French Polynesia receives anywhere between 55,000 to 65,000 visitors every year. It’s almost the same number of visitors Hawaii gets each month. No doubt, its most popular island is Bora Bora.
This island paradise is one of the most picturesque and romantic travel destinations in the world.
Among the countless resorts here, two of the most extravagant are The Brando and The Four Seasons. Let’s take a quick look at how these two compare in this in-depth The Brand vs Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort comparison.
- Quick Glance: The Brando vs Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
- The Details: The Brando vs Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
- The Brando
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
- Best For: Which Resort Should You Go For?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: The Brando vs Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Here’s a quick look at how these fantastic resorts measure up against each other.
|The Brando||Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora|
|Location||Onetahi (motu), Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia||Motu Tehotu, Bora Bora, French Polynesia|
|Getting There||Requires a 20-minute helicopter or seaplane ride from Faa’a International Airport||Requires a 15-minute boat ride from Bora Bora Airport. The resort can help arrange the transfers.|
|Room||35 Deluxe Villas||121 Land and Overwater Bungalows|
|Amenities||Concierge, Library, Infinity Pool, The Lounge, EcoStation, Organic Garden & Orchard, Gym, Tennis Court, Luxury Pearl Shop, Resort Boutique, Meeting Room, Youth Area, The Residences, Spa, Beach, On-site water activities||Swimming pool, Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, Te Mahana Spa, Tennis Court, Ballroom, Event Space, Fitness center, Beach, On-site water activities, Kid’s Club|
|Food and Dining||2 Restaurants, 2 Bars, In-Room Dining||4 Restaurants and Bars, In-Room Dining|
|Staff and Guest Services||Excellent! No butler service.||Great, friendly service. No butler service.|
|Price||The Brando has all-inclusive rates. The off-peak rate (April – June) for a standard villa is $3,720 (plus taxes) for double occupancy, a minimum of 2 nights,
The peak season rate (July – October) is $4,200 per night with a minimum of 2 nights.
Festive season rate (December – January) is $4,600 per night plus taxes, a minimum 5-night stay
|Off-peak season rates start at $1,000 per night; Standard season rate is $1,650 per night; Peak season rate is $2,990 per night|
|Points Redemption||No points redemption offered||No points redemption offered|
The Details: The Brando vs Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
After former President Barack Obama left the White House, he wanted to get started in writing his memoir. His first stop? The Brando.
Named after actor Marlon Brando, Tetiꞌaroa Island is made up of 12 little motus (islands) including the 193-acre motu, Onetahi, where The Brando is located.
Brando bought the property in the ’60s after falling in love with the location while he was scouting for the movie Mutiny on the Bounty. The actor spent almost 25 years of his life on these islands. Even before that, the islands were a private escape for The Tahitian royalty.
In 2014, The Brando resort opened, taking the name of the actor as well as fusing his vision of having the island remain as wild as possible.
To reach the resort, guests need to fly from Faa’a International Airport using either a chopper or a small turboprop engine which is run by Air Tetiaroa. The flight is 20-minutes long and can be arranged by the resort for a fee.
Once on the island, you can use bikes to explore the areas or ask to be chauffeured around on a buggy for convenience.
The rooms at The Brando are designed to blend in and mimic their natural surroundings. All 35 villas are beachfront so you’re steps away from frolicking in Polynesian waters.
Guests can choose between a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom villa. Inside the villas, the modern Polynesian decor is showcased in the vaulted ceilings, thatched roofing, and the subdued color palette.
One-bedroom villas offer 1,033 square feet of space with floor-to-ceiling glass doors for a view of the outside. Greeting guests in the living room is a furnished area with sofas, wood floors, and chic chairs. Off to the right is the media space where you can listen to music or watch TV. Wi-Fi is also available here.
Towards the end of the hallway is the bedroom. It contains a king bed draped with thick comforters and a fantastic view of the lagoon outside. Right next to it is the bathroom where you can soak on the al-fresco tub set behind a wooden screen so you still get plenty of privacy.
