More than two years after it was gutted by fire, the rebuilding of Richard Branson’s holiday home on his Caribbean island of Necker has been completed.
A lightning storm caused by Hurricane Irene in August 2011 started the fire, which left the ‘Grand House’ in ruins, and the Branson family running from the flames.
The property on Necker Island, which Branson bought at the start of his multi-industry empire, can be enjoyed for up to £37,000 a night. But the exotic getaway island attracted equally well-moneyed individuals before the blaze, illustrated by the fact that Kate Winslet was staying when the fire broke out, and was there to help Branson’s 90-year-old mother to safety.
Speaking about the all-new interior of the house, Branson said, “We didn’t want to lose the magic of the old house, but we wanted to do some magical new things. It’s like the old house on steroids.”
The billionaire said he had planned to “raise the roof” at a party to celebrate the re-opening of the holiday getaway, but got slightly more than he bargained for when lightning struck the £60m island once again.
“The gods were welcoming us back!” japed Branson.
The tycoon made no mention of whether or not he had taken out holiday home insurance on the property.
Necker is located in the British Virgin Islands and covers 74 acres. The island operates as an exclusive resort that can accommodate just 28 people at a time. Branson purchased the island in 1978 at the age of just 28. As part of the deal Branson had to agree to build a resort on the island within five years of purchase, or the island would revert to state ownership.
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