There are some problems at Explora Rapa Nui, but not insurmountable ones. As to the hotel itself, it is very nice and about as good as it can get on a tiny island that is 2500 miles from the closest populated area. Almost everything has to be flown in on a 5+hour flight and that must temper any criticism I or anyone else should render. That said, there are some goofy problems with the hotel itself. The dining area is all glass on the eastern side, where the sun rises. And, (you guessed it), there are no shades or window coverings. You have to have your breakfast in the face of a bright searchlight with no means of escape. It would be simple and easy to put some shades up to be used in the morning. Why they haven't done so is anyone's guess. The guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, but the bathrooms have a HUGE tub with a very high step-over to get in to take a shower. There are no hand-holds anywhere, and getting into the tub to take a shower is an accident waiting to happen. How would you like to break your neck, or anything else, and need medical treatment on an island with a total population of 5,000 people (and 7,000 horses) that is 2500 miles and only one flight a day away from top-level medical care? The biggest problem, though, is that they do not give you any written descriptions in advance of the guided tours that are included with your $1,500 US daily room charge. If you sign up for "Tour to the 15 Moai", they tell you to be in the lobby at 3:30. At that time they tell you, "You will spend a lot of time in the sun. Slather yourself with sunblock. You will walk over rough terrain, so wear solid hiking shoes. We will drive to the 25 Moai and spend 20 minutes there. Then we will hike over very rough terrain for 5 kilometers, seeing interesting sites. Then we will get in the van and drive to another spot, and hike about 1 km to the beach. The whole thing will take 3 hours". It's 3:30 and the excursion is leaving now, and they wait until NOW to tell you this?? What if you don't want to, or can't, endure a 5 km hike in the hot sun? There are no more excursions that day. What are you supposed to do? We went. I got burnt to a crisp, twisted my ankle, and was happy to survive my endurance march. But was it fun? What do you think? My wife and I are approaching 70. We had booked Explora Rapa Nui because it was the best hotel on the island. We had no idea that the "tours" would all be group tours, that they were offerred at set times, and that the standard tour to a place of interest includes MILES of hiking. By being somewhat of a pain to the hotel and the guides, we were able to get them to modify future site visits to drop walkers off and drive us closer to the site of interest. But they didn't like it and treated us as unwelcome participants that had to be put up with. The hotel has two very different types of visitors: the young "adventure traveller" who wants all the climbing, hiking, biking they can possible get for their $1,500 a day. They probably evaluated their stay based on how many, and how long, the hikes were. But then there is the older traveler who seeks high-quality food and lodging and a staff that recognizes that not ALL of their guests want "forced marches" in the hot sun in order to see the wonders of this amazing island. I'd say about 60% were the young adventure seekers and 40% were older travelers who wanted to see the sights, not to set new hiking distance records. This hotel needs to provide on-line and hard copy descriptions of their tours, so that their guests will know what they are signing up for, and they need to have different types of excursions for different types of guests. Lastly, I would rate the guides as mediocre. Many didn't know much more than I did about island history, and it was offensive to me that the guides spent every minute on the van on the way to see interesting sites, speaking with the driver in Spanish or Rapa Nui, and totally ignoring the passengers in the van. A question from one of us was always treated as an interruption, answered quickly (and usually incompletely) and then the guide would resume their loud conversation with the driver of the van. They need better training to become first class guides at a first class resort. Explora Rapa Nui charges a lot of money, so guests have a right to expect the best. I spent $6,000 for 4 days there. If I were to go again, I would first take a closer look at other alternatives. But if Explora reads this and makes the few but important changes I have recommended, I would move them up to 5 Stars. They are capable of being clearly the very best.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our lodge was the first in South America to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council.Our lodge, which opened in December 2007, was built on 9.6 Hectares (23.7 Acres) of land situated on a hill in the Te Miro Oone area, and overlooks the ocean. This is in south-eastern Rapa Nui, 8 kilometers (4.9 Miles) from Hanga Roa, the most populated part of the island.All of the 30 rooms, which extend to the north and south from a central building, have excellent ocean views. The lodge has welcoming indoor spaces which integrate aspects of the local culture.The design is intended to have minimal impact on its surroundings. The lodge is built on a site which is inappropriate for agricultural use and has no archaeological remains. The flora surrounding the lodge has been maintained intact. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Explora Rapa Nui - Posada De Mike Rapu Hotel Easter Island