Outside, there’s an open terrace with seating and a private plunge pool. A dining area is also provided underneath a tiki. Cruiser bikes are parked in each villa so you can hop on and explore the rest of the resort.
For those wanting a slice of paradise, there’s also The Residences, an enormous three-bedroom luxury home that can be purchased and is located on a private island.
Despite being a small set of islands, The Brando comes with a ton of amenities and activities to keep you entertained during your stay.
Aside from having a private plunge pool, guests can indulge in the resort’s main infinity pool. It sits facing the ocean and there’s a host of umbrellas and deck chairs for lounging. If you’re after modern relaxation, The Lounge is a quiet space to watch TV, surf, or just grab some snacks.
The Brando is famous for its eco-friendly approach to luxury. At the EcoStation, you’ll find a laboratory where all these efforts are being studied. Scientists from around the globe are stationed here and will be happy to tell you the approaches they’ve done to preserve and protect the island’s local species.
Guests wanting to do a bit of retail therapy can visit the Luxury Pearl Shop or the Resort Boutique. The former showcases the work of Hinerava, a local designer known for their gorgeous Tahitian Black Pearls. Meanwhile, the latter is more a shop for everyday needs. You’ll find suntan lotions, apparel, and footwear here, in case you forgot to pack something before your trip.
If you want to pamper yourself, you can head to the Varua Polynesian Spa. They offer a host of treatments including a steam bath.
Other notable facilities include a tennis court, a 24-hour fitness center with cardio and strength machines, a meeting room, and a youth area.
For activities, you can go paddleboarding, snorkeling, bicycling, or scuba diving. There’s also a forest area where you can go bird watching, check out the lemon shark nursery, or discover new plants. Guided tours of the motus, exploring Mermaid Bay, or stargazing with a naturalist are also on offer.
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Food and Dining
Guests can indulge in several eating options on the island.
Aside from in-room dining, there’s the beachfront restaurant, Beachcomber Café. Have breakfast, lunch, or dinner while enjoying the casual atmosphere. The restaurant features a view of the lagoon and the ocean so you’ll be in great company as you dine. On the menu are various Polynesian-inspired treats mixed in with classic French dishes.
If you want something more formal, head to Les Mutinés. This intimate dining space is surrounded by a moat making you feel as if you’re on a boat floating in the middle of the lagoon. Indulge in delicious French cuisine while here since the menu offers the same quality and taste as those of Le Grand Véfour, one of the most famous Parisian dining establishments.
A highlight at Les Mutinés is their small but ample wine cellar, featuring a fantastic selection of wines housed in a climate-controlled glass room. Both of these restaurants feature dishes designed by Executive Chef Pierre Lecorne.
On the other hand, Chef Nakamura heads the Nami teppanyaki. Their two menus offer a distinction between land and sea, and the meals are individually prepared in front of guests. You can also indulge in Japanese sake, beer, and other wines in this restaurant.
For light bites and cocktails, Te Manu Bar is an open-air space with stunning lagoon views. Meanwhile, Bob’s Bar is great for casual dining by the beach.
If you’re vegan or have special dietary needs, The Brando has a distinct vegan menu where you can enjoy vegetables handpicked from the resort’s organic garden. The vegan menu is available in both restaurants as well as for in-room dining.
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Staff and Guest Services
The services and staff here are superb! From the moment you get off the plane, you’re met by staff with a cold drink on hand. You’re shown around the resort then taken to your villa before being left to your own devices.
If you need anything, the staff are on standby but they’re also respectful of your privacy. They’ll be there when you need them anytime.
The Brando offers all-inclusive rates for guests. Their low season rate (April – June) for a standard One-Bedroom Villa is around $3,720 (plus taxes) for double occupancy with a minimum of 2 nights.
During the high season (July – October), it climbs to $4,200 per night with a minimum of 2 nights. Finally, during the festive season (December – January), a standard room starts at $4,600 per night plus taxes, with a minimum of a 5-night stay.
