Talks between Sir Richard Branson and the Orient-Express Hotels over the purchase of La Residencia Hotel in Deya are believed to be still on track. It is understood that once the deal, worth an estimated 3.800 million pesetas, is closed, the hotel will be fully operational as part of the luxury chain within a period of two months. The Times recently reported that Branson is also discussing the sale of his majority stake in Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons hotel and restaurant in Oxfordshire. Sources for the Virgin group also recently confirmed that Branson's luxury Son Bunyola estate in Banyabulfar is also up for sale for around 1.500 million pesetas. Son Bunyola was once the site for what Branson described would be “one of the most beautiful hotels in the world, but local politicians and environmentalists ruined the tycoon's dream. Should all the deals go through, the sales will signal a further winding down on Branson's hotel interests. In 1999 he sold Virgin Hotels for £21 million. However, Branson also owns a game reserve in South Africa and a new hotel in Morocco, and of course Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands which he is highly unlikely to ever sell.


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