New adventures in luxury

By Jeri Clausing

*logoThe incredible rebound of the luxury travel sector has revived a number of once questionable hotel and resort developments and continues to spark announcements for promising adventures.

Among the more exciting resorts to open this year: The Brando, the long-awaited ultra-green resort on what used to be Marlon Brando's private South Pacific island.

On the other side of the world, a Colorado adventure travel company has just announced plans to open up Greenland's rugged east coast to luxury travelers.JeriClausing 

In Tahiti, one of Brando's friends, French Polynesian hotel developer Richard Bailey, has been working for years to carry out the late actor's dream of turning the island into the ultimate sustainable, experiential luxury destination.

Originally, the island resort, just 30 miles from Tahiti was set to open in 2012. Two years later, the dream is finally coming to fruition.

Pleasant Holidays began selling the resort in January, with arrivals to begin in July.

"The Brando is one of the most unique luxury resorts in the world, offering a very private and extraordinary experience of French Polynesia," said Jack Richards, Pleasant Holidays' president and CEO. "The atoll of Tetiaroa is where Tahitian royalty chose to spend their summers and is a haven of tranquility and natural beauty. It is the absolute ultimate destination for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon or romance vacation for the discerning traveler."

The resort, which has a seawater air conditioning system and is fueled by solar and other local renewable energy sources, features 35 secluded one-, two- and three-bedroom beachfront villas with private plunge pools.

All-inclusive packages include spa treatments, excursions, dining and room service, laundry and a host of outdoor activities. Packages start at $4,694 per person for three nights and air transfers from Papeete.

Natural Habitat Adventures, meanwhile, is offering another type of once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the opening next year of Base Camp Greenland in the country's arctic wilderness.

"Till now, Greenland's remote east coast, carved by glaciers and rent by deep fjords filled with icebergs, has been inaccessible to all but the hardiest travelers," said Ben Bressler, Natural Habitat's founder and president. "Base Camp Greenland is changing that."
 


The company will offer nine-day packages, limited to 12 travelers each, four times in August and September 2015. Prices start at $8,995 per person.

It promises all the amenities of a deluxe African-safari-style camp, with heated private tent-cabins with beds, duvets and ensuite toilets.

Base Camp Greenland is the vision of Natural Habitat's "Chief Exploratory Officer" Olaf Malver, who has been to Greenland 26 times and pioneered many kayaking "firsts" there.

He said it was designed to offer guests a chance to explore some of Greenland's wildest territory without the physical demands of a backpacking expedition and without the company of a hundred other travelers on a cruise.

"It's remote, majestic, and nature feels huge here, like few other places in Greenland," he said. "Yet it is relatively easy to reach from Iceland."

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