Hix Island House Eco Friendly Luxury –
Offering refreshingly unique comfort for body and soul, the Hix Island House is located on a 13-acre natural refuge in Vieques, the Spanish Virgin Islands of Puerto Rico. Many people may be wary to choose this tiny island as a vacation destination, which was hard hit by category 4 hurricane Maria.
The reality however, is the pristine beaches are still specimens of untouched beauty and eco-friendly adventure remains provocative and healthy. By providing off the grid accommodations, Hix Island House is living proof of how sustainable living can surpass destructive forces.
Responsible Living Caribbean Vacation
Solar energy provides electricity and hot water. Cisterns collect the rain water and grey water is used to hydrate the landscape. The buildings are designed to catch cooling trade winds while providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. This approach has earned Hix Island House the first Sustainable Tourism Facility Certification from Puerto Rico Tourism and is what gives Hix the opportunity to welcome visitors to the island post Maria.
Hix Architecture & Nature
“I strive to make my buildings fit with Nature,” said John Hix, the architect. “Instead of taking over the jungle, the structures are built around the jungle. My houses are designed to conserve commercial energy, reduce repair and maintenance, minimize the use of chemicals, thus treading lightly on the Earth.”
Hix has generously achieved a balancing act between modernism and nature. Six concrete buildings spread out over the property are surrounded by palm, local fruit trees, and plentiful red hibiscus blooms.
Hix Pool & Yoga Studio
A pool provides yet another secluded and quiet oasis with it’s clean lines and surrounding gardens. The outdoor yoga studio, surrounded by dense foliage is inviting and serene. Yoga classes are given on request at the open-air studio most weekday mornings.
Hix Island House Rooms
My husband and I stayed on the top floor of Casa Solaris. We entered the room, the shutters were closed and the room dark. Upon lifting the immense roll up door on one end and the shuttered window on the other, the room transformed into an open-air oasis, melding the indoors with the outside. Warm breezes fluttered from one end of the room to the other like the butterflies in the gardens below. The eternal view to St. Croix above the canopy of trees was framed, like a stunning work of art, by the outline of the soft grey concrete. The sweet hint of blossoms and delicate chirping of birds filled our senses with peace and tranquility.
Think high ceilings, light colored walls which bounce all of the natural light around the room, polished cement floors and counter-tops. A welcoming king size bed positioned toward the stunning vista, assured a view from every angle.
The bathroom, also with polished cement floors and sink, is where the Frette linens and robes, exclusive Neeva Gayle cotton shirts, and eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner are found. It’s also where there’s access to the private out-door shower with ocean and tree top view.
A full kitchen, island with stools, and a generous table provide plenty of prep area and seating. On the counter locally made bread and a bowl of fresh fruit, often picked from the trees on property, is like a beacon to the hungry traveler. In the refrigerator, everything one needs to make breakfast; eggs, cereal, juice, Puerto Rican coffee beans, tea, milk, and jam. There’s no better way to start the day with freshly ground coffee and local ingredients for French toast or scrambled eggs.The wild beauty of Hix Island House inspires serious eating.
Hix Island House, located on the Spanish Virgin Island of Vieques, is off the southeast corner of mainland Puerto Rico. Just a 22 minute flight from San Juan, 10 minute flight from from Ceiba, and within 3 hours from Miami makes it an easy trip from any location. Ferry service from Fajardo takes about 1 1/2 hours.
Island of Vieques
Less touristy than some of the other islands in the Caribbean, there are no hi-rise hotels making it a commercial free destination. Options for adventure and exploration are endless. The island’s activities have low impact to the environment staying true to the eco-friendly philosophy of the Hix House.
There is no shortage of beaches. I’m told there are over 40. The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge manages 54% of the island and the more popular beaches that are the definition of stunning – strikingly blue waters and picture-perfect sand. We spent two days exploring over ten different beaches. Some offer unique experiences for the adventure enthusiast; surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, and snorkeling. Other beaches are secluded for relaxing or with family friendly amenities such as grills and lifeguards. The black sand beach offers striking contrasts, while the dazzling colors of sea glass beach is a true find for the collector. A lighthouse, historical WWII Navy bunkers, and archaeological ruins are available to explore.
The town of Esperanza is only 7 minutes from the Hix. Here there’s access to the beach, great snorkeling under the pier, beach front bars, restaurants, and boutique shops along the malecon (promenade along the waterfront). The town of Isabel II is 10 minutes away with colorful houses, shopping, restaurants, and a lighthouse. As travel enthusiasts, this is the sort of location we’re always looking for – unique eco-friendly accommodations and everything we need within easy reach. Best of both worlds really! Many restaurants in both towns are open for business and offer delicious local cuisine and refreshing beverages.
The Hix Experience
Combine staggering views and inviting eco-friendly serenity of Hix with an island offering a connection to nature and not commercialism, and you have a winner. The attention to detail, the friendly staff, and a lovely sense of privacy give visitors the opportunity to be close to nature in many forms – all while minimally impacting the environment.
The effects of the hurricane weigh heavily in the local economy and by way of fear in the tourist. Responsible tourism will continue to help Vieques recover and visiting is the most effective remedy. Hix and Vieques are the perfect combination of hospitality and sustainable tourism at its most gracious. Now is the time to visit. Once you get here, you’ll be relieved you did.
Our stay at the Hix Island House was complimentary but all views are my own.
Hix Island House
HC-02 Box 14902
Route 995, Kilometer 1.5
Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Beach umbrellas, cooler bags, and snorkeling gear are available in the lobby. The staff is happy to make reservations for restaurants, sailing trips, scuba excursions, horseback riding, biking, fishing, and the world-famous Vieques Bio-bay.