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Richard Branson’s Necker Island

The Master Suite at Necker Island’s Great House.
The Master Suite at Necker Island’s Great House.

by Gary Walther

The Hotel Detective hears lots of stories in his line of work, but three weeks ago, sitting next to Richard Branson at dinner on Necker Island, his private-island Caribbean resort, which has just reopened, he heard a great one.

Do you remember the hit record Tubular Bells?

That’s what I thought. The Hotel Detective doesn’t either.

But this single by Mike Oldfield, one of Branson’s first recording artists at Virgin Records, put his then fledgling label on the map.

The punch line: It almost didn’t happen.

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GaryGary Walther, the former editor-in-chief of Departures and ForbesLife, now writes “The Hotel Detective” column on Forbes.com


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