Brando TetiaroaThe Brando - On the Waterfront
When you’re a big movie star and you’ve already got the car, the plane and the babe, it’s only natural that your next purchase be a private island. Why not, right? So when Marlon Brando fell in love with the French Polynesian atoll Tetiaroa (as well as his FP leading lady, Tarita) after filming Mutiny on the Bounty, he decided to make this slice of paradise his. And though Brando isn’t alive to see it, his vision to create a model for sustainability is finally coming to fruition. Say hello to the recently opened luxury resort, The Brando.
The eco-friendly property is comprised of 35 luxe one-, two- and three-bedrom villas with timbered walls and floor-to-ceiling windows set on the white sands of motu Onetahi, which is just one of Tetiaroa’s dozen islands surrounding a three-mile-wide turquoise lagoon. Bonus: You have access to all 12 islands if you want, so hang in the crystalline lagoon on Honueaone day and check out lemon shark nurseries near Tauinithe next. But of course you never have to leave Onetahi if you don’t want to. It wasn’t the favorite summer retreat of Tahitian royalty for no reason. Besides sun-worshipping on the private strand or taking a dip in your villa’s plunge pool, here at The Brando you can pick up some Tahitian black pearl jewelryat the Hinerava boutique or indulge in holistic therapies at the Varua Polynesian Spa, with massage and treatment villas set around the shores of a tranquil pond in the heart of the motu. There’s also a tea and relaxation lounge with pond views, steam baths and a yoga shelter.
When it comes to dining, The Brando is all-inclusive, which is a nice perk considering there are no other restaurants within miles. But when Guy Martin of the two-Michelin star Le Grand Véfour in Parisis responsible for the food, you probably wouldn’t want to dine anywhere else anyway. So savor all the Michelin-worthy specialities you can handle at your choice of the Beachcomber Cafe with its array of Polynesian-inspired dishes, or Les Mutinés, which boasts a menu similar to the one that made Guy Martin famous and has a world-class wine cellar to boot.
Plus, if you’re interested, you can learn all about the indigenous wildlife and ongoing field research at the Ecostation and get on board with Brando’s goal to preserve the island’s natural beauty and biodiversity. However, there’s always the option to conduct your own “field research” – i.e., snorkeling. Either way, it’s safe to say there will be no mutiny on this bounty – that’s for sure.