El Blok — Vieques, Puerto Rico
Located on the compact 135 sq km Puerto Rican island of Vieques, El Blok is an intimate 22-room eco-hotel designed by local firm Fuster + Partners. They have not only harnessed thermal and solar power to generate electricity and heat, but also made clever use of local materials to create coral-inspired perforated panels that allow light and air to filter naturally through the building. Inside, most of the furniture is made locally, such as the almond tree bar and the reclaimed mahogany retro chairs, while a wild collection of coconut fibre sculptures by San Juan-based artists Jamie and Javier Suarez hold court. The Puerto Rican theme continues through to the hotel’s restaurant, which refocuses seating by the bar to emulate the socialising often found in a town square. Helmed by chef José Enriques, El Blok serves up elevated renditions of traditional dishes to complete the experience.