Since the early 1980s, Necker Island has been the destination of choice for everyone who's anyone. From Princess Diana to Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, the list of illustrious figures who have graced the private island's shores is endless.
Envisioned by Richard Branson both as his family home and a highly exclusive sanctuary for discerning guests, this place does laid-back luxury like nowhere else. The entire island can be hired for groups of around 30 people, and has played host to such events as Kate Moss' 40th birthday celebrations and the wedding of Google co-founder Larry Page. Here at the Inspiring Travel Company, we can't think of a better place to have a party!
What's more, at selected times of the year, Necker Island hosts Celebration Weeks; when accommodation is opened up for individual bookings. With a maximum of 15 couples on the 72-acre island at one time, guests can expect unrivalled levels of privacy and space, as well as the chance to socialise over a delicious meal, served in a different stunning location each evening.
At the Inspiring Travel Company we’re delighted to be able to offer you a bespoke booking for a luxury Caribbean holiday during one of next year’s Celebration Weeks in September and October 2017 now! Planning the ultimate luxury honeymoon for a 2017 wedding? A week on Necker Island makes for a true holiday of a lifetime, and an adults-only Celebration Week, commencing on 9th September 2017, is the perfect post-nuptial escape.
So what makes this place so amazing? The list is probably endless, but here are 10 reasons, just for starters...
1. The beautiful BVIs
Necker Island is a tiny green dot trimmed with white sands, on the eastern edge of the British Virgin Islands. Panoramic views from many of the bedrooms here take in much of the surrounding unspoilt natural beauty, while boating trips are always on offer to explore more of this stunning archipelago. This captivating region used to be difficult to access for those travelling from the UK, but since October 2014 new charter flights to Beef Island mean you can now arrive at an airport that is only 25 minutes by private launch from Necker Island itself!
2. The Great House: A phoenix from the flames
With hammocks on the terrace and comfortable seating scattered throughout, this 9-bedroom residence manages to balance unmitigated luxury with an understated, homely feel. The social hub of the island, the Great House boasts palatial levels of space and is a place for lazy days and decadent dinners. Sadly, the original building was ravaged by fire in 2011, but has since been rebuilt to an even higher standard, with walls and pillars removed to create a truly indoor-outdoor feel to the place.
3. The new additions
As well as the Great House, Necker Island possesses smaller, but no less beautiful residences. The six Bali houses blend seamlessly with the landscape and provide the perfect location for a smaller group or couple's hideaway. New for 2015 come Temple House and the Love Temple, two new accommodation options on the island. Temple House benefits from a freshwater infinity-edge pool, a beautifully appointed kitchen and even sea views from the en suite bath in the main bedroom! Located nearby, just a short stroll down a grassy path, the Love Temple is built on a smaller, more intimate scale, with its own lawn terrace and a sensational open-air bathroom. (Did we mention this was a great place for a luxury honeymoon?)
4. The amazing service
Necker Island boasts a team of around 100 staff members who are dedicated to excellence in all areas. With a group of 30 staying on the island, the staff to guest ratio is more than 3:1! From the tireless housekeepers, to the endlessly energetic Watersports and Activities Team, every need is anticipated and catered to. Amazingly, though, the island team manage to deliver exceptional service whilst also being unobtrusive, hence guests are welcome to make their own drinks at the bar, or use the kitchen facilities in the Great House. You will be treated like royalty, but you won't be waited on hand and foot... unless you really want to be!
5. The fabulous food
Dining on Necker Island is an experience like no other. With the run of the entire island, guests eat what, where and when they want! You might choose a beautifully laid-out candle lit meal on Bali Hi Beach, complete with a bonfire and sand between you toes, or perhaps enjoy a themed dinner at the Great House, where you can help yourself to an aperitif beforehand, or ask one of the obliging staff to mix you a signature cocktail! Wherever you dine, French-born Head Chef Clement Baris will oversee the sumptuous menu.
6. The family friendly factor
The Branson family have seen Necker Island as a home for decades now, and the children have frequented the place since they were infants. As such, the island has a host of delights that make it a child's paradise. Within the Great House there is a Bunk Room, which can sleep six children and is packed with toys, books and games. What's more, staff are happy to arrange treasure hunts, time spent feeding the lemurs or pirate parties on the beach. Of course, the little ones might just want to splash about in the beach pool, or simply enjoy the freedom to explore the whole island!
7. The carbon neutral credentials
Necker Island's Chief Engineer is currently overseeing a project to harness the renewable natural energy sources that abound on the island. Sensitively placed turbines will take full advantage of the Trade Winds that blow throughout the year, whilst the almost constant sunshine will be absorbed by new solar panels, taking the island almost off the grid entirely. Conserving the natural environment is at the heart of the philosophy here, ensuring this beautiful place will be available for future generations to visit.
8. The wildlife
Flamingos, giant tortoises, lemurs, iguanas; there is a truly stunning array of wildlife on Necker Island. As part of the conservation programme here, species that previously inhabited the British Virgin Islands have been reintroduced. A now flourishing colony of 300 flamingos enjoy a natural habitat overseen by Vaman Ramlall, the island's Wildlife Conservation Manager. Just let the staff know if there's a particular animal you're interested in and they will guide you to the best viewing point. If appropriate, you may even get to help with feeding them!
9. The parties
One thing Necker Island is famous for is its contagious house-party atmosphere. Fun is a byword here and guests will be treated to as much or as little organised entertainment as they like. A host of themed party nights are on offer, from the Las Vegas Casino Night to the Kasbah inspired Moroccan Night. Of course, there's always the option of a party on the island's Main Beach, where the infinity-edge pool comes complete with swim-up bar and the Jacuzzi seats 30 people!
10. The Necker Belle
Another of Virgin Limited Edition's superlative properties, this luxurious 32-metre catamaran is based in the BVIs and available for charter all year round. The surprisingly light and spacious cabins aboard can accommodate up to 12 guests, while bespoke itineraries are available to suit any interest. Enjoying a British Virgin Islands cruise on this stunning vessel is the pinnacle of nautical travel, and a perfect way to cap off a luxury Caribbean holiday is this resplendent region.
Is that ten already? We didn't even get to the 16 different watersports on offer; or the floodlit tennis courts that play host to sporting legends once a year; or the off-island excursions; or the zipline! But if this little taste of the unending luxuries on Necker Island has intrigued you, call our Travel Specialists on 01244 355 600 or start a web chat now and make your dream Caribbean holiday into a reality!