Porschist Magazine 50 - The Brando

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Magazine voor de Porschefanaat • jaargang 13 • driemaandelijks • mei/juni 2017 • 50

50 THE BRANDO PORSCHE

. TAHITI PEARLS


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Tetiaroa: IN THE SURF WITH BRANDO picturess: sven hoyaux

text: kathleen van bremdt & kathleen van bremdt & The Brando

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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 middle 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.

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.

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InterContinental Resort & Thalasso Spa on Bora Bora


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Noblesse oblige When you travel to the most luxurious holiday resort in the world, you travel in style. By private helicopter for instance. To my surprise, the pilot on duty is a Dutch woman, and furthermore a Dutch woman married to a Belgian from Charleroi. A coincidence that leads us to make the usual remarks about “a small world”. Esther and Matthieu take care of the transfers of passengers between the various islands. Island-hopping in paradise; not a bad job to have. The low-altitude flight above the crystal-clear water is an experience in itself. After twenty minutes, we see the contours of Tetiaroa appear. The situation is nothing if not spectacular. Right in the middle of the deep-blue ocean, a magnificent coral reef surrounds a turquoise lagoon in which thirteen small sandy islands, known as the Motu, are strung together like beads on an expensive necklace. A picture postcard image. Tetiaroa means ‘he who keeps his distance’ in Tahitian. A more than suitable name for this distant location, because Tetiaroa is in many aspects literally a bit of an outsider.

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From volcano to atoll In the meantime, I have learnt that all Polynesian islands were created by a series of violent, underwater volcanic eruptions. Millions of years ago, Tetiaroa, alongside its neighbouring islands Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and others, was a volcano that arose in a stately manner from the ocean floor. But through the centuries, the lava mass pressed down so heavily on the ocean floor that the volcano more or less disappeared under its own weight, and eventually sank completely under the surface of the water. A shame for the volcano, but luckily one natural miracle seamlessly transformed into another. The downfall of the volcano resulted in the birth of one of nature’s most beautiful creations: an atoll. An island, only just raised above sea level, surrounded by a barrier reef. This means that what I can see from the air is no more than one percent of a gigantic underlying geological structure.

A mythical past Tetiaroa may be tiny, but nevertheless it can boast of a rich history. The first people to land on its shores were the Ma'ohi, South-east Asian tribes, who set out to find new lands some 3000 years B.C. These intrepid sailors travelled thousands of miles in their wooden canoes, eventually settling on the idyllic islands in the Pacific. With them came coconuts, bananas, breadfruit, chickens, pigs and numerous deities. The fact that these migrants managed to travel so far in that era, was down to their excellent knowledge of the wind, the currents and the stars. Right from the start, The Ma'ohi elected Tetiaroa as a sacred place, because of its exceptional beauty. For them it was clear that this was the place where the gods descended from the heavens and where the ancestors kept watch over the new generations. Here they built temples, and organised numerous ceremonies. A visit to Tetiaroa was a privilege awarded only to the upper classes; first to the clan elders of the Ma'ohi, later to the royal members of the Pomare dynasty. The Pomare queens found a cooling breeze here during the hot summers. They filled their days by honouring their gods and letting themselves be pampered with age-old beauty rituals in which the soothing mono'i-oil flowed readily.

And how about the Europeans? Not until the 18th century did the first Europeans arrive in French Polynesia. In this case, it did not form part of a journey to settle on new land, but a quest for knowledge about the world. Englishman Samuel Wallis is generally regarded as the discoverer of Tahiti. He set foot on land there in 1767. Two years later, the illustrious captain Cook also visited Tahiti and some of the surrounding islands. However, it was captain Edward Edwards who, in 1793, first set foot on Tetiaroa, during his hunt for the audacious mutineers who had unscrupulously banished a certain captain William Bligh from his ship the Bounty. He wrote in his logbook that the Island was a place that, once visited, one never wanted to leave. Tetiaroa 9


