I wish I had seen the two other reviews already posted on this hotel before arriving at Easter Island! I booked the Vai Moana based on the reviews in the latest Lonely Planet "Chile & Easter Island" guidebook (2006), and it was not at all the slice of heaven it is described to be in the book! You should definitely prevent some headaches by staying somewhere else!!!!!!
I found the actual facilities to be nice enough - clean, quiet, perfectly decent looking if not spectacular (didn't see any ocean view from there). In fact, I did not even encounter the rude manager the other two wrote about. However, it consistently proved to be a source of frustration over the two days I had to explore the island and actually prevented me from seeing/doing more while I was there because of the hassle. Plus it's a bit far from the center of action. It is only a 10 minute walk - not a big deal - but even the locals were commenting about how hot it was when I was there, so if felt longer.
For starters, their web site stated that they would provide transfers to and from the airport. I told them that I didn't need this service because I was going to arrive by ship. They said they'd meet me at the "cove" where I would arrive. They didn't, but that's fine because there wasn't enough room for everyone in the first few boats that ferried us back and forth so they left w/o me. I took a cab - no big deal. However, a friend who also arrived by ship and made it to the hotel not long after I did arrived to find that they had given his room away (by about 1 or 2 pm - not exactly late check-in). It's not clear whether they had ever inquired as to his mode of transport (travel agent didn't specify, but would have told them he wasn't flying had they ASKED). They didn't ask about my flight info either, but I made a point to email them about my alternate transportation, having seen that they provided airport transfers on their web site. Long and the short of this is that I ended up having to sit around waiting for them to find him another place in town (even further outside of the action) before we could start exploring. The arrangements they made for him were odd at best. There were other delays to my exploration of the island associated with Vai Moana's nonsense - maybe my friend will write a review too.
My biggest issue I had with this hotel was with the way they overcharged me for my stay, as also described by the Chilean resident who reviewed this hotel in 2006. Not only did they charge me 25% more than the advertised room rate ($90/night for a superior single these days) for paying in Chilean pesos (the official currency of the country, no?), but they ALSO charged a 6% for using a credit card. A previous reviewer said something about bank fees to make a currency conversion - but here's the thing: they were charging me in their own currency, so why did they have to charge me any commission at all. The bank card takes care of that (at a legitimate rate of 1%). The effective exchange rate they used to convert the advertised rate of $90/night was 600 pesos/USD when banks were currently giving about 480! I have spent the last few days emailing with the hotel about this, but they were singularly unapologetic, unhelpful, and unwilling to refund any of the money I was essentially robbed of. If I had more time, I would dispute the charges with the credit card company, but I figured I could at least prevent other travelers from being duped by them. I will be emailing Lonely Planet as well!
People from our ship who stayed at the Manavai and Hotel Gomero were happier. I didn't see either hotel myself, but I would try them first.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC