Marlon Brando had a dream. To transform the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa into a luxury resort that would inspire its visitors to learn more about and protect its uniquely diverse environment. He didn't live long enough make it happen, but his grand-children made it come true: His dream is The Brando.
Let's clarify: We are not just talking about a luxury resort in a paradisiac private atoll. This is not all about a resort situated in a breathtakingly beautiful and exclusive idyllic spot. The fact that one of Hollywood's most famous and cherished actors loved and owned it isn't what makes it so special either. Its past history as the Tahitian royalty's private retreat isn't the main reason why it's so significant. Being an important centre for research in conservation and ecology isn't what makes this incredible place one of a kind. The most astounding thing about The Brando, is everything about it. Including its modesty.
Tetiaroa was one of Marlon Brando's greatest loves. A love so deep that it is still there, in his grand-children and in what they have done with the love they inherited. So far we haven't come across anything like it. The Brando's entire concept sounds like a dream of youth, an impossible tale imagined by lovers on a drunken morning watching the sunrise. But it is true. And it is real. Marlon Brando first saw the atoll in 1962 when he was filming Mutiny on the Bounty, it was during this period that he got married to his co-star, the French Polynesian actress Tarita Teriipaia. He purchased Tetiaroa six years later and the atoll ended up becoming the family's private holiday retreat. Tarita never wanted to live in Hollywood, she didn't like the Hollywood lifestyle and all the stresses brought by his fame. They had a tumultuous relationship and lived apart a lot of the time, this is where they would spend most of their time together. Brando was a different person there, he felt part of and connected to nature, as do all guest who now visit The Brando. Tetiaroa's purity, simplicity and overwhelming natural beauty changes you. It unplugs you, it grounds you, it enchants you.
Marlon Brando dreamed of sharing the atoll with the world but was reluctant about it, not only he wanted to develop an eco-friendly resort that would respect the locals needs and traditions, but he also wanted it to be financially sustainable so that oceanographers and biologists could always use it for environmental research. Being so remote and such a rich and fragile environment, any form of building development in the atoll imposed many challenges. His ideal wasn't feasible while he was alive. So much had to be developed to bring the comforts and amenities of the modern world to such an unblemished natural environment. It took a great deal of research, investment and commitment to make his dream come true.
Today, Tetiaroa is one of the most beautiful and inspiring sustainable developments in the world of hospitality. It is as Brando wanted, a research centre welcoming scientists and conservationists from all over the world, it supports the local community and it is the most exclusive luxurious eco-friendly resort in the world. The atoll has 36 villas and 25 private homes available for purchase, all designed to have a neutral carbon footprint. The resort uses sea water air conditioning (originally Marlon Brando's idea), solar energy and coconut oil for fuel and an innovative flow battery technology that guarantees reliable energy with no impact on the environment.
The Brando is accessed by a 20-minute private plane flight from Tahiti, the resort showcases Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine; a luxurious spa and wellness center surrounded by the most stunning views; 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.
The facilities are not what you will remember the most. It is Tetiaroa's overwhelming natural beauty and exclusivity, the Tahitian people and of course, the Brandos' modesty, their family history, their love for Tetiaroa and for the priceless value of its simple things.
“People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.” (Haruki Murakami)
What a memory and a legacy to leave behind.