Necker Island, Virgin founder Richard Branson's private escape in the British Virgin Islands has been an escape of the (very) rich and (sometimes) famous for some time. But a fire in August 2011 burned the main house to the ground.
Branson said at the time the "nightmare" reminded him of the movie "Mandalay."
In fact, a famous actress played the heroine in this real-life drama that night. Kate Winslet was credited with saving Branson's mother's life.
But good news! The renovation of the Great House is nearly complete and it will be open for guests once again in September 2013.
Each of the eight Great House guest rooms has a balcony, and all come with king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms.
On the upper level is the master suite, which is a whopping 1,500 square feet with panoramic views from virtually every angle. It includes a two-person Jacuzzi, a stand-alone outdoor bath and a kitchenette area with a fully-stocked fridge.
"The brand new Great House is the heart of the island and I am thrilled with the results so far. The opening of the Great House in September signals a new dawn for Necker which I'm very excited about," said Branson.
For exclusive-use bookings, accommodation on Necker Island includes the Great House and six individual Bali Houses dotted around the island. There's also a bunk room in the Great House that sleeps as many as six children. The total number of guests that can be accommodated on Necker Island is 30, plus six children in the bunk room, at a nightly rate of $60,000.
- Richard Branson