Easter Island, or Rapa Nui’s promise of a tropical climate, pristine beaches, and ancient polynesian culture has long been a pull for travelers all throughout the world, and the island’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Pacific haven has been voted by TripAdvisor users as one of the top ten island destinations for 2013. Rapa Nui had some stiff competition; the travel site collated feedback from millions of users who had travelled to thousands of islands around the world.
“Isolation has helped preserve the 1,500-year-old mysterious congregation of volcanic rock sculptures (maoi) that’s the island’s biggest claim to fame,” TripAdvisor said on its Traveler’s Choice Awards 2013 page. “After exploring the unique landscape, relax on an uncrowded beach and ponder one of the most mysterious places on Earth.”
One of the latest hotels to open on the island has also received praise. Recently, journalists at Condé Nast Traveler whittled down a list of over 1,000 newly opened hotels to an elite list of 154, and Rapa Nui’s Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa made the cut.
“A modern, eco-friendly version of the Orongo ceremonial village that sits on the edge of the Rano Kau Crater, a few miles away,” Condé Nast writes on its review of the hotel. “Rounded buildings topped with grassy roofs blend into the black and green landscape. Volcanic rock is used throughout, as are native plants and cypress logs. The curvy guest rooms are decorated in earth tones and have clay tubs and stone showers.”
The 79 room hotel has two restaurants that combine international cuisine with indigenous Rapa Nui food, with menus that change daily in accordance with fresh produce available at local markets.
As well as laying back poolside, guests can relax at the Spa Manavai that uses the island’s natural products among its spa therapies.
Rooms range from US$ 460 (CLP 217,500) to US$ 760 (CLP 356,500) per person per night. For more information visit the hotel’s website.