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Hotel Manutara
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Reviewed 25 February 2008

Easter Island is magic, and if you are lucky enough to stay in a great place like hotel Manutara , is perfect.
The staff from the hotel is very friendly, the rooms are unusually big and clean. The swimming pool is small but good enough.
I strongly recommend this hotel and the excursions with the agency Aku Aku.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5  Thank Anna0270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2005

***Winner: TripAdvisor's Best Review of a Hotel With No Reviews Contest***

Hotel Manutara: Discovering Easter Island!

Back in February, my two daughters and I traveled to Easter Island. It had always been a dream of mine to visit the mysterious Isla de Pascua, otherwise known as Easter Island. After many years of dreaming about traveling there my twin daughters and I decided to visit this fantastic isolated island. I have traveled a lot, but this was by far one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. The island is a mystical place, overflowing with history and legends dating back to the IV Century BC. Once there, you will find the colossal stone sculptures nearly six meters high, known as the “Moai”. These are the famous statues that face inward towards the island with their backs facing the Pacific Ocean. They are said to be protectors of the people of the island. Their origin is a mystery and has baffled visitors for years. Of course, there are many studies and hypotheses that have been made, but it is truly a wonder to imagine how people with no machinery would have the ability to transport such large figures from one point on the island to another.

In order to make the most of our stay, we looked for a hotel that could offer us the full experience. Luckily we discovered the wonderful Hotel Manutara, which allowed us to participate in various excursions on the island. We stayed at the Hotel Manutara for six nights and seven days. We had a great visit to the island and the time flew by quickly. I think this is because there was so much to explore!

The island’s archeological patrimony has no peers, the uniqueness of its inhabitants and traditions, the transparency of its waters, its gentle geography and white beaches gave us a feeling of being in paradise. Our experience was also enhanced with our stay at the Hotel Manutara, which is named after the Manutara bird, one of the main figures of the mysterious Rapa Nui culture.

Aku Aku Tourism Package: The package offered by Aku Aku Tourism included a round trip ticket from Lan Chile Airlines, traveling from Santiago Chile to Easter Island. Once arriving to the island, we were greeted from the locals with flower necklaces. This package also included shuttle transportation from the Mataveri Airport to the Manutara Hotel and back upon departure.

As part of our package we stayed in a beautiful (clean) room with 3 double beds for 8 days (7 nights). Continental breakfast was served daily.

Also included in our package was a full day excursion, in which lunch was served after we visited the Temples of Vaihu, Akahanga, Tongariki, Te Pito Kura, Nau Nau and the Volcano of Rano Raraku. Another excursion included in the package was a ride to Anakena Beach, the beach popular for its white sand and immense Moai. Last but not least, we were provided with a special dinner (called a Curanto) where they cook a meal using hot rocks and banana leaves, which are placed in a hole in the ground. This is the Rapa Nui / Easter Island way of saying goodbye.

Plan on traveling for approximately 14 hours if traveling from the USA to Chile. Make sure to rest once arriving to Santiago. You will want to be well rested for the next days of excursions and exploration.

Lan Chile Airlines flies a Boeing 767 from Tahiti and Santiago to Easter Island twice a week during peak season, which is December thru March. You can have Easter Island added to any LAN Chile ticket to Santiago quite easily and the airfare is not that expensive.

The flight from the Santiago Airport to Easter Island takes no more than five hours. When you arrive you will notice the airport is small, but functions very efficiently. The islanders are definitely prepared to help newcomers to the island. You just have to ask!

Once you arrive to the airport and get your luggage, you will walk outside to be greeted by the locals. They will give you a lei necklace made of flowers and they will assist you to the shuttle, which will take you to your hotel.

If you happen to purchase your ticket from LAN Chile separately; don’t forget that there is a $20 US departure tax (payable in cash). Important, they allow you to bring only one piece of luggage and if you do not meet the weight requirements you must pay extra luggage fees. Luggage is inspected by customs on all incoming & outgoing flights.

Despite the islands well known name of Rapa Nui, Easter Island is also known as Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua, meaning “The navel of the World”, and as Mata-KI-Te-Rani, meaning Eyes looking at Heaven”.

The Island is also well known for its surrounding mystery behind not only by the Moai statues, but also by the theory that Easter Island might have originally settled in order to serve as a sort of geodetic beacon and better yet that maybe a great maritime civilization may have existed, with its cities along coastlines now submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean.

This is the tiny capital where most of the 3,000 inhabitants live. About 69% of the Islanders are descendants of the original Polynesian ancestors and the remaining islanders are mostly from Chile, which the Easter Island people refer to them as being from the “conti” meaning from the continent.

