An Earth-Friendly Tropical Getaway

By Stephen Scott and Sandie Wiesenthal

When it comes to a passion for the earth's fragile oceans and promoting sustainable tourism, Protravel's luxury travel advisors scour the world seeking first-hand insights into those destinations that allow our clients to experience both memorable, relaxing family vacations as well as encouraging stewardship of Mother Earth. The islands of French Polynesia are such a place. Below is an insider's take on two of the most legendary resorts in the world that take their commitment to nature seriously. Book with a professional Protravel Advisor like Sandie or Scott for a seamless and stress-free voyage across the Pacific with exclusive VIP amenities.

The Brando

The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtaking private island Tetiaroa that offers one of the world’s most pristine clear-water views. Once Marlon Brando’s personal sanctuary, this secluded resort is only accessible by a 15-minute plane or helicopter ride from Papeete (which is about an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles). It sits on one of a dozen small islands, known as motus, that surround a spectacular three-mile wide lagoon 30 miles north of Tahiti. This all-inclusive resort features 35 secluded villas with private pools on beautiful white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles and exotic birds.

Authentic Culture and History

Despite contemporary touches, you can feel the Polynesian culture in every aspect of the five-star resort. There is also a lot of history behind the island of Tetiaroa that is reflected in the Polynesian culture. “Tetiaroa has a special place in Polynesian history and culture. It was the exclusive and favored retreat of Tahitian royalty for centuries. Ancient marae (temples) built on the atoll by early Polynesians can still be found there today. With its rich history and ethereal beauty it will always have a special place in the heart of Polynesians,” said Protravel agent Stephen Scott.

A Strong Commitment to Sustainability

Beyond its breathtaking beauty, Tetiaroa is a place of rare biodiversity and a natural sanctuary for birds and marine life. The resort has a strong commitment to the environment that can be seen through every little detail of the property. "My tour of the 'back of the house' was a surprising highlight because the resort is very creative in its efforts to be green. For example, 70 percent of the air conditioning is fueled by recycled water from the atoll, and fruits and vegetables are grown on site,” noted Protravel Agent Sandie Wiesenthal. There is also an environmental research station with guest programs for those wishing to learn more about the island’s efforts to preserve its natural resources and cultural heritage. “Scientists and naturalists lead birding, reef and hiking expeditions, sharing fascinating information about the research and the diversity of avian, marine and plant life around the island,” said Wiesenthal.

Couple snorkeling in French Polynesia

Outdoor Eco-Adventures

An abundance of activities awaits those who want to focus on fun and fitness. Each villa has a bicycle for every guest that can be used to explore the paths around the island or take a picnic to a favorite beach. Guests can snorkel or dive with tropical fish, sail in the lagoon, paddle board to a neighboring island, take a kayak above coral gardens, stroll the long stretches of beach, enjoy a guided or unguided marine, bird, cultural or other excursion, or simply spend a day in the spa and wellness center. “Going out on the boat to snorkel through the pristine water to see the colorful coral formations and then walking to a sandbar was spectacular. I have never seen water that clear or colors that sparkle and change as they do here. I also took this opportunity to try paddle boarding; since the water was smooth as silk and warm as a tub and I was successful!” raved Wiesenthal. This is the island you dreamed of as a child when the storybook was closed. It’s as if you created your own private world and stepped barefoot into your imagination. With its white sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, colorful birds, and a sparkling lagoon, Tetiaroa is a dream paradise.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort: Fiji's finest 5-star luxury eco-resort

Pictured in the banner image of this article, is an overview of this magical paradise. The son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, he founded the non-profit Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work of marine conservation and education. Cousteau and his team of conservationists believe our modern society can learn a lot about achieving a sustainable environment from the Fijian’s 3,000-year-old agricultural and fishing practices. These beliefs are evident throughout this very special resort, which is dedicated to the preservation of a pristine environment along with physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation for their guests. Your vacation memories will include not only a breathtaking luxury destination experience, but also a rejuvenated interest in supporting sustainable tourism.

A FOCUS ON CHILDREN

Families will be inspired and transformed by the resort's extensive ecological preservation and educational programs. Their kid's Bula Club is consciously designed to expand your children’s horizons and help them better understand and appreciate the world around them while learning how they can conserve and protect it. They can join in a wide-ranging program of fun and stimulating activities every day, and also learn about Fijian culture.

RESPONSIBLE DIVING IN FIJI

In order to expand the impact of ecological tourism, Jean-Michel has been involved with creating the on-site Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Centre, and is forming an action partnership to expand this environmentally-friendly model to other sites to demonstrate the economic benefits of environmental concern and design. In 2003, he was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and became a Trustee of the British Virgin Islands National Parks as well as being the first recipient of the Ocean Hero Award from Oceana. In 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Jules Verne Adventures and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Join the experts working at the resort and experience the wonders to be found under the waves.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort: Fiji's Best Diving at the world-famous Namena Marine Reserve. Discover the largest variety of fish and coral on the planet.

Two-bedroom oceanfront suite interior at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

c/o Private Mailbag Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji

  • All-inclusive luxury resort
  • US$100 spa or bar credit
  • Complimentary daily full breakfast for two
  • Property will offer upgrade upon availability at time of check-in
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Late check-out upon availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
Aerial jungle view of The Brando Resort, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

The Brando

Tetiaroa Private Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia

  • Complimentary daily full breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Late check-out upon availability

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