Paradise Found: The Brando

The Brando
The Brando

 

There are some hotels that tug at your heartstrings from the very first photo. I knew from the moment that I was introduced to The Brando that I was destined to stay there. Lucky for me, my 10th Wedding Anniversary presented the perfect opportunity.

We arrived into Fa’a’a airport from our stay in Bora Bora at the St. Regis and Four Seasons. After collecting our luggage we made our way to the Air Tetiaroa terminal.

Aie Tetiaroa has their own private terminal and their planes serve one and only one destination, Tetiaroa, also known as Marlon Brando’s private island, or simply The Brando.

I am a fan of traveling, but not so much of flying, so I was a little hesitant about the small plane, but thankfully the views are gorgeous and it is a short flight.

Upon arrival at The Brando, all guests are greeted with music and dancing, have their photographs taken, and are whisked away on golf carts to their villas.

We spent seven nights in a One Bedroom Villa which is a generous 1,033-sq.-ft. (96-sq.-m). The resort also offers two and three bedroom villa options. The Brando is a new build from the ground up and the villas reflect a thoughtful and balanced design; neither to heavy on form, nor on function.

There is a media room with flat screen television, sofa, and desk. This opens into a living room with dining table, mini-fridge, and coffee / tea area. You then proceed up a short flight of stairs to the bedroom with attached dressing area and bathroom with tub outside, for baths while stargazing.

 

The best part about the villa, however, was the outside. The views were stunning, the grounds were lush and private, the plunge pool deep and cool.

It is truly an eco-friendly resort that doesn’t compromise on luxury. Cold air conditioning from sea water, plenty of hot water in your shower from the sun, rain water in the toilets.

They don’t play lip service to an environmental ethic with a stupid placard on your bed whose sole purpose is to save the hotel money, nor do they skimp on providing the quality level that guests expect.

In fact, their groundbreaking non-toxic mosquito eradication project means that you are almost guaranteed a bite free vacation. No repellent required!

If you book the all-inclusive plan then all meals and drinks are included in your rate, as well as activities and spa treatments (the number of which depends on the length of your stay). I absolutely loved having the spa treatments included as I don’t normally indulge in multiple spa visits.

View from the Varua Spa
View from the Varua Spa

There are two restaurants and two bars at The Brando, and far and away our favorite was Bob’s Bar. It truly is one of the word’s great beach bars. They have a great mixology program, and some addictive bar snacks.

Finished with your cocktail? How about a dip in the pool? There is only one on property, yet hardly anyone was ever there. On an island where everyone has their own beachfront pool, there is no shortage of swimming opportunities.

In short, it is a unique and exclusive experience that you cannot have anywhere in the world. Contact me today at 508-485-3061 or via email to discuss your next vacation at The Brando.

Exclusively for Virtuoso guests:

For 2016 & 2017

  • Upgrades are not applicable with this participant
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • 100 EURO Resort or Hotel credit per villa to be utilized during stay (cannot be used at Hinerava Pearl Shop, not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

St. Regis Bora Bora versus Four Seasons Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora
St. Regis Bora Bora
St. Regis Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora

There are certain destinations blessed with a luxury hotel conundrum, and Bora Bora is one of those places. Clients always want to know which hotel is the best, and the St. Regis and Four Seasons are at the tops of everyone’s list.

I knew as soon as I had secured my Air Tahiti Business Class award flights that I would stay at both properties, and settle the debate once and for all.

Which hotel is better?

OVERALL ACCOMODATIONS

Four Seasons Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora

Winner: Four Seasons Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora

Pros: Larger and spacious, well laid out, especially for light sleepers, quiet.

Cons: Bathrooms are dated with low vanities, room was showing wear, you have to call for adapters.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Pros: Sofa bed in living room, more contemporary and updated décor, two US adapters provided in room, complimentary shared DIY laundry.

