by Amanda Norcross
Have you always dreamed of staying at an over-the-top luxurious resort in French Polynesia? The Brando is that resort. The remote, all-inclusive resort offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas to suit families of various sizes. It also features several dining options, with food sourced from ingredients grown in the resort’s gardens. Visit the spa, go paddleboarding, and just relax, far away from the rest of the world.
Our Editor Loves
- Remote resort
- All-inclusive rates
- Spacious villas
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
by Rhonda P
The Brando is a fabulous luxury resort in Tahiti
Its situated in a magnificent atoll
The accommodation is beautifully appointed
We had the one bedroom villa it was super spacious
The villa has a great plunge pool .
The restaurants and food were fabulous
The bars were great with a good chooses of wines
The staff were fabulous every one we come across went out of there way to help you enjoy your stay
This little piece of paradise is a destination you should put on your bucket list .
Thanks to all the wonderful people who work on this fabulous island .
Chris and Rhonda
by Pepe G
The Brando is a work in progress. Photos can be found on Instagram at pepe.g6
Summary: The Brando is an amazing resort, but as we found on this trip, it's also a work in progress. Our first visit a few years ago was fantastic. There were a few items to work on, but over all great. This visit was a different story. The management staff has failed to hone in on service and staff issues, which is resulting in a compromised experience. I love The Brando, but it needs to resolve many issues. As a very high end resort, it is unexpected to get poor service. There were three of us, and we stayed in a two bedroom villa on the Mermaid Bay (we were on Turtle Beach or the sunset side last visit). I actually prefer the sunrise side.
Pre-Visit Reservations: I chartered a helicopter to the resort, which worked out great (through The Brando). I had reserved a Seaplane for PPT-BOB after the resort stay which got canceled, and The Brando helped to organize a charter helicopter direct from the resort, direct to Bora Bora which went without a hitch (was really beautiful to see the islands from low level). All reservations worked out well and the staff if very professional.
Two Bedroom Villa: Our villa was very clean, organized, and cozy. It was well maintained and comfortable, with plenty of air conditioning.
Pro Tip: Do not arrive on a Friday or Saturday, since this is when most people are checking in and out. If there is an overlap, the staff is unable to keep up with demand. On Friday, it took us more than an hour to get drinks (which were provided complementary for us) poolside. On Saturday, it took us over an hour and a half to get lunch, and once we got lunch it was cold $150+ for three of us.
On this particular day there was an overlap, and there were about 100 guests at the resort. They can comfortably handle 30 to 40 people. So expect long delays and poor service in those situations. This is not the fault of the workers (they are hard-working and try their best to keep up). It's a management issue. The simple solution is learning how to add staff on-demand, which probably isn't easy. Or better yet, how to schedule incoming arrivals, and departures so that the bar and restaurant staff are not stressed out. But in the nicest (and very expensive) resort in the South Pacific something needs to be done better. The Four Season's and Conrad Bora Bora have no problem with it. It is well structured and guests know it.
Another tip is to make reservations where you want to eat, as early as possible. Especially for the Nami Teppanyaki. Even before you arrive, it's important to have reservations at the desired restaurant. At nicer resorts I don't think it's necessary to make reservations, but in some cases where it's very limited seating, you simply have to. if you can't get reservations at the very limited Teppanyaki, you can order from the menu and have it delivered elsewhere.
This is one of the most beautiful and ecologically important resorts in the world. It is the second time I've been here, and I just love it, even with the service issues. But for the price you pay, you should have the best service. Again the worker staff are very friendly, amazing, and helpful. But if they are not provided the tools to serve the guests the best possible service, they are set up to fail. I recommend the management read Extreme Ownership. It is a book that details how to plan in advance and execute. This would solve most of the problems that the resort has.
The bikes are now shaft drive, which is a vast improvement over the rusty chain drive bikes a few years ago. The shaft drive is a no-maintenance type drive, which is not effected by the harsh salt-water environment. The bikes are also number and are each tagged for the Villa number, so there is no confusion when you park them with other bikes.
El Cheapo Awards:
Villa Refrigerator Snacks: Yes, they are still a-la-carte. You pay $5,000+ a day to stay there, and they want to charge you for a small can of Pringles. (a) make free, or, (b) just eliminate. But when you nickel-and-dime a client, it sends out the El Cheapo flag.
Power Adaptors: Either offer hard-wired 110V sockets along with 220V, or make available no-hassle power adaptors for 110V. The new policy is to charge a 40 Euro deposit on each small adaptor. Travelers now have lots of cameras and other electric devices. I travel with a multi-hub USB port which solves that problem for me.
Get What You Order: Very few of our food service orders were complete (pool side or room service at the villa). Usually there was something missing. We got tired of sending staff back to the Villa with missed items, so we just ended up not getting them (unsure if we were charged for the items or not).
What if you get sick ?
While this has never happened to me when traveling, it did on this trip.
Nurse Visit is $200: One of our crew got sick from food borne illness or some other highly contagious illness during our stay there (a number of others got sick too, so something was up). To have a nurse come visit was a charge of $200. She also charged $30 for some type of medication which was for heartburn (not the vomiting and other reactions from the sickness of unknown origin after lunch). The management tried to reassure us it was from the hot weather, not a foodborne or other illness. The member of our crew who got sick used to teach in the Marshall Islands, and spends summers in remote areas of Africa, so she is well accustomed to heat, and questionable food. I understand that they don't want to be transparent for whatever it was, but for a high-end resort, they shouldn't charge a fee for getting you sick. When one of us got sick, they have you sign forms (assuming for liability) and did not provide copies (unprofessional), so we have no document trail of what was going on. We confirmed with many other guests that others were sick from the same thing (typically it effected 1-2 of each family - but oddly enough, not the others). I'm a vegan, so I did not eat the fish or meat, and I did not get ill. I played tennis in the hot afternoon Sun, so it was not that.
The guests that have been here all want The Brando to succeed. With some fine-tuning, it would be absolutely amazing experience. I hope management can apply some organization tools to make the island paradise the magical place that it is.
[Note: Unfortunately, TripAdvisor will only post one review of a resort, so the previous has been deleted.]