Breaking News Update: Sadly, on August 22, 2011, the magnificent Great House on Necker Island was destroyed by a fire caused by a lightening strike. All of the 20 guests escaped harm, but the luxurious house was a total loss. Sir Richard Branson says that he will rebuild.
Necker, Sir Richard Branson’s private island paradise, is in the British Virgin Islands, a stunning and unspoiled area of the Caribbean. At 74 acres, Necker sits in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sandy beaches. Necker can become your own private hideaway; away from the stresses and strains of daily life. The price tag for renting the entire island privately (maximum capacity of 28 guests) is not for the faint-of-wallet, but you can also book individual rooms “house party” style during special Celebration Weeks.
The Great House - This majestic, airy Balinese villa sits on Devils Hill and boasts panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean and neighboring islands. There are 6 double rooms, each with a balcony (some shared), king size beds with mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms. On the main level is the Junior Suite with a spacious lounge area and outdoor terrace, while on the upper level the Master Suite comes complete with outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor bath and a home entertainment system.
The Great House is also equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen from which the resident chefs prepare their famous dishes. There is a fully-stocked bar where you can be served or you are welcome to help yourself. The Great Room is the hub of the island, complete with snooker table, piano, lots of comfortable sofas and cushions and entertainment system with a large range of CDs and DVDs. The Great Room is surrounded by an outdoor terrace with hammocks, sofas and some of the best views in the Caribbean.
The Bali Houses - These 6 beautiful private houses are built in authentic Balinese style. Some of the Bali Houses are split levels complete with a meditation room. Bali Hi, Bali Cliff and Bali Beach are built on a cliff in order to maximize views, sea breezes and the sounds of the sea. They are quite close together with one shared plunge pool but all with private en-suite bathrooms. Bali Cliff has a stunning fully open-air bathroom. Bali Beach as you might expect overlooks the beach! Bali Lo, Bali Buah and Bali Kukila are built in the middle of the island and boast wonderful views with a large private pool. Golf buggies (mules) are provided so you can drive to and from your Bali House to other areas of the island.
The Beaches - There are plenty of places to lie on the beach and enjoy the sea. Main Beach is where most of the water activities are based and where you will find the Tennis and Beach Pavilion. Turtle Beach is a more peaceful palm-fringed beach, with hammocks hanging between the trees and an aqua-trampoline anchored to the sea floor. There are many other places where guests can find a peaceful spot to relax and the more energetic can take the 2-hour walk around the Island to view the flora and fauna.
The Pools - The Great House boasts a large infinity pool with beautiful views and a Jacuzzi; however the Beach Pavilion has one of the most stunning pools around! There is a swim-up bar complete with rocks in the pool where you can sit and enjoy a drink. It is a freeform infinity pool with a stunning waterfall. Within the pool complex is the thatched Crocodile Pavilion, complete with a large solid teak crocodile table where you can be served fresh food from the Pavilion’s gourmet kitchen.
Water Activities – Necker has a large selection of state of the art equipment so you can try kite-surfing, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, power boat trips and plenty more. They also provide snorkeling equipment for those who want to go out and blow some bubbles with Necker’s underwater wildlife! The watersports building is located right on the main beach and qualified instructors are eager to help you try all the sports that are available.
The Tennis Pavilion - Two floodlit courts and a viewing pavilion are located in the Main Beach area. Equipment is provided, although enthusiasts may wish to bring their own. A professional tennis coach is normally resident at Necker for those who wish to perfect their game or arrange tournaments.
Bali Leha – The Necker Island Spa – Leha Leha is the Balinese way of describing peace, relaxation and daydreaming, and there is no better place to do this than at the Necker Island Spa. Bali Leha is built into a cliff overlooking the sea so while being pampered by a fabulous range of treatments you can enjoy beautiful ocean views, or close your eyes and drift away to the gentle sounds of the sea. Treatments can be taken in the spa, in a room or on the beach. Spa treatments are one of the few activities that are not included in the rates.
The Gymnasium - The fully equipped gymnasium located at the Great House, has stunning sea views that will definitely take your mind off your workout! All of the equipment is new and the gym is air-conditioned.
Food & Drink - Fine food is the highlight of a stay at Necker and the rates are fully inclusive of all food and all beverages, including champagne. The wonderful chefs prepare the food and it is up to guests whether they want to dine on lobster and caviar or a Sunday roast! Dining can be formal or informal, inside or outside, themed or traditional or a mixture of everything!
They stock a fine range of international wines, top quality spirits, international beers and excellent house champagne. They will ship in something special with no extra charge unless the item is particularly rare or extra shipping is involved. No limit is placed on the amount of food or beverage consumed and guests are encouraged to treat Necker like their own home, therefore you are welcome to help yourself to anything you want, any time.
Children – Richard Branson designed Necker Island to be his family’s holiday home, therefore it is no surprise that Necker Island is child friendly. There are plenty of things for children to do; a large range of children’s DVDs, toys, books and games. They can also arrange activities such as treasure hunts or beach Olympics. Children’s meals can be provided any time, but babysitting is provided at an additional cost.
Celebrations - Necker is an idyllic place to celebrate weddings, honeymoons, birthdays, anniversaries or any other happy gatherings. The island can host up to 100 people and they will arrange accommodations at nearby British Virgin Island resorts. They can and will arrange practically anything to help mark a special occasion – fireworks, hundreds of balloons, a non-stop feast; you ask and they will make it happen.
If you would like to live like Richard Branson, if only for a while, let Covington Travel make all the arrangements for a trip to Necker Island. It will be a luxurious treat beyond compare!
Photos courtesty of Necker Island