Tropical resorts imagined by film stars, mountain palaces conceived by heavyweight designers and glamourous Middle Eastern hideways. The newest luxury hotels are offering you things you never even realised you wanted, until you try them, that is. This week I showcase my pick of the ultimate places to stay in 2014.
BRANDO ISLAND, French Polynesia
Looking for an idyllic tropical escape? Then you’ll be sure to fall in love with the breathtakingly beautiful island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, 30 miles north of Tahiti. After all, Marlon Brando did exactly that when filming Mutiny on the Bounty there in the 60s. In fact, he was so smitten that he ended up buying it. Luckily you won’t have to do that. Following the late actor’s wishes, the atoll, which measures just 4.5 miles wide, has now been developed to create a carbon neutral luxury resort, due to open later this year in July.
The Brando, as it has been aptly named, boasts 35 villas – each built from naturally-sourced materials and each with its own plunge pool. A Varua Polynesian spa and beachfront restaurant, with a menu sourced from the island’s own organic garden, will complete the inner vision.
But The Brando is all about the big picture. It aims to be one of the most eco-friendly holiday destinations in the world with the latest in sustainable technology, as well as boasting its own eco station for scientific research. Surrounded by a pristine coral reef, it goes without saying that protection of the abundant tropical fish is also core to the resort’s mission. Guests will be encouraged to explore French Polynesia’s culture and history, with guided archaeological tours of Tahitian sites and trips to the surrounding tiny islands, which will be kept as nature reserves. It’s not just a pretty face.