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Brando's isle to become eco-hotel

March 16, 2005
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A French Polynesian paradise island owned by the late Marlon Brando is set to host a luxury eco-hotel bearing the famed actor's name.

The Brando, a lavish getaway spot for the rich and famous, will be the only resort on Tetiaroa, bought by the idiosyncratic star after he fell in love with it while filming Mutiny On The Bounty.

The island's flourishing ecosystem includes sea-turtle hatching grounds and a designated seabird sanctuary. Now virtually uninhabited – Marlon's 41-year-old son Tehotu is the only resident – Tetiaroa will remain unspoiled by the new hotel, in keeping with the late movie star's conservationist philosophies.

Located 26 miles north of Tahiti, the atoll features a crystal clear lagoon encircled by 13 motu, or islands. "There will be only one hotel on Tetiaroa, on Motu Onetahi, which is in keeping with Marlon's wishes," says Richard Bailey, CEO of Tahiti Beachcomber SA, which is heading the project. "The rest of the atoll will be set aside as a private natural preserve. The Brando eco-hotel will be exactly what Marlon would have wanted."

Bailey worked with the legendary star on plans for the resort – 30 deluxe villas which will be "energy-autonomous", built with natural materials and will be nearly invisible from the water – for three years before Brando passed away. "I am privileged to have known him and honoured to play a part in his legacy by bringing one of his dreams to fruition," he says.

Marlon himself built low-key accommodation on the island, 13 native-style huts served by rudimentary facilities, but the structures have long since fallen into disrepair.

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Photo: Newscom
The exclusive Brando resort on Tetiaroa was planned with the actor's conservationist values in mind, leaving the ecosystem intact
Photo: Rex
One of the archipelago's 13 smaller islands, Motu Onetahi, will host 30 deluxe villas, with the remainder of the paradise set aside as a nature reserve

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