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Bravo Beach Hotel
Bravos de Boston
Vieques, PR
787-741-1128

Bravo Beach Hotel Home Page

April 2006

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Bravo Beach Hotel, Vieques, Puerto Rico.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

Bravo Beach Hotel is a small boutique hotel with 9 rooms. The hotel is actually an old hacienda which has been converted into a lovely setting for a special getaway. We stayed in Room #9, which was located on the 2nd floor. There was a dedicated set of steps up to our room, which was really more of a suite. Bravo sticks to clean lines, with a simplicity dedicated to maximizing the focus on the surroundings.

Our room contained a very comfortable king-size canopy bed surrounded by sheer mosquito netting (the netting was for effect). There were night stands and lamps on either side. Down a step was the sitting area – a two-piece round rattan sectional with blue cushions and glass coffee table, and a big rattan chair with ottoman. There was a TV with a great selection of channels (satellite). We understand there was also a Playstation (but we didn’t use it).

There were windows on three sides of the sitting area that looked out on the ocean and had distant views of Puerto Rico, Culebra and – in the distance – St. Thomas. The view was startlingly beautiful.

There was a dressing area – a large closet with plenty of drawers, which provided a great place to put our things. There was a half-size refrigerator stocked with beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and some snacks; all were available on an honor basis. We want to note that we felt the prices Bravo charges for this convenient in-room service were very fair. The dressing room led into the bathroom, which was very large and contained a toilet, bidet, dressing table with mirror, vanity with mirror, and shower/tub combination. Aveda products were in the bath, although they were not replenished when we used them up. Bravo has great linens – the towels were thick, large, and not what one usually finds in hotels. They provided us with white towels for the room and colored ones for the beaches. The bed was also covered in exquisite Frette linens. Did we say how comfortable the bed was? We slept great. The room had an air conditioning system that worked very well and kept it at a constant comfortable temperature – perfect for snuggling under the fine bedding. There is no phone in the room. As Marietta told us upon check-in, “If you need to make a reservation, we will take care of it. We want you to be able to sleep!” We slept very well.

We had our own exclusive very large balcony, with plenty of space for a table and chairs, and a cute little area overlooking the water that was perfect for two seats. We enjoyed sitting up there with music and drinks, looking out at the view. Bravo is perfectly situated to see the sunset.

Inn Amenities

Considering the small size of Bravo, it really has a lot to offer. There are two pools – one on the water by the restaurant, and one within the gated property. We spent our time in the back pool, which was ringed with palm trees, lounge chairs, comfortable built-in settees with outdoor cushions, and – of course – the bar.

The pools use some sort of ionization process that eliminates the need for chlorine – very easy on the skin, and no chlorine odor. These are not “diving” pools, but rather, pools that are made for lounging about. There is shade if you need it. We very much enjoyed the solitude of our chosen pool!

Bravo provides free beach chairs (a must) and you can rent snorkeling gear from them. Another great amenity was the box lunches to go (see Resort Food). And – of course – the helpfulness of the staff (see Resort People/Service).

Note that Bravo is for adults only.

Inn Food

The food was excellent. When we arrived, we made a reservation for dinner in their pool-and-ocean-front restaurant bbh. We both agree that it was our favorite dinner while on the island. The restaurant serves tapas, which provides a great opportunity to try multiple dishes in smaller portions. Keith had a wonderfully tender pork tenderloin (a special that evening) that was a very generous size, and the calabaza and proscuitto risotto. Lori had the pan-seared diver scallops and the grilled shrimp pincho. We also had a plate of very tasty and creative bread. There is a wine tasting room at bbh where patrons can taste some of the wines available, along with some cheese. We went with a sauvignon blanc which was open for tasting.

In our opinion, the best seats in the restaurant are outdoors, and ring the very scenic pool, which is highlighted by a filtered light in the evening. The setting is stunning, as white pillows float on the pool. The inside portion of the restaurant is visually appealing as well, and is air-conditioned with appealing banquettes. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and laid-back. We had a leisurely, romantic dinner. We made a special request for dessert – a cheese plate. Our server said she was pretty sure they could accommodate the request, and went to check with the chef. We were presented with a magnificent plate of several kinds of cheese, all with appropriate accompaniments such as toasted nuts, sauces, and an assortment of wonderful little breads that we couldn’t quite figure out but loved. We asked for a recommendation of a port wine to accompany our dessert and were provided with the perfect choice. The chef even came out and presented his creation to us, explaining it. What a nice touch! We highly recommend this restaurant. It is open for several evenings per week and reservations are requested.