You can find out more about The Brando public rates for the current calendar year on their website.
There’s no option to redeem points for The Brando at the moment.
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Who Is It For?
With its emphasis on privacy, The Brando is the ideal retreat for honeymooners, solo travelers, or eco-scientists wanting to explore the local habitat and preservation.
While families can stay here, the resort is best for those who want a laid-back getaway or anyone wanting to do nothing but relax amidst natural beauty.
The Brando Gallery
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation in the tropics, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is the place to be.
First opened in 2008, this is the only Four Seasons Resort in all of French Polynesia. The resort occupies a private island, Motu Tehotu, so it feels secluded and remote. To reach the island, you’ll need to take a 15-minute boat ride from the main airport.
What’s stunning about this spot is that the resort has gorgeous views of Bora Bora’s famous Mount Otemanu. This mountain is sacred to Polynesian lore as it’s believed to be the origins of the Polynesian Islands.
Guests here are treated to stunning views of the lagoon and surrounding area along with stylish amenities to ensure a fantastic stay.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has 121 rooms and suites, spread between land villas as well as overwater villas.
Their Overwater Bungalow Suites serve as the entry-level space. It has a roomy 1,080 square foot space, giving you ample room to frolic in whether you’re vacationing as a couple or bringing the kids in tow.
Everything is furnished with a contemporary Polynesian vibe. Each villa is divided into three distinct areas that are separated by sliding pocket doors. You can close this to offer privacy or leave them open to create an open-plan feel.
The living room offers comfortable seating with a sofa bed, a wall-mounted TV, and a working desk. On there, you’ll find a Nespresso machine, several outlets, and a free minibar. Inside the bedroom is a spacious king bed fitted with fluffy comforters and down pillows. On the bedside is an iPod dock and off to the side is a window seat with lagoon views.
Meanwhile, the bathroom serves as the piece-de-resistance, offering a two-person tub right by the window so you can look out to Mount Otemanu. The vanity area houses two sinks with tiny ceramic jars filled with soap, shampoo, and lotion. A large walk-in shower with a glass ledge and a private water closet complete this area.
All the overwater villas have a private balcony too. There’s a dining area, patio table, as well as a small ladder leading to the waters below.
If you opt for the Beachfront Villas, they are larger but contain the same amenities and decor as the overwater villas. There are also Two-Bedroom and Three-Bedroom villas available for those who want more space or are traveling in large groups.
What’s great with Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is that it has facilities designed to accommodate honeymooners, friends, and entire families traveling together.
There’s a stunning free-form infirmity pool for relaxation. Guests can lounge in the private cabanas or the lounge chairs while enjoying a view of the beach. There’s no bar in the area but there is a swim-up table for setting down drinks.
A short walk away is the beach area. The soft white sand and calm waters make this a great spot to chill. Attendants are manning the area so you can easily ask for what you need. The calm water is fantastic for swimming too. A dedicated area of the beach is assigned for water sports only so you don’t have to worry when you go out swimming.
If you’re up for some snorkeling, head to the resort’s Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary. The Four Seasons Resort lagoonarium is one of the best in French Polynesia. It houses over 100 species of marine animals and you can even catch biologists and conservationists conducting tours on certain days.
The resort also has a full-service spa, considered to be among the best in Bora Bora. The Te Mahana Spa is situated by the lagoon’s edge so you get uninterrupted ocean views. Special treatments include healing massages, facials for men, ancient traditional rituals to rebalance the mind and body, various beauty services, and boosters.
Fitness lovers will also find the resort’s 24-hour gym a real stunner. It showcases chic lighting, modern equipment including free towels and bottled water service. There’s even coffee available right there.
Those who want to shop can indulge in any of the resort’s three retail stores. There’s MoeMoea for resort wear and accessories; Tahia, for purchasing black pearl items; and Manua, for gorgeous handmade wood carvings and Polynesian souvenirs.
