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“Overpriced”

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W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isla de Vieques
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 December 2013

Simply put - the price is not worth it. Overall it was a good hotel, just overpriced.

Location: great setting and excellent views. However once off the resort there is not much to do. If you are content with staying put in the same spot for hours then it would be fine. If you get irritated by neurotic New Yorkers - being stuck here might not be for you.

Decor: Urban Outfitters mixed with swanky club. The mood lighting was a little too dark for my taste but probably served to dampen the fact that cheap and sophomoric amenities were chosen to decorate the rooms.

Food: no issues. I enjoyed the meals

Service: not professional. Able to meet basic expectations but did not go out of their way with any special touches (anniversary). Kind of felt like the staff would do well working at an exclusive night club rather than at an upscale hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank gary g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us in such detail.
I am happy to read you enjoyed the grounds and overall offerings at the hotel.

It is saddening to read however, that you felt the hotel is overpriced.
Please rest assured we constantly focus on adding value to the experience of our guests, and in addition to the amenities you mention in your review, we have implemented daily complimentary services, such as welcome beverages and snacks at the airport lounge, free shuttle service from the Airport-Hotel-Airport, the daily Sunset Sip (cocktail) served at the Living Room Bar, freshly made morning coffee and tea, and lemon-water dispensers. We are now working on additional value adding experiences including a happy hour by WET pool and daily special menus.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back,

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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997 - 1,003 of 1,842 reviews

Reviewed 18 December 2013

We recently visited the W Vieques for a wedding and were looking forward to the experience. The hotel setting is idyllic; beautiful beyond our expectations and well maintained. The staff were all very courteous and helpful. The worst part of the visit were the restaurants onsite; since we were only there a couple of days we did not rent a car, and had no choice but to partake of the W’s offerings, which were consistently disappointing. A few examples were: (1) a ‘Cuban Sandwich’ that was nothing like its namesake (if you’ve had an authentic one you’ll know what I mean) but instead a pulled pork mess in a thin, dripping BBQ sauce, (2) a poached egg in a ‘veal ragout’ that was sent back because the egg came out almost hard boiled, and on the second attempt was undercooked with runny whites in a totally flavorless soup - nothing I’d call a ragout, (3) a Huevos Rancheros that was again bland and featured a side of avocado that was disgustingly brown throughout and inedible, (4) juice that tasted like it was just poured from a can, (5) you get my point... The pricing is exorbitant for such sub-par fare, and seriously degraded our overall enjoyment of the resort. If we ever return it will only be with the option to leave the hotel grounds for dining.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Gregory K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome,

Thank you for your comments. We are happy to read your experience with the grounds and the talent exceeded your expectations. It is saddening however to read that the food offerings did not.
I will make sure to look into the matters you address as it is our priority to provide the highest quality of service in all areas to create the most memorable experiences for our guests.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon,

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2013

Well, I really really love it ... but but... quality & atmosphere at a price.

+ :
the W lounge at the airport and transportation to the hotel : you really are guests ! Nice feeling. Not that VQS is LAX but a nice lounge and a drink is always a nice start
the pools, the beaches, ... SPECTACULAR.
the rooms, lobby, the design is flawless, trendy without being pretentious
AMAZING spa, great massages. you HAVE to try them. Make a reservation the day of your arrival !
Nice unpretentious crowd, relaxed atmosphere


- :
the price (especially during the holidays)
the service has improved since last year, not perfect yet, I had to wait 45 minutes for my breakfast but they apologize and were really nice. Friendly and attentive staff. Management seems to be very involved in correcting the small flaws.
Important detail : they had no green tea ! I almost fainted. You don't expect that in such a place.
The restaurant is of course very expensive but great, you need a reservation which is insane ! Anyway there are many nice restaurants in Esperanza and the hotel can arrange your transportation.

Room Tip: I know this place is magical but it's good to try to have a more 'authentic' feeling by...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank picalexandre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome,

Thank you very much for sharing such a detailed review - We are thrilled to read that you had an amazing experience overall and the talent contributed to amplifying your experience!

