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Home > Travel > Destinations > All about Moskito, Richard Branson’s new private island
All about Moskito, Richard Branson’s new private island

Working as a travel writer comes with its fair share of food perks. I’ve dined next to Eddie Redmayne at Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, enjoyed a private meal at Per Se, and had a picnic in the middle of the Serengeti. But nothing prepared me for the experience of having access to private chefs at all hours of the day and sipping from floating Champagne glasses while I lounged in an infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea. So, where did I have this super indulgent dining experience? Richard Branson’s new private island called Moskito, located in the British Virgin Islands.

Of course, we all know the Virgin founder’s original private island, Necker Island. It’s famous for hosting guests like President Obama and serving over-the-top meals like a floating sushi boat. But, after decades of retreating to that paradise, Branson decided to purchase an additional 125-acre (0.5 sq km) island just two miles away and build another estate. Instead of just using it himself, he sold nine other plots on the private island, and three of those — The Branson Estate, The Oasis Estate, and The Point Estate — are now available for rent at $17,500 (THB 6,62,069) a night.

Incredibly, I was invited to visit the homes and spend five days living like a billionaire, as part of the island’s launch. And while I was excited about the stunning landscape, plush accommodations, and fun activities, I was eager to taste the food in this unique setting.

Moskito
Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

While I didn’t know exactly what to expect, I did know that Moskito is not like a hotel. There are no set menus. Instead, a dedicated house manager (there’s one for each estate) reaches out pre-arrival to learn guests’ food preferences. So whether you’re vegan or kosher, or want Japanese one night and Italian another, the onsite chef prepares completely custom meals. I was even told that the team flew in spices from Mexico in response to a guest’s request.

Before my arrival, I informed the team that I did not eat shellfish. They went out of their way to prepare versions of shellfish dishes sans shellfish, and they also knew who I was at the table without ever introducing myself. No matter where I dined on the island — I ate at all three homes and the communal area called the Beach House — servers addressed me by name and made sure I knew which dishes were prepared according to my preferences.

And since I wasn’t picky (beyond the shellfish requirement), I enjoyed a variety of cuisines and dishes, all set up in a feast-like style, with platters of tuna sashimi and truffle pizza and perfectly fresh seafood. I felt like royalty every lunch and dinner.

Breakfast was a bit more low-key, as everyone woke up at different times. But, freshly chopped coconuts were always at the ready, and someone was always available to make my early bird latte at 6 am. In fact, there’s someone available 24 hours a day to get you whatever you need; all you have to do is push a button in your room, and someone will take your request. One night, when a few people decided to stay up late, a bartender also stayed up to ensure flavorful cocktails (like painkillers with top-shelf rum) were flowing until everyone went to sleep.

Private island
Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Speaking of cocktails, high-end spirits were everywhere, as was Champagne. When I first landed in the British Virgin Islands, a staff member offered me a chilled flute of Veuve Clicquot to enjoy during my privately-chartered speed boat ride to Moskito. And it never stopped from there. Whether on the beach, on a boat, or simply lounging by the pool, I sipped super flavorful cocktails. Of course, since everything is an experience here, those cocktails often came in floating glasses, ensuring I didn’t have to sacrifice my infinity pool dip to take a sip.

But, one of my favourite epicurean moments had to be dinner at The Point Estate, where we dined in the infinity pool. The experience engaged every one of my senses. I watched the pinkish purple sunset over the bay as the gentle ocean breeze cooled my skin, while eating some of the freshest fish I’ve ever tasted. I finally knew what it felt like to live like a billionaire.

This story first appeared on www.foodandwine.com

(Credit for the hero and featured image: Virgin Limited Edition)

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All about Moskito, Richard Branson’s new private island

Jordi Lippe-McGraw


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