A Bucket List Resort: Staying on Easter Island

  • 01 of 05

    An Eco-Resort on Easter Island

    A speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is on the bucket list of many an intrepid traveler. The first decision that needs to be made when deciding on a trip here is where to stay. The Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa is one of the only five start properties on the island.


    What we love about Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa:

    • The location. While there are many good attributes of this resort, the single biggest factor, in my mind, for staying here is the fact that the property sits steps away from the Pacific Ocean. This means that the sunrise, sunset, all outdoor meals, pool time and even just reading in your bed offers amazing views of the waves crashing against the craggy black volcanic coastline.

    • Sunset views. Grab a bottle of wine, sit on the volcanic rocks steps away from the hotel and watch the surf crash against land as the sky becomes a light show in various shades of pink, purple and orange.

    • There’s a coffee machine in every room and I loved drinking my cappuccino while sitting on my terrace and watching the day begin to come alive.  

    • This might be one of the best settings for a pool. There are volcanoes to the right, the ocean to the left and palm trees everywhere else.

    • The hot stone massage performed by Francesca, the masseuse. She’s the best; take my word for it.

    • The cheese and charcuterie platter at the Kaloa restaurant which consisted of brie, prosciutto, goat cheese and a variety of other great nibbles. I could dine on that platter daily.

    • There are no TVs in the room (the scenery is too gorgeous to watch a screen) but there is good, strong, free WIFI throughout the property, so you’re able to post all your great photos to Facebook.



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  • 02 of 05

    The Rooms at Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa

    The five-star resort is at once luxurious and yet sensitive to the environment. The grass-covered roof and the rounded slate-colored rooms blends beautifully with the landscape. The resort was designed to pay homage to the ancient village of Orongo, which can be visited on top of the Rano Kau volcano, on the western part of the island. Local materials were used in the creation of the hotel and the reception area was designed after the ancient “boat house” style of architecture which resembles an upside down boat.

    Each room contains:

    • A king or two twin beds

    • A sofa bed

    • A private terrace with two chairs and a table (perfect for morning coffee and happy hour drinks). All terraces overlook the Pacific Ocean.

    • A hand-carved bathtub made out of clay; it’s a beautiful design piece onto itself. Each tub takes two weeks to create and I loved every moment I spent soaking in it.

    • A double vanity with plenty of counter space

    • A separate shower

    • A mini bar which is restocked daily (the first round of drinks is complimentary, which I certainly appreciated. Especially the local beer.)

    • A coffee machine that can make expresso, cappuccino, or regular coffee.

    • A large closet with ample room to hang up clothes, drawers for folded material, a safe.


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  • 03 of 05

    The Spa

    Pool and Spa at Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa

    Every spa has their secret; here her name is Francesca. As someone who has traveled the world and had many, many massages, I can honestly say that Francesca is in a league of her own. Whether it’s melting the muscles with hot stone, kneading the knots with a deep-tissue or focusing on sore sports with a Swedish, Francesca is all business and you’ll be sad (or, in my case, devastated), as soon as she rings the bell signally the end of the treatment. She’s that good.

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  • 04 of 05

    Why Go to Easter Island?

    For adventure travelers, it’s on the short list of must-visit destinations. Perhaps because getting here requires some patience and persistence (LAN airlines flies from New York to Santiago, 10.5 hours and then on to Easter Island, another 6 hours), the island sees only about 50,000 visitors a year (which is 10 times the population of the island). Easter Island geographically sits in Polynesia, 2,200 miles off the Coast of Chile, of which it is a part. Basically, the island is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, isolated in all its glory.

    So what makes this hard-to-reach island, so worth the visit? In part, it’s the exclusivity: it’s one the least-visited archeological sites in the world. Its isolated status has helped preserve the Maoi statues, and Starbucks and McDonalds are nowhere to be seen. Beach-front property is given to parks, playgrounds, mom and pop restaurants and dive shops. And while tourism is essential economically to this island, touristy the island is not.

    Instead, the focus is on nature, outdoor beauty, adventure activities like hiking, biking and diving. The island’s mysterious, historic, massive stone statues dominate the topography and make a stay here both mystical and magical. Carved by hand between the 13th  and 16th centuries, the moai statues are made from solid basalt and dot the coastline and interior of this volcanic island. The more than 800 moai are the reason people come from all over the world. 

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  • 05 of 05

    What To Do on Easter Island:

    If you enjoy spending time outdoors, this is the place to be. The three volcanoes on the island make for wonderful hiking opportunities. In addition to the rugged, craggy coastline (lively foamed-top crystal blue waves crash against the volcanic rock making it a sensory overload for sight and sound), hiking trails often lead past the moai, their large oversize faces and bodies guarding the island. Surfing here is also some of the best in the world, with epic waves (in both size and difficulty). Due to the water’s clarity, diving here is also a top activity. Of course, at the center of it all—and the overriding reason to come, is to see the moai statues. Reaching over 13 feet in height and weighting over 14 tons, these statues spark the imagination: why were they created and how were they moved to their final resting places around the island? For those visiting today, the first stop is often the quarry, where almost all of the moai were carved and created and then moved across the island. There are still a good 400 moai status in the quarry today, in various states (some crumbling, some looking miraculously perfect).

    Day tours—biking, hiking, visiting the moai at sunrise, can all be arranged. The hotel has a partnership with Mahinatur, a local ground operator with extensive experience arranging day trips on the island.