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