Imagine a place, far far away, somewhere close to the equator, in the middle of the South Pacific, 17.0000° S, 149.5500° W to be precise.
A place where you will find yourself blinking your eyes, just to make sure it is real.
A place with colors so intense, like you’ve never seen them before.
A place where you hear the gentle lapping of waves, the light humming of a honey bee every now and then, and a bird screech ever so often.
A place filled with the smell of sea salt, warm air, and tropical plants.
A place where you become one with nature, where time seems to stand still, and all of a sudden you feel at peace with yourself. It is as if you had arrived in paradise and the paradise’s name is Tetiaroa.
The atoll of Tetiaro is located in French Polynesia, also referred to as Tahiti, in the outer parts of the Society archipelago to be precise. Until about 2 years ago, the atoll was known by very few (non Tahitians that is).
Marlon Brando had discovered this paradise when scouting possible locales for the movie “Mutiny of the Bounty.” He was immediately fascinated by this particular collection of motus, their incredible beauty and unique ability to make one feel that much closer to paradise. In 1967 Marlon Brando succeeded in acquiring the atoll and for many years Tetiaroa was his paradise, a place where he, his family and close friends, could escape to.
Marlon Brando however, wasn’t just a wealthy celebrity. He was also a visionary. He dreamed of an island paradise that would be a model of sustainability. He wanted Tetiaroa’s natural beauty and everything it had to offer, preserved. He wanted to create a center for research and education, that eventually could benefit the entire world.
Although Marlon Brando died in 2004, his dream to create a self-sustaining, top-class, luxury resort that acted as a center for guests, residents, as well as scientific research, became reality. Today, Tetiaroa is likely one of the most unique resort properties you can imagine. Not only is it unlike anything else, it is also very exclusive and the hotel buzz is brimming with many people wondering, if this concept and idea can survive.
Whether it will or not, only the stars can tell (and there are plenty on Tetiaroa where stargazing is at its best). And whilst the idea might seem crazy to some, the product and concept is solid. The resort is top-notch, every detail paid attention to. The food, despite the fact that you find yourself miles out in the South Pacific, is flawless. The service is impeccable and very personable. You feel welcomed to paradise from the moment you step off Air Tetiaroa’s plane.
What originally seemed like a place that could quickly become boring, turned almost immediately into a place you would never want to leave.
Here are a few of my favorite images taken during my stay.
Stefanie Pichonnat is the owner of AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating customized travel itineraries. Having personally traveled to Hawai’i, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Tahiti, she can help you create a wonderful South Pacific experience. To plan a trip contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org