Private island, anyone? | Original Senses

Blow the Budget

Private island, anyone?

 adrift in the South Pacific, Tetiaroa is an atoll of a dozen white-sand islands ringed by coral reefs. The only way to get there is on the resort’s private, six-seater plane. On the 20-minute flight from Tahiti, floating above blue lagoons, shimmering reefs, and swaying palms, you can see why Marlon Brando simply had to have it. Like Brando, you’ll experience the spine-tingling thrill of love at first sight as you touch down on the island he called home.

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Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty and biodiversity. This tiny atoll is home to a world-class centre for conservation and education, as well as an eco-conscious resort, aptly named The Brando. Apart from migrating whales, dolphins frolicking on the reef, sea turtles nesting in the coral sands, dozens of exotic fish swimming alongside you, and thousands of tropical birds roosting in the lush vegetation, there’s nothing to disturb your tranquillity.

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With space for no more than 80 guests in 35 villas, Tetiaroa still feels like a place where no-one will find you. Kayaks are fitted with GPS, in case you can’t spot your thatched villa camouflaged among the coconut palms. Plenty of celebrities have sought refuge here: Pippa Middleton chose The Brando for her honeymoon and Obama spent a month here working on his memoirs.

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There are two sophisticated restaurants (one of them vegan), featuring exotic produce from the resort’s gardens and orchards, a soulful spa hidden in the tropical undergrowth, a bar with tree-top seating and activities galore, from scuba diving to paddle boarding. But the languorous pace of Polynesian life will no doubt lull you into delicious indolence.

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