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The legendary story of a mutiny In the 16th and 17th century, mutinies occurred quite regularly on board large sailing vessels. The mutiny on the Bounty however, on 28th April 1789, became world famous and turned out to be the most well-known revolt in the history of shipping. What actually happened? In 1787, Her Majesty's Ship Bounty departed Spithead (near Portsmouth) under the command of captain William Bligh, en route to Tahiti, where it was to collect bread fruit plants which had to be transported to the Caribbean. Bread fruit was a cheap staple, suitable for slaves. After a journey without any noteworthy problems, the ship arrived in Tahiti a year later. A temporary stop-over was decided on, to recover from the hardships of life at sea. The crew soon got used to the wonderful lifestyle on the paradise-like island. The sailors enjoyed the attentions of the willing local girls with their silky skins and long, flowing locks. Even the recently appointed first mate, Fletcher Christian, fell for the charms of a Tahitian beauty and went so far as to marry her. After five months, the Bounty raised anchor to continue on the second leg of its mission. Less than three weeks later, a section of the crew under the leadership of Fletcher commandeered the ship and mercilessly put the captain, together with some of those closest to him, out to sea in a sloop. Often, the cause of the mutiny is put down to the unjust and tyrannical behaviour of captain Bligh, but more probably it was the dissolute life on Tahiti and the longing for this pleasure garden of free love, that drove the mutineers to seizing control of the ship and turning back.

Young hearts which languish'd for some sunny isle, Where summer years, and summer women smile, Men without country, who, too long estranged, Had found no native home, or found it changed, And, half uncivilized, preferr'd the cave Of some soft savage to the uncertain wave From the book Mutiny on the Bounty by John Barrow

The film The story of the Bounty sparked the imagination and became the subject of no fewer than fifteen books. Sir John Barrow was the first to publish a book in 1831 in which he carefully chronicled the adventures on board the Bounty. The chronicle was also made into a film at least three times, even if not all the versions were true to life. In the film versions, directors always opted for the romanticised version in which William Bligh was portrayed as a grumpy, unreasonable man, while Christian Fletcher was awarded the part of the virtuous hero who became the saviour of the tormented crew members. A gentleman-mutineer. This role was therefore always performed by charismatic Hollywood legends, including Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson. The second person to play the role, Marlon Brando, portrayed such a lifelike version of Fletcher in 1962, that he fell in love with his 19-year-old Tahitian co-star Tarita Teriipia for good measure and promised her eternal devotion on the spot. In the meantime, he had also fallen under the spell of the Polynesian culture and as well as falling for Tarita, he also gave his heart to Tetiaroa, the island he had discovered while searching for suitable locations for the film. The film became an enormous success, but because of the exuberant production costs, it was a financial disaster.

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The phenomenon Brando There are actors, film stars and legends. Without doubt, Marlon Brando firmly belongs in the last category. Because of his iconic roles as Stanley Kowalski in 'A Streetcar named Desire', Terry Malloy in 'On the Waterfront', Don Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather', Paul in 'Last Tango in Paris' and Colonel Kurtz in 'Apocalypse Now' (to mention but a few), he is indelibly engraved in our collective film memories. During his long acting career, he was nominated eight times for an Oscar, and won the award twice. His new acting style influenced several generations of actors. He was the first actor who brought method acting to our screens; an acting method by which the actor completely immerses himself in his role, making use of his own experiences and emotions. Marlon didn’t just play his parts, he embodied them, with an unprecedented ease and a fiery, barely concealed intensity and sexuality that left no-one unaffected. On set, Brando was idolised, but away from the set it was a different matter. He was lauded because of his exceptional acting talents, but directors feared his head-strong character. While the public adored him because of his handsome looks, his charisma and his raw sex appeal, his entourage gave him a wide berth where possible, because of his arrogance and his temperament, that was quick to flare up. To call Brando a complex personality may be a sizeable understatement. Marlon’s life was as volatile as that of the many characters he portrayed so masterfully; a life which included dazzling heights and dramatic lows. In 2001, he was last seen on the big screen in 'The Score'. The man who was labelled as the best actor of all time died in 2004 at the age of eighty. As Scorsese put it once: 'There was before and after Brando'.

