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French Polynesia: Marlon Brando’s Private Island Unveiled As Incredible Eco-Resort

After years of careful planning and development, Marlon Brando’s former French Polynesian private island, Tetiaroa, looks set to open as an incredible eco-resort in 2014

(Marlon Brando's Tetiaroa/Vladi Private Islands)

(Marlon Brando’s Tetiaroa/Vladi Private Islands)

Just over 50 years since Marlon Brando first fell in love with Tetiaroa, his beguiling French Polynesian private island home, the Hollywood icon’s promise to secure a sustainable future for the island looks set to be realized in the form of The Brando, a cutting edge ecological tourist development aiming to become the world’s first ever resort obtain LEED Platinum certification.

Located 30 miles to the north east of Tahiti, the OSCAR winning actor stumbled across the 12 island strong atoll whilst on the hunt for a suitable location for his 1962 blockbuster Mutiny on the Bounty, purchasing the object of his desires some 3 years later in 1965, declaring the purchase to be one of the “big moments of [his] life.”

Always keen to extoll the virtues of his island kingdom, Brando spoke about Tetiroa frequently within interviews with the press, announcing his intent to transform the island archipelago into an internationally recognized center capable of educating others about the island’s incredible eco-system and the many facets of French Polynesia as far back as the 1970s.

After Brando’s death in 2004, question marks were raised over the future of the island, with concerns that the island would fall into disrepair. After standing all but uninhabited for a year, a deal was brokered between the actor’s son, Tehotu and long-term friend and developer Richard Bailey to secure a sustainable future for Tetiaroa and to ensure that Brando’s ecological legacy was upheld.

(Tetiaroa Image Copyright Farhad Vladi)

(Tetiaroa Image Copyright Farhad Vladi)

Having worked alongside the Godfather star for three years before his death, Bailey had a clear idea about how to implement the actor’s vision, with the results of almost eight years of development and construction finally being revealed to the international community of private island aficionados with the launch of the resort’s official website last week.

Home to 35 energy autonomous villas, the eco-resort is situated on Motu Onetahi, in keeping with Brando’s wishes to preserve the rest of the atoll as a private natural preserve. Billed as the world’s most eco-friendly island hideaway, Bailey and his team have made great efforts to ensure that the island is one-hundred percent reliable on renewable energy.

As well as making use of solar power and coconut oil to power the island, Bailey and his team are the first private island developers to make use of so-called sea water air conditioning (SWAC) technology. With the help of the world’s deepest underwater pipe, cold water is sourced from a depth of 950 meters, with deep sea water taking the place of traditional air conditioning units.

Further to the tourist development, space will be made available to a non-profit organization, who will carry out research and conservation projects from the island’s very own EcoStation – a think tank dedicated to helping international island eco-systems find their own path to a truly sustainable future.

The development forms a fitting testament to the forward thinking Hollywood star, who would no doubt be delighted to see his dreams for a sustainable future become a reality. Richard Bailey certainly shares this sentiment, adding, “We are very glad and very happy. It is part of his legacy.”

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