by Azzy Asghar
Very fortunately, in the early nineties, I was invited to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world – Necker Island. A week that will live in my memory forever and despite having visited 51 countries – this place has a very special place in my heart.
Necker Island is, of course, Sir Richard Branson’s private island and home. He allows guests in at selected times of the year to share his slice of paradise in the British Virgin Islands.
Quite famously there was a huge fire a few years ago that burnt down the house I visited. It has since been rebuilt and is as glorious, or even better, than before.
Necker is the ultimate barefoot luxury paradise in the most serene and exclusive setting in the Caribbean. The modest 74 acre island is located in the stunningly beautiful British Virgin Islands. Other than the abundance of luscious vegetation and beautiful beaches, the island consists of two houses, the beach house, and the great house.
The Great house is a spacious al fresco Balinese house boasting remarkable panoramic views of the Caribbean. Each of its 11 guest rooms come fit with a large private balcony, a king sized bed and an en-suite. On the upper level you’ll find the fabulous Master Suite, complete with private outdoor hot tub and sundeck. The beach house is situated on the main beach with an ostentatious bar and lots of space for fun and games. This house is a place for long relaxed lunches broken up by occasional dips into the crystal clear waters.
Perched at the island’s highest point, the Great House is where people come together, to dine, party or just relax. The house has a wraparound terrace with hammocks and sofas, and this being Necker Island, naturally you can expect a fully stocked bar. Up on the roof you’ll find a cosy four-person hot tub – perfect for sipping champagne as you watch the sun set.
Right on the island main beach, the Beach House sits in between the island’s two tennis courts and the Caribbean Sea. With an impressive bar, space for games tables and an enormous 26-foot sofa, the Beach House is the place for relaxed lunches and enjoying the sea breezes in between dips into the crystal clear waters.
Just next to the Beach House, the Beach Pool has a freeform infinity pool complete with a swim-up bar where guests can sit and enjoy a drink. There’s also a huge hot tub right on the beach with space for more than 30 people. Within the pool complex is our thatched Crocodile Pavilion with its large solid teak crocodile table.
As one would expect the food is truly epicurean. Chefs create the freshest dishes using ingredients that the chef brings in daily by boat from the neighbouring islands. Expect the freshest seafood and a combination of tantalising flavours from the Caribbean.
The service is very personal, friendly and attentive and catered to each guests’ individual needs. You want to go scuba diving or sailing or heli-skiing – no problem – the resort has it covered and experts to guide and help you along the way. Snorkel, scuba, or splash – anything you want!
A full bar and staff are on hand to make you Pina Coladas, Cosmopolitans, or whatever you enjoy all day long and serve you the finest wines or Champagne with every meal. Be as active or passive as you like. Get involved or just laze around with a great book from their library – this is not a hotel but a home (actually Richard’s home) for you to enjoy for the duration of your stay.
Numerous high-profile vacationers that have stayed there, from the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama, Princess Diana, and Maria Carey to name but a few. However, for some even to spend a night on Necker Island is an unfathomable dream. Even Richard Branson recognises that staying there on an exclusive basis is a luxury that not many people get to enjoy.
Therefore, Necker has made your dreams a reality by opening up this exclusive Caribbean heaven to those who don’t want to book out the whole island – these are called celebration weeks. Guests can now book individual rooms during a few selected weeks out of the year to be able to get their own taste of the ultimate lifestyle. The available celebration weeks in 2020 are September 19th- 3rd October; and October 17th-31st.
Aside from the natural beauty that is 360 degrees around, you will also see a stunning array of wildlife on Necker Island during your stay, from lemurs to flamingos to giant tortoises! Their friendly team will be delighted to introduce you and arrange a feeding time that you’re welcome to attend.
Thanks to the Celebration Weeks, Necker Island can now be a realistic and ultimate dream destination on everyone’s bucket list!
“Necker Island is my home and favourite hideaway. I invite you to explore this idyllic island paradise for yourself and to be inspired by its beauty. I hope someday to be able to share it with you.” Richard Branson