The Brando (French Polynesia)

Old Mar 29, 18, 10:53 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
Does Laucala even HAVE a low season?
Not price wise - just like North Island, yet it certainly does have a low season for weather. It's now into peak for Laucala, yet we are due there in 5 days and it's been raining non-stop for the last week. I am suddenly not so hopeful.
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Old Mar 29, 18, 11:28 pm
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We stayed on the Brando in July 2015. So sorry we did not review. We loved it. Had perfect weather Was not full but had not been opened long. We liked the rooms, the beaches, etc. at that time service was not perfect but I imagine it must have improved since we were there. We gave them a bit of a pass as so nice and trying hard. Food was mixed. The simple local fish great, but some dishes they tried to be too extravagant, but I'm sure that has all changed by now! I would go back! Actually kind of wish we'd waited a year or two. Anxious to read MacMyDay review.

i have not been to Laucala ( on the list) but have been to Wakaya Club several times ( again quite awhile ago )!and found best season there June- September. Low humidity, no bugs, etc. July and August were especially nice.

Agree with MacMyDay, North Island hard to beat. We plan to return in 2019 - I hope. Still working on plans.
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Old Mar 29, 18, 11:44 pm
  #63  
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Yes - more rain, less rain but no price break either way.

P.S.: I'll perform a no-rain incantation/dance for you, MacMyDay.

Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Not price wise - just like North Island, yet it certainly does have a low season for weather. It's now into peak for Laucala, yet we are due there in 5 days and it's been raining non-stop for the last week. I am suddenly not so hopeful.


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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:34 am
  #64  
 
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Thanks, KatW - I will get my twinkle toes on too

Day 3 of The Brando and I really, really love this property.

The food is exceptional. So much so that we I think it is not only the best food I've ever had on a private island, but the best of any resort I've been to. Their ability to do fine dining on an all-inclusive basis puts a shame on Cheval Blanc. Even their casual dining and bar food is superb.

The room is great and leaves me wanting for nothing, the scenery is beautiful, the spa is the best I've ever seen on a private island, the facilities are wonderful and it's very private. There are so many touches of thoughtfulness in the way this property was built that I will begin to feel others are outdated in their approach.

The biggest downside, and it always is, is what Larkin experienced with the service. They all try, everyone is very friendly and the management are great, but there are too many mistakes from the average worker, often regarding forgetfulness. Just like Laucala, there is a huge emphasis on employing the local community, and French Polynesia is clearly not on the same level as Asian hospitality, nor in fact most of Europe. I know some people will wonder why you should come somewhere at these prices when service is not perfect, but having been to almost all their competition I know full well the same is very much present there too (although second visit to North Island was quite flawless). You can easily pay twice as much and receive no different. I'm willing to accept it, be a bit more patient and work with it by knowing who to ask to get something done, in return for everything else they offer. I'm in no rush anyway. If you come here, do not come expecting Aman, but do expect everything else to be pretty perfect.

Some pictures here:

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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Thanks, KatW - I will get my twinkle toes on too

Day 3 of The Brando and I really, really love this property.

The food is exceptional. So much so that we I think it is not only the best food I've ever had on a private island, but the best of any resort I've been to. Their ability to do fine dining on an all-inclusive basis puts a shame on Cheval Blanc. Even their casual dining and bar food is superb.

The room is great and leaves me wanting for nothing, the scenery is beautiful, the spa is the best I've ever seen on a private island, the facilities are wonderful and it's very private. There are so many touches of thoughtfulness in the way this property was built that I will begin to feel others are outdated in their approach.

The biggest downside, and it always is, is what Larkin experienced with the service. They all try, everyone is very friendly and the management are great, but there are too many mistakes from the average worker, often regarding forgetfulness. Just like Laucala, there is a huge emphasis on employing the local community, and French Polynesia is clearly not on the same level as Asian hospitality, nor in fact most of Europe. I know some people will wonder why you should come somewhere at these prices when service is not perfect, but having been to almost all their competition I know full well the same is very much present there too (although second visit to North Island was quite flawless). You can easily pay twice as much and receive no different. I'm willing to accept it, be a bit more patient and work with it by knowing who to ask to get something done, in return for everything else they offer. I'm in no rush anyway. If you come here, do not come expecting Aman, but do expect everything else to be pretty perfect.

