My Experience at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker and Moskito Private Islands
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
I was pinching myself when Lyndsey Balog, my Virgin Limited sales contact, asked me if I wanted to do an educational trip to Necker and Moskito Islands, Sir Richard Branson’s private islands in the British Virgin Islands, which is one of my favorite places on Earth! I also happen to be a huge Branson fan as I read his books, The Virgin Way and Finding My Virginity. I love his sense of adventure, work ethic, philosophy, fun loving personality, his philanthropic and sustainable missions, and the way he lives life. How could I possibly say no to this opportunity? To see Necker Island, a place he calls home was a dream of mine and a Bucket List trip!
I have a picture of Necker in my office that my husband and I took when we chartered a boat on our honeymoon and bounced around the BVI’s. This was a bit surreal to me as the past year, I’ve been visualizing Necker Island in some of my meditations-talk about manifesting! This trip to “paradise island” had special meaning to me which made me so excited not only to experience these exclusive places, but to share my experience with my clients and others.
As we are still under this “Covid cloud” for travels, I completed a BVI application before I left with proof of my Covid vaccination card, a negative Covid-19 test (had to be taken 3-5 days before departure), confirmation of accommodation, passport number, date of issue on my passport and my travel insurance policy. The application fee was $105.
At the gate in San Juan, I had to show the QR code I received after my application was approved by the BVI government and my passport. We took a smaller Seaborne plane from San Juan to Tortola. Once we arrived in Tortola, we took a Covid test at the airport. It was a quick process for us going to Necker as we were the first to receive the Covid tests and didn’t have to wait in line. At this point, for fully vaccinated travelers, the quarantine is only 24 hours. Jeremy, Moskito’s General Manager met us (Lyndsey, me and four fellow travel advisors) at IAM Jet Centre and escorted us to our boat that was ready to take us to our home for the next 2 nights- Estate #3 on Moskito Island.
Currently, there are six estates on Moskito Island, more are in the process of being built. Walking in was a WOW moment, the feel was light, airy, and the views were gorgeous. We were greeted with a cocktail, appetizers, and a warm smile.
You get around by golf cart on the island as some of the hills are steep. My room also had a living space that was separate from the bedroom. There was a sliding door that locked between the bedroom and living area. No need to bring sunscreen here, they have it placed in the bathroom for your use along with bug spray. I love that the sunscreen they use is also coral friendly! Estate #3 can fit up to 22 guests in it. The rooftop has panoramic views and is a great spot to stargaze.
The view from my bed was breathtaking.
Highlights of this stay besides being a beautiful estate were a day trip to Manchineel beach with a BBQ lunch, getting to know the advisors and staff, pizza night at the Beach Pavilion, a rum tasting, touring the property and a few other gorgeous estates here. I discovered I liked the Goslings rum the best and Zacapa 23 came in second for me. For tennis lovers-the tennis court here is the prettiest court I have ever seen!
I was blown away by the spacious living space and view in the Estate #6 we toured. The estate has seven rooms and a bunk room that can fit up to 8 children in it.
I think families will have a field day at Estate #7 with this water slide! This estate has ten rooms. They are building a hot tub here in a location that will give you an adrenaline rush!
Seeing the Branson Estate was another WOW moment for me. I loved that 2 of the Estates were each decorated by his daughter Holly and his son Sam. How can you go wrong with this entertainment space in the Headland House?
We saw this breathtaking sunset at Estate #3 on our first night.
The boat ride to Necker from Moskito was about 10 minutes. I got chills as we arrived at the red dock at Necker. I couldn’t believe I was about to step foot on Sir Richard Branson’s private island! The staff is ready waiting for us at the dock and took us to the Great House, which is where we stayed. The décor is Balinese, there are a lot of interesting and cool pieces in here and the other houses. Moskito is more contemporary in décor than Necker. Necker is 74 acres in size with a 3-mile perimeter! For hikers, there are several trails on the north end that will take you around the coast or over the main ridge which you can do alone and or with a guide.
I stayed in room #4 at the Great House on Necker Island. I loved the fact that I could see Bali Hi out the window! The picture I’ve been looking at for years in my office is of the Bali Hi House! I felt at peace as soon as I walked in the room. The views, the decor and YAY, a signed copy of Branson’s “Losing my Virginity” book to read, I can’t wait! Thank you to the Necker team for making our stay so special. And thank you for all these goodies! Love them all!
While we were touring the properties we saw the flock of the flamingos in the pond, giant tortoises and lemurs hanging out. This place is great for wildlife lovers-children will be enthralled with this here! I am holding a baby giant tortoise in this picture. These are believed to be the first naturally bred Aldabra Tortoises outside the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.
A huge highlight was hanging out with the Lemurs! The last time I saw Lemurs was in Madagascar and I remember being amazed at how far they could jump from branch to branch. On Necker they were jumping on us! We fed them. It is not recommended to pet them.
At the Beach House there is a tennis court where you can take lessons with a pro (included in the rate), and you can have a spa treatment. I had a massage with Anastasia, and she was great. She was extremely knowledgeable and went the extra mile in giving me suggestions on stretches. One of the other great value is that you can also take a kitesurfing lesson (included in the rate). I did this with Ben, he was a great teacher. I had the kite up for a bit on the land for my first lesson here, which was fun! Other activities you can do here are: wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, paddle boarding, sub winging, snorkeling and scuba diving.
All the food served is fresh and delicious. Our chef was creative with the meals and the display on the plate. There wasn’t one meal I didn’t like. They pay close attention to detail. In my preference sheet I filled out before I left, I put that I primarily eat gluten free (besides my cheat meals) and in the morning they served me this scrumptious gluten free toast which was appreciated. One highlight was watching a mermaid floating in the water with a boat of sushi! There was a great DJ there playing tunes while we hung out and ate lunch. I kept saying that I want the Necker Island play mix! The music around the island was such an awesome mix! A disco DJ is included for one night during your stay.
Another highlight was our boat excursion day (included in the rate). We first stopped for a snorkel before we headed to Jost Van Dyke to have lunch at Hendo’s and then a cocktail at Soggy Dollar. On our way back we stopped at Willie T’s new location (post hurricane) before we headed back. Our staff was so fun and full of energy, they had us smiling and dancing on that boat. It was a party!
It’s hard to have a favorite house here as they are all so beautiful and have their own sense of character and place. Necker has the Great House which can accommodate up to 24 guests in 12 rooms plus 6 children in the bunk room, the Bali Houses-Bali Lo and Bali Hi which each accommodate 6 guests in 3 rooms and the Temple House which can accommodate up to 4 guests in 2 rooms. I loved this view at Elder’s Temple, which is a newer house on this island.
The beach at the Beach House was a great spot to relax and soak in the sounds and the sights. You may get lucky and see a flamingo fly by! There are Celebration Weeks where you can book a room and or you have the option to book the whole island for a wedding and or other special celebration for up to 40 guests. Smaller groups (8-15 rooms) can be booked and shared on a non-exclusive basis with other guests from June-December. For parties with more than 40 people, we can look at booking Necker and Moskito.
Before heading back to the US, we also needed to show a negative Covid test. We had a doctor come to Necker Island the day before we left to take our tests and received the results the following day. Another dream trip realized and a reminder that manifesting works! A huge and heartfelt thanks to Lyndsey Balog and the Virgin Limited Edition team for giving me this unbelievable opportunity. And thank you to the Moskito and Necker teams for the great service, the fun and for making this trip so memorable.
What is your next dream travel destination? I am happy to answer any questions on Necker and or Moskito islands. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and or email@example.com. Stay tuned for highlight videos of each island!
With passion and adventure,