This review will likely be a bit different from the rest. To start off, I can award nothing but the highest points in all areas that matter for a seasoned traveler to such a remote destination. Our eight-night stay on Easter Island surpassed all of our expectations, and I would return to Explora Rapa Nui in a heartbeat. All of the prior glowing reviews are valid; deviations are anomalies.
Halfway through my stay, I received a call advising me that my father had died. From that point forward, every single person, every single thing that any staff member did for me went above and beyond what one might expect from virtual strangers.
Because of the intensity of the experience, all that transpired over the next five days on the island will be forever sealed into my memory. I say five days because, even though I had a FULL-FARE BUSINESS CLASS SEAT, LAN Airlines made absolutely no effort to help me get off the island sooner than my scheduled flight back to Santiago. That's an issue I will need to take up with LAN's Board and Management in the near future. They were officious and insensitive; I am furious about that.
In fact, there were two of us traveling together. For five days in a row, we would pack all of our luggage, and then Beno Atan, Explora's head guide, would diigently drive us to the airport early - and wait for us patiently - with the hopes that we might make the standby list and get on the flight. (LAN ground staff told us that the flights are typically oversold by 15 seats, so each journey became an exercise in futility.) Each day, we would return to the hotel disappointed, unpack, and settle in for another 24 hours - - - only to do the same thing the next day. It got tired really fast, let me tell you! It was heartbreaking to try explaining to my grieving mother that we did not make the day's only flight.
Nevertheless, the guide staff and interim manager, Laura Rosenberg, would take me out on private excursions and made a special effort to keep me occupied in appropriate ways. I didn't want to hang around the hotel much because I felt like a pariah every time I entered a public room and didn't want to be a "downer" for anyone else's vacation. Word travels fast in such an environment. ("Look. There's the man whose father died. He STILL hasn't gotten off the island yet? Poor guy.").
I could go on and on, but I won't. It's taken me nine months to write this review, because I wanted it to be perfect, but I've had to let go of that. Suffice to say that I experienced something I never expected, the staff rallied around me, supported me, consoled me, kept me occupied, looked out for me, protected me, and cared for me. I will be forever grateful for the assistance shown to me by everyone there. I would like to name several people who contributed so much. I hope they know that I will never forget them and all they did for me: Laura, Beno (who took me on an unforgettable hike up to Poike in the pouring rain), Gina (who convinced me that the statues really did walk), Maha, Nune, Juanita in Housekeeping (what an exuberant spirit), and bartender Carlos, who is one of the most positive and upbeat people I've ever met!
Go. You will not regret it; it is truly the trip of a lifetime.
- 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