Posada de Mike Rapu, Explora Rapa Nui
Explora’s LEED-certified lodge, which opened in 2007, offers accomodations worthy of its legendary (and legendarily remote) setting 3,700 miles off Chile's coast. Built to blend into the arid, rocky landscape, the Posada uses pine wood, local stone, and a cylindrical glass-heavy design endowing all 30 suites have enormous windows with broad views of the Pacific (good thing, because there are no TVs.) The property is paradise for active travelers: each morning, guests choose from a menu of excursions, including volcano treks, horseback rides along the coast (bring a picnic lunch!), and scuba dives. Explora has wisely hired almost all locals, and it's a treat to examine the moai—those giant basalt statues—up close as your guide explains their story the way his ancestors told it to him. At night, dinners of just-caught kana kana fish, island-grown vegetables, and South American wine are enjoyed on the restaurant's expansive terrace.