The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful atoll of Tetiaroa. It sits on one of a dozen small islands (motus) that surround a spectacular three-mile wide lagoon. The motus are all privately owned and available exclusively to the resort’s guests and visiting researchers.
With access to the atoll by a 20-minute private plane flight from Tahiti, the all-inclusive resort features 35 secluded villas with private pools on beautiful white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles and exotic birds.
This Polynesian style resort offers two restaurants showcasing Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine; a luxurious spa and wellness center with several massage and treatment villas around a serene lily-covered pond; an organic garden where fruits and vegetables for the resort’s restaurants are grown; a lagoon-view bar in the canopy of the palm trees; a beach bar near a large infinity pool; a tennis court; library and cultural center; boutiques; and an environmental research station with guest programs.
An abundance of activities await those who want to be more active. Each villa has a bicycle for each guest that can be used to explore the paths around the island or take a picnic to a favorite beach.
Guests can snorkel or dive with tropical fish, sail in the lagoon, paddle board to a neighboring island, take a kayak above coral gardens, stroll the long stretches of beach, enjoy a guided or unguided marine, bird, cultural or other excursion, or simply spend a day in the spa and wellness center.
Our mission is to provide one of the most luxurious, authentic and enriching travel experiences available anywhere in the world in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable and culturally rich manner.
We are committed to preserving and protecting the natural splendor and precious biodiversity of Tetiaroa; respecting and supporting Polynesian culture, hospitality and traditions; and achieving a negligible carbon footprint.
We will support research, education and outreach aimed at increasing the knowledge of and appreciation for the natural and cultural heritage of tropical islands and their people. And we will use, encourage and support innovation to address local and global environmental and sustainability issues.
As stewards of Tetiaroa, we are committed to preserving and protecting the atoll and being a responsible member of both our local and global communities. We will deal fairly and honestly with our staff and suppliers in an atmosphere of mutual trust, accountability and reward.
We will strive to be a model for the rest of the world. We will leave Tetiaroa a better place than when we came and continually seek to enhance the lives of all those who visit.
This is the island you dreamed of as a child when the storybook was closed. It’s as if you created your own private world and stepped barefoot into your imagination. With its white sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, colorful birds, and sparkling lagoon, Tetiaroa is a dream paradise.
Beyond its breathtaking beauty, Tetiaroa is a place of rare biodiversity and a natural sanctuary for birds and marine life. Preserving and protecting this rare habitat and its plant and animal life is critical to us. We are working on several programs not just to preserve this sanctuary, but to help restore it and help it flourish.
Tetiaroa has a special place in Polynesian history and culture. It was the exclusive and favored retreat of Tahitian royalty for centuries.
Ancient marae (temples) built on the atoll by early Polynesians can still be found there today. With its rich history and ethereal beauty it will always have a special place in the heart of Polynesians.
The Early History of Tetiaroa
The stars have been guiding explorers to French Polynesia for millennia. The first people to follow guiding stars to Polynesia left from Southeast Asia about 4,000 years ago, reaching the most easterly Society Islands by around 1100 AD.
They came in outrigger canoes with coconuts, bananas, breadfruit, chickens, pigs—and new gods. Much later, the Europeans followed, searching for knowledge. Most famous among them was Captain James Cook, who first came to Polynesia in 1769.
His second in command of his third voyage, Lieutenant Bligh, returned years later on the Bounty as Captain Bligh to retrieve the local breadfruit plant to feed the far-flung British Empire and was overthrown by his crew, as recounted in “Mutiny on the Bounty.”
Despite these interruptions by European explorers, Tetiaroa remained sacred to the local people. They created a place of sanctuary, ritual, and tapu (taboo) on Tetiaroa, where the gods and ancestors were said to come down to earth to visit the marae (temples).
Tetiaroa was also the favored retreat of Tahitian high chiefs. While Tahitian ma’ohi (young chiefs) competed in archery tournaments and sharpened their war skills, the arii vahine (princesses) retreated to the deep shade of the coconut trees to be pampered. These were the sacred pleasure gardens of the Tahitian high chiefs.
“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.”
Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately enchanted by the island’s rare beauty and the sense it gave him of being closer to paradise.
Enthralled by the Polynesian way of life – and the leading lady Tarita, the love of his life – he resolved to find a way to own this piece of paradise and succeeded in his goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.
Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education, and a model of sustainability. He was convinced that this small atoll could bring good to the entire world.
In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared Brando’s passion for the environment and who had created some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream.
Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision.
