For the first time, billionaire Richard Branson is opening up his home on Necker Island to individual stays during the 2023 festive season. Jenny Southan reports

Located in the British Virgin Islands, Necker Island is the home of Virgin Atlantic-founder Richard Branson, and one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.

Usually the island is only available to book through Virgin Limited Edition as an exclusive buy-out, which costs from US$118,500 per night in 2024 (for 40 guests), meaning it’s only available to the super-rich (or big groups of friends or family who can club together to pay for it). Necker IslandHowever, a limited number of “Individual Stays” are also open to the public throughout the year, enabling travellers to book one of 24 rooms in Branson’s house, rather than renting the whole property and island.

Up until now, this privilege has never been made available for the festive season but this year Necker Island has added a cluster of room nights in December for couples or smaller groups of friends and families between December 11 and December 26 (presumably because Branson is spending Christmas elsewhere).

Rates are from US$5,400 (December 11-20) and US$5,850 (December 20-26) per room, per night based on two adults sharing one room. (No departures are permitted on December 24 or 25.) Minimum lengths of stay may apply.

The rate includes accommodation, all meals and drinks, return boat transfers from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports, water sports and children’s activities.Necker Island

In 2024, dates for Individual Stays are:

March 31 – April 8 (Easter)
May 18 – 25 (adults only)
August 24 – 31
September 14 – 28 (adults only)
October 19 – 26
November 23 – 30 (Thanksgiving)

Necker IslandAll guests have access to “legendary barefoot luxury experiences” such as guided nature hikes and lemur feeding; al fresco yoga, Pilates, and meditation; water sports; boat rides; tennis; and outdoor cocktails and meals at the island’s “most picturesque spots”.

There is even the option to  take a sustainability tour of the island, showcasing all of Necker’s current environmental initiatives striving towards 100 per cent renewable energy. (Branson has installed wind turbines to generate clean electricity.)

Over Christmas (December 20-26), additional activities will include gingerbread house building at the Great House, dining from the famous floating “sushi kayak”, “Carol-oke,” rum tasting, Santa meet-and-greet, beach olympics and maybe even a rare sighting of a Necker reindeer.Necker Island sushi boatChildren has access to the Necker Squids club, as well as wildlife interactions, pool time, tennis games, and beach activities to Master Chef cookie, sushi and Pirate hat making. Each day wraps at 5pm for “Home Time,” so that the rest of the day is for the whole family to come together and connect.

Virgin Limited Edition is a collection of unique retreats, chosen for their beautiful locations and magnificent surroundings. Other properties in the collection include the Branson Estate on Moskito Island (which Globetrender has visited and reviewed here), Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa, Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, the Lodge in Verbier, Mahali Mzuri, a tented safari camp in Kenya, Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in South Africa, and Son Bunyola hotel and Villas in Mallorca.