Branson's island makes Tatler news
BOATIES on the Noosa River know it as "the island Richard Branson owns".
Those who can afford the price tag say it is "the ultimate in seclusion and privacy".
Now the world knows Makepeace Island as one of the most stunning hotels in the world.
From its two-storey open-air Balinese wantilan to its lagoon pool, spa facilities and on-site executive chef, the exclusive heart-shaped island has remained something of a mystery to outsiders.
But it has also been acknowledged as something very special, even in a part of the Coast where being "exclusive" is almost passe.
Now it's official, with Tatler Travel Guide naming the island as the only Australian property to feature in the Private Islands - Sensation Seclusion category of its awards, announced at a gala event at the Ritz-Carlton in London last week.
But at more than $1000/person per night during peak season, most of us will have to be content to take their word for it.
Or admire the pretty pictures.
The island, owned by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and business partner Brett Godfrey, is designed to accommodate a maximum of 22 guests in absolute privacy.
But it's still just a short boat ride from the heart of Noosa ... by Sir Richard's private launch, of course.
Or you can fly in by chopper, if you wish.
Tatler described Makepeace Island as "Vishnu meditative serenity", noting that it still "has a little testosterone in its veins" with "a giant swimming pool with blue lights, chairs that dangle over the water and some saucy night time reading books".
Which is why most of us can't afford it.
It highlighted the spectacular features as including an "enormous black volcanic rock bath that you can slide in to, pink-waxed-coloured marble floors and wetroom walls, gardens of Calia lilies and your own pond with a three-yard waterfall".
The food was described as "brilliant" - "plenty of seafood, fat oysters and a pork-belly dish so divine you'll be hugging the chef".
Sir Richard reportedly described the Tatler listing as "wonderful" while Anthony Hayes, CEO of Tourism Queensland said the island represented "everything that is wonderful about a holiday in Australia".
"So laid back, so relaxing, and yet the wonderful service perfectly complements the natural environment," he said.
"Barefoot luxury at its very best," he said.
But then even without having to wear shoes, you and I still can't afford it.