Flora and Fauna
The reef surrounding Tetiaroa and the large and spectacular coral beds in the inner and outer lagoons provide a perfect place for marine life to flourish. At least 167 fish species have been observed around the atoll, from colorful parrotfish and spotted eagle rays to blacktip sharks and bonefish.
Whales often pause at Tetiaroa during their annual migrations, and dolphins frequently play off the reef. During the nesting season, large sea turtles come to lay their eggs on the coral sands beneath the trees.
Beautiful tropical birds are found throughout Tetiaroa, but one of the motus, Tahuna Iti or “Bird Island”, is a favorite. Thousands of birds roost here every evening. There are some land birds, but most are seabirds, including the noddy and the majestic great frigate.
Every evening the “permanent residents” are joined by an exodus of birds from Tahiti, which make the short flight across the sea to roost in the safety of the dense vegetation, free from predators.
On the twelve motus there are 38 indigenous plants, six of them very rare. These plants range from very small flowers to the magnificent Puatea, pisonia grandis, rising up to 65 feet in height. It is no surprise that international plant hunters and botanists have organized at least nine expeditions to Tetiaroa since 1921.
From your villa’s gracious gardens and exquisite scenery to the timbered walls of your home away from home, you’ll always feel close to nature — without sacrificing comfort. The 22 villas along Turtle Beach and 13 villas along Mermaid Bay have been designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyle and traditions.
Every villa is on a white sand beach, has its own outdoor eating and private beach area, its own plunge pool, soft, cozy furnishings, large windows that let you savor the views, and modern conveniences such as a media room, wifi and a wide selection of movies.
And while enjoying the villa you will have the satisfaction of knowing that everything that surrounds you has been designed around clean, renewable energy sources.
One Bedroom Villa
Inside your 1,033-sq.-ft. (96-sq.-m) villa you will feel right at home. We’ve carefully designed each villa to blend into and enhance the serenity of your surroundings, so you’ll feel as though indoor and outdoor have merged together.
The cozy sitting room is furnished with soft and comfortable chairs and sofas, and opens on the terrace, your private pool and the beach located steps away. To the side is a media room, where you can listen to music, watch a movie, or use WiFi to keep in touch with friends and family.
A walkthrough dressing area adjoins your spacious bedroom, where a king-size bed (twin beds available on request) invites you to relax and gaze through a large window at the lagoon, visible through a screen of pandanus, miki miki, and coconut trees.
The adjoining bathroom features an outdoor Al-fresco bathtub, set behind a wooden screen. Wifi connectivity is available inside and around the Villa, and in all the resort public spaces.
Enjoy all the appointments of a one-bedroom villa—plus many built-in extras—in any of our four, 1,808-sq.-ft. (168-sq.-m), two-bedroom villas. Inside, a large, airy living room features Bluetooth connectivity and a television.
The living room also provides you with a private dining area with seating for six, a kitchen, and a wide entryway onto a large, two-tiered deck. In these villas, the second bedroom is situated above the first.
Both bedrooms feature a private dressing area and an outdoor bathtub. Upstairs, as you gaze out over the lagoon, you’ll experience a sensation of floating above this opulent tropical vista.
Each bedroom possess an independent access. Your sense of spaciousness and privacy extends to your 1,658-sq.-ft. (154-sq.-m) private yard, with its larger deck area and 140-sq.-ft. (13-sq.-m) plunge pool.
The 2,648-sq.-ft. (246-sq.-m) three-bedroom villa provides an opportunity for friends or a larger family to stay together. This villa has all the features of the two-bedroom villa but on an even larger scale.
The third bedroom is separated from the main villa by an above-ground walkway, and includes its own dressing room, bathroom, and outdoor bathtub. We’ve also upgraded the furnishings of your private outdoor space, which includes an expanded deck and a 236 sq. ft. (22 sq. m) pool.
Relax in complete privacy while basking on white sand beaches and in your luxurious three bedroom residence on this idyllic South Pacific island. Here you can enjoy the privacy of a private island retreat but be less than 20 minutes by air to Tahiti International Airport.
Discover the beautiful eco-conscious three-bedroom Polynesian style beach front residence designed with luxurious indoor/outdoor living spaces, and multiple dining and entertainment areas. Purchasers can modify the design or propose a new design consistent with the general design requirements.
The three-bedroom Polynesian style residence provides approximately 6,000 sq ft (557 m2) of living area, including around 3,000 sq ft (279 m2) of enclosed air-conditioned space and around 3,000 sq ft (279 m2) of outside decking and pool area.
Guests of the Brando Residence enjoy full access to all resort activities and amenities, including multiple restaurants, water sports, a luxurious Polynesian spa, lagoon-view bar, beach bar, fitness center, organic garden, library, pearl shop, boutique, and the resort’s Ecostation.
