Richard Branson’s Necker Island is an island paradise.
The 74-acre island has plenty of opportunities for fun.
The recently remodeled Great House has a 1,500-square-foot master suite with panorama ocean views. A zip line brings visitors down from the house to the white sand beach, where they can kitesurf or hang out on Branson’s yacht, Necker Belle.
Branson bought the island for $US180,000 in the late 1970s.
He explained how the purchase came about in a Virgin blog post Tuesday.
I had been madly trying to come up with a way to impress a girl I had fallen for, so I rang up the realtor, and expressed my interest. We were still in the early days of Virgin Records, and I by no means had the cash to buy an island. Luckily, the realtor didn’t know this and offered me an all expenses paid trip to see the Islands that weekend. I agreed to go on one condition — if I could bring a guest.
To my delight, the object of my affection agreed to join me on the trip. I fell in love twice that weekend — once as our helicopter (supplied by the realtor of course!) swooped over the turquoise water and white sandy beaches of Necker Island, and again when I saw the smile on the face of the beautiful girl who sat beside me on the journey. Together we strolled around the Island and dreamed up plans for turning it into a haven for musicians.
Those dreams were quickly spoiled when the realtor quoted the ‘discounted’ asking price of $US6 million. Smitten with the unspoilt paradise, and keen to impress my new love, I offered the highest amount I could afford: $US100,000. As you can imagine, the realtor was less than impressed, and left us high and dry to find our own way back home.
About a year later, Branson writes, he was informed that no one else had made an offer on the island. He agreed to pay $US180,000 for the island under the condition that he would build a resort there.
Branson married his island guest — current wife Joan Templeman Branson — in a ceremony on Necker in 1989, 11 years after their first trip there.
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