We want to be friends with Richard Branson. And so should you!
e don’t love our friends for what they have, but for what they are. But if we can holiday on their private island, we love them just a little bit more. If that’s what you’re after, Richard Branson is your BFF in the world, even if you’re the Obamas. Think of your dream vacation. This adventurous, billionaire entrepreneur can sort you out, no matter what. Hot air balloon? Done. He’s owns an air balloon business. A dip in the Caribbean? Say no more. He owns several private islands on the British Virgin Islands. Space travel? Give him a couple of years. He’s already on it. He’s not one to turn down a friend. He said so himself: “My biggest weakness in life is that I can’t say no.”
Getting there won’t be a problem. Branson, who is worth 5 billion dollars, owns several airlines, two train lines and a racing car company. In 2017, he’ll launch his own cruise line. All these companies are under the umbrella of his empire: Virgin. But Branson doesn’t (only) think about money and business. He loves adventure sports, and has crossed the Atlantic in a yacht and flown around the planet in a hot air balloon.
Beam me up, friend
It looks like the entrepreneur has outgrown Planet Earth and decided to embrace space tourism. His mission with Virgin Galactic is to democratize access to the universe, although it’s not for everyone just yet. A seat on the space rocket costs $250K.
Virgin includes several hotel chains, but his friends probably stay in the ‘Virgin Limited Edition’ establishments. Ecological, high standing hotels located in some of the most fascinating landscapes in the planet. Son Bunyola is his latest creation: three private villas peeking out over the Mediterranean Sea, on the northern coast of the Spanish island of Majorca.
Visitors in the Mahali Mzuri luxury safari camp, in the Masái Mara (Kenya) nature reserve, can witness an iconic natural event: the annual Great Migration of animals. Ulusaba is Branson’s private South African reserve, located in the Sabi Sand reserve, where visitors can go on a safari and then rest in one of the two hotels. Still in South Africa, the British billionaire’s friends can call in at Mont Rochelle, the resort he has built in the little village of Franschhoek, 75 kilometres outside Cape Town, where good wine and gourmet food are always on the menu.
Moving on along the Richard Branson world tour. Luxury and exoticism in Morocco go by the name Kasbah Tamadot. Hidden in the Atlas mountain range, this hotel features an open air cinema, among a host of other services. Still deep in the mountains, the Alps this time, Branson also has a ski resort. After a ski-packed day, unwind in the hot tub at The Lodge and tuck in to a 3* Michelin meal.
If you’re more into soaking up the sun on a dreamlike beach, there’s something for you too. Necker Island, a luxury eco-resort, has welcomed some of his best friends, including Kate Moss and Mick Jagger. Branson lives next door, on Moskito Island, a private island that only his closest friends get invited to. He hosted the Obamas there in January, after the US presidential elections.
If you’re lucky enough to be his friend, you’ll never have to worry about your holidays again. If you’re not, try making a fortune. His advice: If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.