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All reviewsprivate islandplunge poolfour seasonsspa treatmentsminute flightone of a kindliving roomroom servicefrench polynesiabora borafishper dayonce in a lifetimelagoon tourbucket listluxurious resortst regis
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Reviewed November 22, 2017

Having never written an online review before, I nonetheless felt the need to pass on my unqualified recommendation for The Brando. Following an unforgettable cruise on the Paul Gauguin, my wife and I culminated our French Polynesia vacation with four nights at this remote, very private all inclusive resort. It massively exceeded expectations.
From the moment you land, via the this private atoll's own airline, you see that the experience is wholly apart from any other resort.
The resorts staff are genuinely warm and friendly, even proud of this sustainably developed experience. If sensitivity to the environment is your thing you will be amazed at the unique deep ocean water A/C chillers and the fact that over 50% of energy comes from the sun. But more important is the way they integrate a proactive approach to conservation and sustainability into the guest experience. You are encouraged to visit the islands own research lab where visiting scientists from around the world are happy to discuss their project. We had green sea turtle nest right in front of our villa.
But there is no sacrifice of luxury with exquisitly appointed villas, your own pool, incredible food and drink and 1st class service. Activities that we found included paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling right in front of your villa, bicycling and amazing lagoon tours (i recommend the kayak tour around bird island) Almost forgot about the spa, surrounding a beautiful fresh water lily pond, with one massage "nest" high in the trees. Thanks to all the wonderful staff that made this truly unique experience possible.

Room Tip: All are excellent
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank 688ken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrandoPR, Responsable relations clients at The Brando, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear 688KEN,
Thank you so much for the wonderful comment you have written following your recent stay at The Brando.
We are so delighted to read that you have enjoyed all & each aspect of this "unparalleled experienced"... your villa, the spa, the restaurants & bars, our activities and services.

All the team would be thrilled to welcoming you back soon on our Paradise island. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards. MP

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Reviewed November 22, 2017

Privacy, luxury, our own villa with pool and beach, the perfect amount of staff so that our every need is met, a boat with captain and a team of biologists taking us out snorkeling (teaming with sea life like snorkeling in an aquarium!) or on daily eco tours to see abundant nesting sea birds, huge coconut crabs, sharks and rays all in the most pristine Polynesian marine ecosystem on the planet – it really is a dream and I’ve been back 3 times now. When I need a tropical unwind and disconnect from my modern life, the Brando keeps delivering just what I need.
Each time I return the resort is more beautiful, vegetation more developed and the ecosystem more robust. The resorts grand plan is to preserve and allow the island to thrive naturally and it's working. As a guest, I thrive and revive too. It is important to understand that the only inhabitants and buildings here are part of the resort. Guests truly are part of an entirely private experience. What I love is that I don't have to own the place or rent the entire place to get this. I have never found anywhere else where this is available so entirely.
Over my 3 visits I’ve gotten to know some of the staff, most of whom grew up in Polynesia. Also, before being owned by Marlon Brando, this collection of islands and lagoon was a sacred place for Polynesian culture. You can feel that there is something rare and special here. I have come back each year since the property opened because I’ve decided that for me, this experience is not going to be just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
If possible, I recommend trying to stay for the Friday night Polynesian dinner show to see what I mean. My bartender and other staff morphed into talented and authentic Tahitian dancers because of the cultural resurgence of dance and oral history that is happening in Polynesia right now.
What is also astounding is that the resort had high occupancy but I rarely saw many other guests. They were here and there, a few in the spa, a few at Bob’s Bar, a few eating but there was a feel of being uncrowded and like the island was my own private island. I can only guess it is the resort design that makes the place feel so private. It was just what I needed. There is a song we like from Mo' Horizons called 'Dance Naked Under Palm Trees' and you actually could because your villa is so private and, heck, there is a plunge pool and the weather is warm and balmy.
One of my favorite things is to see sunset from different places: my villa daybed with glass of French Bubbles in the minibar (included), my plunge pool with the same or order a Mai Tai from room service, Bob's Bar with same, the other bar where you feel like you are in a tree house. Here I like to get one of the signature cocktails served straight up.
We were here in November this year. The weather was perfect and turtle’s laid nests every night. Some were even hatching. The whale season had just ended though we say a humpback mother and baby on Moorea the week before.
You get to the island by their private plane, which starts the lux. The view of the island from the plane is amazing. You hear the plane a few times a day and it's like the TV show Fantasy Island where the guy says "Da Plane Da Plane" and you know stressed people are coming in and relaxed people are going home. I recommend staying at least 3 nights. 5 is better and 10 even better. Some lucky people I met were staying even longer. It takes time to really decompress and get to take advantage of everything. Also, the spa massage is amazing. My husband and I had the Polynesian Taurumi massage which is the standard treatment. It has long strokes. Both of our masseuses were skilled and we agree this was one of the best resort massages we have ever had anywhere.

