REAL ISLAND LIFE - Vieques Island, Puerto Rico U.S.A

This island, just off the northeastern coast of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is a paradise not to be missed. If you're already on the island of Puerto Rico, you can get to the smaller Vieques island via plane, boat or $2.00 ferry. Just a five minute walk from the ferry, you'll find a the Bravo Beach Hotel (787.741.1128), a small but smart mini resort that invites you to " eat-drink-swim-sleep" and makes it pleasurable to do them all with a personal touch you don't normally get at larger resorts. General Managers Jackie & Harold Spry and their small, but mighty, staff make sure your stay is unforgettable.

Featuring world class chef Chris Ellis serving a very eclectic tapas menu, a bountiful wine list and a beachside pool setting, the hotel restaurant will exceed your expectations for "eat". Harold said they were planning on adding another venue, with an island-surf-burger theme. If it is anywhere as successful as the tapas offering, I look forward to sampling the fare. The price of your room also includes a light and simple breakfast served beach side featuring local fruits. The mango scones where a real treat.

If you're looking for island cuisine, the resort is just walking distance from some surprisingly great food. Ask the staff for suggestions and they'll point you in the right direction.

One of the worst travel vacation dilemmas is arriving to a hotel after the bar has closed. No such worries at the bbh, as the locals call it . The 24 hour honor bar is like a mini bar on steroids. Nestled under an open air gazebo at the end of a very blue 40 foot pool , the bar has everything you need to an mix a drink, open a fine bottle of wine or grab a beer , water or juice any time of the day or night. It appears that they replenish every few hours, as they were never out out what we needed. During normal hours, you'll find Rosa or Rennie tending bar. They're a great source of information on fun things to do on the island.

The bbh features two pools- one at the restaurant venue and one at the bar. Swim to your heart's content. But the main reason for our visit to Vieques was to swim in Mosquito bay, one of the worlds most fantastic bio luminescent bays. When we arrived at the bbh, Lashla, the very affable young lady that checked us in, arranged a tour for us at our request. An outfit called "Abe's" conducted the tour that included transportation to the bay, a guided kayak tour, a great introduction to the ecology and chemistry of the bay, and plenty of unstructured time to swim and experiment with the light the microorganism release on contact. Imagine swimming in electric glitter and you'll get an idea of the experience.

The hotel is about twenty minutes from some of the most secluded, beautiful beaches you'll ever see. Each has its own personality, so ask around to see which fits your style. The hotel staff can arrange transportation. The young lady that drove us around on our trip was from a separate company, but one that we would highly recommend. Ask for Alba Melendez - she is prompt , knowledgeable and eager to share the REAL island with you.

Nine rooms and a Villa provide views of the beach or the garden. Crisp brilliantly white bed linens, dark wood trim, billowy mosquito nets, satellite TV, an ipod docking station stereo, remote controlled air conditioning and resort- wide WiFi give you all the comforts of home in a comfortable and impeccably clean setting. ( 06/08)


BRAVO BEACH HOTEL                                                                             

PO BOX 1374

Vieques, PR  00765

TEL 787. 741.1128 / FAX 787.741.3918