Cons: No dedicated table indoors for dining, no shaving platform in shower, some rooms can be noisy in the morning.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

St. Regis Bora Bora
St. Regis Bora Bora

 

Winner: Tie

St. Regis Bora Bora

Nice uninterrupted views of the mountain and a feeling of overall spaciousness. Adult’s only pool and a swim up bar at the main pool. Good lagoon for snorkeling. Our bicycles were rusty, so we did not ride them.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Gorgeous views of the mountain, but only rooms on the end of the pontoons have uninterrupted view. Resort felt more compact and easier to get around than St. Regis. Kids Club and Teen Island. Only one pool.

DECK, SWIMMING PLATFORM AND LADDER

St. Regis Bora Bora
St. Regis Bora Bora

Winner: St. Regis Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora

Deck lacked some privacy on the sides. Swimming platform was large and sturdy. Ladder had flat rungs, but could have been a little longer. No dedicated chaise lounge covers.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Deck was private from side to side. Platform was large, but had some give. Ladder had round rungs, which hurt to step on, but was plenty long. Dedicated chaise lounge covers

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Four Seasons Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora

Winner: Four Seasons Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora

Our dinner at Lagoon was very good and I appreciated the vegetarian menu. Breakfasts and lunch via room service were average to not good. The breakfast buffet was below average.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

All meals whether in room or in restaurant were good to very good. Breakfast buffet was small, but well stocked. Vegetarian was understood by staff and easily accommodated.

SERVICE

Four Seasons Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora

 

 

Winner: Tie

St. Regis Bora Bora

Our butler was lovely, but we didn’t need much for a two night stay. Restaurant staff were average to very good. There were some misses such as having to ask multiple times for a refill.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Staff ranged from average to great. Pool service was slow. Room service was easy to order via the Four Seasons app, and the set up was nice.

WI-FI

Winner: St. Regis Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora

Wi-Fi worked well throughout the resort.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Wi-Fi worked well in the room, but signal strength was low to nonexistent at restaurants, pool, and beach

 

Interested in knowing which one is BEST for YOU? Contact me today at 508-485-3061 or via email and receive special complimentary amenities with your booking.

 

Stay tuned for my trip report from The Brando!

Luxury Resort Showdown in French Polynesia

Billionaire's Pool
Billionaire's Pool at The Brando
Billionaire’s Pool at The Brando

 

On a whim I decided to set up an alert in May 2016  for two business class tickets on Air Tahiti Nui for multiple dates surrounding our 10th Wedding Anniversary in August 2016. Imagine my surprise one night about one week later when two seats popped up as available. I knew this trip must be meant to be, so I grabbed the seats, handed over an obscene number of AAdvantage miles (320,000) and started piecing the rest of the trip together.

Champagne PDB
Champagne PDB

 

There are certain destinations that have highly competitive luxury hotels, and clients always want to know the difference between them and which one is the best and Bora Bora is one of those places. Therefore, I knew that our trip had to include the Four Seasons Bora Bora and the St. Regis Bora Bora, so that I could once and for all settle the debate.

On our way to Tahiti we spent one night at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, which is  a quick drive from LAX. Since we did not have through tickets, I wanted to do everything possible to ensure that we didn’t miss our flight to Tahiti.

Club Lounge at Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey
Club Lounge at Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey

 

A stay at the Intercontinental Tahiti was required on arrival because we took the daytime flight to Papeete which lands too late to get to Bora Bora. I also booked a room there for our last day, as we had about six hours between our flight from Tetiaroa and our flight to Los Angeles.

Intercontinental Tahiti
Intercontinental Tahiti

 

The coup de grace for the trip, and our second honeymoon, was our week long stay at The Brando, Marlon Brando’s private island on the atoll of Tetiaroa located north of Tahiti.

The Brando Bed
The Brando Bed

 

A complete write up on the St. Regis Bora Bora versus the Four Seasons Bora Bora, as well as The Brando will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you are interested in a trip to French Polynesia please email me or give me a call at 508-485-3061.