A romantic getaway doesn’t get any more lovely or secluded than Inn on the Blue Horizon (Calle Flamboyan, west of Esperanza, 787/741-3318 or 787/741-0527, fax 787/741- 0522, innonblue [at] aol [dot] com, www.innonthebluehorizon.com, $160–370 s, plus 9 percent tax). The small 10-room inn perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean hosts many weddings and is geared primarily toward couples. Rooms are exquisitely furnished with poster beds, antiques, and original artwork.
Amenities include a small gym, pool, lighted tennis courts, and an inviting pavilion bar. Rooms have air-conditioning, but no TV or telephone. Carambola restaurant serves upscale Caribbean fusion cuisine, and the Blue Moon Bar and Grill serves breakfast and lunch in a lovely open-air pavilion-style restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Luxury has many different definitions, and Vieques seems to have a unique hotel to match each one. The ultramodern boutique hotel Bravo Beach Hotel (1 N. Shore Rd., Isabel Segunda, 787/741-1128, info [at] bravobeachhotel [dot] com, www.bravobeachhotel.com, $160–215 s/d, $425 villa, plus 9 percent tax; no children under 18 permitted) is a study in glamorous minimalism. Nine rooms and a two-bedroom villa are located in a cluster of small bungalows painted pastel shades of green, blue, and yellow.
Each room is different, but the spacious interiors all feature stark white walls that create a dramatic contrast to the dark mahogany platform beds and modular furnishings made of wood and glass. Some rooms have ocean-view balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. One room has 180-degree windows and a king-size canopy bed. Each room has satellite TV, air-conditioning, a mini-refrigerator, wireless Internet, a DVD player, and a PlayStation. The bathroom is stocked with Aveda bath products, and the beds are made with Italian Frette linens. Although it’s on the ocean, the hotel doesn’t have a swimmable beach. Instead there are two swimming pools, one ocean-side. A poolside bar and lounge serves a limited menu, and the newly opened BBH restaurant serves tapas ranging $8–14 and boasts a large wine selection.
Victorian elegance is the theme at Hacienda Tamarindo (Calle Flamboyan, just west of Esperanza, 787/741-0420, fax 787/741-3215, hactam [at] aol [dot] com, www.haciendatamarindo.com, $125–230 s, $145–245 d, $175–230 suites, $200–270 two-bedroom suites, plus 9 percent tax and 10 percent service charge). Built around a 200-year-old tamarind tree that’s rooted in the lobby and shades the second-floor breakfast room, this beautifully appointed hotel is furnished in a tasteful combination of antique Caribbean and Victorian styles. Folk art, wall murals, and vintage circus posters provide playful touches.
There are 13 rooms and three suites. Each one is different, but they all contain basket-weave furnishings, brightly colored bedspreads, and air-conditioning. Rooms have neither TVs nor telephones, but each one comes with folding chairs, oversize towels, and coolers for the beach or pool. The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant per se, but it does serve a free breakfast, and a box lunch can be prepared for $8.50 per person if requested the night before. There’s also a 24-hour honor bar. No one under age 15 is permitted.
Avant-garde architecture in a thickly wooded setting distinguishes the most unusual hotel in Puerto Rico, The Hix House (Carr. 995, km 1.6, 787/741-2302 or 787/741-2797, info [at] hixislandhouse [dot] com, www.hixislandhouse.com, $195–325 d, plus 9 percent tax and 7 percent service charge). Four unpainted concrete buildings house 13 “lofts,” many with open sides, outdoor showers, and ocean views. Designed by architect John Hix to have as little impact on its 13 acres as possible, the property uses solar energy and recycles used water to replenish the vegetation. There’s no TV or telephone, but the linens are Frette, the pool is spectacular, and each morning the kitchen is stocked with juices, cereal, breads, and coffee. Yoga classes are conducted in the pavilion, and in-room or garden massages are available.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition