The Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa is one of the two luxury hotel properties located on Easter Island.
We recently stayed at the hotel after they had only been open for a few months since the reopening of Easter island and here’s how the stay went!
The Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa is located in Hanga Roa and sits very close to the coast. Though there is a road that runs along the coast, it’s nice to get out and explore the rocky coastline along Mirador de las Olas and just listen to the waves pounding the shore.
Mataveri Airport is only about a mile away and it’s only about a 10 minute walk to the town’s main street where are you will find lots of markets, restaurants, and shops. So overall, Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa has a great central location.
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We arrived at the beautiful lobby area ready for check-in in the early afternoon.
The check-in experience what is a little bit rough.
My booking through Expedia was not properly showing up for the hotel and so they did not initially offer us the all-inclusive package we had booked (and paid for).
It was about midway through the introduction when I realized we were not getting all-inclusive instructions and we looked into the issue.
I then had to dig through my emails to find reservation codes and wait for the situation to be resolved.
So it took a while to get that straightened out but then I ended up finding out that we each had two excursions per day that were part of our package.
Expedia didn’t mention anything about these so these were a surprise which meant we had to do some replanning in a hurry so that we could take advantage of them. It ended up mostly working out but I really wish I would have known about these when we were planning our trip!
And that brings me to my only real complaint about the hotel.
I tried to initiate communication via email a couple of months before our stay and also called Nayara but could not get a response or get through. This led to a communication breakdown so that the staff was waiting for us at the airport even though we had already been on the island for several days.
Once we got all of the confusion cleared up, the staff was tremendous and really did whatever they could to help us out throughout our stay so I don’t have any complaints about the service.
I also understand that they had been closed for a while and had only opened up a few months before we visited so they were still working out some of the kinks most likely.
Our room had two twin beds with an ocean view which initially I thought would be somewhat of a disaster because I had not slept on a twin bed in forever.
But these appeared to be larger twin beds and each of us had plenty of room so it wasn’t hard to get comfortable.
There was a comfortable sofa across from the bed with some interesting driftwood art above it. I also thought that the re-utilized cypress trees in the room and throughout the hotel were an interesting feature they gave the property a unique feel.
A small desk was built into the corner of the room.
One of the first things I noticed about the room was the portable AC unit. Apparently, they like to bring this in for Americans who are more accustomed to colder rooms.
This was absolutely perfect for us.
We had just spent four nights in a lodge with no AC and no fan which was a bit of a struggle at night considering we were visiting during the hottest time of the year. But temperature was never an issue in this room thankfully!
The bathroom is divided by some blinds which add an interesting feel to the room. Just next to the blinds you’ll find the beautiful black soaking tub, which was made from artisanal clay.
I also thought the sink, crafted from volcanic stone, was unique along with the entire counter set up and leaf shaped mirror. You definitely don’t feel like you are in an ordinary hotel room when you stay here, which is one of the draws.
They had an interesting shower which was very spacious. It had this cool little port hole that looked out to the ocean view, which was another unique touch to the room.
The hotel provided plenty of quality shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
The toilet was a private room with a thick door and walls for good privacy.
Inside the closet there was a small mini fridge with complementary beverages for us since we did have the all-inclusive package. These beverages included water, soda, and beer. We were able to swap out still water for sparkling water, as that is all we really drank.
The room had a spacious patio with a couple of chairs and a view of the ocean. The only drawback is that the view has a road running through it so you do have to deal with occasional traffic driving by. But the patio still did feel pretty private and gave us some decent sunrise views.
Overall, whenever you are dealing with a high price tag you have pretty high expectations for your room.
I did feel like the price tag was not totally in line with the quality of the room but there are a couple of things to say about that.
For one, I noticed the price was lower for different dates after our stay so it looks like you could book this hotel for around $500 per night which is a couple hundred less than what we paid. That price seems more in line with the experience.
Also, it’s admittedly difficult to compare a hotel like this to others because Easter Island is such a different and remote place. Hard to compare apples to guava.
Still, I did think the room was pretty beautiful.
The premises of the hotel or also very well-kept. You’ll find shaded pathways which give you a nice respite from the heat. Everything is pretty close by so it’s not hard to get to the restaurants or the spa.
You’ll also appreciate how the architecture blends in with the natural environment of the island. The hotel’s architecture was inspired by Orongo, the ancient village found atop the Rano Kau
volcano crater and it’s not hard to see the resemblance in the shapes and composition of the buildings.
Our room did come with complementary Wi-Fi which did not work very well.
Some places on Easter Island have Starlink which provides an amazing high-speed connection. Indeed, the first lodge we stayed at had Starlink.
But otherwise, your internet connection may be dreadfully slow.
It was barely tolerable to do anything on my apps or social media and I did not even attempt to stream anything.
So if you were planning on getting work done or any kind of video calls or streaming with the hotel’s internet connection, you may need to rethink that. Hopefully, they can upgrade soon.
The Vaitea Pool
The hotel boasts what appears to be the best pool area on Easter island. The Vaitea Pool is a pretty large area that is just across the street from the ocean. Perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day.
