The superstar left a lavish ‘bounty’ for tourists
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
The stars have been guiding explorers to French Polynesia for millennia. The first to follow them were Southeast Asians about 4,000 years ago. They got there in outrigger canoes loaded with coconuts, bananas, breadfruit, chickens and pigs.
Many Tahiti moons later a Hollywood star is credited with leading visitors to French Polynesia. The late, great legend Marlon Brando built a hideaway for himself on the island of Tetiaroa, that is now a luxury resort called The Brando Tahiti.
He first stepped foot on the island while filming the classic Mutiny of the Bounty. It was love at first sight. Many recall his saying, “My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”
Today Tetiaroa is a paradise for visitors from around the world who go to unwind at Marlin’s famous hideaway, now The Brando, a luxury resort.
Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and so are today’s owners.
And while Americans aren’t free to roam around the world. French Polynesia is welcoming us with open arms—well with some coronavirus conditions of entry in place.
Be prepared for paradise
Stepping foot on Tetiaroa is like entering paradise. It is just so striking. Friendly Tahitians greet you and escort you to your spacious beach top villas.
There are no fares (overwater bunaglows typical in the islands) since that disrupts the marine eco system.
Speaking of which, the eco/sustainability of the island is cutting edge. You can take a behind the scenes “green tour,” and learn how they desalinize the water and use the crushed shells to add the minerals back in.
Sea water is used to cool the rooms for the AC. It’s fascinating to see the amount of effort and expense that has been wisely invested to make this truly one of most unique islands in the world.
There is a marine station on the island as well where they have a rotation of visiting scientists who come to do research.
It’s a jungle out there at the spa
Entering the spa is a sensory experience where treatments take place in huts hugged by a jungle of coconut palms. Some services are given in trees. The Traditional taurumi massages are incorporate local, heady monoï oil.
French Polynesia is famous for its fine food and The Brando’s no exception. What’s more it comes with the tab as do all drinks except premium wines and spirits.
Also during your stay you get one or three 50-minute spa treatments a room, an excursion and WiFi.
While many guests prefer the privacy of in villa dining, a few enjoy riding a bike up to the main bar/outdoor dining area.
One guest says she loves dining under the stars with the sand underneath her feet. My husband Richard and I enjoy heading down to the lagoon at sunset when the sky turns into an eclat of vibrant colors.
By the way every villa comes with bikes. This is a healthy and fun way to explore the lush island. You can also walk around the island.
You’re never wont for diversions at the resort. There’s snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking in crystal clear lagoons. And, picnics to enjoy on private, white sand beaches (bathing suits optional).
Another popular pastime is languishing poolside and gazing out a the brilliant blue lagoon.
Vegans and carnivores will feel satisfied at any of the restaurants on premises. Les Mutinés serves fine French fare in a formal dining room. The Beachcomber Café serves local specialties alongside classic French cuisine. There’s also a teppanyaki restaurant run by chef Kaito Nakamura.
Folks enjoy hanging out at Bob’s Bar with Jerome and the other bartenders or upstairs at the Te Manu Bar where you can sit outside surrounded by palm trees and star gaze.
All meals and beverages (excluding premium wines and spirits); One daily excursion per person; One, two or three 50-minute spa treatments per room and per day, based on accommodation category; Access to fitness facilities; Beach and water sports equipment; Bicycles; Wi-Fi
Getting to The Brando Tahiti
To get to The Brando you of course need to fly to Papeete and can do so from the US on Air Tahiti Nui, Hawaiian, Air France of French Bee.
From Papeete, you are flown to the island by one of Brando’s small private planes. The experience at the private terminal sets the mood for what’s ahead. There’s a selection of refreshments as well as a place to shower and change clothes after your overnight flight. TV Screens showcase pictures of marine life and Tahitian music permeates the air. They have set the stage for your visit.
You might want to stay at The Brando Tahiti before or after a cruise on the Paul Gauguin. Afterall, you’ve flown that far so might as well make the most of it. The PONANT-owned cruise line is on pause right now but it will return.
And, remember for all your future travel needs and arrangement contact a friendly, helpful Pavlus Travel Advisor (800-528-9300).