More than an actor What typified Marlon Brando – and this may well apply to all the greats of the world - was his exceptional drive. Alongside his acting career, Marlon was a political activist who detested inequality in the community, and from the early sixties gave voice to the plight of minorities. He defended the interests of the American Indians and argued for equal right for black people. He was a supporter of Martin Luther King (whom he supported financially) and was a UNICEF ambassador for many years. He even went so far as to refuse acceptance of his Oscar in 1972 for best leading actor in The Godfather, due to the way in which Hollywood portrayed the Indians in films. In a column for Newsweek, journalist Shana Alexander once wrote: No American I can think of has taken his own initiative to reduce injustice in this world more often, and been knocked down for it more often, than Marlon Brando. A love for nature also burned strongly in Marlon. Long before the word ‘sustainable’ was invented, let alone became the hot topic that it is now, he brought all his resources to bear to protect the environment. And this is where the link with Tetiaroa surfaces again, because that small atoll had got under his skin. He wanted to possess it, regardless of the cost, in order to safeguard the poetic beauty of it for eternity.

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"My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”

Marlon Brando

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Marlon Brando becomes the owner of Tetiaroa When Marlon set his sights on something, he usually managed to get his way. In 1966, after much lobbying, he finally managed to buy the island. He had to pay $270,000 for it. No mean amount in those days, but, if you can afford it, why deny yourself a coral gift? Marlon was ecstatic about his own piece of paradise, a natural wonderland where he could retreat with his new bride, far away from the Hollywood circus that he detested so much. He had a landing strip built, followed by some modest huts with thatched roofs, on Onetahi, the largest Motu. It did not amount to much, but Brando was happy with it. As often as his busy life allowed, he alternated his time in Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills with his gem of a retreat on Tahiti. The peaceful lifestyle there worked as a balm for his restless soul. But even so, the Oscar winner did not regard his sanctuary as only a place to kick back and relax. With an eye on the lagoon, he incubated plans to safeguard the natural lustre and cultural riches of the atoll. In his idealistic vision, Brando wanted his small atoll in the large Pacific Ocean to contribute something for the good of the entire world.

An ambitious ecological plan in the making In the beginning, Brando had no plans to allow the general public access to his island, but as the years progressed, the idea of building a hotel on Tetiaroa started to take shape, albeit with strict conditions: the holiday resort had to be fully self-sufficient so that it would not impact on the fragile environment, only green technologies were to be deployed the Polynesian soul of the island had to be maintained and the island had to remain accessible at all times to scientists for the purposes of research and training. It was a laudable and ambitious plan, but not one that Marlon could achieve alone. Marlon was a dreamer, a man with ingenious ideas, but not a businessman. Luckily, he found a suitable partner in Richard Bailey. This American had spent most of his life on Tahiti, had vast amounts of experience in the hotel sector and shared Brando’s passion in regard to the safeguarding of the environment. Sadly, Marlon did was not able witness the eventual outcome. He died before the works were completed.

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No shortage of space But I am able to see the final result. After a warm and traditionally Polynesian welcome complete with music and dance, I am taken immediately to my villa. And 'villa' is definitely the correct word to use. With a spacious living area, a separate TV room, office space, and magnificent bedroom with dressing area and en-suite bathroom, this holiday dwelling cannot be called anything less. Everything is made from the best materials, and designed with taste and an eye for details. If it were possible, I’d bottle the serenity that prevails here and take it home. It takes me a little while to work out the whole home automation system. Outside, a generous terrace with integrated swimming pool awaits me and, like the cherry on the cake, a private beach with ultra-soft sand that has recently been swept meets the water from the lagoon that laps towards me in soft, gentle waves. I turn around and spread my arms wide in a theatrical gesture. Wow! This is mine, all mine, and I am going to shamelessly enjoy it for the next three days.

A warm Polynesian welcome 16


Ingenious systems shine a light on sustainability Since its opening in 2014, The Brando ranks as a top class eco-resort where conservation of the environment takes priority. But does the reality live up to the idea? So I can see with my own eyes to which extent the operation of this island is effectively CO2-neutral, David, the PR-manager, takes me on a sight-seeing tour. For a guest to be allowed a peep behind the scenes of a hotel, is certainly unique and not anything that I have ever encountered before on my travels. We start at the landing strip, where no fewer than 4000 solar panels are ranked neatly side by side. The Polynesian sun is generous and supplies two-thirds of the required electrical capacity without charge. A biological power plant that runs on coconut oil takes care of the remainder. A desalination plant delivers fresh water and rainwater is cleverly utilised for sanitary facilities. But the ‘pièce de résistance' of the resort is contained in a large white building. 'At The Brando, we make use of the ingenious SWAC-technology', David start to explain. 'The letters SWAC stand for Sea Water Air Conditioning. Through a network of pipes running for some 2.5 kilometres to a depth of up to 900 metres, we pump cold deep-sea water to the surface. This enters a heat exchanger that transfers the cooling to a fresh water circuit with which subsequently the whole of the resort can be cooled. The system has absolutely no impact on the environment.' David is quite obviously very proud. 'When you consider that, because of the prevailing warm temperatures, 60% of the total energy is expended on air conditioning, you will understand how important this system is in the whole sustainability picture of the resort.' I am very impressed. No wonder that The Brando received so much attention in the international press and already figures high on the reputable list of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

