Helen Tabois, Inspiring Travel Company’s Caribbean Product Manager, spent 14 hours on Necker Island and sampled a taste of island life. Here’s her first-hand account of everything this heavenly place has to offer:
I’ve heard it said that paradise isn’t a place, but a feeling. Maybe so, but Necker Island is as close to paradise as any place could be. I was lucky enough to visit the island for just 14 short hours, but within the very first moment I knew this was a special place.
The word ‘stunning’ doesn’t do the views here justice. Everywhere you look is a gorgeous vista in the brightest colours, with soft white beaches and bright green patches of palm trees. The island is secluded, peaceful and bursting with nature. It’s really hard to pick my favourite time of day to bask in the beauty of the surroundings here, but the night sky really is something special. There’s no light pollution, no noise, no disturbance; it’s just you and the vast skyscape with its billions of stars.
But before you get to the blissful evenings you’ll have to get through some truly spectacular days. I started my morning at Necker with some early-morning yoga on the terrace at the Great House. It was the perfect antidote to a long week in the office and a fairly long journey to get to Necker. That being said, as soon as I arrived on the island the extra part of my journey was so worth it – I would have travelled twice as long just to get a glimpse of this scenery!
After yoga I went down to breakfast on one of the many picturesque terraces to enjoy a wonderful breakfast watching the sun rise over the sparkling sea and surrounding islands. Meal times at Necker Island are a complete joy, with the superb staff cooking amazing food to perfection every time. The delicious meals are eaten family-style, with all the guests sat together at a long dining table to swap stories of adventures on the island. During our breakfast our host Sir Richard Branson joined us and gave us a friendly welcome to his jaw-dropping island home.
Immediately after breakfast we journeyed down to the soft, white sand of the beach below… by zip-wire! The waves that wash up on the shore at Necker are the perfect environment for watersports, and the team here can help train and teach almost anything, from kitesurfing to wakeboarding, scuba diving to SUP Polo (stand-up-paddle boarding polo, in case you were wondering!).
We were taken on a golf cart tour to see some of the other accommodation the island has to offer, the fully-equipped gym, watersports centre and the tennis courts. The bar at Beach House opens up onto the courts, making it another really inclusive communal space for guests to share. Togetherness is a big priority at Necker, and the team really go out of their way to foster a sense of community among guests.
After an outstanding day exploring the island it was time to retire to my palatial accommodation for a well-earned night’s sleep! I was lucky enough to be in Bali House, with a light and airy living space, a big double bed, elegant furnishings and a huge television that I can’t imagine anyone uses – there’s more than enough on the island itself to keep you entertained.
After a glorious night’s sleep in my air-conditioned room it was nearly time to bid farewell to the island, but not before a quick visit from some of the island’s permanent inhabitants – ring-tailed lemurs! They’re one of three types of lemurs resident on the island, and they’re really friendly: it only took a few snacks to encourage them to jump right up onto our shoulders. The island is a real natural paradise, with so much lush plant life, unspoilt sands and the animals who live here; along with the lemurs there are flamingos, parrots and tortoises who roam free around the place. I’m very jealous that they get to call this haven their home!
And then, just like that, my short but perfect visit was over. I said my goodbyes to the incredible team of staff, who honestly felt like old friends even after just a few hours of knowing them. My time on Necker Island was superlative, and no amount of pictures or reviews of this place can prepare you for its beauty. It’s an experience like no other.
Written by Helan Tabois from Inspiring Travel Company