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The owners of the Brando had lofty ambitions for this stunning resort in French Polynesia, pitching the property directly against the likes of North Island and Laucala, arguably the two most luxurious island retreats in the world.
Just 30 miles from Tahiti, the Brando encompasses the entire atoll of Tetiaroa which consists of 12 islands dotted around a stunning lagoon. The 35 deluxe villas are on the motu (island) of Onetahi, one time retreat of Tahitian royalty and then Marlon Brando's own private retreat. Each villa has its own private beach area, personal plunge pool and gardens with indigenous species while the interiors are elegant with clean lines for minimal fuss and maximum comfort.
If you can tear yourself away from your villa (in villa dining is available) there are two restaurants and two bars on the island. The Beachfront Restaurant has superb views across the lagoon and serves Polynesian-inspired and French cuisine conceived by Michelin starred chef Guy Martin. Martin also oversees the excellent dishes on offer at the not so imaginatively named Fine Dining Restaurant, which is surrounded by a moat and has a superb wine cellar. The second storey Lagoon View Bar is the place to savour views of the lagoon and the other motus in the atoll, ideally with cocktail in hand. Bob's Bar, a more informal beach bar, is named after Brando's one time assistant with whom the actor spent many hours shooting the breeze.
The Varua spa offers ancient Polynesian treatments and more conventional massages alongside steam baths a yoga shelter and a couples spa suite in the palm tree tops. Other activities on offer include lounging by the lovely main pool, bicycling, bird watching, snorkelling, paddle boarding and diving. For the full Polynesian experience you can explore the lagoon by outrigger canoe and visit some of the other motus such as coconut palm covered Tiaraunu or Tahuna Rahi, home to red-breasted black frigates and phaetons.
Why we love it
Marlon Brando fell in love with French Polynesia and Tetiaroa in particular when filming his 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty. We suspect you might just fall in love with the place too.
Katie, Original Diver