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Tetiaroa Ultimate Tour: natural beauty in superlatives At The Brando, guests are encouraged to not only wallow in the blissful luxury of their villa – which is very tempting, as I can say from experience – but to also set off and discover the other Motu's. The Ultimate Discovery Tour is the best way to accomplish this. I set off in the wake of Thierry, the local guide who intimately knows the whole atoll and all that lives here. Reiono is the only Motu where once can still encounter primeval forest. Together with Thierry, I forge a path through the dense undergrowth. This is also the habitat of the Coconut crab with its beautiful bluepurple or yellow and orange shell. Thierry soon locates one. Man, what a whopper! I estimate its body length to be more than 30 centimetres. This crab is a real powerhouse and is even stronger than a lion. The mighty claws can squeeze with a force of some 3000 Newton. 'It is an omnivore and survives on both fruit and plants as well as young birds and even turtles. And even an appetising finger or fleshy toe will be much appreciated', jokes Thierry. Motu Tahuna Iti is bird paradise. Here, large colonies of white tern, red-footed booby, and frigate birds nest. Each evening, the permanent inhabitants are joined by numerous birds who make the short crossing from Tahiti to Tetiaroa, in order to spend the night on the uninhabited Motu's, far away from all predators. The large numbers of guests arrive at sunset, forming a magnificent spectacle. Even for birds, Tetiaroa is a safe haven.

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The Billionaire's Pool

And then of course there is the ever-present crystal clear water with fish of all colours, shapes and sizes. The smallest fish are often the most colourful. Striped doctor fish, butterflyfish and clownfish flash through the shallow waters of the lagoon. The larger species of fish prefer the exciting life on the other side of the coral reef and inhabit the many inlets and reef caves or further out in the open sea. Dolphins like to play along the edge of the coral reef and even whales spend time in the waters around Tetiaroa during their migration. To finish, Thierry brings me to a deserted part of the lagoon from where I have the most spectacular view of the whole atoll. This place is so beautiful that I cannot find the words to describe it. The whimsical grey branches of a tree trunk rise up out of the middle, giving the impression that it has been placed there just to give the already photogenic surroundings a little more panache. Leonardo DiCaprio called this place 'The Billionaire's Pool' and if he says that... DiCaprio came to The Brando to pick up some tips for his own private island that lies off the coast of Belize, but that is another story in itself.

An eco-station as security for the future All this beauty makes one realise how special and fragile Tetiaroa is. In accordance with Marlon Brando’s wishes, and eco-station was erected on the island. The laboratory functions as a type of think tank where scientists from all over the world come together to collaborate on a wide range of environmental projects. In addition, a permanent team of biologists carefully check that the bio systems of the atoll are maintained.

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Spontaneously mindful A visit to The Brando is an emotional experience. You come into contact again with who you really are, were or wish to become. On an island as small as Tetiaroa, you get a renewed awareness for details. Once the disturbance of Western hustle and bustle falls away, it seems as if my senses have undergone a complete reset. My eyes follow the curve of a palm tree, shaped in the direction in which the wind blew as it was growing, I look around me at the many colours that so inspired Gauguin, and intensely enjoy the traditional Polynesian massage whereby expert hands move backwards and forwards like the waves of the ocean.

