balinese opium bed and the headboard is the back of an old wooden bench. This is the spirit of Necker Island, discreet refinement, and above all authenticity.
In addition to the Big House on top of a hill, Necker also has five Balinese houses that can accommodate a couple or a single person. Thatched and open to the gentle trade winds, they offer a variety of atmospheres. According to his desires, each guest of Necker Island will be able to choose the one that suits him best to live slightly isolated from the Big House. At the end of Turtle Beach, Bali Hi and Bali Beach overlook the Caribbean Sea. They are built on several levels, from the living room, all in precious wood, to the bedroom on the top floor. The Bali Beach room has a terrace with a superb view. Bali Hi has an infinity pool… Nearby, Bali Cliff is, as its name suggests, attached to the cliff. Two bedrooms, terraces, a kitschy bathroom (with a shell basin) hanging on the rock…A villa for romantic stay.
Two other superb cottages rise in the center of the island, they are Bali Lo and Bali Buah. We reach them by following a small path that winds through the vegetation, beyond the lake. The opportunity, if you feel like it, to stop at the meditation temple. These beautiful and rather isolated residences are composed of three rooms each, a space equipped with home video and a vast terrace. Not to mention the beautiful swimming pool and the relaxation area…
Sir Richard’s latest creation: Bali Leha. A Spa whose name (in Balinese of course) means “relaxation, dream”. Clinging to the rock, under the Great House, it is entirely made of Brazilian wood for the walls and floors. Leesa Penny, the high priestess of the place, watches over a team of therapists who offer seaweed and sea salt treatments, revitalizing massages, aloe and mint wraps and stone therapy, which alternates hot and cold pebbles.
There are two main beaches on Necker Island, Turtle Beach (where the sun sets) and Main Beach (with water sports). Two beautifully manicured, sandy beaches, as well as a handful of totally deserted beaches left in their natural state. Bali Hi Beach to the west, Coral Beach and Sea Grass Bay to the north. Shell hunting remains a sport to be recommended…
In total, 28 people can stay on Necker Island. They are served by a staff of about 50 people with a chic-casual style. At mealtime, guests enjoy the cuisine of the new chef, Craig Harnden. It can be served on a long wooden table on the veranda by the main pool, or, as Richard Branson likes to do, under the pergola open to the trade winds. At your request, your table will be set up wherever you wish, whether on a beach or on Sunset Point. You’re in paradise, right?
This is one of the best hotels of the British Virgin Islands
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