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Team Tully: Discovering French Polynesia

Team Tully: Discovering French Polynesia

By: Tully Luxury Travel
team tully • french polynesia • the brando

French Polynesia

Discovering the beauty of Tahiti

Our very own Travel Designer Carissa recently took a 7-day trip to French Polynesia, visiting Tahiti, The Brando, and Bora Bora. Carissa was inspired by the stunning scenery and way of life. We asked her to give us some of her favourite moments on the trip. Here’s what she had to say:

Where did you stay?

Carissa: I stayed 2 nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti, 2 nights at the Intercontinental Thalasso and 2 nights at The Brando.

The Intercontinental hotels incorporate a great amount of the Polynesian style into their resorts. The rooms there were modern and very comfortable. The Brando resort is more modern with hints of Polynesian culture. At the Intercontinental Thalasso I had an overwater villa with an outdoor lounge area. I would highly recommend that!


View from Master Bedroom The Brando Suite

Hotel Tips:

Intercontinental Tahiti – the resort is 15 mins from the airport. This is great for clients arriving from a long flight; however, you hear planes and boats go by all day. It is not too disturbing, but it is not as private as you would expect. I only recommend 1 or 2 nights here pre and post.

Intercontinental Thalasso –They are known for their weddings and honeymoons. This is the perfect place for newlyweds! I highly recommend booking a spa treatment if they arrive early as you have access to the spa facilities all day if you book a treatment. The only villas that face the mountain are The Brando Suites. There are 4 Brando Suites on property. All the other villas face the beach or the lagoon. You can walk the resort or ask a staff member on a golf cart to give you a ride. They have a Sunset Theater that provides a perfect view of the sunset and is a great spot to have drinks prior to dinner. Overall the resort is fantastic

The Brando – this resort is stunning. Once you arrive you are greeted by the staff and you walk to the entrance where there is a brief performance and song by Polynesian dancers/singers. You board a golf cart and they escort you to the resort. They always recommend you fill out the guest form so they can better service you. They have 3 staff meetings a day about which guests are in house, what each guest prefers to eat/drink/etc. ad which guests are on which meal plan. Every villa is provided with 2 bicycles, and the residence has 4. The villas are not too far from the main area; however, I highly recommend taking your bike around the property. All the guides that provide excursions for guests are part of the Tetiaroa Society which is a nonprofit organization with responsibility and authority to manage, conserve and protect Tetiaroa. If clients are looking to donate/make an impact in destination this organization is a great opportunity. The Brando has LEED Platinum status meaning the construction and operations of this property are of the highest green standards. The Green Tour is included for all guests and it involves visiting the facilities that give this property its LEED Platinum status. There are no mosquitos on the island. Highly recommend selling emergency evacuation insurance to clients visiting. It is not required but if you do need to be evacuated it is quite costly (they will be using a military plane). Our last night at the Brando, they surprised us with a Polynesian show at the Residence. The Brando has a Polynesian night every week if you do not wish to pay for a private experience. Also, at the Intercontinental Tahiti, they have a Polynesian night on Fridays and a Marquesan Night on Wednesdays

The service at all properties was exceptional. They do an incredible job at personalizing the experience for you

French Polynesia
Intercontinental Hotel Tahiti

What type of client would enjoy this experience?

Carissa: Divers, clients who love water sports, honeymooners, people who love marine life, The Brando has a “Bird Island” which is great if you love bird watching. If you enjoy yoga, relaxation and wellness this is also a great destination for you. This is an expensive destination. Most of the guests I saw at the Intercon Thalasso were honeymooners or couples in their 50’s on vacation. At the Brando the guests were couples on holiday, and they were between 30 – 60. Some French and some American. In Bora Bora, you do have to step on and off the boat which can be a challenge for some travelers, however, there are always people to assist.

Is this a destination/experience someone would do twice?

Carissa: Yes – there are hundreds of islands in French Polynesia and most people only visit Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. You can explore the other islands by private charter boat or hotel stay. This is especially great for clients who love marine life and culture.


French Polynesia
Sunset at The Brando

Top Tips:

  • Book the transfer from the airport to the hotel in Bora Bora prior to arrival. The hotels are not accessible by car and there is no water taxi service. They have to take the hotel boat.
  • Also, on the way into Bora Bora, tell clients to sit on the left side of the plane. This is the best view and, on the way out, sit on the right side.
  • ‘Everything is in French first, then English. They do not expect a tip, but you can for exceptional service. Bora Bora is private, but not as private as you would expect. If you are looking for a private, quite and relaxing experience this is the place to be. You cannot fly a private plane to The Brando. No tourist visa or vaccines required.


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