The Brando Island, Safe Isolation

An epic island retreat, not just for former Presidents, a refresher to remind you of its infinite charms! Mere mortals can now safely gather at The Brando Island with the strict French Polynesian Govt. COVID 19 testing mandates in place. Travelers can feel secure escaping to this island paradise, as the Tahitian government has strict pre-arrival Covid-19 rules. Travelers to French Polynesia are required to provide proof to the airline of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three (3) days of departure from the United States .Covid-19 testing prior to boarding a commercial flight guarantees everyone on your flight and the isolated island is bug free.

Brando Island, French Polynesia

From the air, Tetiaroa Island is nary a speck of tall swaying coconut and vivid green palm fronds surrounded by the palest of brilliantly clear turquoise seas visible from your private plane that transports you from Papette to the private island. Your first glimpse is of startling gem blue seas contrasted by white sandy beaches punctuated with miles and miles of jade green palms – a beautiful necklace of sea surrounding the pristine white beaches. A quick 25 min. hop, just barely skimming above the translucent seas and through huge billowy clouds; before you know it, the short runway appears on the edge of the sandy atoll.

Legends abound about the lure of Tahiti from painters Gauguin and Matisse, to the writers Jack London, Melville and R.L. Stevenson. The brilliant light, the vast sea and the allure of beautiful Polynesian women enticed many to this balmy paradise. You might be aware and possibly intrigued by Marlon Brando’s dreamy paradise, his paparazzi hideaway. If you need such distance, this is the most enchanting escape. I truly felt I had left civilization behind – the real world was merely 25-air minutes away, yet it felt a million miles away.

Brando Island Pool, French Polynesia

Photos provide glammy perspective, however the absolute beauty of the warm indigo seas, the stillness, occasionally interrupted by native birdsong, the natural beauty of the island must be experienced. A rare combination of nature and a man’s love for an island he called home for many years. The Brando experience is unlike any other – imagine balmy breezes, warm gentle seas teeming with flamboyant tropical fish and curious turtles, black night skies filled with thousands of stars, the Southern Sky is also a star at The Brando. The resort was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture.

Needs are met before you even think of asking. The staff is extremely efficient and beyond friendly – they are fun, and they seem to be genuinely pleased to assist in any matter.

Brando Island Activity Lounge, French Polynesia

The Villas – in total, 35 stand-alone unobtrusive villas, secreted on white sandy beaches with glorious water views, and nudged into a private thatch of shrubs, fragrant tropical flowers and swaying coconut palms. The 22 villas along West Turtle Beach and 13 along South Mermaid Bay have been carefully designed to reflect the Polynesian lifestyle and traditions. If you enjoy seclusion, even while knowing there are villas nearby, this should become your tropical paradise. Each day, I saw more guests at dinner, however I felt like it was my own private pristine island as I rarely encountered other guests during the day. Even at dinner the tables are isolated, you won’t be privy to others conversation. And nary a phone or tablet other than a few photographs- unplug and detach; no rules, nature seems to be the ruler here.

Elegant and chic and decorated in understated refined earth tones, the villas include a library with media room, massive light filled baths and a sumptuous outdoor tub for soaking and stargazing. Traditional Polynesian thatched roofs and floor to ceiling windows frame the gorgeous indigo lagoon. Infinity pool on wide expansive decks, terrace-dining tables, a rocker to idle away an afternoon – sublime comforts. My splash pool was a refreshing respite each afternoon, a brilliant après dip after snorkeling in front of my Villa. Two 2-bedroom villas and one 3-bedroom villa can be reserved for families. 

Brando Island Private Suites, French Polynesia

The gorgeous island is expansive and the bicycles at each villa allow you to pedal on paved paths to the spa or to dining. I love the fact that each Villa has a few bicycles assigned to its own villa and no matter how many times I abandoned my bike at the spa or at dinner – I, fearful of an Isadora Duncan demise, picturing my sundress wrapped in the spokes, left my bike strewn somewhere every evening. Each morning, my bikes had mysteriously returned to their sandy perch. This is only one example of the unobtrusive level of service at The Brando. If you prefer a golf buggy, ring reception and a buggy will materialize in a matter of moments.