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Interview with Richard Bailey, the godfather of The Brando and so much more... In front of me sits an amiable man, relaxed and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Nothing hints at the fact that this man, now in his sixties, is the driving force behind Pacific Beachcomber, the largest luxury hotel and cruise operator in French Polynesia. His emporium includes no fewer than seven premium hotels spread across Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea, the luxury cruise ship Paul Gauguin and the exclusive eco resort The Brando, opened in 2014 on – as the name suggests – the private island of the late Marlon Brando. A man who, better than most, knows the meaning of luxury and who therefore – you may have guessed already – moves around in a Porsche Cayenne. Porschist meets the man in his InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa on Papeete, for a lengthy conversation.

Who is Richard Baily? I am an American, born in Louisiana and I am now sixtytwo. I studied Business Administration in both the US and France, and worked in the banking sector at the start of my career. Until such time that I paid a visit to Tahiti, met a fantastic woman there and fell in love with her as well as the country where she lived. From that day, my life moved into an entirely different direction. I decided to remain on Tahiti, looked out for a new job and ended up in the tourism industry. I had just turned thirty.

How exactly did you get into contact with each other? Marlon had certain plans for his private island and was looking for someone who could help him to realise them. So, he had done some research. He knew that I was an American – like him, that I was married to a Tahitian woman – like him, that I loved French Polynesia – like him, and that I was active in the hotel industry. He thought that, based on these elements, I could be the right person to build something for him on his island. Even though at that time, all Marlon had, were some vague ideas.

Why tourism in particular? The tourism industry is a fantastic working environment for the simple reason that you bring joy to people. You allow them to dream before they go on their travels and give them memories for after their departure. Those dreams and memories may even be more important than the actual moment when they effectively experience their holiday. I bought this hotel (InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa Papeete, Ed.), then another, and soon started to make a name for myself in the hotel sector. In 1999 I met Marlon Brando.

Did he live on the island at that time? Yes, or rather he stayed there as often as possible. He came to Tetiaroa to recharge his batteries, to empty his mind and to lose some weight, because Marlon had a tendency to gain weight. (laughs) When his children were small, he was here during all the school holidays, so they could romp about without restrictions. Note, the living conditions on Tetiaroa were very modest in those days. It was a beautiful spot, but it did not amount to more than camping. Once the kids were older and went their own way more, he tried to make the accommodation on the Island a little

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Richard Bailey en "The Brando" Cayenne

more comfortable so that he could welcome tourists there as well, but he did not succeed very well. He did not really delve into it; he was primarily concerned about the environment. He was concerned about the future of the planet and that extended to his own island as well.

How did it happen that he did trust you then? Oh, that did not happen for many months. The most important part of my relationship with Marlon Brando was exactly that building of trust. He went as far as to call others to interrogate them about me. But that did not prevent us from becoming good friends in the end.

That environmental awareness, that isn’t the first thing people would associate with Brando? That is right. Brando was very engaged on a number of topics that you might not have expected of him. Marlon kept much to himself. He definitely did not like the film industry. He thought it was far too fake. And he had a real trust issue. He assumed that if he could act, everyone could act, that everyone wore a mask and that people seldom appeared as they really were, which in his eyes meant that he was continually being fooled by everybody. That also made it very difficult for Marlon to start relationships – and here I don’t mean his amorous relationships because his unbridled sexual appetite was legendary – but relationships as they occur in the daily environment. He could not gauge who he could trust.

You are also a pioneer in the field of environmental protection and sustainability. Did that have anything to do with it? Of course. We spoke about sustainability long before the term was even coined! We brainstormed about renewable energy, sustainable fuel, water supplies, biodiversity conservation and all manner of things. Sometimes they were crazy conversations. Marlon said for instance: 'I don’t want fossil fuels on my island.' To which I replied: 'OK, but then you won’t have air-conditioning.' To which his retort was: 'But we must have air-conditioning.' And me again: 'But we don’t have the energy!' And then Marlon said: 'Then we’ll get that from the ocean.' At which I laughed and said: 'Marlon, you’re mad.'

