Sustainable Luxury in French Polynesia

An Earth-Friendly Tropical Getaway

By Stephen Scott and Sandie Wiesenthal

The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtaking private island Tetiaroa that offers one of the world’s most pristine clear-water views. Once Marlon Brando’s personal sanctuary, this secluded resort is only accessible by a 15-minute plane or helicopter ride from Papeete (which is about an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles). It sits on one of a dozen small islands, known as motus, that surround a spectacular three-mile wide lagoon only 30 miles north of Tahiti. This all-inclusive resort features 35 secluded villas with private pools on beautiful white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles and exotic birds.

The Brando


Despite contemporary touches, you can feel the Polynesian culture in every aspect of the five-star resort. There is also a lot of history behind the island of Tetiaroa that is reflected in the Polynesian culture. “Tetiaroa has a special place in Polynesian history and culture. It was the exclusive and favored retreat of Tahitian royalty for centuries. Ancient marae (temples) built on the atoll by early Polynesians can still be found there today. With its rich history and ethereal beauty it will always have a special place in the heart of Polynesians,” said Protravel agent Stephen Scott.

The Brando


Beyond its breathtaking beauty, Tetiaroa is a place of rare biodiversity and a natural sanctuary for birds and marine life. The resort has a strong commitment to the environment that can be seen through every little detail of the property. “The tour of the “back of the house” was a surprising highlight because the resort is very creative in its efforts to be green and sustainable. For example, 70 percent of the air conditioning is fueled by recycled water from the atoll, and fruits and vegetables are grown on site,” said Protravel Agent Sandie Wiesenthal. There is also an environmental research station with guest programs for those wishing to learn more about the island’s efforts to preserve its natural resources and cultural heritage. “Scientists and naturalists lead birding, reef and hiking expeditions, sharing fascinating information about the research and the diversity of bird, marine and plant life around the island,” said Wiesenthal.

A few of our favorite places to stay for luxurious eco-travel in French Polynesia

Book through a Protravel agent for best available rates and exclusive VIP amenities:

  • InterContinental Le Moana Resort Bora Bora: For a tropical getaway and water adventures activities right outside your door
  • Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa: A secluded oasis with a breathtaking mountain backdrop
  • InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora: Lush tropical gardens and a picturesque lagoon paired with revolutionary sustainable technology


An abundance of activities awaits those who want to be more active. Each villa has a bicycle for each guest that can be used to explore the paths around the island or take a picnic to a favorite beach. Guests can snorkel or dive with tropical fish, sail in the lagoon, paddle board to a neighboring island, take a kayak above coral gardens, stroll the long stretches of beach, enjoy a guided or unguided marine, bird, cultural or other excursion, or simply spend a day in the spa and wellness center. “Going out on the boat to snorkel through the pristine water and see the colorful coral formations and then walking to a sandbar was spectacular. I have never seen water that clear or colors that sparkle and change as they do here. I also took this opportunity to try paddle boarding; since the water was smooth as silk and warm as a tub I was successful,” said Wiesenthal. This is the island you dreamed of as a child when the storybook was closed. It’s as if you created your own private world and stepped barefoot into your imagination. With its white sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, colorful birds, and a sparkling lagoon, Tetiaroa is a dream paradise.

The Brando

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