Nestled away on Marlon Brando’s private island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, The Brando is the embodiment of the Oscar-winning actor’s vision to create one of the most luxurious eco-resorts on the planet. Once off-limits to anyone apart from Tahitian royalty, this pristine paradise is a timeless retreat where the Polynesian culture is still untarnished, the natural splendor is still untouched, and the vivid turquoise waters and white sand beaches are still as they were when Marlon Brando first laid eyes on them over 50 years ago.

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Unveiled on the tenth anniversary of its namesakes’ death, the Brando sits on one of a dozen small islands making up the stunning Tetiaroa atoll. To protect the reef, the island is only accessible by the resort’s private plane, which ensures each guest receives the same view Brando did when he first fell in love with it in 1960. Once touched down, guests have their pick between 35 one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas stretched out along the white sands of Turtle Beach and Mermaid Bay. While understated in their elegance, the villas are reflective of their Polynesian heritage, each boasting its own private beach area, plunge pool, outdoor bathtubs, king-size beds, media rooms, and seamless indoor-outdoor design. For all of its indulgent amenities, the true emphasis of The Brando is on sustainability—air conditioning is provided by breezes across the sea, energy is harnessed from solar power and coconut oil, and carbon emissions are nonexistent—thus redefining the meaning of eco-luxury.

This ecological-meets-elegance mindset is at the heart of everything The Brando does. Both restaurants, led by Guy Martin of the Michelin two-star restaurant Le Grand Véfour in Paris, are gourmet showcases of Polynesian-inspired favorites and classic French fare, and yet they source their ingredients from the resort’s organic gardens and orchards or the Polynesian waters. Menu options range from a simple yet amazing cheeseburger at the casual beachside atmosphere of Bob’s Bar to the world-class cuisine and wine cellar pairings at the sophisticated Les Mutinés restaurant. Elsewhere at The Brando, the stunning overwater Varua Polynesian Spa offers holistic ancient treatments in the place where the Tahitian royal family once retreated for their beauty rituals, a tennis court, fitness center, and multiple swimming pools provide endless activities, and a luxury pearl shop and gift boutique ensure guests don’t go home without the perfect Polynesian souvenir.

With its white sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, colorful birds, and sparkling waters, the island of Tetiaroa invites visitors to not just observe nature, but to be a part of it. Guests of The Brando can explore the island by land, taking a bicycle ride around the lagoon or carrying a picnic to their favorite secluded beach. By water, guests can sail the lagoon, paddle board to a neighboring island, take a kayak above coral gardens, or snorkel beneath to water to witness firsthand the sea turtles, rays, dolphins, whales, and 167 species of tropical fish that reside here. All the while, a team of research scientists remains onsite to introduce visitors to the groundbreaking conservation initiatives underway on the island. Between its extraordinary setting and commitment to the environment, it’s really no surprise that The Brando was named one of National Geographic’s 24 Unique Lodges of the World—because just like the actor, there is only one Brando.

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