After a planning process decades in the making, construction has officially begun on The Brando, the luxury resort dreamed up in part by the late Marlon Brando.
Located on the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa, The Brando will feature 47 bungalow villas, each with private pools, as well as a spa, fitness center and community pool. Guests will be able to scuba dive in the island chain's coral reefs and take archaeological tours of ancient Tahitian sites. Traveling cinema buffs will have to wait a bit longer to visit, though, as the project is slated for completion for late 2011.
A large focus of the resort lies on its eco-friendliness; construction did not begin until after the Tahitian government studied the project's environmental impact for several years, and the first step of the construction process is the building of a platform on the coral reef that will provide access to the island without damaging the wildlife below.
This will be the only hotel on Tetiaroa, a 13-island chain encircled by a coral reef and located 35 miles from Tahiti. Brando purchased the islands in 1965, and the location once served as a getaway for French Polynesia's old Tahitian kings. Tetiaroa now belongs to Richard Bailey, owner four InterContinental resorts in French Polynesia, who purchased the islands in 2004 after Brando's death. He had been working with the late actor on the idea of an environmentally sustainable resort.
More recently, Bailey has worked with the Brando estate while planning the new project. The Brando, like the InterContinental Bora Bora, will operate with an eco-friendly "sea water air conditioning" system, which uses the ocean's water to chill the hotel and has minimal environmental effects.