Out of this world, yet down to earth at the same time.
It may have been founded by an Oscar-winning actor and hailed by Leonardo DiCaprio as a ‘Billionaire’s Pool’, but by replacing stereotypical over-water villas with organic gardens and solar panels, The Brando Tetiaroa Private Island is somewhat humbling. Unique in concept, Marlon Brando’s legacy of creating a resort with a near-zero carbon footprint still echoes today, from the innovative Sea Water Air Conditioning system and coconut oil generator, to the bicycles given to each guest and the on-site EcoStation.
A blissful combination of luxury, Polynesian charm and an exceptional environmental experience, The Brando aims to protect and restore the treasures and natural beauty of Tetiaroa. And this begins with your arrival- the resort plane departs from a dedicated terminal at Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti and soars over the multi-hued coral waters of the islands and motus, meaning you’ll get the exact same view that Brando got when he fell in love with the island in the 1960s. As you land, you’ll spot the 4000 solar panels that line the airstrip and power the island, reassuring you that you time here will only leave a footprint in the sand.
Once a hyper-exclusive hideaway for Tahitian Royalty, Brando promised that the resort would be a reflection of the community’s past, and that international guests would gain insight and education into their intriguing culture. The Library and Explorer Centre is teaming with books about French Polynesia, and you can often join in with lectures and demonstrations about the history and developing lifestyle of its peoples. A great activity for the whole family, Polynesian music lessons are a regular occurrence, where you can try your hand at playing the ukulele, pahu or toere, or simply dance and join in the fun!
Villas here hide harmoniously between the verdant trees, designed and constructed using local materials and recycled components. The pioneering Sea Water Air Conditioning sources the cold of the ocean depths to provide low-energy, highly efficient cooling, while the power station fuelled by coconut oil provides a renewable power source, which in turn also supports the local economy.
Working closely with TeMana O TeMoana, translating to ‘the Spirit of the Ocean’, the Brando launched the Ecostation to increase knowledge and appreciation for the natural heritage of this precious tropical island. Embarking on projects to heighten our education, conservation and creative science, they emphasise sustainable interdependence and improve human interactions with nature. The One Cubic Foot project presented by David Littschwager and marine biologists recorded and photographed creatures that live in or moved within a one cubic foot space nestled within the inner reef of Motu Onetahi, where The Brando lies. Unique animals down to a size of one millimetre were recorded, and to date at least 167 different species of fish have been observed around the atoll. Spot nesting turtles in the soft sands and colourful parrot fish in the kaleidoscopic waters, where whales often pause during their annual migration.
Why not join one of the naturalist guides on a Biologist of the Day excursion? Through November to March, Turtle Nights are held to try and spot the dainty green sea turtles clambering onto the island to lay their eggs, while year-round, children aged 6-16 years old can gather and relax at the Lagoon School. Here, you don’t just observe nature, you are fully immersed in it. Whether diving into the deep-blue waters, cycling around the lush vegetation, or taking an outrigger canoe to the nearby Bird Island, you’ll encounter a dazzling array of exotic avian and marine life, protected and preserved by the Tetiaroa Society.
As they strive to fulfil their mission to create an environmentally sensitive and sustainable resort, The Brando promises not only a luxury holiday retreat on the sparkling islands of French Polynesia, but also an authentic and enriching travel experience, for both guests and other visiting species!