What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Travel in time of Covid
Fed up with Hawaii's continuous Safe Travel delays we booked a last minute ten day stay at The Brando which we have been eyeing for awhile now. The booking and subsequent communication prior to our trip was perfect- the staff is very professional and courteous. There is not much to add to all the five star reviews here- it was an amazing stay. The island is beautiful, the food good and varied, excellent and accommodating staff and the best villa I have ever experienced. Other than some minor 'lost in translation' issues it was just a wonderful getaway and we plan on returning. One interesting and unexpected experience: On our second night we were seated next to a couple at dinner who three days later we were informed that they both tested positive for Covid-19. Per Tahiti health requirements we were quarantined in our villa for two days until our tests came back negative and were released. The staff handled this professionally and of all the places one could be quarantined our villa had to be the best! Travelers beware: Even though visitors must have a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to arrival and a second mandatory test four days after arrival there is no inter-island testing requirements for tourists yet there is for residents. As in our situation the couple who tested positive spent their first few days in Bora Bora before transferring to The Brando. Tahiti is having an explosion of positive cases and they apparently picked it up there so always wear that mask and stay socially distant no matter where you are! Thank you to everyone at the Brando for our wonderful escape from the world!
Wonderful, surreal stay!
This is an amazing place, unlike anyplace we have been and we have been to countless island resorts. It was also perfect for us given the COVID situation around the world. We felt totally secluded and safe at the Brando for our 7 night stay. First the villa: Overwater bungalowes in Bora Bora are cool but our villa at The Brando right on the lagoon was amazing. Very large, modern, private, absolutely no negatives whatsoever. It features a really nice outdoor dining pavilion where we took breakfast every morning and a small private pool. Staff: Wow, everyone was fantastic and really went out of their way to make our stay memorable. They set up 2 special dinners for us and we felt like the place was ours. Just cannot say enough good things. Grounds: Just amazing and well manicured. Food and drinks: For us much of the food was very good but not out of this world. Drinks/wine selection was excellent but unfortunately they ran out of two of our favorite wines within a couple days. In summary this should be a bucket place destination for you if you can afford it. Very pricey but what a great time we had. We will consider returning for our 35th wedding anniversary in a few years.
Heaven on earth. My wife and I got so lucky to stay on the island in our beautiful villa for a week and we did not want to return back to reality. From the service to the privacy to the food to the amazing views wow! “Unfortunately,”our accommodations on another Tahiti island fell through last minute and we were offered a massive upgrade at no cost to us. We Celebrated my 30th bday here and it was one of the top vacations of my life. You will not be disappointed at all. We will be back one day. Don’t hesitate to book if you have the time and the money make sure you put this place in your bucket list absolutely a dream come true. I have never been so relaxed in my life, well other than the day we went snorkeling and I turned to my right and saw a 5 foot shark staring back at me lol that had my heart racing for sure. This place is pure perfection otherwise. Loved the little pearl shop and my beautiful pearl bracelet I was gifted. The Japanese dinner was so perfect, the daily breakfasts with the ocean views at the restaurant or brought to your backyard villa were something we still miss. Loved the little touches, the bikes were a plus. Rooms had everything we needed, bath tube outside at night was the best especially since we brought our own bath bombs. Champagne and wines were delicious. The spa is beautiful and the massage was ok. I can go on and on. Just book if you want to relax and be with your love, very romantic atmosphere.
Most Beautiful Place on Earth
When you go French Polynesia, and you must go, stay at The Brando on Tetiaroa Island. We spent one week at The Brando for our honeymoon the last week of May 2019. This review is a year late, but, better late than never… Here are our impressions of The Brando: 1. The Brando Resort. Beautiful, clean, well-maintained. They do not have the overwater bungalows like other resorts in Tahiti, but you don’t want an overwater bungalow. The reef and the beach are severely damaged when building overwater bungalows, and there’s never that many fish swimming under the bungalows. I stayed in an overwater bungalow at the Le Meridien in Bora Bora, and was underwhelmed. The Villas are more well-constructed than at other Oceania island resorts, such as the Yasawa Island Resort in Fiji. Yasawa is a beautiful island, but the Villas are crawling with large, scary insects. We did not see one bug in our Villa at The Brando. 2. The Brando Resort staff. World-class customer service. The General Manager, Mr. Silvio Bion, personally greets you when you arrive and when you leave. The Bar Manager, Jerome, and his team of bartenders are outstanding. The Concierge, Temeri, will arrange any activity you wish. We had no problems with slow restaurant service or incorrect food orders as noted in other reviews. In fact, I can’t see how that would be possible at The Brando. The ratio of staff members to guests is so high you get personal attention everywhere you go in the resort. Every Tahitian resort has a Polynesian show. However, The Brando’s Polynesian show was composed entirely of Brando staff members! What a surprise to see all the staff members we met over the course of our week in the Polynesian show on the Friday night before we left. 3. The Green Tour. We did the Green Tour with our guide, Tepua. You tour the eco-friendly aspects of The Brando and all your questions are answered. It is very interesting, and you will learn some things you did not know. They have eradicated mosquitoes on the island. In fact, we did not have one insect bite the entire week and we did not use any bug repellent. No ant bites. By contrast, the ants in Fiji will eat you alive. 