Last weekend my dear friend Claudia Frau and me visited the beautiful island of Vieques to attend the Swim & Beach Fashion Week hosted by San Juan Moda at the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island. Vieques Island is 55 square miles and, according to a local we met, has 46 breathtaking beaches. Vieques is located between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas and is 8 miles off the coast of PR.
To get to Vieques, you can either take a ferry from Fajardo or a small plane from Isla Grande or Ceiba. Initially, we were going to take a ferry but considering it was the Fourth of July weekend (and everyone flees to Vieques) we decided to play it safe and take a small plane, which was the best decision we could had made. We took a private plane from Signature Airlines in Isla Grande that only lasted 20 minutes and enjoyed gorgeous coast views of Puerto Rico along the way!
Once we arrived at the airport in Vieques, we were escorted to the fabulous W Airport Lounge that served complimentary tropical drinks (including a rum punch!) and snacks. We checked-in at the reception desk and were told to wait for our Jeep to take us to the hotel.
When we got to the hotel, we walked up to the front desk where we were told to wait a bit for our room to be ready. We decided to walk over to Sorcé and grab lunch and were served by PJ, who went out of his way to get fresh coconut water for Claudia. The ambiance at Sorcé is beautiful and truly tropical, complete with an outdoor cabana-style environment and stunning ocean views with colorful decorations. We ordered chicken quesadillas and dorado ceviche, and it tasted amazing! All the ingredients tasted so fresh and had so much flavor, that we decided to order a second round. When we finished eating, we were taken to our room.
Ricky, a very upbeat and friendly staff member, took us to our villa and showed us around. Our villa included a separate living room with dining table, sofa and bar, a spacious private balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea, a spa tub complete with spa toiletries, a king size bed, and a round sofa chair. Our room exceeded our expectations, it was serene and peaceful yet colorful and vivacious! As always, we put on our W robes and slippers asked to be taken to the AWAY SPA. At the spa, we got the Crystaline Gemstone facial, a treatment that uses the energy of a rare blend of 45 micronized gemstone crystals. The deep hydrating treatment left our faces feeling refreshed and revitalized, and it included a hand, arm, and foot massage too!
After being pampered and polished by the W AWAY SPA staff, we started getting ready for the first fashion runway show of the night. The show was held at the lobby, and it was beautifully decorated with the classic W Vieques pinteresque aesthetic and attended by friendly W staff passing around delicious tropical sangrias. Claudia and I noticed that the hotel has so much potential for fashion shows, so if you are ever thinking about hosting a fashion show somewhere in the Caribbean, we definitely recommend doing it here. W Vieques perfectly accommodated press, models, bloggers, designers, and photographers and made our stay chic and stress-free—they definitely know how to work with people in the fashion industry!
For the Swim & Beach Fashion Week, 5 venues were used. Presenting their Resort/Summer collections for 2016, Lizette Miro and Lisa Thon presented at the Living Room surrounded by the beautiful W Vieques fire pit, Diana Vazquez and Lisa Cappalli presented at Sorcé, Sonia Rivera and Heriberto Vazquez presented at the Garden, Ecliptica, Eddie Guerrero, Michelle Ann, Tommie Hernandez, and Luis Antonio presented at WET (the pool area), and Sonia Santiago and Jaer Caban presented at the PLUNGE POOL. All of the venues were fantastically lit and well decorated, not to mention the idea of putting chairs in unconventional places (e.g., for the shows at WET, chairs were placed inside the shallow areas of the pool, and models walked around it) made it all the more exciting.
When we weren’t exploring the grounds or attending the shows, we were lounging by the beautiful pool area or beach, sipping on delicious cocktails like the Spiked Nutella (Baily’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, nutella, ice cream) or the Alain Ducasse Bloody Mary. The WET pool is an infinity-edge pool overlooking the ocean with friendly W staff serving drinks, snacks, ice cream, and even drinks inside a coconut! Whether you want to eat by the pool or sit by the terrace to eat, the WET Bar & Grill serves light snacks such as croque monsieur’s, chilled gazpacho, or hamburgers. If you are a big group, I recommend getting drinks from the WOW party menu, which includes sangria pitchers (red or white), beer buckets, or frozen pitchers (vodka or rum with mango, banana, pineapple, coconut).
If you prefer to be by sand and salt water, the W Vieques sits on two private, secluded beaches (voted Best Caribbean Island by Travel & Leisure!) with Beach Ambassadors taking care of your every need. From umbrellas and chaise lounges to gourmet food and drinks, the only worry you’ll ever have here is to get the perfect tan or take the perfect selfie!
At the beach, you can also rent snorkeling gear, scuba diving equipment, kayaks, or play sand volleyball. There really is no need to leave the resort at any point because you’ve got two incredible private beaches with silky smooth sand, picturesque turquoise waters and a lush green well manicured garden pathway to the beaches. However, W Vieques offers excursions like horseback riding in the mountains or visiting the bioluminescent bay if you feel like exploring beyond the hotel. Our last day in Vieques was bittersweet. We were happy with all of the friendships we made with the staff and other guests, but we were sad to be leaving such a beautiful and breathtaking hotel. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who is thinking about a truly unforgettable vacation in the Caribbean. The W Vieques truly lives up to its WHATEVER/WHENEVER service, with W staff on call 24/7 to bring you or assist you with anything you want. The food, the view, the scene, the ambiance, the accommodations, and the amenities were nothing short of amazing. We want to thank the W Vieques team for such a wonderful and unforgettable weekend and we encourage you, fellow reader, to check out the W Vieques next time you book your Caribbean escape!
White dress: DVF
White crop top & Orange Skirt: Lucky Love Boutique
White Swim suit with full white cover up dress: Lissa Porrata
One piece swim suit: Lissa Porrata
White crop top & denim high waisted skirt: Lucky Love Boutique
Green button down shirt: Zara
Ripped black pants: Top Man
Flower suit set: Christian Bernard
Red Speedo: Christian Bernard
Yellow Speedo: Charlie by Matthew Zink
Light blue button down: Brancaccio found at La Tigre Uomo
(Wearing Christian Bernard for the first show)
(Outfit from Lucky Love Boutique)
(Outfit from La Tigre Uomo)
(Outfit from Lucky Love Boutique)
(Outfit by Lissa Porrata)
(Speedo From Charlie by Matthew Zink)
(Speedo by Chrsitian Bernard)