There is no public transportation but there are plenty of taxis. Beware of how much they charge you because as soon they see you are a tourist they will attempt to charge you at tourist rates. Tell them you are friends with the Mayor in town or some locals and that should help in ensuring you are charged the normal rate. The taxis are very handy when traveling around the island especially if you are planning to go to the museum. We had thought the museum was a short distance, but that wasn’t the case. So remember, bargaining may be required to avoid paying inflated tourist prices. You also have the option of renting jeeps, mopeds or bikes, which the Hotel Manutara is very helpful in coordinating for you if need be.

Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 3,700 KM from Chile. The Hotel Manutara is located at the Hotu Matu’a Avenue in the town of Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Chile (Withing walking distance to Mataveri Airport).

The local natives on the island welcome you in both English and Spanish and often are bilingual and or trilingual. They are fluent in Spanish, English and of course their native language, Rapa Nui. You will also find that islanders are capable of speaking French as well, as the island attracts visitors from literally all over the world.

Subtropical oceanic and the climate ranges from 15 to 27C.

Chilean peso, traveler’s checks, American dollars and credit cards in some business locations.

The hotel is located just a few minutes from downtown Hanga Roa. Here you feel very comfortable with the hotel’s long list of amenities. They make you feel welcome and they take care of you. Go ahead, relax and enjoy their hospitality with their tropical gardens, swimming pool and a long list of excursions.

When you arrive to the Hotel you get the feeling that you are visiting a lush tropical garden rather than a hotel. The foliage is everywhere and the flowers are bright, tropical and beautiful. The sky is clear, air is warm and you can smell the pineapple plantations. When you arrive at the reception area you immediately notice the Polynesian influence displayed through the hotel’s décor. Throughout the hotel you will notice a lot of bamboo and rattan furniture, more specifially in the rooms, the main lobby, the resception area and the main dining room. Everything is well-maintained and abolutely beautiful.

The Hotel has around of twenty-five rooms with hot water and private baths; it is a small hotel yet they know how to take good care of you. The Hotel Manutara helps one discover all the island mysteries in an atmosphere of Polynesian culture and hospitality that only a local can provide.

The Hotel Manutara is named after a bird, a symbol that also represents the mysterious Rapa Nui culture.

The rooms are really spacious and clean. They have a beautiful view to a tropical garden and swimming pool. Each room has a private bath and shower with a built-in hair dryer. Everything is white, therefore giving the room a very clean and fresh looking feel. The beds were a good size and the mattresses very soft. They changed the bed linens and towels on a daily basis.

A side note, if you think you will have access to a phone and have the ability to call and let friends or family know you have arrived safely, forget it. Some days they have no telephone connection at all, so it would be better to let your friends know where you are staying so they could call and check on your arrival or ask someone at the front desk if you could use their Internet service. Another option is the Internet Café located in town.

As for the television services, you will get no more than two channels; so be prepared to be disconnected from the world! You will be in paradise … you won’t need the news!

If you are tired and feel like eating in, Hotel Manutara offers an array of delicious juices and fruits and your typical continental breakfast.

We had many wonderful breakfasts and dinners at the Hotel. Forget your typical orange juice, here we were served fresh pineapple juice. It was delightful. The bread … now the bread was delicious … to die for! The hotel dining area was very bright, colorful, warm and taken care of. It was decorated with colorful tablecloths and bamboo furniture. Everything was cooked by the owner’s wife and was done with so much care and pride. You can tell that the people of Easter Island love what they do and take pride in showing visitors what their culture is all about.

On our final night, the Hotel hosted an “UMU TA’O” or “CURANTO”. This was an incredible experience. What they did was they prepared fish, shellfish and vegetables, all wrapped in banana leaves to be slowly cooked in a hole in the ground covered with pre-heated volcanic rocks. These items were served with a side helping of sweet potatoes and “PO’E”, a flour, banana and pumpkin pudding. The Curanto was a feast for all! They also served several kinds of salad for the vegetarians and topped it all off with bottles of the most-wonderful Chilean wine. We loved the Curanto. It was simply delicious! AH! I can’t forget to mention the delicious white wine, of Vina Anakena and of course the Chilean wines of Vina’s Concha y Toro.

The swimming pool area is very pleasant and clean. It is surrounded by the guest rooms and lush tropical plants and flowers. Of course, their lounging area is very relaxing and perfect for a day of basking in the sun.

The Hotel has a very nice souvenir shop with all kinds of woodcarvings and necklaces. I also discovered that sometimes you can get very good deals if you buy at their shop as opposed to from the various vendors/artists that are found in town.

Fax and Internet in reception area
Laundry services
Car rental
Moped rental
Mountain bike rental
Horse rental
Scuba diving tours

Looking for new restaurants outside our hotel was also one of my favorite things to do. We found several island restaurants, which were amazing.

