WITH his usual residence on the British Virgin Islands uninhabitable, Richard Branson has revealed how his estate in Son Bunyola has become a more regular home.
“Whilst Necker Island is being rebuilt, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time at many of these [other] properties,” Branson told A Place in the Sun.
“I’ve tried to create the kinds of places that I would never want to leave.
“I’ve always run my homes like businesses and run all my businesses like homes.”
The Virgin Group founder re-bought his 700-acre luxurious Son Bunyola estate in 2015 after a previous dispute with the Mallorquin authorities who had denied him planning permission to build a luxury boutique hotel there in 2002.
“Son Bunyola is my favourite Mallorcan retreat, I try to visit as often as I can,” he said.
He now harbours plans to build Europe’s best eco-resort on the land.
“Central to the estate is a Finca building dating back to the 1800s, surrounded by vines, citrus trees, almonds and olive trees.
“It is absolutely beautiful and I look forward to seeing how plans progress.”
The estate comprises a large manor house – the aforementioned Finca – which Branson stays in when he visits the island.
Accompanying the manor are three country houses, available to hire to the general public if they fancy a luxurious and relaxing break.
“The northwest coast has always been a location for which I have great fondness.
“It has so much to offer… unspoilt nature, picturesque villages, top-class restaurants and Finca hotels and culture.
“The region is dominated by the Tramuntana mountain range and its breathtaking scenery and is home to some of the most historical and picturesque towns on the island.
“My son, Sam, even named his daughter Eva-Deia in honour of the village of Deia, which is one of the most beautiful in the world.”
Branson has no plans for retirement and after conquering the business world on Planet Earth with his Virgin brand he now has his sights set on outer space through his Virgin Galactic company which aims to deliver commercial space travel.
However, Branson knows that even the most successful business magnates need time to rest and recover – and Son Bunyola will provide him with this for many years to come.
“Mallorca is so special to me because it provides the perfect environment to relax, laugh, learn and love with my family,” he said.
“My favourite memories are the most simple: sitting around the table talking, admiring the scenery and enjoying meals and good company.
“We’ve had a special bond with the island for several generations and I’m sure it will go on for generations to come.”