In keeping with The Brando’s commitment to sustainability, the Brando Residence exists in complete harmony with the environment and is constructed to the exact same standards which earned The Brando its LEED Platinum certification.
All Brando Residences will preserve the natural biodiversity of Tetiaroa, while respecting Polynesian culture and achieving a zero-carbon footprint.
The resort’s first two restaurants showcase Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine, designed by the Executive Chef Pierre Lecorne.
You will enjoy the freshest of ingredients as our Chef will select fruits and vegetables naturally grown in our gardens and orchards, and will serve you delicious and fragrant papayas, bananas, lemons, herbs, cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes and eggplants. Most featured fish come from Polynesian waters.
Lastly, our chef Kaito Nakamura awaits you at our newest restaurant, the Nami teppanyaki restaurant, for a journey to Japanese flavors.
The Brando offers an innovative and sophisticated vegan menu, incorporating fresh vegetables handpicked from the resort’s own organic garden. The vegan menu is available at Les Mutinés fine dining restaurant, the Beachcomber Café, and for in-room dining.
Our Beachcomber Café restaurant offers exceptional lagoon and ocean views, whether you decide to dine indoors or on the beach. Dishes include a varied menu of Polynesian-inspired dishes alongside classic French cuisine.
This intimate venue features elegant décor in beautiful tones of tropical light and sand and a moat that surrounds the restaurant provides the sensation of floating on a lagoon. The restaurant also includes a world-class wine cellar in a carefully climate-controlled glass enclosure.
Chef Nakamura will be happy to take you on a journey to Japan’s most subtle flavors in the elegant and intimate setting of the Nami teppanyaki restaurant.
With three different menus designed around specialties of the land, the sea, and a mix of both, the meals are prepared in front of guests and cooked on a teppanyaki iron griddle. The Nami restaurant also features a selection of sake wines, Japanese beers and a large selection of worldwide wines.
Te Manu Bar
Located on the second floor, this open-air bar features spectacular views of the lagoon, distant motus and sunsets. In addition to the main lounge, there are several private tree-top seating areas that can be reached on walkways through the palm canopy.
This is a relaxed and casual setting on the beach for conversation and making friends. The bar is named for Marlon Brando’s factotum on film sets.
At the end of many days, Brando and Bob would wind up at the bar for long talks and laughs. We have named the bar in honor of Bob and all others who have worked, and continue to work, anonymously to bring Brando’s visions to life.
You can enjoy a meal whenever you want, 24 hours a day, at your villa —either indoors, on your private deck alongside your pool, or on the beach in front of your villa.
Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa is a unique haven of tranquillity nestled on a restful pond in the heart of the atoll of Tetiaroa. Varua, meaning “the Soul”, perpetuates the tradition established by the Royal family who used to retreat here to relax and indulge in beauty rituals.
Blending into the lush vegetation, it is a hidden oasis at the end of a path through the tropical undergrowth. The Spa is in harmony with its surroundings of plant life, water and wood.
Aware of the need to preserve its pure and unspoilt habitat, it offers unrivalled holistic treatments inspired by international and ancestral Polynesian techniques in a truly exceptional setting.
The Spa suites offer amazing views over 2000 sqm of natural landscape on an islet covered in abundant vegetation. And high above in the trees sits Fare Manu, an exceptional suite nesting like a cocoon between heaven and earth.
The Spa also has quiet spaces for relaxation including a steam bath, a waterfall, a tea lounge and the Fare Mana, an area sets aside for gentle energies. Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa, the life and soul of Tetiaroa, is a truly Polynesian sanctuary.
In perfect accordance with the magnificent surroundings, it allows all to rediscover harmony, relaxation and inner peace. Yoga and pilates lessons can be scheduled at the resort.
Holding hands while strolling a white-sand beach; sipping champagne while watching the colorful rays of sunset wash over a turquoise lagoon; enjoying an intimate gourmet dinner served on the beach with Polynesian charm; listening to tropical and the gentle lapping of waves from the privacy of your luxurious villa — there is simply no more romantic or exotic setting for your special occasion.
Whether you are planning a honeymoon or celebrating a wedding, an anniversary, or a birthday, we can take care of all the details, so you will return home relaxed, rejuvenated and with memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
The Brando offers two shopping opportunities including a luxury pearl shop and a gift store. Occurring naturally in superlative palettes, Tahitian pearls elicit fascination. Hinerava is dedicated to bestowing these exceptional ocean gems upon the world.
