Hix Island House
With its 13 highly stylized, all-concrete (yes, concrete) rooms that seem to have sprung from the surrounding woodland, this hotel is a world away from most other lodgings in Puerto Rico. It's the brainchild of Canadian-born architect John Hix, whose focus on the natural environment led him to create the open, three-walled rooms (with steel garage doors to pull down at night). The décor is minimalist, with mosquito-netted beds; concrete slabs serving as tables and shelves; and kitchenettes with small refrigerators and stovetops. Eco-travelers will feel at home here: the units are partially solar-powered, and water from the kitchens and outdoor showers is recycled for the on-site gardens. The grounds include a beautifully designed pool and pavilion where yoga classes are (naturally) run daily.
Tip: Cook your own breakfast before heading out for the day. Units are stocked with food, including delicious homemade bread baked by Hix's wife, Neeva Gayle.
Room to Book: Loft 1 in Casa Redonda has partial views all the way to the ocean.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.