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Saturday, 5 October 2013

the art of hospitality ~ welcome

Our deck at the Hare Noi Resort on Easter Island.

You pull up to the Hare Noi Resort on Easter Island, and are welcomed by one or more of the staff with a lei of fresh flowers for each traveller. A treat awaits you to refresh you after the five hour flight from Santiago -- strawberry juice, fresh-caught local tuna lightly seared with some kind of crispy crust, and chips made from local purple sweet potatoes. 

(Fresh and local, you soon realize, is kind of a theme.)

Manager Joanna Faulkner explains the name and the philosophy of the property: “hare noi” means “our house”. You are welcomed as if into her home. And you are encouraged to get to know the other guests while you are there.

As it turns out, this is not hard. The private rooms are arranged in small clusters around common living areas and kitchens. They are surrounded by decks and linked by boardwalks, with inviting and comfortable patio furniture scattered amiably about.  

Indoors, vaulted ceilings soar above a rustic modern decor -- concrete floors, white walls, and whole eucalyptus trunks rising skyward. (The trees, long dead, were harvested on the island.) A modern grey sectional sofa and colourful, hand-woven pillows invite you in -- a room that is cool, but warm.

In your private room, hand-printed throw pillows depict Easter Island motifs; the images drawn from centuries-old petrogylphs. There are comfortable beds, down duvets, and the softest towels you have ever laid hands on; not to mention a large rock left in-situ when they built the bathroom around it. Joanna says it’s a “love rock.”

The gardener takes you on a tour of the property, letting you sample the fruit that is in season. Explaining the many kinds of bananas, and how they flower. Unable to name some of the flowers for you, because they grow only on Easter Island, and they have no English names. 

That evening, there is a free wine tasting of Chilean wines in the dining room, and live music by local musicians. Joanna’s husband Tito, a local Rapa Nui man, gets you all laughing.

It’s like an upscale summer camp. You relax. You slow down. You top off days of four-wheeling, of scrambling up the sides of volcanoes, of walking on beaches and climbing down into caves, with meals of gourmet local cuisine and cozy fires. You experience a place that is unlike anywhere else you have ever been, or ever likely will be.

And you are welcome.

Strawberry juice and "fish and chips - Easter Island style" on the deck.

Our common area (living room, dining room and kitchen).

Our bedroom. Hand-printed pillows by Chilean artist Josefin Konig.

Our bathroom, with the "love rock" in the foreground.

Hare Noi Resort, Easter Island.

Unnamed flower.

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