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Green & Chic ~ Posada de Mike Rapu, Easter Island, Chile

October 7, 2009

By Dian Hasan | October 7, 2009

Posada de Mike Rapu, Easter Island. Photo: Michael Calderwood for Arhitectural DigestExplora started life as Chile’s leading adventure tour operator, taking world travelers to witness her majestic – and diverse – landscapes that are distinctively different. Atacama Desert in the north and the world-famous Patagonia in the south that leads to the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego.

Evolving into hotels was a natural progression for Explora. And it opened its first – Hotel Salto Chico in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, in 1993. Following its success, Hotel de Larache opened five years later in the Atacama Desert, and in December 2007 the newest hotel, Posada de Mike Rapu, opened on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Posada Mike Rapu is Chile’s first LEED-certified property, Chile’s first when it opened.

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One of the many giant Moai stone statues watching over Easter Island. Photo: Michael Calderwood for Architectural Digest

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Nestled in Hanga Roa, the ocean front Mike Rapu features 30-rooms with alfresco Jacuzzis, swimming pools, and locally grown cuisine (along with excellent Chilean wines).

The well designed hotel offers all the latest comfort, and leaving your room may be the last thing you’d opt for. But with Rapa Nui’s intoxicating history, venturing out is a given. Explora has prepared guided “cultural excursions”: offerings include hikes through semitropical forests, bike rides along rugged trails, visits to a nearby volcano, and, of course, a trip to the iconic Moai statues.

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Posada de Mike Rapu is located on a hill in the Te Miro Oone area in the center of the island (27º09’ S and 109º 26’ W), and makes an excellent base for exploring this attractive and mysterious island which is home to a culture whose origins and evolution remain unexplained. Volcanic rock, native to the island and always used by the island’s inhabitants in construction, and wood from the mainland, are the principal materials that have been used to build the hotel. The hotel has 30 guestrooms, a pool, massage salon and open-air Jacuzzis.

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Panorama of Anakena beach, Easter Island. The moai pictured here was the first to be raised back into place upon its ahu in 1955 by islanders using the ancient method.

The Legendary Rapa Nui (Easter Island):
Located 3,700 kilometers (2,237 miles) from the American continent, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by the world’s most transparent waters, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is the cradle of an unusual and enigmatic culture which persists to this day. The language, music and many traditions remain alive amongst the island’s inhabitants. Orongo Village is good place to see this fascinating culture still alive, and there are also cave dwellings to see.

Rapa Nui holds a very special mystery and magic. The great majority of the island is part of the Rapa Nui National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the landscape is akin to an open-air museum with the giant carved stone Moai, a heritage – and mystery – from her Polynesian inhabitants. Much is still being learned about precisely why and how these giant statues were made. There used to be thousands strewn across the island, today there are about 600 Moai left.

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Dining area. Photo: Michael Calderwood for Architectural Digest

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Guest Room with a magnificent view. Photo: Michael Calderwood for Architectural Digest

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