By the Caribbean Journal staff
A major new hotel project is underway on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, a big boost for an island with a tourism industry still reeling from the storms of 2017 and whose flagship hotel, the W Vieques, remains shuttered.
The new project is called Zafira St Clair (using the Spanish word for “sapphire”). a $50 million hotel that is the brainchild of British developer Keith St Clair, who continues to grow his portfolio in Puerto Rico.
The hotel, which has already launched construction, will feature 118 units suites and 16 villas, with each room featuring panoramic ocean views.
Designed by architect Rene Jean, Zafira will be set on the sea in the area of Esperanza, with amenities including an infinity pool, a restaurant, a spa and a nightclub.
“Zafira, is a new beginning for Vieques, we want all tourists who come to Puerto Rico to know the wonders and the charm of Vieques, it is a true jewel that we want everyone to know,” said Keith St Clair, the CEO of the St Clair Collection. “This is another project that demonstrates the commitment that we have with the tourist and economic development of Puerto Rico.”
It’s still not clear when the W Vieques Retreat and Spa, long the island’s signature place to stay, will reopen — meaning the planned opening of Zafira could be an even bigger game-changer for the island.
Several smaller hotels have already returned, however, including popular boutiques like El Blok and the Hix Island House.