You can use miles to book a stay on Sir Richard Branson’s private island

Apr 21, 2020

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Not even the world’s billionaires are immune to the economic damage being caused by the spread of the coronavirus around the world.

Sir Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group and said to be worth just shy of $5 billion, has said that he’s willing to put Necker Island, his private escape in the British Virgin Islands, up as collateral against loans he’s seeking to secure for his two airlines: Virgin Australia, which entered the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy and Virgin Atlantic that is currently seeking a bailout from the government of the United Kingdom.

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So, what exactly is Necker Island that Sir Branson is willing to sacrifice to keep his airlines alive?

(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)
(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)

It’s a 74-acre private-island oasis north of Virgin Gorda and east of Puerto Rico, and a resort with just 17 rooms. And, it’s available for you to book, if you have the cash — or miles — to spare.

(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)
(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)

Typically, you have to rent the entire island and can bring up to 34 guests, but from time to time Virgin Limited Edition makes certain “Celebration Weeks” available, during which you can book an individual room (you can view the available 2020 and 2021 weeks here). And, these are the ones you can book with miles — a whole lot of them.

(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)
(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)

Each Celebration Week all-inclusive package includes the following for two adults over a seven-night stay:

  • Accommodations
  • All meals and drinks (including all alcoholic beverages) — served in a variety of locations
  • Return launch transfer from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports
  • Dedicated waitstaff team
  • Two freshwater infinity pools and hot tub on the beach
  • Two tennis courts
  • Water sports equipment for windsurfing, kite-surfing, water-skiing, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and more
  • DJ for one night
  • Wireless internet throughout the island
  • BVI accommodation tax

If you want to book a Celebration Week with miles, you’ll need to commit to a seven-night stay, and it will cost you 1.5 million Flying Club miles for a room in the Great House. At current TPG valuations of 1.5 cents per Virgin Atlantic mile, 1.2 million miles is worth $22,500. Considering you could pay up to $8,000 per night for a room, you’ll get a tremendous value for your miles.

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019
(Photo by Virgin Limited Edition)

Miles bookings are currently restricted to those who have Virgin Atlantic Silver or Gold status; however, you may be able to status match to Virgin Atlantic from another airline or hotel program. And, thankfully, you can instantaneously transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic, all at a 1:1 ratio. Booking with miles is only available by calling an agent directly.

Featured photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition.

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