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So, it was Marlon’s idea to get energy from the water? Yes, in a way it was. Marlon sometimes came up with the most absurd ideas. Whether they were achievable, was another thing, but they were always original. I had discounted the water idea already, but Marlon kept going on about it. Eventually, he gave me the name of an engineer in Hawaii. I went to visit him and he explained that he had invented a system that used deep-sea water for cooling. We experimented with his idea – that we now know as the SWAC system – first in my hotel on Bora Bora and to everyone’s surprise and joy it functioned beautifully. Marlon was ecstatic. He was so pleased that I had been prepared to try the system in one of my hotels. Based on this, he also decided to entrust me with the execution of the Tetiaroa project. I have seen the system operate and it is ingenious, but is it worth the effort? Absolutely. In all hotels in French Polynesia, at least 60% of all required energy is expended on air-conditioning. That is immense! If you can make use of a renewable energy source such as deep-see water, then that is a gigantic financial and ecological advantage. To name some figures: the SWAC system in my hotel on Bora Bora ensures that CO2 emissions are reduced by 1000 tonnes. That equates to 440,000 litres of heating fuel. The SWAC system on Tetiaroa accounts for another saving of 1500 tonnes or 660,000 litres of heating fuel. When did the construction works on Tetiaroa start? Not until 2009. That may seem a long delay, but new matters do take a lot of time, research and a well-thought-out plan. 2009? That was in the middle of the economic crisis. That is right. Rationally, it may not have been the ideal moment to start a – in some ways – risky and large-scale project, but I had been around long enough to know that the tide would turn again in due course. The economy does not run along linear lines, but rather in waves. In business, you must think long-term and you have to believe in your project. So, you decided to go for it. Yes, because when I looked around me and saw what was happening to the world – and in particular to the environment – I was convinced that we, as people, had to find a new path. And I wanted to contribute to that through the build of the first CO2-neutral luxury resort in the world. And you did it. Yes, with much blood, sweat and tears. But I always stayed

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realistic. By which I mean that I never had the illusion that the reaction at the opening would be: 'Wow, the first CO2neutral holiday resort, we must visit that!' It doesn’t work that way. No-one goes to a resort because it is environmentally friendly. People don't care. Or maybe they do a little, but not enough to sacrifice their comfort for it, and certainly not during their holiday. When, at the end of the journey, a credit card has to be produced, other criteria apply and the thoughts of the individual will be: What did I get out of my stay at The Brando personally? And not: What has the planet gained from it? But the fact that The Brando has a minimal impact on the environment is surely the most important aspect of the resort and the one that distinguishes it from so many other luxury resorts in the area? For me that is certainly the case, and so it was for Marlon as well, and it also applies to the many people who have contributed to it. But to put it bluntly: it is not a crowd-pleaser. That is also why we don’t say in our adverts: 'Come to The Brando, it is environmentally friendly.' No, we say: 'Come to The Brando, you will experience magical moments that will change your life.' Once the guests are there, they will automatically discover what it really means: CO2-neutral. Because we take them behind the scenes and show them all the fantastic techniques and the innovative technologies that we employ. And from that moment, their stay takes on a completely different dimension. I think, as well, that this is exactly what Marlon wanted. He was convinced that new green technologies could change the way we live and that they would enable us to interact with our planet in a more harmonious way. The Brando is proof of that. You went all-out for The Brando - currently the resort is regarded as the prime example of sustainable hotel management – but it went hand in hand with substantial investments. Look, if you want to achieve something for the environment, you could move into a tent, possibly somewhere next to a river so you can at least have a wash and give up all other modern luxuries. But no-one does that and it definitely isn’t the right thing to do. You must always keep moving forward, not backward. Take Porsche for instance. If the driving enjoyment of a Porsche can be combined with environmentally friendly technologies and materials, lower fuel consumption, etc. then that is a win-win situation. Only in that way can substantial changes be implemented. For The Brando, you received a LEED Platinum Award. That is a major acknowledgement. Yes, and moreover, also a very important one. Because if,


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B E L E E F P O LY N E S I E I N T E N S O P Z E E E N T E L A N D

Paul Gaugaun Cruises + The Brando Vertrek 04/11/2017: Papeete > Huahine > Taha’a > Bora Bora (overnight) > Moorea (overnight) > Papeete

8-daagse boutique cruise Papeete-Papeete + 1 nacht in de InterContinental Tahiti + 5 nachten verblijf in het eco-boutique resort The Brando: 15.279 € per persoon Prijs per persoon op basis van 2 personen omvat: vluchten Brussel-Papeete h/t via Parijs CDG met Air France (H-klasse), transfers naar/van het schip, 1 nacht in de InterContinental Tahiti (Garden View Room - ontbijt), cruise in all inclusive aan boord van de M/S Paul Gauguin, buitenkajuit cat. F, havengelden, binnenlandse vlucht naar/van The Brando, transfers naar/van het resort, 4 nachten verblijf in The Brando, One-Bedroom Villa, all inclusive. Niet inbegrepen: persoonlijke uitgaven, annulatie- en reisverzekering (17,5 € per dag en per persoon). Prijzen onder voorbehoud van beschikbaarheid.