We understand bbh also serves lunch but we chose to go with the lunch box. Bravo has a really cool idea in its lunch boxes. Guests are given slips for each day they will be at the hotel and they can check off exactly what they want on their sandwiches, with the option to add chips and sodas. While we were there, sandwiches were available either on local fresh bread or a spinach wrap, and all manner of cold cuts, cheeses, and accompaniments were available. We went for this option on the two days it was available to us. The guest simply drops off the request in the restaurant (or the front desk, if the restaurant is closed) the night before, and in the morning, picks up a cooler with their name on it. The cooler contains ice packs and the lunches that were ordered. A wonderful idea! The sandwiches were huge and very tasty and perfect for a day on the beach.

Breakfast came with our room and we had three wonderful breakfasts in the glorious oceanfront bbh setting. The view overlooking the pool and onto the ocean was amazing. Each morning a cheerful server gave us a plate of fruit, fresh muffins, and offered either an entrée or granola. The entrees while we were there were quiche, frittata, and French toast and all were very well-executed. We aren’t coffee drinkers, and when we requested iced tea and soda, our servers didn’t bat an eye.

Our compliments to Bravo Beach Hotel on consistently good food, morning through evening.

Inn Bar/Lounge

Drinks are available in the restaurant, from the well-stocked mini-bars in the room, or at the pool-side bar. A bartender is at the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings (at least, that’s the way it was during our visit) and the rest of the time it is an honor bar. A guest simply picks up one of the slips available behind the bar, puts on their room number, and marks off what they drink. There was a good selection – a full-size refrigerator stocked with different kinds of beer, water, and soft drinks. There was also a wine refrigerator with wine available and mixers to make margaritas and pina coladas. There was a decent selection of liquor as well. We loved this aspect – we had many a friendly conversation with fellow guests while sipping drinks by the pool. Our fellow guests also loved this service and all were “honorable” in recording the drinks they consumed. Another great idea!

Inn People/Service

Bravo really shines with its service. We were greeted warmly by Marietta when we arrived after a long day of travel, who smiled and said, “You must be Lori.” She checked us in and showed us around the property, while Jose took our bags to our room. She cheerfully made our dinner reservation that evening at bbh (it was a Saturday and we wanted to be sure to get in) and told us just enough so that we had a handle on things but weren’t overloaded. We felt welcome and knew we were in for a great time. The service continued when we met the bartender who was on duty that evening, and extended to our server at dinner and our presentation by the chef. We want to stress that EVERYONE at Bravo treated us like we were valued guests and that our relaxation and enjoyment was just as important to them. It is obvious that Thomas has trained his staff to make sure guests will want to return to this little bit of paradise. His pride in his hotel shows. We noticed employees were constantly keeping after things, and spiffing things up. At the same time, it was also relaxed and comfortable. Score an A+ for the people and the hospitality! (We ran into Thomas later in the week when we were at another hotel and took the time to tell him what a great job he was doing.) We recommend this hotel as an excellent choice as well as a good value for the money.

Area/Attractions

Vieques is a beautiful jewel of an island and has much to offer the traveler seeking solitude and scenery. The beaches are some of the nicest we have ever been to. See our Vieques Itinerary page for more information.

Dining

We sampled food from several restaurants beyond the gates of Bravo Beach Hotel. See our Vieques Itinerary page for more information.

Nightlife

If you are looking for nightlife, Vieques is not the place for that. Have a nice dinner with your traveling companion, review the wonderful things you saw that day, and gaze up at the stars. That’s the sort of nightlife you get on this island. If you want non-stop action, go to Las Vegas.

Weather

This is the Caribbean and the sun is strong. We commented that we thought the sun was stronger on Vieques than nearly anywhere else we visited. Sunscreen is a must. While there are stores on the island, if you have a favorites type of sunscreen, buy plenty before you leave and take it along with you. Be sure to have a good pair of sunglasses as well. While we were there (a week in late April), the days were brilliantly sunny. The weather cooperated beautifully, only raining two evenings after dark.

Tips/Suggestions

Anyone who has read any of our reviews will know that we seem to be a bit obsessive about bug spray. Well, Vieques is one place that you don’t want to be caught without it. Bravo Beach Hotel had communal bug spray available at the honor bar. We recommend you take your own and spray frequently – morning, noon, and night. One of our fellow guests left her door open for the breeze and went without bug spray and had lots of bites the next day. This is not to say the hotel – or the island – is unclean in any way, because it’s not. It’s just an island that has mosquitoes, so plan ahead and you’ll have a better visit. (What do you expect from an island that has a place called Mosquito Bay?)

Before we went – and on our first evening – we were warned about petty theft on the island. Do not misread this – there are not gangs of people roaming the street. On the contrary, everyone we met was friendly, but we understand some petty theft exists. It is recommended that you do not leave valuables unattended in public. Don’t go in the ocean and leave a valuable camera sitting on the beach unattended. Either take it with you, leave someone with it, or leave it in your room. A locked car with the windows up can send a signal that you are concealing something valuable within. Leave the car unlocked, crack open a window, and take your valuables with you. We took these simple steps and had no problems.