Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday By The Sea 3

Some beaches—certain islands especially—are time warps. They defy an exact date but suggest some simple period of innocence in the recent past. No stoplights, a sense of well-being, a low cost of living, drinkable water, pickup trucks and general tidiness, with roads quiet enough for chickens to strut and dogs to sleep on. Maui was once like this, and so was Martha’s Vineyard. No longer. But Vieques, a twenty-one-by-fifteen-mile island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, still fits this time-warp description and occupies a blissful little category of its own. In most respects this quiet island is completely off the map, languid and bewitching as a sleeping beauty, and a perfect beach to visit in Autumn.
The terra-cotta-tiled atrium,
which serves as the hotel’s main lobby,
contains a mix of antique furniture and objects

People come here for a short visit, and after a couple of days they ask for the name of a real estate agent,” James Weis says. He should know. On his first visit to Vieques, he was so smitten with the island, he asked whether he might buy the hotel he happened to be staying in. Weis eventually purchased a neglected villa by the sea and, with his partner, Billy Knight, put his heart and soul and quite a lot of money into creating today's Sunday By The Sea: The Inn on the Blue Horizon.
The restaurant displays the eclecticism of the hotel’s furnishings,
with circa 1840 tiger-maple chairs alongside a colorful 1930s chandelier

The Inn on the Blue Horizon, dramatically named, is home-y in the English sense of the word: like a home, comfortable, unfussy, casual, with a subtle insistence on privacy, well thought out, sited on a bluff above a pretty beach.
A mahogany four-poster made in Indonesia,
in a guest room in one of the three casitas that make up the inn

The emphasis is on style and comfort rather than luxury. There is no television and just one guest telephone, but there are plenty of books and lots of areas to sit quietly and feel happy. Priding himself on his role as host, Weis has made a point of furnishing the inn with his own collection of antiques—Shaker boxes and antebellum chairs and armoires. “I want some imperfections, and I also want some image,” Weis says. “I don’t want it to look anxious. Nantucket is anxious. The Hamptons are anxious. I don’t want it to be like anywhere else.”
A turn-of-the-20th-century bed and a pair of folk art portraits
are reflected in the mirror of the 1860s Rococo Revival chest of drawers

The food in the restaurant and at the terrace is excellent. Nearly all the ingredients are local and fresh, brought weekly from the main island of Puerto Rico, just seven miles to the west.
The bar is a zinc-roofed pavilion adjacent to the restaurant -
it is made of pigmented-cement, with Pottery Barn stools

Steps from the tiered pool lead to the main atrium

Owners Wies and Knight and their dogs, Charley and Sophie
“We transformed an ugly old building
with warm yellow paint and dusty Caribbean colors,”
"We made it elegant but casual.”


pve design said...

On my list of places to go and dogs to see!

Unknown said...

I created this unique small luxury hotel. It is a nice compliment to see this blog and realize other still like the little oasis I caused.

Before designing this hotel I was a top makeup artist and in the past few years have gone back to that. I now live in Atlanta, New York and Paris where I once again paint the faces of the most interesting and beautiful women in the world.

I hope you will all get an opportunity to visit the Blue horizon because it is still as lovely as ever.

James Weis

Visual Vamp said...

Dear James,
First, thank you so much for writing to my humble blog!
When I saw your story in the AD archives, I was charmed by what you had done, and thought my readers would enjoy knowing all about you and Blue Horizon.
I would love for you to write a little story for us about your current projects - those faces of the most interesting and beautiful women in the world!!!
I do hope to make my way to Blue Horizon one day (and I hope my fellow bloggers will be inspired to do so too).
Again, thank you for sharing your impressive talent with us.
xo xo
PS For anyone wanting to read the entire article I excerpted, go to the AD web site.