My wife and I spent 3 nights at explora Rapa Nui Posada de Mike Rapu in April, 2013. I highly recommend the hotel.
This was my third stay at an explora property. The family and I stayed at the Atacama property in 2002, and I stayed with a friend at the Patagonia property in 2007 (see my review of that hotel on this site). Explora Rapa Nui was very similar in ambiance and comfort to those two properties.
The important thing to remember about an explora property is that explora is focused on “active” stays. If you would rather be driven out to see things, then you’re likely to be better off at some other hotel on Easter Island. Explora focuses on getting “boots on the ground”. Of course, the guides will adapt the difficulty of the hikes to the participants, but if you don’t want to break a sweat during your day (or you aren’t physically able to do a fair amount of hiking), then don’t stay here, because you are paying for a level of guided activities that you won’t be able to enjoy.
The wife and I are all about active stays, and found explora Rapa Nui to be about perfect for us.
Our room was comfortable and in good order. There is nothing “luxurious” about rooms at explora properties, which isn’t a problem since you spend very little time in your room. Lighting was good. The beds were comfortable. During our stay the temperature was high 70’s to low 80’s during the day with relatively high humidity, and the A/C in the room seemed to struggle a little bit to remove the humidity. So, I could understand the comments from others about the A/C being a little less than wholly adequate. That said, the room temperature and achieved humidity levels weren’t a problem for us.
The public areas of the Posada de Mike Rapu are its strength. They take full advantage of the location and the sub-tropical surroundings. The windows can be (and are) fully opened, so that a delightful cross breeze is encouraged. Seating is plentiful and comfortable. There are dining options in several locations. We enjoyed the public areas very much.
The food was superb. There were several options for each course, and you could limit the number of courses if you weren’t as hungry as the menu suggested. Although it’s been a while since I stayed at the other properties, my sense after staying at explora Rapa Nui was that the food here was the best of the three properties.
There was nice selection of wine included. My only complaint would be that the red wines were allowed to warm beyond acceptable consumption levels. I think they need a wine refrigerator to keep the reds “a point.” (A French vintner who works for the explora owner and who was present during our stay giving instruction to the staff agreed on this point.)
One of the keys to service in a fine hotel is presence of management. The manager of the hotel introduced herself to us almost immediately, and was available daily to check in with us. When she learned that we were heading next to a property (Puma Lodge) now managed by a former explora colleague, she emailed ahead to introduce us to him. An excellent job.
The guides, without exception, were terrific. Even when their English was not perfect, the guides managed to communicate effectively. They were extremely knowledgeable about the island, its history, flora and fauna. And, they were attentive to the needs of the guests on the excursions. Bravo.
All of the restaurant staff (and especially the bartender, who mixed some wonderful variations on pisco sours for us) were also personable, welcoming, and efficient.
As with the Atacama and Patagonia properties, there are a fair number of excursion options. The wife and I found that staff was willing to rearrange the planned excursions to accommodate our interests (we wanted more difficult hikes than they originally offered – in response, they added a one or more hikes per day to meet our needs). Note that the hiking options can be very different from those described on the website – I perceive that, with some core elements aside, the guides turn a basic excursion into “their own” based on the day, the group of guests, and the timing.
On arrival at the airport, we found that our checked baggage didn’t arrive with us. An explora staff member stayed with us while we dealt with LAN to report the problem. When the driver returned for us, the staff member and driver seemed content to talk amongst themselves in rapa nui rather than to engage us. When I spoke with them, they were happy to talk to us – but, the initial impression was not one of good service. Happily, this was the only time this happened.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Posada de Mike Rapu is a terrific property, offering an unmatched experience on Easter Island. I’d come back, again and again, and recommend it without hesitation to anybody interested in combining active vacations with great food and terrific ambiance.
- 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