Wonderful food! The owner’s sister (sorry I can’t remember her name) was so wonderful to us. Not only did they prepare delicious entrees, but they were so friendly and even gave us desert (coconut ice cream) for free.

I ordered the Atun a la plancha (Fried Tuna Fish) with French fries and a mixed salad. Everything was prepared to perfection. This restaurant is located in the Avenue Te Pito O Te Henua, located right next to a small boat dock of fisherman. The restaurant is very clean and nicely decorated. Prices are not excessive and the service was superior.

This restaurant was so beautiful and the food was heavenly. We had fish again, accompanied with rice, potatoes and a fresh salad. This time we ordered a beer and sat with a view overlooking the ocean. It was quite a treat! This restaurant was family owned and operated.

I would recommend against the French Restaurant. They even charge for the water you drink. The restaurant was beautiful, but the food was only OK and really expensive. This restaurant is located by the boat dock in the Village of Hanga Roa.

Another restaurant worth visiting is called, Tavere du Percheur. They offer International food plus seafood. They are located by the boat dock in the Village of Hanga Roa.

Also, I can’t forget to mention the restaurant Ariki Ote Pana, where they also offer vegetarian food.

Do not forget to bring plenty film for your cameras or extra memory cards for your digital camera! I only brought one memory card for my digital camera and was very disappointed to not encounter one on the island. Taking pictures is a must in this paradise! Bring an extra camera, film and extra batteries. You will need durable walking shoes for hot weather (tennis shoes / sandals), any hat / Safari hat and plenty of sunscreen, bring lots of shorts and cool shirts, bring at least 2 bathing suits, at least two beach towels (or you can also buy them in town) and last but not least, be sure to bring bottled water on all your excursions.

If you participate in the contest of the Tapati (this takes place in February) arrive early to get your body painted or to collect the skirts, because if you get there late they run out of them.

Take snacks; bring a windbreaker with a hat and a plastic bag to cover your camera (it sometimes starts to rain unexpectedly). Bring plenty of extra cash, should you decide to buy souvenirs or art from the wide variety of woodcarvings and handcrafted jewelry.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE ISLAND IS DURING THE TAPATI OF RAPA NUI FESTIVAL. This is a festival honoring the Polynesian cultural heritage of the Island. During the first two weeks in February, you can enjoy the traditional dancing, sporting events, canoe races, a horse race, fishing tournament, handicraft and agricultural exhibitions, statue carving contest, shell necklace competition, body painting contest, mock battles, feasts, all leading up to the election of Queen Tapati Rapa Nui.

A most unique triathlon at Rano Raraku involves male contestants in body paint who paddle a tiny totora craft across the lake, pick up bunches of bananas on poles and run around the crater and up the hill where they grab big bundles of branches to carry down and around the lake before a final swim across.

There is also Haka Pei, which involves young men sliding down a grassy mountainside on banana-tree trunk sleds at great speeds.

The final day holds the most excitement! This is the part of Tapati when “you” can participate by choosing one of the two running Queens and dress up with their traditional garment or just get body painted and cover yourself with a few leaves. It is a unique experience and a lot of fun! Once the contest for Queen is over, you can jump in the ocean by the boat docks, which is where all the celebration ends.

All flights immediately before and after the Festival are fully booked far in advance. You will want to get your trip booked early.

You can find two spots on the island to go out for some drinks and/or dancing: Piditi, located on Avenue Hotu Matua’s or Toroko, located on Avenue Policarpo Toro. Both spots have no address, however, if you ask any of the locals or the Hotel staff, they will point you in the right direction.

When we visited, both venues were crowded and had their visitors dancing all night long! Typically, Club Piditi and Club Toroko open at 11:00PM and close at 6:00AM. Be prepared for a lot of dancing in tight quarters if you visit the small Club Piditi. Club Toroko is where you can also go for music and dancing, but it is a more mellow atmosphere.

At the Hotel Hanga Roa, ask to see the famous group Kari Kari. They offer typical dances of the Island such as the Ho Ko and Sau Sau and all kinds of Polynesian dances. While performing they are dressed in typical Polynesian attire, the females adorned with flowers from the island. This group was outstanding in that it showed in a sincere and truthful way, the historic and cultural legacy of its people through dance and music … beautiful live music.

There is so much to see on the island that I recommend buying the tour packages offered by the hotel. For example, there is an open archeological museum and if you visit by yourself you will miss all the information that is behind this mysterious place. It helps when you have a tour guide to explain the story behind the mystery.

