This Is the Caribbean’s Coolest New Boutique Hotel

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.

blok1

It’s called El Blok, and it’s a design that’s already turning heads in the region.

blok2

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).

blok4

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.

blok7

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.

blok5

“El Blok is really a restaurant and bar with rooms,” Baeyerts says.