Our journey began a fortnight ago with a morning flight from Tahiti Airport at the brand new Air Tetiaroa terminal…Unsurprisingly, an ultra-modern lounge awaits us after check-in and security. Ten minutes into the flight, Tetiaroa and its breathtaking colors appear beneath us. A runway, the only visible sign of human activity, rolls out before us… we have unmistakably reached a private island!
The plane lands and a beautiful path of Tiare Tahiti flowers leads us to the lush Jurassic-style entrance where we are greeted by golf buggies and stewards in traditional attire. Filled with excitement and our cameras at the ready… we are on the go right away! We are taken through a large coconut grove to the resort village, on the other side of the motu. A simple, natural, and perfectly finished entrance… the style of the place is announced…
Arriving at Manu Bar, our speechless faces are awed before the breathtaking natural panoramic views displayed in front of us and the cozy tree-top seating areas waiting to welcome the little group that we are. Despite the early hour, our eyes cannot be taken off the tempting cocktail menu designed especially for The Brando…
Sensing our growing curiosity, our hosts whisk us away to the Varua Spa in a golf buggy. Along the way, ponds are scattered here and there as well as bicycle stations. Indeed! At The Brando, you bike but not on any bike: these are vintage bikes for a Brando touch!
But where are the Villas? They are nowhere to be seen! Scrutinizing around with a sharp eye we see the gym and tennis court… but nothing to be found about the Villas! And then, new scenery unfolds before us: A lagoon with reeds and water lilies transport us to a dimension of Zenitude. We enjoy wandering through the 2000m² of serenity with its yoga pavilion, tea room, Turkish bath, sauna, massage rooms over the water ponds.
Among the top of the coconut trees, a strange giant nest-like cocoon sits there… It is the Fare Manu (“birdhouse” in Tahitian), a couples-only massage suite resting 6m above the ground with its own furnished outdoor terrace. Time flies, we have to cut to the chase…the Villas! We are coming to a crossroads and still we cannot see them…when suddenly… Nestled in the lush greenery, a 3-room villa at the end of a private walkway throws its doors open at us: we are simply amazed! In a matter of seconds we went from “Ahhhhhs” to “Ohhhhs” to “Wows”. We are all feeling comfortable, at home and cozy. We want to hide in the closets so we are forgotten on this island paradise.
There is everything anyone can wish for: perfect layout with 3 private rooms, latest easy-to-use technology (that we are even able to use!), stunning views from either the floor ground or the first floor, and with that, only the sound coming from the natural surroundings and a wide strip of private sandy beach melting into the lagoon… no neighbors! The 2-room villa is identical to the 3-room (minus one room) and we also visited the 1-room villa which has nothing to envy its big sisters: it has identical facilities without the kitchen area. And the bathrooms…utterly breathtaking!
Midday. Naturally, we venture over to the restaurant areas starting with the Gourmet restaurant “Les Mutinés”. Original and cosy architecture, ultra-modern glass cellar housing the best vintage in the world, hand-painted Limoges pottery and a menu designed by French Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin (2 stars) in charge of The Brando’s kitchens. As “Les Mutinés” is only open at night, we head to the beach restaurant “Le Beachcomber Café” (a little tribute to the “Family”?). The modern and relaxed restaurant provides outdoor and indoor seating for the three daily services: an exciting breakfast buffet, a lunch menu of light bites and snacks, and finally a refined dining experience in the evening.
How about drinks? No worries! Just steps away lies “Bob’s Bar”, a tribute to Bob, Marlon Brando’s good friend and factotum on film sets. This genuine Polynesian hut, placed at the crossroad of the beach, the pool, and the “Beachcomber Café”, has a prime position in the Resort… its team is on the constant look out for guests in need of refreshments! It also hosts concerts, shows, outdoor film projections, and starwatching in the evening.
The tour completed, we have a little time to enjoy the pool and especially, the miles of unspoiled beach. The myriad of shells washed ashore by the waves, the fine white sand, and the brightly colored coral in the distance are just a testimony of the pristine environment Tetiaroa offers. The lagoon, worthy of Bora Bora, without the traffic, is perfect for everyone, the first hundred meters in the water offer very shallow waters. Time is up, we have to leave. Our heads are filled with ideas and dreams; our cameras show low battery. We return to the runway where the “Maohi” of The Brando perform for us a farewell dance, thus engraving this day for ever in our minds. Conclusion: Bora Bora, think of the opening of the St Regis, the Four Seasons…then the arrival Super Yachts… Today, the opening of The Brando brings The Islands of Tahiti to a higher level in the tourism of luxury.
The Brando is a concept perfectly in line with current trends of environment friendly resorts and lodges offering a total capacity of 82 guests and cutting-edge technology. The all-inclusive package concept is a winner: no more “your room number please?” or checks to sign throughout your stay, and bills to verify at the end of it…This is authentic holidays!
The Brando also provides the opportunity to genuinely experience an untouched paradise and its natives: seabirds, whales, and above all, the sea turtles coming to lay their eggs on the Tetiaroa atoll. This exclusive and unforgettable experience is provided by the “Te Mana O Te Moana” Association which has been observing them for the last 8 years.
The Brando. YES! We were there for you, and a bit for us, or maybe the other way around… It is hard to remember…