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4

t r a v e l i n g

Te-tia-roa. Had you heard of it yet? Probably not. But I would like to bet that after reading

this, you will be ready to pack your suitcases. A glance at the world map, preferably

with a magnifying glass to hand, will show you that Tetiaroa is part of the Society Islands

in French Polynesia, and can be found some 60 kilometres north of Papeete, the capital

of Tahiti. It is just 33 km2 in size and is one of the 118 French-Polynesian islands that

are scattered like stardust in the emerald green waters of the Pacific Ocean. To reach

it, I will have to make a long journey: a trip lasting 21 hours from Paris to Papeete,

including a short stop-over in Los Angeles. A bit of a challenge, but when you can sink

into the business class seats of Air Tahiti Nui, it is not too difficult to find a way to pass

the time. As the hours tick away, I get more excited about the exotic island on the other

side of the world that I am journeying towards.

The tropical dream begins

My first night is spent in the InterContinental Tahiti Resort on Papeete. The bellboys here

walk around with their chests bared and proudly show off their impressive Polynesian

tattoos, which immediately sets the exotic tone. Papeete is, for many tourists, the

departure point for the many beautiful surrounding islands, all with evocative names

such as Bora Bora, Moorea, Maupiti, etc. and it is no different for me. Before I depart

for Tetiaroa, I get to spend three days in the InterContinental Resort & Thalasso Spa on

Bora Bora. By way of a warm-up, so to say. From Papeete, it is just an hour’s flight to

the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’. My accommodation is a typical bungalow on the water, where

I can see little orange clownfish swimming underneath the glass floor. Bora Bora is a

popular holiday destination for newlyweds and romantic types. A glass of delicious Mai

Tai, coupled with the far-reaching views across the azure lagoon, soon make grey, chilly

Belgium seem a distant memory.

If there was ever an island that deserves the name ‘island of dreams’

then it is Tetiaroa. This is the place that appears spontaneously in

your thoughts when you hear mention of a Bounty island in the mid-

dle of the South Pacific. On Tetiaroa, you take a barefoot step into

a world that previously only existed in your imagination: a turquoise

lagoon, beaches bleached white by the sun, swaying palm trees and

an air of absolute peace. Once, it was a sacred place for the Ma'ohi

people, then it became Marlon Brando’s private island, and now,

with 'The Brando', it has become a very exclusive and at the same

time sustainable resort for rich and famous. The man who brought

this exceptional project to fruition is Richard Bailey, our Porschist

in paradise.

InterContinental Resort & Thalasso Spa

on Bora Bora