The Brando

Cannes, France
Cannes, France // Photo by vichie81/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Villas at The Brando boast their own private beach area and plunge pool.
Villas at The Brando boast their own private beach area and plunge pool.

I recently returned from the Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa. Located 30 miles north of Tahiti, it has always been a place of stunning beauty, tranquility and rejuvenation — first for Tahitian royalty and later for Marlon Brando, who chose it for his personal sanctuary.

In November, I was privileged to be a guest at the recently opened resort, The Brando. Situated on a breathtakingly beautiful private atoll, this property is truly unique in concept and scope, combining environmental purity, luxury and Polynesian charm into one exceptional experience.

The Brando was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture, and features 35 villas on white-sand beaches.
 
The Brando was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture, and features 35 villas on white-sand beaches.

The Brando resort, a pioneering model of sustainable technology with sea water air-conditioning and energy from the sun and coconut oil, is a unique project. Protection of the abundant tropical fish and other marine life is core to the resort’s mission, and there is an eco-station for scientific research that guests can, and should, visit.

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The arrival experience starts with departure from The Brando’s private air terminal at Pape’ete’s Fa’a’ā International Airport. It has an elegant decor and its staff welcomed us immediately with beverages, snacks and engaging conversation. The plane ride is about 20 minutes or so, and upon landing we were greeted by authentic Polynesian musicians and the hotel’s management team.

We were then driven away in a golf cart with our own guide who gave us a tour of the property and was at our disposal to do whatever we wanted him to prior to being taken to our villa.

Once at our villa, I can only say that no element was missed. Immediately, I wanted to spend weeks here. Each of the 35 deluxe villas boasts its own private beach area and plunge pool designed to showcase the natural beauty and incredible biodiversity of the atoll. The villas are mostly one bedroom, but are also offered in two- and three-bedroom versions. Think private villa rental with all of the luxuries and amenities of a world-class resort hotel to enjoy. Inside our 1,033-square-foot bedroom, the space was warm and welcoming. Each structure has been carefully designed to blend into and enhance the serenity of the surroundings, so you feel as though indoors and outdoors have merged together. The elegant living room is furnished with soft and comfortable chairs and sofas. To one side is a separate media room, where you can listen to music, watch a movie or plug into the state-of-the-art video system to review the amazing photos you clicked. A walkthrough dressing area adjoins the king bedroom, connecting it to a luxurious bathroom with indoor shower and an outdoor tub discreetly protected by the foliage.

Bathrooms at the resort have an indoor shower and an outdoor tub discreetly protected by the foliage.
Bathrooms at the resort have an indoor shower and an outdoor tub discreetly protected by the foliage.

The resort is great for both couples and families. Since it is all-inclusive, guests are offered one complimentary excursion per day. We chose a boat tour to Bird Island and Billionaire’s Swimming Pool. There were turtles hatching their eggs, stingrays gliding around us in the lagoon, and various species of non-threatening sharks swimming amidst the brilliantly colored corals and smaller tropical fish. They have a great kids’ club equipped with glass-bottom canoes for gentle explorations of the reef and lagoon environment.

Guests are also offered one complimentary spa appointment per day in the most tranquil setting imaginable overlooking the lily ponds.

In keeping with its theme of sustainability, The Brando produces its own honey on its bee farm. The food is imaginatively presented in both the casual and gourmet restaurants. The pastries, ice creams and seafood were delectable treats, as was just about everything we tasted.

Everyone’s privacy is well protected and you will only be in the company of other guests should that be what you desire.

Lastly, the resort has 200 or so staff members to serve guests in the 35 villas.

Takeaway Tip: This is one of the most amazing resorts in the world. It should be on the list of 1,000 places to see before you die.

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