Room Tip: High 100s or 200s have sunset views. All villas are great
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Cynthia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrandoPR, Responsable relations clients at The Brando, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear Cynthia,

Each passing year gives us the great pleasure to welcome you back in our and your Paradise Island.

All The Brando team is joining me in thanking you for your beautiful review, you know that you are one of our best Ambassador... forever!

We hope to see you back very soon in your "home far from home", again and again, Fantasy Island is waiting for you.

Best regards.MP

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Reviewed November 17, 2017

What an incredible, incredible place - there is no where in the world like it. The night before we left, an enormous sea turtle labored up the bank to lay her eggs. Another nest near our bungalow was due to hatch within days of our stay but alas, no babies arrived early. So exciting to see, on our second visit here, how the habitat efforts have already made an impact on the world's sea turtle population!!

It is hard to describe the peaceful magic of the Brando. Each bungalow is self-contained and private - you can spend all your time as if you owned your own island. This resort is a unique combination of ultimate tranquility, luxury services, unobtrusive conservation efforts and eco-research. Mosquitoes LOVE me, and I couldn't believe it when I learned about the revolutionary scientific program funded on the island to eradicate mosquitoes. There are NO mosquitoes here, people - easy to take for granted, but so nice! The honey on our bread was from the local beehives, those mama turtles sought the safety of this newly preserved haven and my husband and I joyfully pedaled bikes from place to place remembering how free that feels. There were tiny bikes for children, and I saw an adult bike with a child carrier on the back.

We didn't see many people, I think most people use room service. We certainly loved having our breakfast appear outside in our palapa next to our own infinity pool. And the food is absolutely fabulous - all the more remarkable for the ingredients from around the world as well as French Polynesian fresh produce. Where to start with the food? Maybe the carved wooden box of treats delivered each afternoon, the beet, ginger and ??? De-Tox smoothies at Bob's Bar (okay, we may have needed those after some of our EVENINGS at Bob's Bar :) the individual tiny baguettes baked fresh every day. And the mushroom foie gras raviolis. OMG. Luckily there are many water sports and a gym. Or not :)

Our short trip to the island on a small plane was uneventful and the pilots seemed very skillful. The weather was variable and made for vivid colorful sunsets and as far as I know, it is still not under the control of any resort or government. LOL We feel like this resort makes every effort to provide the best of everything to their guests.

When I get back to my chillier and considerably greyer home, I will remember our night at the table for two on the beach with the sound of the surf, the torches flickering in the warm ocean breeze and those stars overhead. And the raviolis. And of course, my husband. :) And my shoulders will relax, and I will smile no matter what I am doing.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank NightsofCabiria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrandoPR, Responsable relations clients at The Brando, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear "NightsofCabiria"
What a huge pleasure to read this fantastic review, thank you for taking the time to write and share it.
We are delighted to learn that you have enjoyed your stay in our Paradise and that our services and facilities were up to your expectations.

It is a great pleasure and a honor to know that we will stay in your memories, helping you to stay relax ... Hoping that you are just waiting the moment to come back and create, with us, new souvenirs and emotions.

We are looking forward to hearing from you very soon. Best regards. MP

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Reviewed November 15, 2017

Wow! It just keeps getting better and better!
We have been coming down to Tahiti for over 30 years and this was our third visit to The Brando in the past 3 years. The folks at this resort make it so wonderful to come to and very easy to get to. You fly into Papeete and then take a short 15 minute flight to the island. Once there you are taken to your private villa by golf cart.
The location and scenery are out of this world! You can swim and snorkel right outside of your villa.
The staff is very attentive and takes care of all your needs! The food and drinks are amazing! Every day we would go to the gym and then ride our bikes to the cafe for health drinks and end our days having handcrafted cocktails watching the sunset!
The only disappointment in this trip was having to leave! You can't go wrong plannng a vacation here!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Kristina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrandoPR, Responsable relations clients at The Brando, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear Kristina,

We would like to express our grateful & deepest thank for this beautiful comment.
It has been, for the entire team, a great pleasure to welcoming you for the third time in our paradise island.

