Richard Branson’s Moskito Island Lets You Choose Your Own Adventure
For his follow up to Necker, Branson designed a trio of getaway experiences in the BVI.
Nights on Moskito Island can be quiet. That’s due in part to geography—the tiny, 50-hectare private isle is in the tranquil British Virgin Islands—but it’s also very much by design. My first evening at the Branson Estate, after a dinner of fresh mahi-mahi, lamb shanks and tuna sashimi, I strolled the dark, meandering path back to my residence, swung open the door (with no room keys, the place felt like a second home) and was met by a pin-drop silence broken only by the waves gently crashing just outside the window.
But that’s only one sublime experience on Moskito Island, created by Virgin Group founder and space-adventuring billionaire Sir Richard Branson. There are more to be had. What sets this newest escape apart from other postcard-worthy BVI destinations—including Branson’s neighbouring Necker Island, which you can book in its entirety for $145,000 per night—are its options. With three distinct estates on the property, Moskito is like a choose your own adventure set in a breezy, impeccably curated paradise.
So while my first evening at the serene Branson Estate, with its picturesque balconies, vaulted beam ceilings and vast common areas, was centred around relaxation—a quiet glass of bubbly in the hot tub; rinsing off in the cabana-like outdoor shower under a clear sky full of glittering stars—my time at the hilltop Oasis Estate was more focused on rum punches and swapping stories with the other guests.
Encompassing a sprawling contemporary mansion resembling a Hollywood Hills bachelor pad, the Oasis experience seems engineered for the all-night party crowd, with an infinity pool, a swim-up bar and a fire pit. Here, the thrum of nearby revellers persisted late into the evening, a far cry (if a relatively short distance) from the waves that had lulled me to sleep at Branson.
The final offering, the Point Estate, is a hybrid of the other two. Situated at the edge of the island, the cliffside residences have spectacular water views, and it’s the only estate on the island with a kids’ bunk room; for even more family-friendly ease, it also offers direct beach access. As with every accommodation here, you’ll be assigned a dedicated estate manager who can do everything from source your favourite caviar for dinner to whisk the kids off to investigate Moskito’s remote corners in a golf cart.
Regardless of which option you choose, guests have access to a bevy of amenities to suit a range of travel styles. Moskito has two tennis courts along with paddleboards and kayaks for exploring the coast. Or try a Hobie Cat, a small sailing catamaran with a mesh hull that guarantees you’ll get splashed; I found it a welcome reprieve from the midday heat and one of the best ways to appreciate the island from afar. Take it to Manchioneel Beach, where the clear, warm water is the perfect shade of cerulean. Should you opt to charter a yacht—an add-on the Moskito staff can help arrange—the other BVI are at your disposal as well.
Before we depart, Branson meets me at Necker, in characteristically good spirits despite having just taken a tumble from his bike during a charity race on Tortola a few days prior. We pay a visit to the island’s colony of ring-tailed lemurs, which climb all over us in search of treats, before sitting down at an enormous wood table carved in the shape of a crocodile for an open-air lunch. His ethos for Moskito, and the larger Virgin resort portfolio, is straightforward: “Beautiful places should be shared.” On Moskito Island, how you choose to enjoy that magnificent place is very much up to you.