The concept of boutique hotel emerged, in the late 80s in New York, as an alternative to large hotel chains aimed at mass tourism. Then, some owners chose to offer more personalized attention to their clients in a more intimate, quiet and sophisticated urban space.
The new approach proved to be a success. After all, who does not like to stay and be pampered in a warm, comfortable and stylish environment? Three decades later, the idea has spread successfully throughout the world and has also been adapted to more rural and close to nature environments.
In Easter Island there are practically no hotels of large chains because the land can only belong to people of the Rapanui ethnic group. This protection of the insular property has avoided the excesses that have occurred in other tourist poles of the planet and has favored the development of small accommodations more in line with the environment.
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This is how the many cabins run by local families emerged, which currently represent the most popular type of accommodation in Rapa Nui. As most are managed by the owners, they have always distinguished themselves in offering a close and familiar service while retaining their rustic and traditional character.
However, the gradual growth of increasingly cosmopolitan and demanding travelers is forcing the modernization and updating of the island’s tourist services. Thus, in recent years, some establishments have emerged that may be considered the first boutique hotels on Easter Island. Perhaps, not so much for having a sophisticated, modern or cool design but for the fact that they are accommodations that combine a magnificent location with exquisite and personal attention to its small number of guests.
Below we present a small selection of accommodations with “boutique character” that we hope meet the expectations of travelers looking for beauty, comfort and good service in one of the most remote islands in the world.
La Pérouse Boutique Hotel
The small La Pérouse boutique hotel, whose name recalls the French count and navigator who visited the island in 1786, was one of the first accommodations that brought a fresh and different air to the island. Its privileged beachfront location on the coastal edge of Hanga Roa, its proximity to several restaurants and its casual style Mediterranean, an influence of its owner, make it a popular place for tourists.
The main house is a one-story building that brings together the reception, common areas, a terrace to relax and three suites with small terraces overlooking the garden. It also has two bungalows overlooking the sea. In 2019 it has increased its space with three spacious bungalows located a few meters from the Tadeo-Lili Foundation.
Its guests love its magnificent breakfast, which can be taken while watching the sea, 300-thread cotton sheets, carefully decorated, useful and functional details such as rain ponchos or beach towels, but especially the exquisite attention and kindness of their managers.
Hare Nua Boutique Hotel
Hare Nua Hotel Boutique is a small 20-room hotel opened in 2017 and located in Atamu Tekena, the main street of Hanga Roa. Its name, which in Rapanui language means “grandmother’s house“, refers to the old family house built in 1960, which preserves the structure and its beautiful garden.
Hare Nua is the personal project of Hotuiti Teao, of Rapanui origin, and Francisca Ayala, a quite popular couple in Chile for their work in television, who decided to change their life in Santiago for the tranquility of Rapa Nui. The effort, dedication and careful attention to the details they give each day have achieved the unanimous recognition of its visitors in the still short trajectory of the hotel, which is known in Chile as the “Hotuiti hotel on Easter Island”.
The accommodation offers a wide range of services to entertain its customers. Their breakfasts with organic, homemade and healthy products prepared every day by the chef are spectacular. Its beautiful garden, with tipanie trees, has a small pool and a rustic style hot tub, perfect for relaxing after a day of excursion. And if that were not enough, they also have available a varied massage service with polynesic oils.
There is no other place in all of Rapa Nui to sleep closer to a moai statue than the Takarua Lodge. Being able to contemplate the Ahu Ko Te Riku, the only complete moai on Easter Island in Tahai from the window of the room is an unbeatable experience. Do not forget that Tahai is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Rapa Nui.
But that is only one of the reasons why this small establishment has already become a favorite of tourists, despite its recent opening in 2018. The Takarua Lodge is a small and quiet place, ideal for couples, with only 8 spacious and comfortable rooms equipped with air conditioning, minibar, private bathroom, kettle with tea and coffee and a nice terrace overlooking the garden. We advise to reserve room No. 1 if available, since the perspective is broader.
Guests especially appreciate the attention of the staff always willing to help, and its rich and complete continental breakfast that is served directly in the room, and if the weather is nice they invite you to enjoy it on the terrace. A perfect complement to squeeze everything that the place offers is the nearby Te Moai Sunset restaurant, which in addition to unbeatable views offers an excellent menu with dishes that mix local ingredients and preparations with others of Peruvian and international inspiration. Could you ask for more?
Altiplanico Rapa Nui
The Altiplanico Rapa Nui belongs to a small Chilean hotel chain that also has hotels in Santiago, Cajón del Maipo, San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Natales and whose common denominator is a careful architecture together with an excellent location.
The Altiplánico Rapa Nui hotel is located on the outskirts of Hanga Roa, on an elevated terrain that allows you to have beautiful panoramic views of the coast where the archaeological site of Hanga Kio’e is distinguished. Each room occupies an independent bungalow inspired by the traditional “hare paenga” or boat-houses that inhabited the old Rapanui people. Its bright interior is decorated in a minimalist way as it privileges the entry of natural light and views of the sea.
All rooms are surrounded by lush gardens and have their own terrace. The open-air shower and the position of the bed resting on a cement pedestal are surprising. The hotel also has a small round pool decorated with the eye of a moai, and cozy open spaces ideal for relaxing after a long day knowing the mysteries of the island while watching the sunset.
Formerly known as Hare Noi, in 2019 it has been renamed Hare Uta or Casa de Campo (country house). The hotel is located on the outskirts of Hanga Roa, on the road that leads to Anakena Beach, on an elevated terrain from which you can see a beautiful view of the interior of the island.
The hotel is made up of four rustic-style houses connected by wooden walkways. Each one contains 4 spacious private rooms with bathroom that share a large common space, with living room and kitchen included, which is ideal for socializing with neighbors or for family enjoyment.
In the lower area there is a nice little pool, built with stones, that mimics the natural pools where the islanders bathe. A pleasant place to relax along with the acclaimed Umanga restaurant, located in the center of the property and open to the general public, where the chef serves haute cuisine based on top quality local products.