Some pictures here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/132880...57689360450700
so glad you had a nice time. Now that they have improved the food ( I thought they would in time) we will have to go back! It is a lovely place, sounds like the service about the same, but you are right this is the case in so many resorts with the exception of Asian Amans. ( and certain parts of Asia in general). Thanks for the update! Hope you had good weather!
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Old Mar 31, 18, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
Hope you had good weather!
Perfect weather, with only light rain overnight and all dried by first thing. It's during Spring Break, so it has been rather busy and at near capacity with a lot of families (same as Four Seasons Bora Bora), although the bar one night felt like a Hollywood backstage event due to all the celebrities that were staying.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Perfect weather, with only light rain overnight and all dried by first thing. It's during Spring Break, so it has been rather busy and at near capacity with a lot of families (same as Four Seasons Bora Bora), although the bar one night felt like a Hollywood backstage event due to all the celebrities that were staying.
With the gossip columns referring to it as a " Tahitian Party Island " I can't imagine it staying serene much longer....
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Old Apr 10, 18, 6:46 am
  #68  
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Sounds not really great.....
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Old Apr 10, 18, 3:17 pm
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Impressive - I never knew the tabloids actually got things right. They were not rude or loud - just as polite and friendly as anyone else, so no issues from me if that's where they wish to get away from prying eyes. I'm sure everyone thought North Island was going to change once George Clooney was reported to have gone on his honeymoon there, but it didn't. The fact that he didn't actually go there didn't dispel the myth.

I have finally finished my full review of The Brando now, for those interested Review: The Brando, French Polynesia ? The Good, The Bad and The Luxurious
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Old Apr 10, 18, 6:00 pm
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Wonderful report, MacMyDay. Thank you!
Did you do a review of the FS?

Last edited by Ericka; Apr 11, 18 at 3:33 am
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Old Apr 11, 18, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Impressive - I never knew the tabloids actually got things right. They were not rude or loud - just as polite and friendly as anyone else, so no issues from me if that's where they wish to get away from prying eyes. I'm sure everyone thought North Island was going to change once George Clooney was reported to have gone on his honeymoon there, but it didn't. The fact that he didn't actually go there didn't dispel the myth.

I have finally finished my full review of The Brando now, for those interested Review: The Brando, French Polynesia ? The Good, The Bad and The Luxurious
As always, excellent stuff!

Have you ever considered writing a book?

Oh, and the lack of celebrity pics? Disappointing....
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Old Apr 11, 18, 8:53 am
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I hadn't heard of a Clooney connection with The Brando - and surely he's so passe these days and needs a coffee machine in his room. However, I do know that President Obama went there . . . God knows what the security must have been like.

Macmyday's review talks of the 'fine dining' restaurant and implies that once guests are seated the staff draw a curtain around their table, rather like a hospital A&E when the nurse gets rather personal or when you die. Weird or what?

I am very pleased (and relieved) he liked this hotel, despite its service issues which are par for the course in French Polynesia. This is my favourite place in the world.
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Last edited by Pausanias; Apr 11, 18 at 9:10 am
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Old Apr 12, 18, 2:52 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
Wonderful report, MacMyDay. Thank you!
Did you do a review of the FS?
Pleasure. Not yet, but I'm sure you can tell I wasn't a fan. I genuinely struggle to think of anything positive about the hotel, other than the nearby scenery and there being no minimum stay requirements.

Originally Posted by damaxer91 View Post
As always, excellent stuff!

Have you ever considered writing a book?

Oh, and the lack of celebrity pics? Disappointing....
I have considered many things, but subjecting my family to endless Christmas gifts of my unsold book would not be one of them.
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Old Apr 13, 18, 5:05 am
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Must really stay at The Brando in the future. Pity about FS... I have stayed many times in the years after opening when Sebastian Carré was GM and Gilles Mauffras in charge of Concierge. It was much better back then. I thought the lovely lady who is now GM would positively influence service and standards, but I guess it is a victim of its own success. Would love to hear what you didn’t like!
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Old Jan 30, 19, 7:49 am
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anyone have any recent stays lately? seeing if anything has changed since it's been last reviewed.
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