Richard Branson has another island, and it’s the ultimate in private luxury
Photos courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
Among the side effects of COVID-19[female[feminine was the creation of a few high-profile TV series set in exclusive complexes, The white lotus (HBO) and Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu). Much of the appeal of these programs to travel-hungry viewers is the depiction of lavish luxury hotels. The White Lotus Resort (filmed at a Four Seasons Resort in Maui) and Tranquillum Wellness Center (filmed in Byron Bay, Australia) offer stylish accommodations in spectacular locations.
If only these productions had waited, they might have shot their series in the British Virgin Islands at one of three private estates now available for exclusive buyouts at Moskito Island, offered through Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition (a collection of eight premium properties located around the world, including one in the mountains of Morocco, a safari camp in Kenya and a Mallorcan estate). Like Nigel Tufnel’s amp in This is the spinal cock, the three estates of Moskito Island take luxury and take it to 11.
Branson bought the neighboring island of Necker in the British Virgin Islands in 1979 and owns a spectacular estate there, where he resides much of the year. In 2007, he enlarged his island estates by buying the island of Moskito, which now has 10 estates. The island, about 125 acres in total, is located east of Virgin Gorda (Branson was initially drawn to the area when he learned that there were islands that shared the names of his trading businesses ). Branson and two other owners lease their estates through Virgin Limited Edition. The three now available are the Branson Estate, the Oasis Estate, and the Point Estate.
All of the Moskito Island domains offered by VLE are only available as full domains; you cannot book a single room. But you can, if you wish, reserve more than one domain. They start at $ 17,500 a night (the off-season rate at Point Estate) and go up from there, with peak season per day rate for the Branson estate at $ 36,000. The minimum reservation is four days. The fee includes all food and drink, and for each area there is a chef who will tailor the menu to your needs and preferences. (Of course, if you want to organize a wine extravaganza, additional charges will apply. But with sufficient notice, VLE management will take care of it.)
The region was hit by the devastatingly destructive Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the structures on Moskito Island were designed with safety and sustainability in mind. The island has its own desalination plant, a plant for crushing glass waste into sand, solar power and an eco-waste system for treating wastewater for irrigation. Much of the food supply is locally sourced, and the fish are brought to the island on local fishing boats – the chef is part of a WhatsApp group with local fishermen.
The Branson Estate opened its doors to guests in 2020 and has 11 rooms spread across three different sub-areas, each with its own dining area and swimming pool. Headland House is the highest of the three, with great views from the master suite and the inviting great room, which combines plenty of seating for a large group, gaming options, and a generously stocked bar. The ambience of the place is vaguely British Colonial. The other two parts of the Branson Estate are the Beach Villa, which, as you would expect, is located right on the water’s edge and was built with guidance from Holly, Branson’s daughter, and the Mangrove Villa. , who took over from Holly’s brother, Sam, and has a definite Polynesian flavor as it is nestled among the mangroves along the shore. Each of these villas also has a master suite.
The Point Estate, which opened in October 2021, is the most kid-friendly – its eight bedrooms include an eight-bunk bedroom for children. There are two main suites – Hilltop and Seaside – and the entire property looks west through a canal to an almost uninhabited stretch of Virgin Gorda. It also has a free-standing structure perfect for sunset dinners. The Point is the closest area to the beautiful stretch of white sand called Manchioneel Beach, with brilliant blue water. Various water sports facilities, as well as an inviting dining room and seaside bar, provide additional comfort.
The Oasis Estate, also open in October, is a hilltop extravaganza of modern architecture and sweeping views, with nine bedrooms, large common areas, floor to ceiling windows, and a master suite that seems almost suspended in the air, with a huge terrace and breathtaking views. The infinity pool meanders through what appears to be about a quarter of a mile, with shallow sections for loungers to recline in while surrounded by water, and deeper sections for when you really want to swim. And if you swim, you can swim to the bar, with its submerged bar stools.
A fourth estate called The Village is nearing completion and is expected to welcome visitors in the summer of 2022. Located on top of a hill, it will feature signature amenities like a cantilever hot tub. with a glass bottom hanging from the hill and looking down at the Caribbean waters, a dry conversation pit inserted in the middle of the large swimming pool and a dining area where part of the floor rises like a elevator to reveal a fully rigged DJ booth. The name of the estate, of course, is reminiscent of the classic 1960s TV show in which Patrick McGoohan played a British spy who resigns and is then kidnapped and taken to an idyllic seaside resort called The Village, where nefarious forces attempt to bring him. to answer the question, “Why did you resign?” If he had been taken to the village of Moskito Island, perhaps he would have accepted his fate better.
The most difficult question visitors to these areas are likely to face is whether they would prefer a rum punch or mango mojitos after returning from a snorkeling trip or whether the next activity should be a game on one of the island’s tennis courts or a workout at the gym.
Because each estate is only rented in its entirety, visitors can be as private as they want, while still having the flexibility to interact with other Moskito visitors in shared recreation areas, such as the Beach House, tennis courts and Manchioneel beach. Considering the exclusivity of the island, these encounters with other visitors could prove to be an unforeseen asset of a stay there.
Across the board, rooms are large with enchanting views and include luxuries such as private indoor and outdoor showers, balconies designed for lounging, and mesmerizing views of the surrounding islands and reefs. Each estate has its own flavor: Branson’s Headland House has the most traditional atmosphere, reminiscent of a mansion in one of the hill stations of the British Raj; the Point is apparently the most private domain and has the easiest access to Manchioneel beach; and the Oasis, with its four floors of clean modern architecture and 360-degree hilltop views, is like the lair of a particularly successful Bond villain. Or a much larger version of Tony Stark’s Malibu Estate at Iron Man.
The scale and luxury of these areas lead to cinematic analogies. And after spending a few nights at the Oasis, you can wake up in the morning, walk on your balcony, watch the sunrise over Prickly Pear Island and think, “I a m Iron Man. ”And maybe you are.
Evan Cornog writes about luxury travel and automobiles for Worth. He can be contacted at [email protected]