Concierge.com's insider take:
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
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Designed for the terminally hip, the W is a beach house-style explosion of reclaimed wood, brass, painted steel, and concrete. Intense color pops up here and there in the art, rugs, throw pillows, and playful furniture (like the multicolored wire pods cradling lounge beds for two). The eager-to-please staff provide good service, cheerfully answering the phone with the genie-like phrase "What is your wish?" From your arrival in the resort's dedicated airport lounge, you enter an environment of mixed cocktails, "ambassadors" (butlers lite), and, in the evening, ubiquitous Euro dance music. The 157 rooms, however, promote calm with comfy beds and oversized pillowed armchairs, while clever design detailsa bathtub resembling a big galvanized steel wash tub; wall hooks made from a jumble of doorknobs and drawer pullscrank up the fun factor. There are two lovely beaches: one "adults only" (read: topless) and another just below the restaurant and the bi-level pools. The restaurants Wet and Mix on the Beach (both overseen by star chef Alain Ducasse) serve generally above-average and sometimes outstanding foodthe mofongo with prawns will have you licking your fingers. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: Go for an oceanfront rather than pool-view room to escape the relentless sound track.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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