Necker Island: Richard Branson's Private Island
Extra Virgin Necker Island
by Alain Gayot
A Stay at Necker Island
Extra Virgin ... it's the kind of oil the chef pours on island preparations here, and it's the kind of service that "King" Richard delivers on his (virtually) deserted island. The king we're referring to is the founder of Virgin Entertainment, Sir Richard Branson. Ever since he decided to share his private island paradise, he's been in good company. Royals who have visited his kingdom include England's late Princess of Wales; additional guests of regal standing include movie monarchs and czars of rock 'n roll.
Branson's island empire operates like a resort, but you must book the entire palace, which can accommodate a total of 30 courtiers and an additional six children. You could say this is the experience of a lifetime, but some — who have done it once already — are compelled to return for more of the bliss that is life on Necker Island. Accommodations consist of the Great House (which was recently rebuilt after a fire destroyed it) and six Bali Houses, featuring furniture that was designed and built in Bali, disassembled, shipped over and reassembled in the Caribbean. The cottages share a plunge pool or private infinity pool, and for all there are endless stretches of sandy beach, surrounded by coral reefs. If you need a rest from the sun, the bar is always open, movies are played on a giant screen TV, a library offers a quiet place to read and there is an excellent dining room.
we were here, the resort turned out amazing dishes, considering
the limited resources and isolation of the property, and
said dishes were accompanied by carefully selected, premium
wines. A salad of duck foie gras with lentils and crispy
beetroot came with 1985 La Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot,
and wild mushroom raviolis were served with a 1990
Corton-Charlemagne Joseph Drouhin. The chef also crafted
some mean desserts to top it all off.
Note: On selected weeks during the year, Necker Island hosts "celebration weeks" where the island operates hotel-style, and guests can book individual rooms instead of having to reserve the entire island.
to Get There: