When I visited Necker Island in January of this year, I was treated to a hard-hat tour of a building site! The famous fire that had ripped through and gutted the original Great House (yes, the one with Kate Winslet rescuing Sir Richard's Mum!) had left just a shell of a building, and a team of the world's best designers and architects were hard at work creating something in its place that would still capture the 'essence' and original, unspoilt charm of Necker, but that would improve on what was previously there to create something very special indeed.
In January, there was still a lot of work to be done, but you could see how fabulous the house would be once finished - and the position on the island, and the views on offer, alone, are spectacular.
The Great House is now nearing completion and boasts eight guest rooms, each with a balcony, king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom. A 1,500 square feet master suite sits upstairs really exploits the position of the house, and has been specifically designed to make the most of the panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean and neighbouring islands.
The house has followed the original's Balinese design, and is due to reopen In September 2013. New features include an expansive outdoor terrace with hammocks and sofas and a large dining table for guests to eat together al fresco.There is also a fully-stocked bar for cocktails and a crow's nest on the roof has amazing views.
Sir Richard Branson recently said: 'The opening of the Great House in September signals a new dawn for Necker which I'm very excited about'