Greetings from Vieques, Puerto Rico!
Every fall I need a fashion-free getaway, and this time Vieques — secluded and low-key — fit the bill. My boyfriend Jon and I stayed at the Patricia Urquiola-designed W Vieques and took full advantage of their beaches and the pool. We fell instantly in love with the colorful lobby, with its cool perforated-metal murals and the fun yet laid-back feeling.
The first few days we had lots of rain, so we spent our time in the hotel spa and having drinks in the lobby bar. The first night we had a delicious tasting menu at MiX — the W’s Alain Ducasse restaurant. With my sweet tooth, the roasted mango dessert was perfection.
Speaking of food, I spent the entire trip snacking on “palitos de guayaba” — a guava stick — a slightly sweet cracker that I am now officially obsessed with. I was sure to have dinner one night at Bili in Esperanza, a delicious modern take on Puerto Rican cuisine. The lobster salad was perfect, especially when paired with their sangria. And an afternoon drink at supercasual local hangout Bananas was de rigueur, ’cause sometimes all you need is a pina colada and a burger to get you in the Vieques mood.
We also braved Vieques’ famously bumpy roads for a Jeep tour (the ONLY way to do it is in four-wheel drive) of the former Navy barracks — this was our own real-life “Lost.” And as New Yorkers, we loved seeing the wild horses along the road. Vieques is all about the beaches — braving the bumpy road is worth it when you get to a string of them: Blue Beach, Secret Beach, Red Beach — all secluded and practically empty! Your own island paradise. What’s not to love? A trip into the town of Esperanza and a rum punch at Lazy Jack’s and then it was back to the poolside cabanas for more relaxation with a perfect view of the ocean. Do I have to come back?
Editor’s Note: Designer Peter Som was recently on vacation in Vieques, Puerto Rico.