4. The Tetiaroa Ultimate Tour. A tour of the entire atoll with a stop on an islet that is undeveloped. Our guides were Thierry Sommers and Heirehia. Thierry is a naturalist who knows French Polynesia inside and out. I’ve never been much of a conservationist, but by the time this tour was over, my mindset had changed. The extent to which we have damaged the Earth is evident when you see what the planet was like before mankind started destroying it. Also, a fascinating feeling of safety in the jungles on Tetiaroa. Thierry and Heirehia walked through a primeval jungle with no shoes, and did not get bitten or stung by any dangerous animals or insects. Something dangerous would kill or severely injure you walking barefoot in an undeveloped jungle on Yasawa Island in Fiji. On Tetiaroa, even the honeybees will not sting you. 5. The restaurants. Excellent. But be careful with the French restaurant, Les Mutines. The food and wine are so amazing you may eat and drink too much and need to transported back to your Villa. All the food was great, but the teppanyaki grill, Nami, was exceptional. The selection of sakes at Nami was very nice. Claire was our waitress at the Beachcomber Café and she was also exceptional. Try the “healthy shots” with your breakfast. It’s easy to spend all your time at Bob’s Bar hanging out with Jerome and the other bartenders, but be sure to go upstairs and check out the beautiful Te Manu Bar where you can sit outside surrounded by palm trees and look at the stars. Ask Loup to make you the special Mai Tai which is off-menu. 6. The Reef Tour. We were the only two guests on our snorkeling tour, and The Brando did not cancel the tour, they sent us on our own personal tour with our guide, Heirehia! The reef does not have as much colorful coral or as many fish as the reefs in other Tahitian islands such as Bora Bora, but what makes Tetiaroa special is that you have the reef all to yourself. No massive groups of annoying tourists with squealing kids feeding fish and sharks. Just a beautiful tour of the reef, and you will see fish and sharks. Also, they have jackfish, sea turtles, sting rays, and manta rays in the lagoon. If you like, you can snorkel whenever you want in the reef right outside your villa! No need to take a long boat ride full of sweaty tourists to the faraway snorkeling spots like in Negril, Jamaica. 7. The Hinerava jewelry boutique featuring Tahitian pearls. My wife purchased pearl earrings and a tattooed/carved pearl necklace pendant. Manu Marin in Hinerava was knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Whether you are looking at the $10,000+ items or the $100 items, Manu takes the time to explain the products and answer your questions. In our opinion, the Hinerava jewelry is more beautiful than the Robert Wan jewelry that is everywhere in Tahiti. 8. The Intimate Blessing Ceremony. We got legally married back home, and had the Intimate Blessing Ceremony on Tetiaroa. They exceeded our expectations. The Brando flew in a photographer and hair stylist for our ceremony, and it was perfect. 9. The Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa. My wife loved it. She is a professional massage therapist and said all the massage therapists at The Brando were excellent. If you are looking for help planning and booking your Tahiti vacation, we recommend Jeanne Alspaugh at Pro Travel International. Jeanne worked directly with The Brando to make our vacation perfect. Any negatives to the Brando? If you are looking for a nightclub/party scene, it’s not here. One reviewer complained that there were “too many seashells on the beach”. Since this island has limited tourism, the shells on the beach have not been scavenged by hordes of tourists, like in Cancun. Also, since the beaches have not been damaged by building structures on or close to the beach, the natural beach remains, and a natural South Pacific island beach has shells (unlike the beach at Waikiki, which is composed of sand brought in from Southern California and Australia). However, there are stretches of beautiful soft sand beach on Tetiaroa, they just might not be immediately in front of your Villa. In the end, only a high-maintenance traveler would find anything to complain about at this resort. The only negative of our trip had nothing to do with The Brando, it was the Faa’a International Airport in Papeete. The Brando has their own private plane service, Air Tetiaroa. Air Tetiaroa has their own private terminal in Papeete which is air-conditioned, peaceful and relaxing. The rest of the airport is a hot, humid mess full of sweaty, stinky, rude tourists. It makes the International terminal at LAX look like a luxury resort. If you have the funds for a private jet to take you in and out of Faa’a International Airport in Papeete, do it. Also, we can recommend Air Tahiti Nui over Air France if you have to choose between those two airlines. Our Air France flight was full of passengers who had obviously not showered in a few days.
Inconsiderate and unprofessional approach
In accordance with The Brando's terms we paid in advance for our stay. We then had to cancel due to flight and quarantine restrictions. The cancellation was also done in accordance with The Brando's terms. Well over a month after cancelling, we are still waiting on the refund. There have been a plethora of excuses; - the banking system, lack of staff, unique challenges etc. etc. but none of them wash with me. I had intended to re-book when normality returns. Now I am questioning why would I? I suggest there will be many other guests waiting on a refund. If The Brando values its online reputation, it needs to start acting rather than making excuses.
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