Other amenities to enjoy here include an extensive Kid’s Club. It’s perfect for entertaining your children while at the resort. There’s also a tennis court, meeting room, yoga classes, and diving.
Food and Dining
When it comes to food, The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has four on-site restaurants. You can choose from formal to casual dining, French cuisine, or Japanese delectables.
Tere Nui is the main restaurant. A buffet-style breakfast is served daily here with American staples like pancakes and omelets. During lunchtime, the restaurant has an à la carte menu and for dinner, it transforms back into a buffet-style eatery. There’s a specific theme per night too so the selection of dishes never gets boring.
Open only for dinner is Arii Moana. This is the resort’s signature restaurant serving up a fusion of French culinary dishes with a Polynesian twist. The decor imbibes the Polynesian fusion meals, as it showcases dark wood construction and bold textured details. It’s best to secure a reservation ahead of time when visiting this restaurant.
For casual grilled lunches, Fare Hoa Beach Bar & Grill is the perfect setting. The open-air restaurant features sandy floors and allows guests to indulge in casual eats like nachos and burgers. They also serve international and local beer. It’s the ideal hangout spot if you just want to chat with friends.
However, if you’re after cocktails and a fantastic sunset view, the aptly-named Sunset Bar is the place to visit. It serves exotic cocktails alongside sushi and sashimi with perfect views of the gorgeous Bora Bora sunset.
There’s also in-room dining available as well as special private dinners on any of the hotel’s sand bars by request.
Staff and Guest Services
The staff and guest services are fantastic at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Like most luxury resorts, they ensure guests are greeted upon arrival and acquainted with the property. There is no butler service at the resort but the staff offers personalized service to ensure every request you may have is attended to right away.
The off-peak rate for an entry-level villa is $1,000 per night while in peak season, the same room fetches for around $2,990. During the average season, a standard room is $1,650 per night.
There is no loyalty program offered at the Four Seasons Resort at the moment. But one way you can book the resort is by using points from a credit card points program.
Who Is It For?
With such sprawling resort grounds, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora feels private enough for honeymooners looking for alone time and accommodating enough for families with children in tow.
However, there’s no doubt a large number of families with young children opt for this resort compared to luxury escapes like The Brando or The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort because of the kid-friendly amenities and activities they offer.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Gallery
Best For: Which Resort Should You Go For?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Tie||Both resorts have amazing culinary treats in all of their restaurants and bars.|
|Best for Pools||Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora||The Four Seasons has a bigger, more accommodating public pool compared to The Brando.|
|Best for Spa||Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora||It has a full-service spa including an ultra-romantic couple’s suite.|
|Best for Beaches||The Brando||They offer a lot of privacy and seclusion.|
|Best For Adults||The Brando||The seclusion is fantastic for those who want to do nothing but lounge in the sun and sand.|
|Best for Families||Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora||Hands down, the Four Seasons wins this one. They have an extensive kid’s club filled with a host of activities for kids and teens to participate in.|
|Best Location||The Brando||The islands are intimate and stunning. It’s perfect for a romantic honeymoon or quiet solo getaway.|
|Best for a Calm Vacation||The Brando||Because of its location and the fact it’s designed for a laid-back vacation instead of a family escape, The Brando wins this one.|
|Best for Diving or Snorkeling||Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora||It has an impressive lagoonarium filled with marine life. You don’t have to go far to see these animals at all.|
|Best for Service||The Brando||Service is attentive and personal The staff is also friendly and professional. They won’t make you feel like they’re hovering yet they’re always there when you need them.|
|Most Exclusive||The Brando||The Brando, by a mile. It’s set on a more private part of Bora Bora, giving guests a lot of exclusivity and privacy.|
Experience the beauty of Bora Bora by spending time in any of these two resorts. Both The Brando and the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora offer excellent service, amazing cuisine, and gorgeous amenities to ensure your stay will be a memorable one.
Take your pick and have a safe travel!