Richard Branson famously owns Necker Island, a luxurious hot spot in the British Virgin Islands that has hosted high-profile guests from Princess Diana to Barack Obama. But as The Robb Report pointed out, the British billionaire also owns another private island, one on Australia's Sunshine Coast that's arguably even more exclusive.
Makepeace Island, a heart-shaped gem located off the coast of Noosa in Queensland, Australia about an hour from Brisbane, where Virgin Airlines has its Australian headquarters.
The island serves as a "home away from home for Richard," a place where he can relax with friends and family, a representative from the Virgin Group tells CNBC Make It. Branson typically visits the island every year when he is in Australia.
Branson purchased the island with two other partners in 2003 for nearly $3 million (in comparison, Branson bought Necker in the 1970s for $180,000). In 2009, he developed Makepeace into a private retreat, and in July 2011, Makepeace opened its doors to the public and became available to rent — but it will cost you a pretty penny.
To stay on Makepeace, it costs $7,200 to $13,000 per night for up to eight people. After eight guests are booked at that rate, there is an additional guest rate of $370 per person per night, up to a maximum of 22 "castaways" as the website calls them. Prices also include transfer to the island, food, activities and more.
The island has three luxury villas as well as an Island House, which features four bedrooms. There's also a "boathouse," which features a private bedroom with a balcony allowing for views of the sunrise and sunset over the water.
Makepeace also has all the trappings of a luxurious escape, including a 500,000 liter pool, a 15-seater spa, tennis court, gym, walking trails, paddle boards and kayaks. And the island's executive chef creates custom menus that focus on farm-to-table foods.
In typical Branson fashion, Makepeace also prioritizes sustainability: The island features organic produce, its own chickens and beehives, vegan friendly amenities and a recycling and wastewater purification system.
The name "Makepeace" comes from Hannah "Shotgun" Makepeace, who moved to the island in the 1920s and was "known for firing her shotgun twice into the warm Queensland sky to summon the local villagers, who would row their boats through the river's mangroves and eucalyptus to see what she needed," according to The Robb Report.
Branson initially bought Makepeace in partnership with the former CEO of Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) Brett Godfrey, and the airline's maintenance provider, Virgin Tech director Robert Sherrard, Virgin Group says. Branson and Godfrey still own Makepeace, along with Radek Sali, chair and founder of Light Warrior.
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