During the holidays and to ensure all guests are provided with the best quality in service reservations for the restaurants are required. This is specific to the holiday period and not necessary (although recommended) throughout the year.

We hope to welcome you back soon!

Best wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2013 via mobile

I was very impressed with the W Vieques. It was tasteful and contemporary -- with an eye to service and relaxation.

We arrived at Vieques airport and ushered into a private W lounge where cold drinks and cushy couches were waiting.

This is the overall approach: to take care of everything. Many amenities are included in the price/ resort fee: yoga class, full fitness center, kayaks, snorkels, beach towels, happy hour drinks, even sunscreen. Coolers of water (or coffee) are strategically positioned around the resort.

The resort is not small, but it doesn't feel huge either. The style and decor are absolutely beautiful-- oversized lounge chairs, modern rustic aesthetic, even a fire pit. Chilled out lounge music is piped through the entire complex, including under water in the pools.

There are three pools, two beaches, a cafe and a restaurant. The food and drinks are pricey, but delicious. I highly recommend the veal ragout-poached eggs for brunch or the encrusted lamb for dinner.

The only issue we had was some challenges with billing. It was admittedly confusing with 3 girls, paying with a mixture of points and separate credit cards-- reception was unable to give us an accurate accounting and gave us misinformation on check in. Currently it seems that one person was massively overcharged... Which we are still trying to work out.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank citymusiclover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome!

Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful feedback.
I am thrilled to read you enjoyed the retreat's grounds and amenities available.

We hope to have you back with us soon!

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2013

As a long time Starwood patron, I had always wanted to visit this hotel as I had viewed pictures for a few years. Finally planned a trip and it was well worth it!

The hotel isn't a typical hotel…it's kind of like being in a condo community, many detached buildings. My girlfriend and I agreed that if we had another room, maybe we wouldn't have rated it a 5. But the room we had was spectacular. We had a balcony with a full ocean view, a kitchen area and a very nice living room, and a separate HUGE bedroom and very nice bathroom.

Things I loved the most about this property:
1) Staff is very friendly and accommodating, just tell them what you want and they'll make it happen. Each night at 6PM, they'd have a free drink in the lobby.
2) Mostly couples, and most are on a honeymoon or celebrating. We made friends with a few couples as we'd run into the same people each day. There were only a few families, and the resort had a beach just for adults (but it wasn't topless or anything…just a place to relax without kids around) and a family beach.
3) There are several pool areas. The main pool has several levels and faces the ocean. Near our unit, there was another smaller pool with cabanas that provided more privacy (the pool was surrounded by trees / plants). While the beach areas were small, there was hardly anyone out there.
4) Great fitness center. Well above average.
5) There was a sports store and you could get kayaks from them that were free. They also rented bikes and it was very affordable…$10/hour or $30 for the day and they were very good quality mountain bikes. You could also book bio bay tours through the same place, which was right across from the main lobby.
6) While we only saw a couple of horses on the property (they roam free around the island), it was still kind of cool. Lots of iguanas too.

Downside
1) If you don't want to dine at the resort (which had a great restaurant), there's nothing within walking distance. You can rent a bike or take a $10 taxi ride into town where there are plenty of options. You can also rent cars at the resort, though they were out when we were there. The taxi wasn't at all inconvenient (just tell the Concierge and they'll have one quickly, and then the driver will give you their card to pick you up….the island is small so there's very little waiting). We just prefer to walk if we can.
2) There's one small store at the resort, and the choices they had were very limited. Next time we'll go into town the first day and do some shopping to stock the fridge.

If you want a romantic couples getaway, I'd highly recommend it. Wouldn't take my kids there (not that it's family friendly, just think they'd be bored).

Other notes about the island, not directly related to the resort…

1) Biked for a few hours. The roads aren't at all crowded (other than wild horses) so felt safe, though sometimes we were in the middle of nothing and wondering if we should turn around. The island is more hilly than it first appears so if you aren't in shape, may want to skip this.
2) The beaches on the island are considered the best in North America, but to get to many, you need to rent a car. Many are secluded, you won't see many people around, and from what I read, you'll want to watch your valuables should you decide to leave things and walk for a bit.
3) The restaurants in the main town area don't look appealing, but looks can be deceiving. We went to "El Patio" (which now has a new name) and it was one of the best meals I've had in a long, long time in a restaurant that looked like a hole-in-the-wall
4) The bio bay tour is a must!

