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Vieques + Culebra Hotels

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Casa de Amistad
27 Calle Benitez Castaño
Isabel Segunda , Vieques
Puerto Rico
Tel: 787 741 3758
viequesamistad@aol.com
www.casadeamistad.com

Shades of mango and persimmon put you in a tropical mood at Casa de Amistad, a fun and funky seven-room lodging not far from Vieques's ferry terminal. The '60s decor calls to mind a seaside motel, with speckled tile floors, wicker chairs, and walls painted in vibrant citrus hues. Way gay-friendly, the place attracts couples of all combinations, who hang out together at the bamboo-covered tiki honor bar on the ground level, on the rooftop terrace, or beside the tiny palm-shaded pool. There's Wi-Fi (a rarity on the island) for those who can't stay unplugged, and the island's beaches are just a short drive away.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Club Seabourne
Calle Fuldoza, Km. 1.5
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Tel: 787 742 3169
Fax: 787 742 0210
www.clubseabourne.com

Nearly hidden among tropical foliage, this sanctuary of nine butter-yellow cottages sits high on stilts over Culebra's Fuldoza Bay, the better to enjoy views of boats bobbing a half-mile away. The spacious bungalows (the largest has two bedrooms) are done up in plantation style with creamy tile floors, elegant rattan furnishings, and hand-carved queen beds that seem slightly too large for the bedrooms. There's also a main building with three smaller "pool cabanas" (really just guest rooms) that overlook—yes—the lovely palm-shaded swimming pool. American and European families tend to come back year after year to get away from it all (the property is a good distance from anything resembling a town); islanders venture here for the fantastic seafood at the White Sands restaurant or for drinks at the Seashells bar.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hacienda Tamarindo
Carretera 996, Km 4.5
Barrio Puerto Real , Vieques
Puerto Rico
Tel: 787 741 0420
hactam@aol.com
www.haciendatamarindo.com

Hacienda Tamarindo might be one of the last true bargains in the Caribbean. The rambling hilltop hotel is anchored by a centuries-old tamarind tree, whose trunk comes up through the lobby and whose branches shade an alfresco breakfast area. Young, well-traveled types tend to fill the 16 tile-floored rooms, which are upholstered in tropical pastels. Some overlook the Caribbean; others face the lovely swimming pool set among mahogany and coconut trees (where guests can indulge in outdoor massages). Hacienda Tamarindo also manages Casita Linda, a tile-roofed villa with porches on three sides and an outdoor dining area within sight of the island's southern shore. For all guests, the hotel will pack boxed lunches to take to any of the island's beaches, including the nearby Sun Bay Beach.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hix Island House
Carretera 995, Km 1.5
Vieques
Puerto Rico
Tel: 787 741 2302
info@hixislandhouse.com
www.hixislandhouse.com

The architecturally dramatic Hix Island House rises high above the Caribbean in the hills of Vieques. The modernist 13-room concrete compound was designed by Canadian architect John Hix, a devotee of both minimalist design and minimal environmental impact. The solar-powered loftlike apartments, spread among four angular buildings, are surrounded by lush gardens, a yoga pavilion, and a 50-foot pool. Interiors are spare (think wooden platform beds, equipped here with orthopedic foam mattresses), but the La Casita suites are especially spacious at 500 square feet, with private patios and outdoor showers. Hix House lacks a formal restaurant, but each loft comes with a private kitchen, not to mention mouthwatering views over green countryside and the far-off sea. Naturally, it's popular among style-conscious types who know their Mies from their Marc Newson.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Inn on the Blue Horizon
Carretera 996, Km 4.3
Vieques
Puerto Rico
Tel: 787 741 3318
innonblue@aol.com
www.innonthebluehorizon.com

When it first opened in 1996, this plantation-style inn was really just a trio of rooms set in a hilltop villa. Today, owner James Weis has almost single-handedly transformed the Blue Horizon into a stylish, romantic retreat complete with six additional suites and a large casita. Though their details vary, all rooms are decorated in a colorful Mediterranean style, with original art and antiques, four-poster beds, and airy porches. Despite the hotel's small size, it includes a gym, plus a pair of tennis courts that can be booked for an additional fee. The beach is just a short walk away, but honeymooners might be just as happy to lollygag by the big, secluded pool. Views from the lively open-sided bar are particularly lovely at sunset.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Villas on Vieques

The limited number of hotels on Vieques makes private villas a popular option. There are dozens of properties scattered around the island, ranging in size from snug cottages to sprawling mansions. One of the best rental agencies is Rainbow Realty, a gay-owned company that advertises itself as being "straight-friendly." It represents more than 50 different villas, including the Spanish-style Casa Lucia, a two-story hacienda with its own infinity pool. Many of the island's best properties are privately owned, including stunners like The Dacha. Set on a cliff overlooking the sea, the five-bedroom, four-bath house is at once airy and luxurious, with Indian and Indonesian antiques, a circular infinity pool, and a cook/caretaker who knows his way around both a grill and the island itself. Some of the island's hotels also manage separate villas, such as Hacienda Tamarindo's Casita Linda.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island
State Road 200, Km 3.2
Vieques
Puerto Rico 00765
Tel: 787 741 4100
wvieques.reservations@whotels.com
www.wvieques.com

Spread over 30 acres of beachfront property on the north coast, the W Retreat & Spa is a design triumph for the tiny island of Vieques. Spanish-born architect Patricia Urquiola brings an urban edge to the island's boho quirkiness via the common space's poured concrete floors, Technicolor swings, and nautical lamps of crimson rope. The overstuffed furniture in the 157 rooms is designed for lounging (even standard rooms have circular sofas-for-two that can double as a bed), as are the massive steel bathtubs. Outside, there's a bi-level infinity pool surrounded by hammocks, two secluded beaches, and a fire pit perched on a cliff above the ocean. Other amenities include the island's best restaurant, miX by Alain Ducasse; seaside yoga; tennis courts; a gym; a spa; and an activity center with bikes, snorkeling gear, and kayaks. The hotel often holds cultural events, such as unplugged sets by famous musicians and artists-in-residence, which attract a diverse crowd of arty jet-setter types. But the vibe is always playful and relaxed.—Colleen Clark

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.