hotel inspired decor: the Vieques W in Puerto Rico


Today we continue with our hotel inspired decor series and heading to the chic and delightful contemporary design hotel W Retreat & Spa on the island of Vieques just off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico.  In my continued search for hotel inspired décor, I felt we needed to come to a corner of tropical paradise in our own Caribbean backyard.  W hotels are known for their hip and stylish clientele, so it should come as no surprise that when they open a new resort they turn to a master to get it just right.



Milan-based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has created the perfect casually hip resort in Vieques.  It’s a place where you can relax and lounge about in your bathing suit and just sit back and let the staff cater to your every need.  The lobby and main lounge are built for flip flops: A grand airy space with views of the ocean beyond, the disparate colors that fill the space make it seem like a comfortable family seaside cottage.  But note that red is a common bond across the entire space: it’s good to have something to tie all aspects of the room into one cohesive look.  Bold oversized floral graphics provide patterned walls that keep the whole space fresh, while hanging panels of raw jute keep it super casual while breaking up the void that tall rooms too often encompass.



Guest rooms are full of ideas for your own hotel inspired decor at home.  Simple and utterly modern, each has a distinct great piece of art to make the room work.  The room above has a patterned piece a la Beatriz Milhazes whose colors are then echoed in the fabric of the throw pillows.  Never buy art to match the colors in your room, but if you happen to own a great piece, then by all means use it as inspiration for the rest of your space!



One of the restaurants has a modern take on the traditional louvered shutters found all across the Caribbean.  It’s a perfect example of local inspiration with a twist so as not recreate the originals. Here, the louvers are stacked in a honeycomb of hexagons, each having slats of varying widths.  The dividers allow the breeze to flow through the room while at the same time breaking the huge space into more intimate parts.  I love the idea of using these for my own clients where black lacquer or sleek glossy white paint would make perfect modernist room dividers for city apartments.



And because this is the Caribbean after all, I can’t help but to end with the most inspiring view of all – that created by Mother Nature herself.  Situated on over 30 acres of property hugging the beach, is there a better place to end your day than in one of these illuminated chairs while the waves crash just beyond?  I have already ordered a suite of this fab glowing furniture for clients to give them a little hotel inspired decor in their Dallas backyard and their kids love them!



richard rabel
richard rabel: interiors + art
interior design and art advising
new york city

image credits: W Hotel, Vieques, Puerto Rico