TETIAROA ISLAND: This isolated paradise was discovered in 1960 by Hollywood star Marlon Brando when he stumbled across the atoll while scouting locations for Mutiny on the Bounty. Brando liked it so much he bought it for 200,000 euro – about 950,000 euro in today’s money. He built an airstrip, a village of huts and – importantly for Brando – a bar, and then left his Polynesian wife, Tarita, to run this place.
Royal playground. The Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa has always been considered somewhat of a royal playground for the wealthy and high class people. As a paradise, the quiet beaches of Tetiaroa are about as good as it gets for those fortunate enough to spend time on them. The atoll’s 13 islets are all classic secluded paradises of white sand and coconut trees – surrounding a dreamy lagoon in the South Pacific, 33 miles north of Tahiti. Here you find purple coral gardens, 160 species of fish, 10,000 pairs of breeding seabirds and tropic birds.
The Brando. Nine years after the actor’s death, a plan is under way to turn Tetiaroa into The Brando – the exclusive eco resort. New technology will draw cold water from the ocean depths to cool the rooms, and electricity will be obtained from the sun and a bio fuel thermal power station.
To do and see. Tetiaroa is one of the WindwardsIslands in French Polynesia. Getting there is a bit of a process. There is a small runway, but no regularly flight running today. The most common way to get to the atoll is by sailing or use service of charter companies for a day trip. There is a relatively limited amount of things to do and see. Most people just want to hang out and relax and head for the for the nearest coconut tree with a book. Other activities are going to “BirdIsland”, swimming and snorkeling in the unique lagoon packed with marine species. Remember, the nearest scuba outfit is on Tahiti.
Bright future. But Tetiaroa has a bright future. Most likely the new eco resort will open in July with accommodation in 35 villas and extravagant treatment such as spa, fitness centre, pool and various activities such as scuba diving. Guy Martin in Paris has provided the menu. Five days all-inclusive in a one-bedroom villa costs 16,900 euro per couple, with flights from London to Tahiti via Los Angeles. Swimming with turtles and dolphins are included in the price.
Click large photos of Tetiaroa