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Hot List 2008

Explora en Rapa Nui, Easter Island 
$$$$

Te Miro Oone Sector

Easter Island
Chile

Tel: 866 750 6699

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.

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.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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