Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Richard Branson's treasure island where world's richest celebrities holiday

February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
Necker Island is Richard Branson's private resort in the British Virgin Islands. The billionaire entrepreneur opened up his home to Australian fashion and celebrity photographer Russell James for his new book, "A Virgin Island." Necker Island is Richard Branson's private resort in the British Virgin Islands. The billionaire entrepreneur opened up his home to Australian fashion and celebrity photographer Russell James for his new book, "A Virgin Island."
HIDE CAPTION
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Richard Branson's celebrity island
Treasure island for rich and famous
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Richard Branson has opened up his Caribbean Island home for a new book
  • Branson purchased Necker Island in 1979 for just $180,000
  • Visitors to the island over the years include Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and Tony Blair

(CNN) -- Richard Branson has never been one to shy away from sharing his ostentatious exploits with the wider world.

Over the years, the billionaire entrepreneur has invited us to follow his attempts to hot-air balloon around the globe, delve the deepest recesses of the oceans and cross the Atlantic on a speedboat.

Now the founder of the Virgin Group has provided access to his very own private Caribbean resort, Necker Island, for a new book by Australian fashion and celebrity photographer Russell James.

Featuring more than 150 deluxe images, "A Virgin Island" reveals Necker's idyllic beaches and spectacular tropical wildlife as well as dipping inside Branson's luxury residences.

Branson purchased the British Virgin Island retreat in 1978 for a knockdown price of $180,000, setting up a home in which he still stays for at least two months of every year.

Ride aboard Virgin Galactic spacecraft
Branson continues to break down barriers

In 1984, he opened a luxury resort on Necker that has since welcomed a long line of rich and famous guests.

Those reported to have spent their vacation time there include the late Diana Princess of Wales, Hollywood stars Kate Winslet, Eddie Murphy, Geena Davis, Kate Moss and Robert De Niro as well as statesmen such as Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair.

Google co-founder Larry Page, meanwhile, married his girlfriend on the island in an elaborate 2007 ceremony.

Today, a stay on Necker is possible for anyone with the means, although prices rise to a prohibitive $60,000 a night to rent out the entire island.

If you're short a buck or two, we suggest clicking through a selection of James' best photos in the gallery above as a more fiscally prudent way of attaining the Necker experience.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
MainSail
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
Like "Downton Abbey," Henley's Royal Regatta reminds its visitors of an England of old. But for how much longer?
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 2339 GMT (0739 HKT)
VO65 'Dongfeng' Training in Hong Kong
Nine months at sea, one change of clothes, freeze-dried food and a strange language. Could you cope?
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Can a $134 million budget and the royal seal of approval bring the coveted America's Cup back to British shores for the first time in sailing history?
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
Bored of lounging on your superyacht in the Mediterranean? An increasing number of millionaires are now sailing their luxury vessels to the ends of the Earth, to get their kicks.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
He's one of the great landscape artists, but JMW Turner also had a watery passion -- and his maritime travels are being retraced.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
How do you get a foot on the property ladder, when you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world? The answer may lie in the water...
May 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
Quadriplegic yachtswoman Hilary Lister was saved from suicide through the sport of sailing. Now she is plotting a voyage across the Atlantic.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
The financial titans of the world don't just require service par excellence -- they demand superheroes at their beck and call.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0921 GMT (1721 HKT)
The Maltese Falcon makes a swift turn while at sea.
How do you design a superyacht fit for the billionaire who has everything money can buy?
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Meet the Lamborghini supercar yacht. To her owner, she's a $1 million dream machine. To others, she's a monstrosity. You decide.
March 25, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Love the movie? Now you can charter the superyacht -- if you can stump up $125,000 a week.
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1138 GMT (1938 HKT)
It's like a stunt from the latest James Bond movie, only this isn't a movie and there is no safety harness.
ADVERTISEMENT