We contracted the basic tour with Aku Aku Tourist Agency and further in our trip decided to add more excursions to allow us the opportunity to see everything. On each excursion, Aku Aku Tourist Buses drive you around in air conditioning from location to location. The buses are accompanied by a travel guide who can speak both English and Spanish. Also, when you are out on an all day excursion, the day will be ended with a delicious meal provided by Aku Aku. The entire tour process from being transported in the buses to our destination, to the in depth descriptions of the landmarks we visited, to the food served ... the entire process was orchestrated beautifully and professionally. Aku Aku really made our visit a memorable one.

Half-day Excursion - visit the archeological complex of Tahai, Rano Kau Volcano and the Ceremonial City of Orongo. I suggest bringing bottled water and a good hat for sun protection to all your excursions.

TAHAI is close to the city of Hanga Roa and consists of a ceremonial altar at the edge of the sea. In fact in here you can see the only Moai (statue) on the island that has eyes still in place. This area is so beautiful with two other platforms or Ahu’s. Also you can see a house boat in which the structure is made out of stone. You also encounter an area where the islanders used to cook their food. To the side of the Ahi Vai Uri you can find the resting place of the anthropologist William Malloy. You can swim if you like between the Ahus; just remember to bring special shoes so you don’t slide on the rocks.

RANO KAO - This spectacular volcano is breathtaking. It’s amazing just getting to the top of the volcano, but the view at the top is gorgeous. The colorful crater gives you the opportunity to take beautiful and unique pictures of the 250-meter cliffs drop into the sea from the ridge. Make sure you are an experienced hiker if you want to walk around the crater. This is really dangerous to do on your own.

ORONGO – The trip to Orongo entails an hour bus ride with some dirt roads. Be ready to bounce around a bit, but it’s worth the prize you will see at the end!.. Here is where the tradition of the warrior and the manutara Bird developed: once a year, everyone would gather at the cliffs at the southernmost tip of the Island and a champion from each clan would take part in a race to clamber down to the sea, swim across to one of three tine offshore islets and return with the egg of the bird Manutara. The chief of the winning clan became supreme chief of the island for the year. There are nothing but beautiful hills located in the south east of the Volcano Ranu Kau. You can see petrogliphics and the small houses made with nothing but small stones with small entrances on the ground. The view is unbelievable. You look off the cliff and see nothing but the Pacific Ocean for miles and miles in the distance.

Next day we visited the temples of Vaihu, Akahanga, Tongariki, Te pito Kura, Nau Nau , the cave of Rano Raraku and ended at the beautiful beach of Anakena.

Anakena Beach is one of the most beautiful places on the North side of the Island. You can see the famous statues of Easter Island (Moai) and you can also go for a swim and picnic under the palm trees. Here you will also find people who sell fresh pineapples that are simply delicious.
If you decide to go to Anakena Beach via taxi ride you should pay around US$12 to US$10 for the 20 KM drive. You can arrange with your taxi driver that they drop you off at Anakena Beach at a determined time and then pick you up and return you to the hotel.

Half day of excursion: Ahu Vinapu, Cave of Puna Puna, Ahu Akivi and the caverns of Te Pahu.

After your excursions, you are free to do whatever you want. We decided that we wanted go in a boat to see the area of Orongo. We couldn’t find anyone to take us until finally a fisherman said he would. It was thrilling and scary at the same time. I was pretending that everything was cool but OH-MY-GOODNESS we could have drowned in the middle of the ocean since we were in nothing but a little boat with a fisherman we had just met. He was giving us a tour of the caves. It was an unforgettable time and for sure! I recommend to everyone that they try this. It was definitely worth it!

Day seven was our final day on the Island and I was close to tears. I grew to love this paradise away from home. We made friends with Islanders who took us to the airport and waited and cried with us until the our plane departed.

The islanders are amazing, artistic people, that at a very early age are taught how to dance and sing. Many of them create fantastic carvings and handmade jewelry. They are very fascinating, creative and mysterious people.

Easter Island is a place I want to return. I left with more questions than answers. It’s an affordable destination with plenty of great Hotels such as the Manutara , with a good climate, hospitable-local people , and grand volcanic scenery. It is one of the world’s most enigmatic places where you can simply sit and watch the sunset over giant stone figures and wonder what really went on here years and years ago...
YES! Hotel Manutara, Easter Island is the where I want to go back. My experience on the Island was also greatly influenced (positively) due to the wonderful staff I met at Hotel Manutara. They were very helpful and always had useful information pertaining to the various activities that go on throughout the island. “LORANA KORUA” (hello and goodbye) all!

  • Stayed: February 2003
    • Value
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102  Thank glowluz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
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Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank Barbara A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Las habitaciones en general son todas buenas, pero las que dan hacia la piscina podrían tener algo más de ruido.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Radon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: si quiere ir un poco mas lejos del pueblo y no avenida principal es buena opcion
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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1  Thank Lochlima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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