The Best Resorts and Islands – The Hollywood Reporter

As for the postcard-perfect destination in French Polynesia—just an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles—Sienna India, CEO of ultra-luxury concierge Sienna Charles, recommends going “to the smaller islands, like Taha’a, where [Tahitian] vanilla is from

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello did just that, staying at Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa (from $895 per night). Guests of the Overwater Suites and Beach Villas can swim with sharks, take helicopter or yacht rides, and snorkel through a spectacularly crystalline coral garden channel with rainbows of tropical fish. The resort recently implemented a sustainability program that drastically reduced plastic waste plus completed renovations to its two $2,886-a-night Royal Pool Beach Villas, with plunge pools and not one but two outdoor tubs and showers.

Island hopping is a popular pastime in the 118 atolls and islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific – as Diane von Furstenberg did, gathering Bradley Cooper, Irina Shayk, Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper and Alison Williams for a ride on her yacht.

The first time she visited the islands, Chelsea Handler (who has a new Netflix special, revolution) chartered a yacht — “which I’m sure is very close,” she jokes — to dive with nine friends to the islands of Rangiroa, Fakarava, Nuku Hiva and Tetiaroa, diving twice a day at different sites, often with whites and blackfins reef sharks. “They’ll take us to cool places, like one where four o’clock is like rush hour and all the sharks go by. Same thing with the dolphins where they all swam through that channel at a certain time of day. It was one adventure after another,” Handler says THR.

Handler later returned to French Polynesia for the World Surf League competition in Teahupo’o, where she and her friend, then WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, were hanging out in a beach shack. “From there we went to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and it was probably the best vacation of my life,” she says. “It was the most magical place I’ve ever been. I cried the day we left.” One possible reason: the “ridiculous” service. “They would give us jets and we’d go to another island, have lunch, swim around and come back, and as soon as we stopped, they’d bring us the last drink we had, which in my case was always a frozen mango margarita,” she says.

The resort’s three-bedroom Beachfront Villa Estate (from $15,945 a night) is most popular with entertainment industry insiders, who over the years have included Jimmy Kimmel (who survived the most stylish tsunami scare and wrote about it for HuffPost) and Jennifer Aniston with Justin Theroux, who befriends friends including Courteney Cox and Jason Bateman.

Handler says the water around Bora Bora has “seven different colors, going from a bright, light aquamarine to this deep, rich turquoise and then to a sea blue. My girlfriend and I went snorkeling, even though we were on food, we didn’t come up for air for two and a half hours because it’s so beautiful. She is already making an excuse to come back. “All I could think was, ‘I need everyone I love to be in this place and see this place and experience it.’

Beachfront Villa in St. Regis Bora Bora Resort in French Polynesia.

St. Regis

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have reportedly occupied the 13,000-square-foot Royal Estate villa in the resort of St. Regis Bora Bora Resort (from $931 per night), the same resort where Kristen Bell, Vince Vaughn and Bateman filmed the 2009 movie. Seclusion for couples. Justin Bieber spent his vacation at the Overwater Royal Otemanu resort with a huge hanging pool. The Ultimate Bora Bora Reset is a $20,000 per night package that includes accommodation at The Royal Estate Villa, daily private yoga, a personal chef, a spa consultation, a private Polynesian performance, a personalized wellness program, coral planting and a full sunset catamaran cruise with champagne . Also occupying that iconic bright turquoise lagoon: the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, where Paris and Katy Hilton stayed in 2022. It has a floating helipad, a decorated new French chef and a Manta Trust partnership with a local marine biologist.

Overwater Pool Villas at Conrad Bora Bora Nuia in French Polynesia.


There are also true private islands like Nukutepipi, owned by Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberte, and Marlon Brando’s ultra-exclusive estate getaway, the uber-sustainable and A-list-loved The Brando (from $3,625 per night). Located on the private atoll of Tetiaroa, it is surrounded at different times by manta rays, sea turtles and even humpback whales. It’s where Barack Obama escaped post-presidency to write his memoirs, and the likes of DiCaprio, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Pierce Brosnan, Ellen DeGeneres and Winfrey have vacationed. Kim Kardashian spent $1 million on her 40th birthday there in the middle of the pandemic.

Brando on Tetiaroa in French Polynesia.


Brando’s 35 villas have serious eco features, such as a zero-impact climate system that cools with deep seawater, an organic garden, a marine research science lab, and even an ice-cold deep-sea bath experience. In 2021, Rebel Wilson celebrated his birthday at the resort, which has been a movie set since 1962. Bounty Mutiny. She called it Rebel Island for the week as she hung out with friends including Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Ariel Kebbell. The group had a mermaid castaway dinner, an 80s themed pool party and swam in a secret lagoon, explored remote islands and snorkelled. She said Page six at the time: “Rebel Island was something I dreamed about years ago and The Brando made all my dreams come true. It was beyond epic and inspiring. This place is absolute heaven – no wonder Marlon Brando adored it.

A version of this story first appeared in the March 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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