You don’t need to be Barack Obama to appreciate the beauty of the Brando as this hotel has been voted 2nd best in the entire world in 2017 Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Hotel list.
Located in Tetiaroa, just 30 miles north of Tahiti, this is a necklace of 12 low-lying motus (islets) framing a gorgeous turquoise lagoon. It can only be reached by helicopter or aboard a seven-seater plane operated by Air Tetiaroa, which departs from a private terminal at Faa’a International Airport. The 15-minute flight costs €298 (£237) return and lands on Motu Onetahi, which is also home to The Brando resort. The rest of the atoll is untouched.
The actor Marlon Brando bought Tetiaroa in 1966 after visiting Tahiti to film Mutiny on the Bounty, and spent many happy days there escaping the battlefield of Hollywood. The Brando, which opened in July 2014, seeks to continue his vision that this dream atoll remain pristine – while also offering guests holiday comforts of the highest level. Despite the name, there is little Brando theming and the ambience is decidedly luxe castaway, with nature providing the flamboyance. A high point is the Varua Spa, which is hidden away in the coconut palms and offers sensual Polynesian treatments. Excursions include lagoon tours and visits to the island’s eco-station, and there is a fitness centre, tennis court and watersports.