Tetiaroa Village – Tetiaroa, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Island Refuge for Polynesian (and American) Royalty

Tetiaroa remains one of Polynesia’s least-hyped destinations, despite the cachet that comes with being the private domain of the late great Marlon Brando and his Tahitian former wife Tarita, who costarred with him in Mutiny on the Bounty.

A mere fifteen minutes by air from Papeete, these gorgeous islands and their swimming-pool-blue lagoons were once the home of Polynesian royalty. While its future remains in question following Brando’s death, it has escaped development thus far thanks to the actor’s refusal to sell out the small-scale hotel he established after purchasing the island in 1966. Its fourteen bare-bones, native-style, palm-frond-roofed farés are the only accom­modations on the island.

Air-conditioning is courtesy of the sea breeze that wafts through your windows, and sunsets and dinner are the island’s only entertainment. It’s heaven for many, hell for some, who cut their reservations short once island ennui sets in.

You’ll be sharing your island sanctuary with the spirit of the larger-than-life actor, as well as thousands of sea birds that come here to lay their eggs on the white powdery sands of the beaches. Their cries, and the sound of the sea as it breaks on the coral reefs around the atoll, are the only sounds you’ll hear.

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