Elegant compositions highlight the natural colors of Tahitian pearls while designer and founder, Kelly Bailey, channels the philosophy of sophisticated simplicity in her designs.
Thus is born a contemporary, luxury line of Tahitian pearl jewelry that focuses on the unique combination of exceptional precious gems with rare colors of pearls. Find out more about Hinerava, Fine Tahitian Pearl Jewelry.
The Boutique on Tetiaroa offers a wide variety of items including local art, The Brando and Tetiaroa apparel and accessories, sustainable fashion clothing, Tahitian vanilla beans, honey from Tetiaroa’s own honey bees and travel necessities.
At The Brando, you will find an abundance of activities from bicycling, snorkeling and bird watching to diving and paddle boarding. Here you are not just observing nature; you are in it.
Put on a snorkeling mask and witness underwater life at a coral garden firsthand, encountering such marine life as sea turtles, rays, reef sharks and a dazzling array of tropical fish.
Or you can explore the spectacular lagoon or other motus by Polynesian outrigger canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. Or simply swim at Mermaid Bay or relax on the beach or by the pool.
We invite your to visit our Library and Explorer Center, where you can read books about French Polynesia and attend lectures and demonstrations about Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle. And the onsite research scientists will also be delighted to talk about their research and the amazing birds and marine life found on the atoll.
Outdoor and Sports Activities
- Snorkeling in the coral gardens and entire lagoon
- Exploration of the lagoon by kayak, Polynesian outrigger canoe (va’a) or with a stand up paddle board
- Scuba lessons in the lagoon, and open ocean scuba diving outside the reef
- Deep-sea fishing
- Fitness coaching and fitness classes: aquafitness, circuit training, body sculpt, body dance, body attitude. Private classes available upon request.
Biologist of the Day Excursions with Naturalist Guides
- Bird discovery tour
- Reef quest
- Exploration of Motu Onetahi on a naturalist trail
- Tetiaroa ultimate tour, A unique tour of the atoll on a comfortable roofed boat with a naturalist guide
- Research Station, Guided tour with researcher
Art and Culture
- Polynesia dance lessons
- Polynesian music lessons with ukulele, pahu or toere
- Polynesian weaving lessons
- Pareu dyeing and tying
- Tahitian cuisine demonstrations
- Varua Polynesian Spa, Modern and Polynesian spa treatments
- Especially designed for children from 6 to 12 years old
- Whale watching tours mid-July to mid-October with a naturalist guide and a professional scuba diver (upon request, to order at least 48h in advance)
Meals / Dinner shows
- Private romantic dinner on the beach
- Traditional Tahitian dance shows weekly
- After Dinner Entertainment On The Beach
- Music at Bob’s Bar outdoor lounge on the beach or at Te Manu Bar
- Naturalist lectures presented by a scientist or one of our naturalist guides
- Day Tour to Tahiti or Moorea
- Full day tour of either island
We consider ourselves stewards of Tetiaroa, and believe that we have the responsibility to treat it with the highest level of care and respect. Almost all of Tetiaroa is being protected and preserved forever in its natural state.
We have touched the motu on which the resort sits as lightly as possible. The Brando and all the villas have been designed without beach obstructions to blend harmoniously into the trees.
We have used local materials extensively in the design and construction. All building materials used are of local or certified origin, renewable, or incorporate recycled components.
We are using a pioneering deep seawater air-conditioning system to reduce energy demands and rely entirely on renewable energy sources including solar power and biofuel whenever it can be procured.
Setting a new world standard, the resort is close to reach its goal of being carbon neutral and self-sustainable.
We have built and gifted an Ecostation to Tetiaroa Society, the nonprofit organization established to lead the scientific and cultural mission to protect the atoll and to inspire sustainable interdependence on Tetiaroa and around the world.
Airlines from around the world offer flights to Faa’a International Airport in Papeete, Tahiti. From Tahiti it’s a short but spectacular 20-minute flight to Tetiaroa onboard Air Tetiaroa. Our reservation agents will arrange this portion of your trip with you.
Travel from Tahiti to Tetiaroa is by private aircraft operated by Air Tetiaroa — the exclusive provider of passenger service to the island.
Air Tetiaroa operates two 6-passenger britten norman aircrafts, as well as two twin-otter aircrafts with a capacity of 14 passengers, which depart from a private terminal at Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti.
When your international or domestic flight arrives at Faa’a International Airport, you’ll be transferred to Air Tetiaroa’s private terminal for your 20-minute flight to paradise. Air Tetiaroa private lounge opens one hour before departure. Although the flight is brief, it will provide you an unforgettable introduction to Tetiaroa.