You’ll find some lounge chairs to relax on along with a few shaded spots (although they could probably use a couple more). If you need to shower off have several outdoor showers.
There’s even a moai overlooking the pool which I believe is an actual moai?
Whether you go with the all inclusive package or you just want to book excursions through the hotel, the hotel has a great staff to help you out.
I really liked the excursion area of the lobby with a huge map on the wall that helps you plan out your outings. The staff member helping us out was also very knowledgeable about the different excursions which can include things like:
- Tours of the archaeological sites
- Exploring the caves
- SCUBA or snorkeling
Basically, if an activity is offered on the island you can probably book an excursion for it with the hotel.
We chose scuba diving and an excursion to the caves.
We were put with a great tour guide who took us to one of the caves and it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip to Easter Island!
Some of the English speaking guides may not always be the best guides, so it was very refreshing to get placed with such an amazing guide during our stay.
I really liked how they arranged shuttle transportation and everything is taken care of.
You could stay here and not have to rent a car and still be able to get around to various sites which is a major advantage of staying here.
For one of our excursions we also each chose a spa treatment at the Manavai Spa.
I went with a full body 60-minute massage with geranium rozanne oil and experienced one of the best massages I’ve had. I’m not a huge spa person and I’ve only had probably six or seven massages but I feel like she really knew what she was doing in there — so relaxing!
Unfortunately, Brad did not have the best spa experience.
He doesn’t speak as much Spanish as I do though so sometimes things like this don’t go over as well for him because he can’t fully voice his preferences. I think some things got lost in translation.
The hotel has a small gym that is still relatively equipped with cardio equipment and a couple of machines. They also have three showers in the gym.
Interestingly, they only allow two people at a time inside the gym.
Make sure you don’t miss the hidden hot tub!
We really wanted to take advantage of our all-inclusive dining so we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hotel during the two nights/three days of our stay.
During the first night, dinner was a little bit hectic.
That’s because one of the private National Geographic excursions (where you pay 100 grand to travel the world in a private jet) was staying at our property during the first night.
This meant that there were a lot of guests and the staff was pretty overwhelmed. National Geographic also rented out the restaurant so we were forced to eat dinner in the Vaikoa Bar. It was a nice area with good views, so I can’t complain too much.
But when you are a paying guest at an expensive hotel and told you can’t access the restaurant, there’s a certain level of distaste that accompanies that decision.
Still, we were able to watch the special dance show they put on for National Geographic (from a distance) so it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
The good news is that after that dinner we were able to experience the Poerava Restaurant on the other days.
I actually think there may be a third restaurant or dining area (Kaloa Restaurant) that was not open during our stay, so it’s possible that if you visit there could be an additional dining spot.
As for the food quality, overall I enjoyed it but it needed a little bit of improvement. The biggest issue was just that some of the protein was not cooked to standard and the tuna had a substantial amount of tissue in it.
But there were several dishes that we did enjoy.
Before each dinner, we ordered a salad, usually a shrimp or chicken Caesar salad which was delightful.
I will say that for lunch we went with a pizza which was an amazing choice. They have to have one of the best pizzas on the island!
In addition, I absolutely loved all of the desserts. We had an amazing chocolate mousse along with a trifecta of ice cream perfection. I feel like you couldn’t go wrong with any sweet here!
Also, as you can probably tell the food had amazing presentation. You’ll definitely feel like you are enjoying fine dining when your plate is delivered.
Breakfast consisted of a pretty extensive buffet. You had a lot of the basic breakfast food items like a variety of fruits, cereals, pastries, sweets, and pieces of crepes and waffles. You can also request for an omelete to be made.
Each morning, I was able to put together a pretty solid breakfast. However, in terms of the quality, I did expect a littler more for the price point. Perhaps some more quality protein would’ve been nice? full-sized crepes? Just felt like it was missing something.
Then there was the service during our dining.
The service really was great throughout all of our meals. They were friendly, attentive, and always a pleasure to deal with.
Whether you are eating around sunset or sunrise, you can opt for a seat by one of the large glass doors or windows or just simply eat outside. It’s a nice vibe.
Overall, the hotel stay did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. I have to cut the hotel some slack though because I know they were still just getting back on their feet after being closed for so long.
The entire stay did feel a bit overpriced but it looks like you can take advantage of lower rates at different times of the year so in those cases I think the experience would be more in line with the price.
With that said, it is a beautiful property and being able to experience some luxury while on Easter Island is special in its own right.
The biggest thing that stood out during the stay was the service.
I truly appreciated how the hotel helped us handle some of our random requests including things like managing our rental car, contacting other properties, etc. That’s always a mark of a quality hotel.
I also really loved the excursion system they have with a huge map area for planning and of course the quality guides.
I think that if you consider the rental car savings and you go with an all inclusive package that includes excursions, there’s a good value opportunity there (and big convenience).
And if you decide to not head out to explore anything, you can always stay back for a nice spa treatment!
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.