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The W chain is expanding its empire to the small island of Vieques, about 8 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, where the W Retreat & Spa will debut this November. Until recently the quiet Puerto Rican island has remained underdeveloped, low key – a well-kept secret. But, while the beaches are still pristine and there are no duty-free malls or chain restaurants, developers are getting some action. The new oceanfront W is the best example. The 157-room resort sits on the northern coast near Proyecto Barracon and will blend brilliant modern architecture and organic aesthetics. Rooms, most with ocean views, will tout colorful, sharp design and top-of-the-line technology and amenities (plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, June Jacobs products). Alain Ducasse will head up the restaurant and there will be a beach bar called WET, the Living Room lounge, as well as Nourish by Spa Chakra with indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. The hotel has its soft opening November 19 and is taking online reservations January 1, 2010.

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