Responsible Tourism Immersed in Sheer Luxury
In the pristine farawayness of the French Polynesian private island of Tetiaroa sits the Brando Resort. With 35 villas, this luxury resort is a shining example of an authentic travel getaway that is in harmony with nature. As one of the most luxurious places within the South Pacific nation, this resort opens its doors to guests amidst villas resting on white-sand beaches, often frequented by exotic rare birds, sea turtles and manta rays. The Brando besides being committed to protecting the natural biodiversity at Tetiaroa also partners with leading educational institutions in addressing global sustainability issues. Thanks to Clark Weeks for tipping us off to this place.
An Enriching Travel Experience Like No Other
Guests arrive via an eight-passenger flight flying out of a private terminal at Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport. After a 20 minute-flight guests are taken on golf carts to private bungalows. The Resort features spacious villas with designer bathrooms, media rooms, living rooms and oversized king beds. Each villa has its private beach access and an infinity pool facing the ocean. Every villa has a 24-hour five-star room service facility.
Food & Dining
The Brando has 2 restaurants, a bar and the Zen spa for guests to unwind and relax. The food quality is exquisite and heavily French cuisine with influences of Tahitian produce and local ingredients. The executive chef Antoine Soots is a sous-chef at the Michelin two-star restaurant Le Grand Vefour, by Guy Martin. He is also a consultant to the resort restaurants, Les Mutinés and the Beachcomber Café.
As part of its activities for its guests, there are expeditions to unravel the nature and history of Motu Onetahi. Guests are shown remnants of a Polynesian temple over 200 years old. Over 90 archaeological sites have been found in Tetiaroa. The intention is to educate people so that exposure to these things might change how people protect their culture and surroundings.
Guests are taken snorkeling, paddle boarding, and diving and can also avail themselves of the spa facilities and their immense health benefits which include something as traditional as a Polynesian Taurumi massage.
An ornithological reserve called Motu Tahuna is home to 10 bird species of which 4 nests on the ground. This is a part of the guest’s outdoor excursion activities. The Society monitors the area for any foreign agents which might upset the delicate ecological balance. Even walking in this place by humans is forbidden.
The Brando has played host to some of the biggest names in the international sphere. It belongs to Marlon Brando’s estate, the late iconic actor. Some of the eminent personalities who have stayed as guests are Barack Obama, Leonardo Dicaprio and Pippa Middleton, Jay Z and Beyoncé.
Stewardship of Protecting the Natural Habitat
LEED Platinum Certification
The Brando is a recipient of the prestigious LEED certification for its 0 carbon emissions.
The Tetiaroa Society
This is a panel of eminent scientists on the advisory board committed to preserving the atoll. The Society also oversees the breeding and migratory habits of the green turtles on Tetiaora which is the largest amongst the 118 islands. An ambitious project which is also overseen by the Society is the improvement of the crab and bird habitats. They also try to improve the atoll ecological balance by eradicating rats that are not endemic to the place. The indigenous cabbage trees in Motu Reiono are protected by The Brando. Their species have been wiped out in Seychelles and Maldives by Coconut palms but here their leaves compost well and the softwood gives the sand richness and makes it dark
Daily Operations at the Brando
Brando’s energy requirements are powered 70% by solar panels and 30% by generators running on locally sourced coconut oil which also empowers the local economy. Locally made honey from 65 beehives produce tonnes of honey per month and this is used at The Brando, and sold in the boutique,
When it comes to recycling and reusing, The Brando has a septic system that treats wastewater without the use of chemicals and it is used for irrigation purposes. A desalination plant is used for providing freshwater in pools and showers. A composting station at The Brando treats food wastes within 24 hours and compost is utilized in the garden for organic farming. The trash collection facility sends packages and sends garbage to Tahiti for recycling.
The Sea Water Cooling Conditioning is one of the few initiatives in the world which can reduce the ill effects of global warming. A pipe pulls cold ocean water from 1,000 feet down next to the island and uses that to provide cooling for the buildings instead of traditional air conditioning. The Brando is only the second to use this in Polynesia and among the handful in the world which replaces the damaging effects of hydrofluorocarbons. This saves around 90% of the energy consumed at The Brando.
Partners of a Global Community Committed to Educational Outreach and Knowledge
Brando has partnered with a lot of organizations and educational institutes. Experts from New Zealand and Australia are overseeing the rat eradication program. The Duke University researchers are studying about modeling lagoon water flow. A team from Oxford University is studying the impact of climate change on the forests of the old Motus. Another team from Louis-Malardé Institute has engineered a chemical-free technique to rid the island of mosquitoes.
One of Brando’s ambitious projects is a 4D model of The Brando which is being worked by Berkeley to predict sea level rising levels. The University of Washington is working on a project to study the acidification of reefs.
The Final Verdict
Brando was a true visionary and environmentalist. The Brando is a manifestation of the dream for sustainable tourism marked with luxury. This is a modern example of hospitality done right and is befitting to be visited at least once in a traveler’s lifetime.…