- Richard Branson's private Caribbean island, Moskito Island, is opening to the public for the first time.
- Guests can rent Branson's entire personal estate - which can house 22 guests in three villas - starting at $25,000 per night.
- It's just 2.5 miles from his other private island, Necker Island.
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Moskito Island is not to be confused with Branson's other private Caribbean island, Necker Island, which Branson bought in 1978 and which serves as a luxury retreat that's typically booked exclusively to private groups.Moskito Island is a 125-acre island in the British Virgin Islands that's about 2.5 miles away from Necker Island.
In 2011, four years after Branson purchased Moskito Island, he started developing roads and other infrastructure on the island, according to a spokesperson for Virgin Limited Edition, Branson's luxury hotel and retreat company.
By 2015, he had installed basic infrastructure and completed construction of his private estate, a Virgin spokesperson told Insider at the time. Branson also sold nine other private lots on the island to unidentified buyers to be developed into villas.Today, the Branson Estate is one of 10 individual estates on the island.
The Branson Estate is the first estate to open to the public for rentals, but some of the other estates will open later in 2021, the Virgin Limited Edition spokesperson said.The price to book the Branson Estate in its entirety starts at $25,000 per night in the low season, between June 1 and September 30.
In the high season — January 6 through May 31; October 1 through November 20; and November 29 through December 21 — exclusive use of the estate starts at $33,000 per night.
The estate is even pricier during the holidays. Over Thanksgiving (November 21 through November 28) the price goes up to $34,650 per night. And from December 22 through January 6, a night's rental will cost you a whopping $36,600 — putting a week's stay at more than a quarter of a million dollars.The Branson Estate comprises three villas: Headland House, Mangrove Villa, and Beach Villa, with a total of 11 bedrooms for 22 guests.
If a potential renter doesn't want to book the entire estate, it's possible to rent four guest rooms starting at $12,000 per night, with the option to book an additional room for $2,000 and an additional master suite for $3,000.
The nightly rate includes all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), in-villa chef services, and access to Moskito Island's shared recreation facilities.Each of the three villas on the Branson Estate has its own swimming pool.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe heart of the Branson Estate is Headland House, which can accommodate up to six guests in three bedrooms.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe villa features a wraparound infinity pool with an outdoor seating area and bar.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe pool is directly accessible from the master suite, which has walls that open up for 180-degree sea views, a private sundeck, and an outdoor bathtub.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionBeach Villa, which can sleep up to eight guests spread across a master suite and three individual guest houses, also has a spacious communal area and pool.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionBeach Villa's master suite, dubbed the Flamingo Nest Suite, includes a large deck with a day bed that overlooks the pool.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThen there's Mangrove Villa, which has a large lounge looking out onto a deck that leads to the infinity pool and hot tub.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionAt Mangrove Villa, all the rooms are elevated and connected to Headland House and to the neighboring Beach Villa by wooden walkways.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe Branson Estate also has an outdoor communal area with a bar and multiple seating areas.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionGuests at the Branson Estate have access to all of Moskito Island's shared recreation facilities, including Beach House, which has its own infinity pool, bar, and dining pavilions.
At Beach House, guests can lounge by the infinity pool overlooking the sea while sipping a cocktail from the bar.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThey can also request to dine poolside or directly on the beach.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe pristine private beach is lined with palm trees and beach loungers.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionThe recreation area also includes tennis courts, a gym, and a water sports center that provides stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling gear.
Source: Virgin Limited EditionDespite the name, Moskito Island has no more mosquitos than any part of the British Virgin Islands, according to Branson's company.
The name derives from the first printed reference to the island, "Musketa," which was likely an old anglicized spelling of the word musket, according to Virgin Limited Edition.To get to Moskito Island, guests can fly commercial or private into the nearest international airport, Tortola on Beef Island, which is a 35-minute flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a one-hour-and-20-minute flight from Antigua.
Guests then take a private shuttle boat to Moskito Island, which is provided by Virgin Limited Edition and included in the rental package.
Before booking the Branson Estate, guests should of course familiarize themselves with the British Virgin Islands' strict COVID-19 travel restrictions, which include taking a COVID-19 test within five days of arrival, another upon arrival at the airport, and another on day four of your trip.
On arrival to Moskito Island, guest are required to take a rapid COVID-19 test and quarantine in their dedicated estate for the first 24 hours before being allowed to access the communal areas. After four days of quarantine at their accommodations on Moskito Island, guests are allowed to travel elsewhere in the British Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands has reported only 154 COVID-19 cases and one death.Branson opening up his island to the public comes at a time when demand for private island properties has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Island brokers have been fielding floods of inquiries from wealthy clients who want a safe haven from the coronavirus, The New York Times reported in October.
Others have been seeking to rent private island properties. Dylan Eckardt, an agent at Nest Seekers International, told the Times he keeps hearing from clients: "Money is no object, put me wherever my family can't get sick."