Boek uw idyllische luxe vakantie in het Polynesië van Footprints bij uw vertrouwde reisagent - cruises@footprints.be - www.footprints.be


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for instance, you are talking about a five-star luxury resort, then that is something people can imagine. But when you are talking about a sustainable resort, what exactly does that entail? When is a project actually environmentally friendly? That may not be immediately obvious to everyone. That is why I think it is crucial that The Brando was assessed by an independent party and that they concluded that this luxury resort complied with all green criteria in the best possible way. What does LEED stand for? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. It is a quality label awarded by the United States Green Building Council. The organisation assesses the durability and environmental impact of a construction project on the basis of an extensive check list that takes account of six categories: sustainability of the location, water saving, energy efficiency, selection of materials, quality of the internal environment and innovation of the design process. Quite a long list. Based on the final score, a certificate can be awarded at four levels: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold or LEED Platinum. Getting Platinum means we have achieved the absolute maximum. In essence, we are ten years ahead of our time. (beams) At a resort like The Brando, you would of course expect the highest level of service, but the warmth and spontaneity of the staff is particularly noteworthy. It is a fact that we have a fantastic team on Tetiaroa. Motivated, disciplined and always ready with a smile. They are after all Polynesians. In addition, they feel honoured to be working on Tetiaroa, because you have to remember that this is the sacred island of their ancestors. Also – and that is something you will certainly have noticed during your visit – you will not see a sign saying Staff only or Entrance prohibited anywhere. Our guests are welcome everywhere, we positively encourage them to explore. That does mean however that every staff member of The Brando, be it the gardener, the maintenance man, the waste processor or the scientist in the research lab, can come into contact with the guests and that makes for a very special interaction. They know that each and every one of them is an ambassador for The Brando. In fact, this is one of the things I brought up when first sitting around the table with Marlon. I told him: If we build an ordinary hotel, we will fail. Tetiaroa is a remote, isolated place. We have to create a community. If we place a hotel there like you find on the Maldives, where the staff arrive on the boat in the morning and go back to the main island in the evening, then we are not doing it right, there will be no soul to the island. A hotel has to live and breathe

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in a community. That is a principle that I apply in all my hotel by the way. I think the feeling of togetherness is very important. That is our strength. I always impress upon my teams that a hotel is not only their place of work, but that they are part of a large unit, of a mission, of something important. Because our guests spend a lot of money to come here to experience something special, and together we have a big responsibility to fulfil their expectations. That, of course, brings us to the key question: does Porsche fulfil your expectations? (Laughs out loud) Absolutely. My Cayenne is a beautiful vehicle. And I won’t beat about the bush, I love speed. When I place my foot on the accelerator of the Cayenne, I can feel the power of the car rise up. I also love the way I can use my car. I live higher up here in the mountainous area and it is fantastic to see how the Cayenne lets itself be steered through the many hairpin bends. That roadholding is always a wonderful sensation. It feels like I am taking ownership of the road. I am in control and I love that feeling. How are the roads on Tahiti? Well, as you will probably have noticed yourself, they are not wonderful. That is why, in the luxury car segment, so many Cayennes are being sold here. At least now. Ten years ago, there was just one Porsche dealer here who had one Porsche on offer in his showroom. Today, there are some 300 Cayennes driving around Tahiti. The Cayenne is particularly suitable for this region. We have valley roads here with many rocks, sometimes you have to drive through low river beds, the weather conditions are changeable, etc. With a Cayenne, none of that is a problem. It can take on anything: city traffic, long distances and difficult driving conditions. In fact, here in French Polynesia we use the Cayenne in exactly the way it has been designed to be used. But secretly I still dream about the 911. One last question: You are the leader of a successful hotel chain. As a businessman, can you see similarities between your company and Porsche? Certainly. In everything Porsche does, the brand strives to surpass other car manufacturers. Only the very best is good enough and that passion makes the brand strong. In addition, at Porsche the main focus is also on fulfilling the expectations of the customer in the best possible way. That requires continued innovation, creativity and courage and I think that Porsche scores well on all those levels.

