Tetiaroa island, Marlon Brando Island in Tahiti

Tetiaroa island, Marlon Brando Island in Tahiti

Fifty kilometres north of Tahiti is the fantastic island of Tetiaroa. It has long been admired for its beauty by the Tahitian royal family, and later European travellers and celebrities. The island resembles the perfect picture of a tropical vacation with white-sand beaches and a blue lagoon, so it’s no surprise that it has become a coveted destination for high-end resorts. Now the island belongs to French Polynesia, but it is known as Marlon Brando Island because, since 1967, the land of the island went into private use and became the property of the actor. After his death, the island’s land is used by Pacific Beachcomber SC. There is an excellent eco-resort here. But let’s talk about everything one by one.

The beauty of Tetiaroa Island

Tetiaroa is a small atoll located 50 kilometres from Tahiti. This area actually consists of 13 small coral islets (motus) arranged around a lagoon 7 kilometres wide.

Tetiaroa is a land of exotic birds, turtles, and unique sea creatures. The white sandy beaches are dotted with coconut palms and the crystal-clear lagoon surprises with its colors and colorful underwater life. No wonder the island impressed the Tahitian family and the following owners.

Special mention should be made of the weather conditions on the island. In general, French Polynesia is characterized by a two-season maritime tropical climate. The rainy season lasts from November to April. During this period, temperature jumps can reach 31 degrees Celsius. The dry season is milder and more pleasant with temperature variations between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius. It lasts from May to October.

History of the Tetiaroa island

The first settlements on the island probably appeared between 300 B.C. and 300 A.D., but the first reliable facts are related to 1100. It is known that there was no centralized authority on the Tahitian islands. Instead, there were several tribes, and the territory was divided into separate regions and zones of influence by certain rulers. Tetiaroa Island, among other things, was a place of rest for the Tahitian chiefs. Feasts, dances, and entertainments were held here. Inhabitants of the island also practised harori, a custom of weight gain and skin whitening for aesthetic ideals.
Europeans began to visit the islands regularly in the 18th century.

According to The Great United States Exploring Expedition, the first European visitor to the atoll was William Bligh in 1789. For a long time, the vicissitudes of land division continued on the Tahitian Islands, which were claimed by both local chiefs and European countries. In 1847 England and France sat down to negotiate the division of spheres of influence in Polynesia, which resulted in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands coming under French rule.

Later Tetiaroa Island became private property and changed owners several times. In 1904 the Canadian dentist Johnston Walter Williams bought the island. And in 1967 the actor Marlon Brando re-bought the right of ownership, registering a long-term lease of the land for 99 years.

Marlon Brando’s Island

The island of Tetiaroa is inextricably linked with Marlon Brando. In 1961 the American actor participated in the filming of the Mutiny on the Bounty movie on the neighbouring island of Moorea and Tahiti. Marlon also got to Tetiaroa and was so struck by the beauty of the island that he decided to try to buy it. N 1967 the venture was a success. Marlon Brando became the owner of Tetiaroa Island in North Polynesia. His dream was to build an ecological recreation complex, so in 1999, Marlon approached the hotelier Richard Bailey and they continued to work together on the project.

During his lifetime, Marlon Brando did not leave any instructions for the inheritance of the island, so after the actor’s death, the rights to develop the complex passed to the Tahitian company Pacific Beachcomber SC, who shared Brando’s vision of developing an eco-resort on a private island. In 2009, construction began, and in 2014 the recreation complex was fully operational.

Now Tetiaroa, or as they say Marlon Brando’s private island is a well-known resort, attracting celebrities and travellers from around the world. Officially, the island belongs to French Polynesia.

The Brando Resort

Marlon Brando island location.

In 2014, a luxury resort, The Brando, opened on the island. It is all-inclusive and offers guests 35 villas with swimming pools, beaches, and all amenities. There are also 2 restaurants serving Polynesian and European cuisine. In addition to restaurants, there is a spa wellness center located around the pond, an organic garden, a bar facing the lagoon, a tennis court, a library, boutiques, etc.

The issue of the environmental friendliness of the recreation complex is important. The nature of the island is protected and almost all areas are kept in their natural state. The houses were designed so that they blend in with the environment as much as possible while using natural certified materials of local origin. The company consistently turned to proven and cutting-edge technology to minimize damage to the environment. Brando also implements innovative programs to achieve carbon neutrality.

Marlon Brando’s island in Tahiti has all the conditions for a slow, lazy rest and health improvement. But lovers of outdoor activities will also be satisfied. Biking, hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, and guided tours are available for them.

The Brando atoll is awesome!

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