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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

See a More Stylish Side of Vieques

Its natural beauty and low-key atmosphere are still intact, but the island’s luxury factor has risen with a new swath of high-end hotels and more-refined dining options.


1. Where to Stay

The rooms at the W Retreat & Spa are housed in small buildings scattered throughout the property.  

Relax on 30 hilly waterfront acres at the year-old W Retreat & Spa (from $389), the brand’s first Caribbean outpost and the island's only full-service resort. Admire the handiwork of Spanish design star Patricia Urquiola, who outfitted all 157 rooms with laser-cut screens, painted-steel bathtubs, and polished cement floors. Stay on the grounds for dinner at Alain Ducasse’s Mix on the Beach, which showcases Gallic cuisine influenced by Latin flavors.

Book Vieques Rentals’ new three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa ($4,000 per week) designed by John Hix to enjoy the same concrete-chic cool found at the architect's ever-popular Hix Island House, only with a greater degree of privacy. With a queen bed in every room, the ecofriendly dwelling comfortably accommodates six people, and the trade winds keep the house cool in the absence of air conditioning. Ask the owners to arrange a cocktail party with a catering company on the breezy rooftop deck, which overlooks a placid marsh and offers views of the island’s landscape.

Get cozy in Malecón House (from $159), a ten-room B&B that opened last year on the seafront promenade in the town of Esperanza. Owners Marsha and Robin Shepherd formerly ran a string of upscale properties on St. Barts, and here they’ve converted a private home into a clean-lined, whitewashed abode where each room overlooks the water or the plant-filled garden. Playa Esperanza and Playa Negrita, some of the island’s best beaches, are a short walk away.

Published on Mar 17, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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