Brando Island Private Suites, French Polynesia

Dining – The award-winning cuisine of Guy Martin of the Michelin two-star restaurant Le Grand Véfour in Paris is featured in The Brando’s dining venue Les Mutinés and in-room dining.

Brando Island fine dining at Les Mutinés

The resort’s Les Mutinés offers Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine, designed by the Executive Chef Pierre Lecorne. The restaurant also includes a world-class wine cellar in a carefully climate-controlled glass enclosure, despite being miles from civilization, you can enjoy a very civilized meal with fine wines at The Brando!

This venue features elegant décor in beautiful tones of tropical light and sand and a moat that surrounds the restaurant provides the sensation of floating on a lagoon. The intimate restaurant also includes a world-class wine cellar in a carefully climate-controlled glass enclosure. A menu with the same regard for flavor and quality that has made Le Grand Véfour one of the most respected dining established in Paris is showcased. Scrumptious! 

You won’t find a typical breakfast buffet at the Beach Comber Cafe, which offers exceptional lagoon and ocean views, whether you decide to dine indoors or on the beach. Healthy smoothies, tropical fruit and honey from the island to smother the scrumptious croissants and freshly baked bread. Highly recommend the scrambled eggs – prepared to perfection.

Brando Island Lagoon View Bar, French Polynesia

Lunch is served at the Lagoon View Bar on the second floor, this open-air bar features spectacular views of the lagoon, distant motus and sunsets. In addition to the main lounge, there are several private tree-level seating areas that can be reached on walkways through the palm canopy. Fresh line caught fish and excellent fresh vegetables and organic salads. One tuna dish in particular, elicited begging every day for a repeat! The delicious bread – try to abstain, as it is bountiful and a very bad habit to start, as it seems to be baked all day long!

Nami Teppanyaki Chef Nakamura will be happy to take you on a journey to Japan’s most subtle flavors in the elegant and intimate setting of the Nami Teppanyaki Restaurant. With three different menus designed around specialties of the land, the sea, and a mix of both, the meals are prepared in front of guests and cooked on a teppanyaki iron griddle. The Nami Restaurant also features a selection of sake wines, Japanese beers and a large selection of worldwide wines

Brando Island Bathroom View, French Polynesia

And during the day, hang at Dirty Old Bob’s beach front bar! Two specialties of the sandy beach side bar included the Dirty Old Bob and a Marlon Brando Margarita, each equally energizing and effervescent! Several of the concoctions include island honey from the Tetiaroa hives sprinkled about the neighboring islands. See my fun post on Dirty Old Bobs Bar:

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Brando Island Dirty Old Bob’s Bar, French Polynesia

Spa – So gorgeous, relaxing and stunning architecture. A brief bike ride beneath the towering coconut fronds and you arrive at the secluded pond, the actual location where the Tahitian Royal family once withdrew to rest and indulge in relaxation routines. A natural haven, the spa villas are hidden amid the dense jungle; dragonflies and enormous Lilly pads adorn the scene from your perch above the pond. There are a few couples rooms including an intricate woven wooden sphere tucked into the tall palm, suspended like a nest in the middle of the deep green jungle canopy. .

Brando Island Spa cocoon, French Polynesia

An indulgent treatment included every day for one guest, The Brando and the Varua Spa will truly reset your balance. From the moment you arrive at the spectacular space, your heart rate seemingly drops as you are enveloped in the calm of this natural preserve. Quiet is only interrupted by the splash of a bird in the lagoon. The Brando Spa .

The Brando is a fully inclusive Sanctuary: meals and beverages, a spa treatment each day and an excursion. No cash or credit cards needed until check out. Even the boutiques and jewelry shop – wrap and deliver your packages to your room sans credit card. A wallet is an unnecessary swim suit accessory.

Brando Island, path to the spa, French Polynesia

Activities: An abundance of activities are available from bicycling, snorkeling, and bird watching, to paddle boarding and scuba diving. Experience nature’s bounty discovering plants, birds, old native forest, a lemon shark nursery, and other marine life. Spend time on the main island or discover the untouched private islands surrounding the lagoon. Explore the spectacular lagoon by Polynesian outrigger canoe, kayak, paddleboard, snorkeling, or scuba diving. Other activities include taking a guided tour of the atoll’s motus, stargazing with a naturalist, swimming at Mermaid Bay or relaxing at the beach or pool. And in the dark clear evening skies, Southern sky stargazing is magical!

Brando Island tennis, French Polynesia

The Brando is pure paradise. If planned in advance, fly-fishing day trips with Teihotu Brando are a marvelous adventure. Walk through the warm surf and cast out in the salt flats – I loved my quiet day despite being unlucky in fishing!  Sunset ceremonies, traditional Polynesian music and dance…despite being marooned, you might be immersed in activities if you please.

Logistics: it is only an 8-hour flight from SFO to Tahiti – and a private 25 min flight in The Brando puddle jumper to Tetiaroa Island. Three hour time difference if you must work from Paradise!

Brando Island Spa Lagoon, French Polynesia

Paradise is closer than you think! Stunning natural beauty, authentic experiences, divine dining and spectacular spa. Why, may I ask, are you not plotting an escape? Covid Tourism in place.

Brando Island, French Polynesia

“Tetiaroa is beautiful beyond my capacity to describe. One could say that Tetiaroa is the tincture of the South Seas.”

Highly Recommend The Brando!

Four Seasons Bora Bora recent client Journey

There is a dreamy private island paradise that feels safe in this ever changing global oyster; a pearl of a property, Four Seasons Bora Bora, a five-star luxury resort. Many of our clients have escaped to this island paradise, a family of five just returned and we have a couple celebrating in October. The Tahitian government has strict pre-arrival Covid-19 rules. Mandatory 72-hour Covid-19 testing prior to boarding a commercial flight guarantees everyone on your flight is bug free. After landing in Papeete, check in for a quick flight to Bora Bora. The government also delivers another self-administered test during your visit, assuring all hotel guests have been tested again, it feels like a safe haven.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Private Villa Pool
  • Facts: Three-hour time difference, if you must work while in paradise. But do try to practice idleness.
  • Overwater bungalows 108, stretching out into the sapphire hued lagoon. One or two bedrooms, some with deck plunge pools, all with sea ladders.
  • Seven on-land villas – two & three bedrooms on beautifully landscaped private grounds with water access and astonishing views. Perfect for multi-generational families and couples.

Bora Bora is a 50-minute flight west of Papeete. Set on a motu (islet) on the northeast side of the lagoon, the Four Seasons Resort enjoys uninterrupted views of the dramatic peaks of Bora Bora, which are particularly captivating at sunset.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Over water Bungalow Soaking Tub

Enchantment begins on the wooden power boat, speeding across the gorgeous aqua seas to the Four Seasons Bora Bora. The cool breeze and surf splashing as you breathe in the fresh air and absorb the astonishing tropical views.

The beach front Villa estates are secluded, have their own pools, and literally feel like private mansions on the pale azure Bora Bora seas. Each over water bungalow has sections of glass floors, you see fish, stingrays, and other marine life, nature at its best, swimming underneath your room! I found myself sitting on the floor, peering for underwater creatures. Furnished with large, plush, king-size beds, a full living room, a spacious outdoor deck, some with plunge pools and every amenity you’d expect to find in a 5-star hotel room.

The bungalows have been recently refurbished, inspired by a traditional Polynesian village, a collaboration between local architect Pierre-Jean Picart and San Francisco design firm BAMO. Additionally, six plunge pools were added to existing overwater bungalow suites, bringing the total number of overwater accommodations with pools to 27, and the total overwater room count to 108. Designed by BAMO, each of the one and two-bedroom overwater bungalow suites have been refreshed, reflecting a more contemporary Polynesian feel, complete with new furniture, fixtures, lighting and technology including 55-inch Chromecast-enabled televisions.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Room with a View

I visited a few years ago and intend to return soon. A client family of five reluctantly just returned home. They are such a fun family, everyone has a sense of adventure and they don’t sit still! I adore their Journey updates, they sent me photos of the to die for views and videos of their awesome diving experiences. From an email: ‘Reporters and photographers met us on landing as they captured the excitement of welcoming people back. The wildlife was incredible as people traffic has been nonexistent. We had so much fun in the water. Our youngest daughter got her scuba certification diving with mantas, black tipped sharks and eagle rays. We learned how to kite board, we wake boarded and wake surfed, snorkeled, paddle boarded, and jet skied.  Really well managed and run. Definitely a vacation to remember, thanks Gwen!’  Aren’t you yearning to escape?!

Hotel Amenities: there’s a huge pool with teak loungers and thatched cabanas, a state-of-the-art fitness center, watersports, tennis, chic boutiques, plus activities ranging from classes in stand-up paddleboard yoga to time out with the resident marine biologist. It goes without saying the Four Seasons has one of the best reputations for exemplary service…I’ve written several blog posts sharing the diamond level service during my visits all over the FS world.  Pick your pleasure: underwater explorations abound at this sand-fringed paradise or bask undisturbed in the shadow of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Over water Bungalow

A snorkel safari beneath the waves: explore lagoon life on a half-day discovery tour, where you’ll cruise past Mounts Otemanu and Pahia and snorkel among rays and sharks. A full-day excursion adds a visit to a local fisherman’s house for a traditional Polynesian lunch.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow with plunge pool

Memorable meals: board a canoe to a private white-sand motu, where staff will greet you with Champagne followed by a personalized dinner for two as the sun sets into the water. 

Connect with a local artist: meet renowned painter Alain Despert and connect with the island’s most famous artist. Board a private afternoon yacht to his hilltop studio on the main island, where you’ll meet Alain and his wife Karen. You’ll get to know them and learn of Alain’s inspirations, share stories and see where his colorful masterpieces are created. Upon returning to the Resort, Alain will guide you on a tour of his collection at Four Seasons before enjoying a wine-paired dinner surrounded by some of his signature pieces. Your memorable evening concludes with an original gift from the artist

The Spa. Nestled at the lagoon’s edge, the Kahaia tree-inspired spa combines ancient traditions, native ingredients and transformative treatments. During my visit, I had wandered the gorgeous spa a few times for photos and lingered on the to die for view relaxation decks but hadn’t yet indulged in the services. Everything about the spa whispers rest and unwind – the cathedral like wooden building is sandwiched between a tranquil lagoon and the edge of the sea. Dappled sunlight and shadows play on the lacquered floor – the quiet is truly church like, people passing in robes and soft slippers, disappearing behind enormous dark doors. Sandlewood and frangipani perfumes the space. The spa director encouraged me to try the traditional Polynesian massage using the hotels exclusive monoi oil that contains flecks of 24-carat gold –   I’m not sure when I passed from groggy and wilted to comatose on the massage table – certainly a combination of travel fatigue and massage magic.

Four Seasons Bora Bora Spa View

Magnificent in every detail, Four Seasons Bora Bora – honestly, it is heaven on earth and a very efficient jaunt from our coast.

There is availability until the end of the year – Summer, Thanksgiving, and Festive Season.

We are proud to be Four Seasons Preferred Partners, send dates and we will begin the pampering process!

Bora Bora