Room Tip: Pay extra if you have to, but make sure to get a full ocean view. If you are a Starwood member and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share such a detailed review. We very much appreciate your feedback and are thrilled to read you thoroughly enjoyed your time after such a long time of having planned the trip.

We hope to have you back with us soon!

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Flying to the island is the way to go. Forget about the ferry. W has a nice lounge right as you step off the runaway, where the shuttle will pick you up and take you to the resort – 3 minutes’ drive!
The grounds are lovely and well taken care of, with wild horses roaming here and there -- a nice, and rather unusual, touch to the scene. There a lots of comfortable chairs and sofas in the main area, and generally the atmosphere is very pleasant (honeymoonish, I might add).
The beaches are less calm than on the south side of the island. When I stayed there (during Thanksgiving weekend), it varied from moderate waves to completely comfortable for swimming. During the same days, the south side was consistently calm. Don’t let this deter you from staying at the W. It’s not a big deal, and it might be good to swim in a “real ocean” for a change. Rent a Jeep. It’s a must! And do it in advance, to ensure availability. We reserved from Avis, which offered the best deal at the time of our stay. Also, reserving from Avis, unlike other rental places, is non-committal. You can cancel in case your plans change. It is 3 mins away (they would come and pick you up and drop you off). Explore the southern beaches on your own – even during “busy” Thanksgiving weekend the beaches were virtually deserted. A few people here and there, if any. As I like to say, I much prefer beaches accessible by a Jeep than beaches accessible by a cruise ship.
I found most W staff to be quite pleasant. I know some reviewers disagree. Again, I guess it depends on one’s experience. None of us are likely to stay more than a few days at the W, so a couple of interactions here and there can easily skew one’s perception.
I’m an SPG Gold member…well, the benefits don’t really extend to the resorts (only hotels), so late check-out and other things are not a guarantee. That said, the resort was able to accommodate a 3:30pm checkout for me, which was much appreciated.
The ocean front villas are worth extra $$, because, besides the ocean view, you have more privacy too, and it’s much more quiet. The ocean view rooms face the pool – noisier, too many people next to your windows, etc. When in the pool, I could easily see through rooms on the 1st floor. I wouldn’t want to stay there.
I do have a few issues that irritated me and my girlfriend, which I have to mention:
1. $6 cup of coffee is a good value? I’d like the manager to explain. This is just one obvious example of an overpriced food/drink at the resort (as many other reviewers pointed out). Although, I have to say that quality of food isn’t bad. In fact, I can’t say I had any bad meals at the restaurant or a bar. It’s just overpriced, that’s all.
2. The docking station in the rooms is for iPhone 4/4s. Hello? Another question for the manager – is W the trendy hotel it portrays itself to be? Well, for a trendy hotel to be 1.5 years!! behind the latest technology is nothing short of embarrassing. And, really, how difficult is it to go and get some 5/5s adapters for your guests? Nope, the resort doesn’t have any.
3. Resort fee – the biggest pet peeve. $65… a day!!. Remember the days you didn’t have to pay your airline for checked bags? And then all of a sudden it’s an indelible part of your airport experience. Well, it’s kind of the same with this resort fee. It’s just a way for Starwood to add to the bottom line. Except, here there is no choice, even if you use NONE of the things included in the resort fee, you still pay it. And the things included…ha, they are absolutely laughable. It seems like the management gathered around a round table and brainstormed a long list of things that cost next to nothing to make it appear like a good value to justify this robbery (let’s call it for what it is) of $65 a day. What’s included?
a. Toll free and local phone calls – wow, what a benefit, as if anyone staying at the W doesn’t have a cell phone on them.
b. Access to Sweat (Fitness Center) – in any semi-decent hotel, this is free and part of the hotel experience. So, just because this is a “resort”, does that mean this should be charged as an extra?!
c. High-speed wireless internet access in public areas and guestrooms – again, nowadays it’s offered for free in many hotels. And, by the way, the WiFi was misbehaving, as we were properly informed on arrival. No matter, you’re still charged as part of the resort fee.
d. Parking (self parking). Do I even need to comment?
e. Daily yoga class – ok, fine, this is good, but seriously, how many people actually take it? Just charge for the class itself if someone wants to attend.
f. Ice – yeah, you can get free ice. I’m not making this up. Why no include oxygen and green grass as a part of the resort fee?
g. There are a few other miscellaneous semi-useful things that most people don’t use (tennis courts, snorkeling gear). However, if you'd like to get an umbrella to take with you for the day to another beach, that's $12. The only truly useful and value-added item is the pick-up and drop-off from the airport.
I would argue that vast majority of people don’t get a good value out of this $65, especially if you stay multiple days. Personally, for a 3-day stay for the services I used I paid $195 for an airport pick-up/drop off and (free) parking. Seems like a very poor value to me. And frankly, it doesn’t matter that the manager thinks otherwise, because if so many people (as evident by reviews on this website) PERCEIVE it’s a poort value, that’s really ultimately what matters.
4.Last, and this is really nothing they can do about, because it’s a room design issue, I’m not a big fan of W’s open bathrooms. It’s a cool thing, but in practice it can be kind of annoying (when one person is brushing teeth and the other person in a toilet room, separated only by a sliding door – it’s a bit like two people in a bathroom at the same time – awkward from a privacy perspective.
All-in-all, the W is a romantic, very nice (albeit overpriced) place to stay on the island. If you take the price out of the equation – assume it’s free – fewer people would be complaining. But when you pay a lot, you expectations are sky high! And rightfully so. It’s only fair. At the time of this review, if you’re looking for some luxury, it is the ONLY place to stay on the island. On one hand, I really like Vieques because it is largely undisturbed by tourism. On the other hand, I feel the W needs some competition, because without competition there is less incentive to (try harder to) improve, and lower prices, and upgrade those antiquated docking stations.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank alexg456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us in such details. We are happy to learn you and your girlfriend enjoyed your time at the Retreat.
Also, we appreciate you taking the time to describe the areas of opportunity.

Please rest assured we constantly focus on adding value to the experience of our guests, and in addition to the amenities you mention in your review, we have implemented daily complimentary services, such as welcome beverages and snacks at the airport lounge, free shuttle service from the Airport-Hotel-Airport, the daily Sunset Sip (cocktail) served at the Living Room Bar, freshly made morning coffee and tea, and lemon-water dispensers. We are now working on additional value adding experiences including a happy hour by WET pool and daily special menus.

Upgrading the docking stations is definitely a priority as well and we are focusing on the implementation as we strive to remain current in all aspects.

We hope to welcome you back soon,

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

I stayed for 3 days this past weekend with my wife. From the great airport lounge to the helpful check-in (thanks Felix!) and the staff by the pool we had a great stay. We had a complicated room service order which was delivered accurately and quickly. And we received a call as well making sure the room service was all in order. I can't wait for the next opportunity to visit again!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Eli B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WViequesGM, General Manager at W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Welcome!

Thank you for sharing your amazing experience. I am happy to read you and your wife enjoyed your time at the Retreat. I will make sure to pass on your kudos to Felix who I am sure will be excited to learn his service contributed to the creation of fabulous memories.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon,

Best Wishes,
Greg White - GM W Vieques

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island

Address: State Road 200, KM 3.2 - HC-1 | Box 9368, 0000765, Puerto Rico (Formerly W Retreat & Spa Vieques)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isla de Vieques
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isla de Vieques
Price Range: £275 - £500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island 4.5*
Number of rooms: 157
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on two private, secluded beaches, W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island is a resort in Puerto Rico that provides the perfect getaway for a relaxing and luxurious villa-style vacation with infinite indulgences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Retreat & Spa Vieques Hotel Isla De Vieques
w Retreat And Spa Vieques

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