The amazing beach at the W Retreat & Spa - Vieques where bachelor Ben and Courtney enjoyed their date. (Photo courtesy of W Hotels)
Tonight on The Bachelor, Ben and his eligible bachelorettes take their love show on the road, jetting to gorgeous Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, where they stay at the W Retreat & Spa. Apparently the romantic, tropical locale has contestant and former FITNESS cover girl Courtney feeling frisky: She leads Ben to the W Beach for a late-night swim (skinny dip, perhaps?), the show's promo teases. We can’t wait to watch—to catch all the drama and the beautiful Vieques backdrop. FITNESS was recently invited to stay at the laid-back luxe retreat (alas, not while Ben was there) and explore Vieques. We found a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation—an ideal destination for a fun, fit couples trip or an active girlfriend getaway. If you go, check out these top hits on our Fit List:
- Morning yoga: Start each day with a 90-minute traditional morning yoga class on the outdoor deck behind the W’s SWEAT fitness center. (The class sometimes takes place on the beach when weather allows.) Non-yogis: Work out on the brand new cardio machines and weights in the fitness center or hit some balls at the nearby SWING tennis courts.
- Hiking and kayaking adventure: Black Beard Sports, located next to SWEAT, offers several custom guided tours of the island. We hiked to a nearby breathtaking vista and then kayaked to Red Beach for a gourmet picnic. See if Mark is available to be your guide.
- Biking: You can also rent a bike at Black Beard. For a scenic and moderately challenging four-mile spin*, take a right on the road (Route 200) from the retreat and head past the airport to Starfish Beach, where you may spy bright red starfishes on the sand. On your way back, hang a left to ride out to the end of the mile-long Mosquito Pier for a stunning look back at the island. You’ll pass dozens of the island’s free roaming horses along your route. (*The folks at Black Beard can provide detailed directions.)
- Bioluminescent bay tour: Don’t leave Vieques without taking a nighttime kayak tour on the magical bio bay, which is filled with microscopic organisms that release a chemical whenever there's movement in the water, making it glow. Every paddle stroke creates a trail of light. The W can arrange your outing with a company such as Abe's Snorkeling & Bio Bay Tours. Request a tour with Abe himself, if he's available. He's a total trip and excuse enough to visit Vieques.
The stunning view from the AWAY spa at the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques. (Photo courtesy of W Hotels)
- Beaches: In addition to the secluded beach at the W, there are a dozen gorgeous local beaches that are just a quick Jeep ride away. Red Beach, the most popular, is a prime swimming and sunning spot. Pack a picnic from the W Cafe.
- AWAY spa: After all that activity, hit the spa for a mani/pedi or the heavenly signature AWAY massage. The best part: The private massage rooms include outdoor showers.
- WET deck: Of course, if all you want to do is lounge by the pool all day, there’s plenty of opportunity for that by the retreat's bi-level infinity pool. If you're inspired to get some laps in, you'll be serenaded by the music that plays underwater.
A view of the guest rooms at the W Retreat & Spa - Vieques. (Photo courtesy of W Hotels)
Book it: For show fans, W Vieques is now offering The Bachelor package (starting at $590 a night, 3-night minimum, wvieques.com or (877) WHOTELS, use promo code WBACHELR), which includes a one-day Jeep rental and gourmet picnic, a couples massage complete with champagne and a Jacuzzi soak, as well as daily breakfast and dinner at the retreat's miX On The Beach, an Alain Ducasse restaurant with plenty of delicious, healthy options.
Getting there: Book a flight into San Juan International Airport (SJU) on the main island, then take an 18-minute flight to Vieques Airport (VQS) on Cape Air, Vieques Air Link or Seaborne Airlines. Upon arrival, head to the W airport lounge for a cool drink and to catch the complimentary shuttle to the retreat.