Once a place where Tahitian chiefs would spend their time feasting, fishing and seeking entertainment, this tranquil atoll north of Tahiti consists of 12 motus (islets) and is these days best known as Marlon Brando’s private island. You’ll find his luxury eco-hotel, The Brando Resort, on the Onetahi motu.
Tetiaroa was owned by Tahiti’s only dentist, Johnston Walter Williams, in 1904, and when Brando first visited the atoll in 1960 while location scouting for his film Mutiny on the Bounty, he was astounded by its beauty and went on to buy it from Williams’ descendants. Initially a hideaway for the actor and occasionally his family, he built a small village on Motu Onetahi which eventually became a hotel run by his wife Tarita Teriipaia. After his death in 2004, Brando’s estate executors granted development rights to Pacific Beachcomber SC. The Brando Resort was opened to the public in 2014.
The atoll also boasts a spa, research station, staff village, private runway and reef dock. And the reef and waters surrounding the island are full of flourishing marine life. Over 150 species of fish have been spotted around the atoll, including parrotfish, eagle rays and blacktip sharks, with whales stopping by on their annual migrations, and sea turtles laying their eggs on the coral sand beaches during nesting season.
What to do
- Enjoy the exclusivity that comes with a stay on a private island
- Snorkelling, diving and kayaking
- Indulge in a spa treatment at The Brando
- Cycling across the island