What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
The Brando exceeded expectations
This was our first visit to The Brando. We were celebrating wife’s birthday. The staff went all out and she had the best birthday ever. Thanks to Pacific for Less for recommending and planing an incredible trip. The staff is very attentive, professional, and friendly. The villas are spectacular, provide privacy, and opportunity to relax. Restaurants are varied in offerings and the food is exceptional at each. The activities available include paddle board, kayaking, outrigger, and snorkeling. The atoll and it’s waters are incredibly beautiful, photos don’t do it justice.
Perfect COVID escape - Lots to do there, all amazing
First and foremost, the staff at The Brando is second to none and very disciplined and proactive thanks to excellent management by Mr. Bion. The vast majority are also very genuinely nice people, not just doing a job, from the cart drivers to the restaurant servers to the bar keepers and especially the Concierges. Timeri, our primary concierge was both very professional as well as very personable. This is what made the most difference for us, the personal attention and VIP treatment. They ALL wore masks when interacting with guests or in the buildings. We did not need masks most of the time. They test everyone that goes to the island with a quick test on Tahiti. About 50 of the staff out of 200 tested positive after the Delta variant hit Tahiti, so the staffing is less than usual. There were no impacts to the guests that I could detect. It was the best escape from COVID. Never really thought about it. Bob's bar learned to make my healthy green drink and prepared one most days for me and my wife. The Grasshopper mixed drink we got from Te Manu bar was the best I had ever tasted. A real treat. The food at the Beachcomer was good as well, depending on what you ordered. The sweet potato fries are to die for and they made soft-boiled eggs to my specs that were perfect. Good eggs too, like the best in the US. The lagoon fish was mostly Parrotfish, which was amazing the the vanilla/coconut white sauce. We also were lucky to get Jackfish one night at Les Mutines and this was even better. The infusion of vanilla and coconut at Les Mutines was heavenly. Like eating a tasty eyeball. The only downside to these restaurants is the limited menu. If you avoid Lamb and Beef, it is quite limited. The presentation of the food at Les Mutines and even the Beachcomer was artistic. The breads were excellent, hot and tasty, especially the croissants and the baggettes. Fresh baked. The jellies are really unusual and delicious, including the strawberry and pineapple. They also serve honey from their own bees, which evidently do not sting. The tours and activities were all excellent as well. I would highly recommend the Ultimate tour and the Reef Quest. All of the tour guides were enthusiastic and informative, some being from the Tetiaroa society, not the Brando staff. The Green Tour is highly recommended for those that can understand mechanical systems. It includes tours of the mechanical systems for cooling the buildings with seawater pumped from 900 feet depth as well as the recycling and multiple water systems, including grey water and drinking water. The power system is almost 100% green. If they purchase one more battery unit, they will power through the night without needing any diesel fueled generation. Totally carbon-free. If you do the Reef Quest in the high season (winter), I recommend a full-body rash guard to keep warm. We were also invited to attend a technical talk one evening by members of the Tetiaroa Society and colleagues about rat impact and eradication efforts on some of the other motus. Very enjoyable, passionate people trying to save species and coral. The accommodations (villas) were very fine, including top-drawer Italian sheets on the bed, however the maids like to short-sheet you, so we had to untuck them and pull them up very night. We discovered after the second day that there are secret doors on the front and back that can be opened in the evening to get cool fresh air flowing through. They are secure from the outside once closed. The electrical system is also a bit of a mystery until you figure it out. There is a master switch at the bedside that turns out all of the lights once you are in bed and if you forget this switch or accidently hit it, it can seem like you have no power to the lights. It would be beneficial to the guests if the persons escorting you to the villa would explain the light-switches and the hidden doors to new guests. The temperature in the villa was perfect once we got all three systems working properly. They all maintained 22 degrees C without issues, except for the bathroom, which was mostly too warm. There are no cooling registers in there, so it only gets cooling from the bedroom. As a result, we kept the sliding doors closed to the bathroom during the day to keep the heat in there until evening when we could open the secret doors and get the breeze to flow through. They provided fruit and bowls of nice grapes for snacking as well as nuts in the Villas. The Whale Watching Tour was different than expected. There is a bit of luck involved because they don't always spot the whales from shore. We did however spot three different Whale locations and got in the water from one of them, where I recorded the song of the whale, which was amazing and unexpected. Unfortunately it swam away from us, so didn't see it under water. We also saw another whale breech 3 times and then go under with another adult and a baby. When I tried to put on my scuba bootie to get into the water with fins, I encountered and rock in the toe of the boot, so I went in with my hand to remove it, only to find a crab holding tightly to my finger. The boat crew removed the crab-claw from my finger, which bled profusely, but recovered in a day or two. Scuba dive was interesting, with excellent dive-master. Saw a sleeping pregnant turtle up-close and also a large white-tip shark sleeping in a cave-like place. Did only a one tank in the afternoon and was compressed air, not NITROX. At high-tide, the lagoon has a lot of surprises, including a lone 7-8 pound bonefish rooting around for worms in the sand less than a foot off the shore. Also saw 2 giant Trevalys in front of the Beachcomer close to shore while having lunch there. Be very careful of the sun, which can be very intense there. Put SPF 50 sunscreen on every exposed surface or you will get burned. The bikes are handy and essential for saving time. If you are late, they will pick you up in 2 minutes in a golf cart. I found the fitness center to be more than sufficient and I was usually alone there. My wife loved the Spa and especially the head-to-toe massage. Definitely the best tropical vacation I have taken, but not the best snorkeling or diving. If the weather conditions would have permitted, the "canyon" dive I think would have been a really good one. I will be making plans to come back I think.
Travel to the Brando - June 2021
After 15 months at home due to COVID, it was almost overwhelming to be able to come back to one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. What a joy and dream come true to have all of the Brando offers at your fingertips, This was our 3rd time staying here (we always get a great deal booking thru Pacific For Less), and I must give the staff at the Brando huge kudos for re-starting on June 1st (after being subject to the challenges of a global pandemic). They waited an extra month after Tahiti opened to fully vaxxed US travels; taking time to ramp up to fully operational capacity. We arrived about two weeks after they re-opened. As expected, they were authentically "The Brando"...with the same wonderful service, thoughtful eco-driven ethos, excellent amenities on one of the most exceptionally beautiful islands in the world. Some tiny hiccups in attaining some supplies were par for the course, and were imperceptible to the guests. As guests, we were able to relax - be happy - no...make that be THRILLED and GRATEFUL - to be in paradise once again. Just heaven.
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.
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