Thirty miles from Tahiti is the atoll of Tetiaroa; 12 small motus (islands) encircling a sparkling lagoon are home to a wealth of indigenous flora and fauna and, unobtrusively nestling within its dense, native vegetation, lies The Brando. Thirty five villas, each with its own private pool, are discretely located along the treeline with views over the lagoon. The resort has been fashioned from locally sourced, sustainable materials and uses solar power, coconut oil and even cold, deep sea water (for the air conditioning) to minimise the ecological impact.
Floor to ceiling windows, clever design touches and a spacious deck help to bring the outside in, and rooms are orientated to maximise your views out over the lagoon. The latter will become something of a fulcrum for your activities as you traverse its calm waters to explore the 11 other islands which are home to nesting land and seabirds and seasonally to turtles. Snorkelling or diving off the reef unmasks sharks, rays, turtles and myriad tropical fish (167 species thus far recorded) and a visit to Tahuna Iti (bird island) reveals breeding frigate birds and delicate noddy terns. From the busy squabbling of seabirds, paddle your way over to Motu Onetahi where Varua Polynesian spa’s tranquil, pond side setting will wash away any lingering tensions and 21st-century cares.