Private Island Paradise
Paradise. That's the only word that even remotely begins to sum up my experience at Richard Branson’s British Virgin Islands hideaway, Necker Island. One of a group of five travel professionals that were chosen for an exclusive visit, we were privileged enough to enjoy the 74-acre retreat all to ourselves. Surprisingly easy to access, I was awed from the moment we set off in our speedboat transfer from Tortola. Picture the most breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean scene you can imagine, with the softest, whitest sand and clearest sea – and Necker Island surely tops it! Having been lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful seascapes in my life – from the Maldives to elsewhere in the Caribbean – I have sincerely never seen water like the one surrounding this perfect private island. Even better, you can see it from pretty much everywhere on the resort – from the tennis courts to the bathrooms!
A (Very Luxurious) Home-From-Home
Despite the exclusivity of the island, it is wonderfully laid-back and really invites you to embrace the Caribbean lifestyle. Truly feeling like a home away from home, we stayed in the open-plan Great House, once lived in by Richard Branson himself! They have thought of simply everything here with all the toiletries you could possibly dream of, GHD straighteners and quirky baskets of sun lotion and amenities dotted around the island. Of course, it wasn’t exactly like home… it’s not everyday I get to enjoy luxurious lava shell massages, Balinese facials and ocean-facing yoga on a Wednesday morning...
Service with a Smile
The staff were wholeheartedly one of the best things about my Necker Island experience. Laid-back and lovely, it was like spending time with old friends whenever they were around. Despite this, everything was absolutely seamless – from our warm welcome at Tortola airport, to our friendly bar servers and their amazing stories.
The perfectly clear waters around Necker make it a watersports haven, with hobie cats, windsurfing and wakeboarding all on offer. Snorkelling off the two lovely beaches was a fantastic way to see to see the marine life – as well as colourful tropical fish, I swam alongside graceful sea turtles and friendly manta rays. The wildlife encounters didn’t stop in the sea, though. The island is filled with a range of amazing species – from the chatty parrot Marley, to flocks of flamingo, to the huge rock iguanas that are endemic to the BVI. My wildlife highlight had to be the lovely Madagascan lemurs, with over 60 on the island! Richard has developed a passion for helping to preserve these amazing creatures and I can see why... they were so friendly and curious, with two even sitting on my shoulder as I explored their huge natural enclosure.
Delightful Dining Experiences
As if my Necker Island escape wasn’t fabulous enough, the food was also exceptional (with sea views to match!). The friendly head chef Simon, who formerly worked for the ultra-luxe Singita brand in South Africa, and his team kept us well-fed the entire trip. An amazing meal of Moroccan lamb was perhaps my dining highlight, though our final night’s dinner of fresh lobster and Caribbean blackened chicken was also phenomenal – enjoyed alongside beautiful views from the aptly-named Sunset Point. Just one of the quirky culinary offerings here is the unique floating sushi kayak, filled with fresh rolls and sashimi, decorated with beautiful flowers. We sampled this delicious sushi alongside drinks while relaxing in the huge Jacuzzi.
This originality, attention-to-detail and laid-back decadence pretty much sums up my sensational stay in the paradise that is Necker Island.
To book your private island escape to Necker Island, give Hayley or the one of the Luxury Travel Specialists in our Caribbean team a call today.