We are so honored to read that we are "getting better & better" in serving you ... and we will do our best to improve our offers & services, trying to ensure you once again, the best services, activities....

We can't wait the great pleasure to see you soon. Best regards. MP

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Reviewed November 12, 2017

My wife and I have visited French Polynesia frequently over the past 10 years including excellent properties such as Hotel Bora Bora (now closed), St Regis Bora Bora, Kia Ora Resort Vahine Island, Le Tahaa Resort and more. We travelled on the late afternoon Air Tahiti Nui flight (business class) from LA, which we have found more enjoyable than the midnight flight. Service has improved even in the past 18 months and meals were excellent. We stayed 2 nights at the Intercontinental Papeete, and were there within 30 minutes of getting off the plane.
We flew on the smaller Air Tetiaroa plane that leaves at 8.30AM and were in our villa
at the Brando before 9.30 which gave us an extra day as our departure was mid-afternoon on our final day..
our accomodation was perfect, no complaints and no insect bites at all in the 11 days we were there. We moved our deck chairs though down to the beach to maximize shade under the palm trees and also a better view than from the deck. the small pool was excellent and water temperature nice, although a little cooler than the main pool.
We spent most days there as weather in November is unpredictable as it is the start of the rainy season. It rained most nights, was generally clear in the mornings and then clouded over with intermittent rain squalls most afternoons which made it difficult to plan activities. For example we left on our afternoon snorkel trip in perfect weather but by the time we arrived at the coral gardens (only 15 minutes away) it was raining.
Xenia and Christophe were our hosts on this trip and very informative. nice sized black tip reef shark came up close to have its picture taken. Just outside our villa, I was walking in the water up to my waist and a large lemon shark came by to check me out then lazily swam away. we also saw eagle rays swim by on one occasion.
Teria was an excellent attendant at the main pool. We set up chairs under one of the trees between the pool and the beach as the shade was better than at the pool.
We read about the wind in October but we had no windy days, mostly northerly winds and max of 9 mph.
We enjoyed Bob's bar for afternoon drinks and some lunches (the rest we had delivered to our villa). there are only 5 seating positions for couples and the last day we were there two of these were occupied by families with young children, even though they could have eaten at the Beachcomber just steps away. Turns out that it is
legal for children to be at bars serving alcohol in French Polynesia.
Message is though that the Brando cannot guarantee an adults only experience (other than at your villa which is reasonably private) and the Te Manu bar in the evening.
We enjoyed all of the food although I got sick the second day, either from partly cooked hamburger meat or an ingredient of the shellfish paella. My wife settled on the King Crab caesar salad for lunch most days and I preferred the Nordic salad.
We generally had a fresh fish entree in the evening delivered to our villa along with
a bowl of steamed rice and a bowl of steamed broccoli and then creme brulee for dessert. We ate one dinner at the Michelen 2-star restaurant and the John Dory fish from New Zealand was excellent. I observed the dress code for men i.e. long slacks, not shorts, but there were three other men there dressed very casually in shorts.
I got the feeling that the staff cannot mention these things to the guests.
We exercised a lot. I went running (about 3 miles) each morning at 5.30 AM, mostly on the softer sandier paths than on the concrete paths while my wife went to the fitness center which was excellent. We also made good use of the bikes, even in the light rain. After dinner we took a long walk (with a flashlight we brought with us) through the garden trails and were able to spot the large coconut-eating land crabs and large non-venemous spiders.
Breakfast was at the beachcomber cafe. Special mention to our waiters there: Pierre-Yves, Anna, Adrian and David. At Bob's bar: Eric, Thomas, Warren, Tunui and Alice. And much appreciated: Teva, the room service manager.
Overall this was an excellent vacation, expensive but you got the feeling that you were valued as guests of the Brando and treated accordingly.
We will likely return in 2 years, perhaps combining with the St Regis or maybe their new venture with the Thalasso, Bora Bora.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrandoPR, Responsable relations clients at The Brando, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear David,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful feedback with us on your stay at The Brando.
We have enjoyed every moment of your presence in our Paradise Island and we are so happy that you have had "10 awesome days" with us.
I am sure that your nice comment will be a huge motivation for all the team to continue improving the service offering to our guests.
It was an honor to welcome you and we are already looking forward to see you in 2 years... Indubitably, the "Brando Suites" at Bora Bora le Thalasso are incredible and we are sure that you will have a great time there before joining us. Waiting for this pleasure. Best Regards.MP

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