The government required that the new owner should build a resort within five years from the date of purchase or the island would revert back to the state.
Branson complied and built not only his home on the island but also one of the most exclusive, private retreats in the world.
The 74-acre island can host 16 to 28 guests all year-round for the price of $42,000 a night. Individual villas can also be rented to couples for $27,000 a week during several weeks out of the year.
We were invited to tour the island by Sir Richard, and his Virgin Limited Edition company, which manages his luxury resort properties around the world, flew us to Necker last week. We will be publishing posts about our trip in the upcoming days. You'll be able to find them all here.
Disclosure: We were flown out to Necker Island, BVI by Virgin Limited Edition, which covered our travel and lodging expenses.
On our first morning on Necker, the staff organized a hike around the island. They had sneakers in various sizes, if you didn't bring your own. Under Armour is the unofficial sports apparel provider for Necker.
The obligatory basket with various protection products is always nearby. Sunscreen by Sun Bum for the day, and Johnson's OFF or natural mosquito repellents and after-bite lotions for the evenings.
Our guide Orwin Murray, a watersports manager, leads the way.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider