Brando’s Private Island to Be Site of Luxury Eco-Hotel

16th Mar 2005

The French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa, owned by the late Marlon Brando,
is to be the site of a lavish new eco-hotel, called The Brando. Slated to
open in 2008, and consisting of 30 deluxe fares (villas), it will be the
only hotel on Tetiaroa. The project is being overseen by Tahiti
Beachcomber SA, whose CEO Richard Bailey, the owner of several luxury
resorts in French Polynesia, had been in contact with the actor for a
number of years and has continued meeting with the Brando Estate to
fulfill Brando and Bailey’s joint vision for an environmentally
enlightened project. This exclusive resort will enjoy a truly unique setting. The former
playground of Tahitian Kings, Tetiaroa is now virtually uninhabited
(population of one - Brando’s son Teihotu) and just 26 miles north of
Tahiti in French Polynesia’s idyllic Society Islands. Its crystal clear
lagoon is encircled by 13 motu, or islands, which offer a tranquil and
unspoiled paradise of outstanding natural beauty and ecological
importance. Marlon Brando bought Tetiaroa in 1965 after falling in love
with it while filming ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ in French Polynesia.

The plan for the resort is very much in keeping with the philosophy of
Brando, who shared Bailey’s wish to protect the environment. “There will
be only one hotel on Tetiaroa, on Motu Onetahi, which is in keeping with
Marlon’s wishes, and the rest of the atoll will be set aside as a private
natural preserve,” says Bailey. “The Brando eco-hotel will be exactly what
Marlon would have wanted: Energy-autonomous and built with natural
materials, it will rest lightly on its environment and be nearly invisible
from the water. It will showcase the latest in renewable energy
technologies, including some we are already employing in our new hotel in
Bora Bora, which Marlon had promised to inaugurate. We worked together on
this project for three years before he died. I am privileged to have known
him, and honored to play a part in his legacy by bringing one of his
dreams to fruition.”

Bailey’s resorts employ a fulltime marine biologist and veterinarian, Dr.
Cecile Gaspar, who has carried out extensive studies on Tetiaroa to ensure
that such a project will not disturb the flora and fauna of this
extraordinary ecosystem, which includes sea-turtle hatching grounds and
the designated seabird sanctuary on Motu Tahuna Iti that provides a home
to thousands of rare indigenous seabirds. The archeological department of
Tahiti Museum was also called in to conduct research into the past use of
the atoll by Tahitian royalty.

Richard Bailey owns the trio of InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia:
InterContinental Resort Tahiti; InterContinental Le Moana Resort Bora
Bora; and InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea ( Bailey and his company, Tahiti
Beachcomber SA, which purchased two of the resorts in 1998 and then the
third, in Bora Bora, in 1999, will open a fourth hotel, InterContinental
Resort and Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora, in 2006. As Bailey and his team oversee
work on the new five-star resort and its thalasso-spa, he also continues
to work with the Ministry of Environment in Tahiti to develop programs
relating to the environment, research and protection of endangered
wildlife species in French Polynesia.


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