Above: El Blok in Vieques
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Puerto Rico’s island of Vieques has a a new boutique hotel — and it’s one that just might be the coolest of its kind in the Caribbean.
It’s called El Blok, and it’s a design that’s already turning heads in the region.
The hotel officially opened its doors earlier this month, replete with a restaurant by cutting-edge San Juan Chef Jose Enrique, who also has a restaurant on the outskirts of the capital. (Enrique was a James Beard Awards semifinalist in both 2013 and 2014).
The 22-room, design-focused hotel is the brainchild of architects Fuster + Partners out of San Juan and developed by hotelier Simon Baeyertz.
The hotel is all about sustainability, with all the furniture crafted locally from recovered indigenous Puerto Rican hardwoods in the forests around Ciales and an emphasis on natural light.
And the 100-seat restaurant will focus on local fish, much of which will be served raw, along with a host of indigenous products from heritage pigs raised specifically for the hotel to llocal coffee.
“El Blok is really a restaurant and bar with rooms,” Baeyerts says.