When our editors Rhonda Bannister, Tanya Joslin and Nicole Deuble got the chance to join Richard Branson at his idyllic private hideaway Makepeace Island just upstream from cosmopolitan Noosa late last year, they came back gushing about the suave and eccentric billionaire with a surprisingly romantic side!
Branson and his Virgin Blue co founder Brett Godfrey have taken what was once the secluded island home of local character Hannah "Shotgun" Makepeace, and converted it in to an exclusive destination for discerning couples or small groups of friends seeking out luxurious yet playful seclusion on the Sunshine Coast.
Makepeace Island has now become sought after not only as a holiday retreat but also as a picture perfect location for weddings. With architecture and decor inspired by Bali, the heart-shaped island can accommodate up to 22 "castaways" - not a bad way to slit the $8000 a night price tag! - and boasts a two-storey open aired Balinese wantilan as the centrepiece to a tropical paradise ambience.
The huge lagoon pool, a full sized tennis court and pavillion, spa facilities, theatre, office facilities and an expansive indoor bar is designed for entertaining on a grand scale. And the stunning gardens and indoor decor include giant sculptures, teak, granite and stone finishes, volcanic boulder bathtubs, ornamental lighting and antiquities and furniture commissioned and acquired in Bali, Java and elsewhere throughout Indonesia give one little doubt that this would be a spectacular residence to hold a small wedding - and you don't have to leave to enjoy the honeymoon. The island even has it's own private chef and a riverboat to transfer guests to and from Noosa!
Makepeace Island was recently voted 'One of the World's Best 101 Hotels' by the highly acclaimed Tatler Travel Guide and Awards, in which it was the only Australian property to feature in the Private Islands – Sensation Seclusion category. The Island will celebrate the achievement with a 6-month birthday celebration providing guests who book from today and stay in February and March 2012 with free flowing French champagne from the house of Moet and Chandon for the duration of their stay.
We have always admired Richard Branson for his cheeky take on a luxurious lifestyle. Now we have even more reason to want to be in his world, even if just for a few days!