Porsche will be pleased to hear it. Richard, many thanks for this very enriching conversation.


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VERS LOS ANGELES ET TAHITI, LE DÉPAYSEMENT COMMENCE AVEC NOUS

Bora Bora

Los Angeles

Maeva - Bienvenue Avec ses cinq airbus A340-300 Air Tahiti Nui, la compagnie au Tiare, offre les plus hauts standards de confort. Nos hôtesses et stewards polynésiens, plusieurs fois primés parmi les meilleurs équipages du monde, auront à coeur de vous permettre pendant tout votre voyage de partager la gentillesse, la joie de vivre, le sens de l’hospitalité, l’authenticité et la douceur du peuple polynésien.

w w w. a i r t a h i t i n u i . f r Informations / Réservations : 0825 02 42 02 (0,15€/mn) - Chez votre agent de voyage. Jusqu’à 7 vols par semaine au départ de Paris Charles de Gaulle et en correspondance de 19 villes françaises avec TGV AIR

ht t ps://www.facebo o k.co m/Ai r Tah itiN u i. Fr an c e @Air Tah itiN u iFR


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Beachcomber Café

A feast for the appetite Every gourmet will be delighted at The Brando. The resort offers a choice of two restaurants: the Beachcomber Café, beautifully situated outside on the beach with uninterrupted views of the lagoon and Les Mutinés, housed in an artistic building that is constructed like a Polynesian canoe. After a pre-dinner drink in Bob's Bar I choose the Beachcomber Café today. Renowned French 2-star Chef Guy Martin oversees the kitchen. The gastronomical talents of the Chef are unequalled. He puts his own twist on classical French dishes, ads typically Polynesian accents and finishes it off with a whisper of Oriental refinement. The ravioli of scallops with a mild octopus’ curry and a duet of salmon and mango are good enough to lick you fingers. In Les Mutinés the culinary standard is meant to be even higher, so that promises something for tomorrow. Even though I am a guest in a five-star resort, the atmosphere at The Brando is relaxed. It feels like I am staying with friends. For a large part that must be attributed to the infectious zest for life that the Polynesians have. The Brando is truly an homage to the Tahitian culture. And Chelsea is indisputably the most likeable waitress in the world!

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Toapere Amiot, the beautiful receptionist from Porsche Centre Tahiti

A dream that became reality The Brando has fulfilled its mission. The resort proves that the absolute height of luxury can go hand in hand with sustainability. The Brando brings the past and the future together in a place where time seemingly ceases to exist and everything dissolves into an eternal spirit. Those who visit The Brando return from it both enriched and purified. Marlon’s dream became a reality here. Maybe he himself would have preferred things a little less luxurious and grand, but his vision and his wishes have been respected and that is the essence. It is a shame that he was not able to view the final result, but I have the feeling that his soul will forever be present on Tetiaroa.

Practical information Tahiti, Bora Bora and Tetiaroa belong to French Polynesia, more specific to the Society Islands archipelago Area: Tahiti: 1.045 km², Bora-Bora: 29,3 km², Tetiaroa: 33 km² (incl. lagoon) Location: South Pacific Ocean Official languages: Tahitian and French Status: Overseas collectivity from France Time zone: Tahiti Time (TAHT) is 11 hours behind Central European Time (CET), 12 hours during summer time (CEST) Climate: French Polynesia has a mild tropical climate. The average annual temperature in Papeete is 27°C Currency: CFP franc Travel documents: Members of the European Area only need a valid identity card or passport. No visa required. Many thanks to: Vera van Steenvoort, Advalorem, Travel designer Richard Bailey, Chairman/CEO Pacific Beachcomber & proud Porsche owner Pierre Lesage, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Brando Stephane Massarini, General Manager at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Esther & Matthieu, our local helicopter pilots Jacques Solari, CEO Porsche Centre Tahiti Toapere Amiot, the beautiful receptionist at Porsche Centre Tahiti Françoise Dubois Siegmund, Attachée de Presse AIR TAHITI NUI

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