Explora en Rapa Nui, Easter Island
Tel: 866 750 6699
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Co-owned by Explora and the prominent islander whose name it bears, Explora en Rapa Nui is unquestionably the swishest place on this volcanic island marooned some 2,300 miles west of Chile, and as with Explora's other properties, the building itself is the real star: Its black- and blond-wood exterior follows the folds of the earth, a repeated oval motif riffing on traditional islander design. Picture windows dominate the 30 ample rooms, which are pleasingly clad in unfinished wood and shocking splashes of lime. Located three miles from Hanga Roa, the only town, the hotel fronts a broad vista of feisty Pacific surf and uninhabited grassland that rises to impressive volcanic cones, while the nearest of the island's 887 mysterious moai rock sculptures are within walking distance. Explora insists guests stay at least three days, but the time zips effortlessly by in the company of garrulous islander staff and twice-daily walks to jagged cliffs, labyrinthine caves, yawning craters, and sandy coves, passing enough moai to last most guests a lifetime.2008 Hot List
When to go: Avoid May, the island's wettest month.
Which room to book: Nos. 9 and 31 give extra wiggle room at no extra cost.