Rent Like a Virgin
Turns out you can live like Branson-for a few hours or days at least- and for less than you might expect. He has a portfolio of belongings that he shares with wannabee jetsetters and is about to add a yacht to the menu.
Come February, you can sail away on Branson's 105-foot-long carbon-fiber catamaran, the Necker Belle. for just $88,000 a week.
Renters can cruise the high seas at 20 knots under sail while enjoying wi-fi and satellite TV. The Necker Belle, described as having a "contemporary, beach house vibe," sleeps ten people in four staterooms and the main cabin area. Imagine! All that and more on a seven-day jaunt that costs about the same as two years at a top University! Seriously though, split 10 ways it's only $8,800 a person.
Beyond the Necker Belle there's a whole collection of Branson's Virgin Limited Edition loaned retreats.
If your pockets run deeper, why not sail the catamaran to Branson's private island in–naturally– the British Virgin Islands?
Necker Island tenants join the ranks of rock stars and movie stars who've dropped upwards of $47,000 a night – with a five-night minimum. Renters (maximum 26) have the run of the island, staying in cliff-side villas and enjoying requisite pampering by a staggering staff of 50. Amenities include an indoor garden and terraces that overlook all those other islands. (Rent a Branson boat or helicopter to spend the day elsewhere if you get bored.) Meals are as decadent as expected: Think three-pound lobster in the pagoda and mountains of foie gras in the floating dining pavilion.
Round up 25 of your closes friends for a week in the Caribbean and it's a little over $9,000 a piece--pocket change!
For jet-setters short on time, there's the Natirar resort located in the way exotic state of New Jersey (just 45 minutes outside of New York City). To be clear, this is no Seaside Heights, Jersey Shore beach house. Rather, the 40-room estate was once the slick crib of King Hassan II of Morocco.
The mansion sits on 90 acres of a sprawling 500-acre property that includes waterways and woodlands (not a boardwalk or clam shack in sight). Phase 1 of Natirar is the just opened Ninety Acres Culinary Center, home to a restaurant that supports local agriculture, a cooking school, a wine school and a 15-acre working farm. Next up will be the guest cottages, a media room, 4,000-square foot pool, tennis courts, fitness facility, croquet field and greenhouse. Branson and his partners have plans for on-site activities like horseback riding and fly-fishing, too. The cost of country estate living? Well, if you have to ask...
At least compared to a trip on Virgin Galactic. The price of letting Branson shoot you into space is $200,000 ($20,000 deposit required). Do you think that includes cocktails?
Virgin Limited Edition [Official Web site]