On our visit to Puerto Rico, we did not choose the stay at the Villa Parguera for the nightlife, nor for the food, or even for the ambiance. We selected the place, of all the hotels in the South West of Puerto Rico, for its proximity to a world renowned phosphorescent bay. A bay so deeply blue in color even during the day that unless witnessed, it is hard to believe that it becomes even more beautiful at night when millions of microscopic organisms emit light that makes the water glow.
The mangroves, the bay, the food and the culture in this small town could be discussed at length but the aspect of the place that inspired me in my decorative endeavors long after I returned home to New York was the tiling. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the people and the environment, the tiles in the main dining room and entry hall were a wonderfully colorful eclectic mix of hues and patterns.
Furniture that would seem out of place anywhere else seemed to work here, mixing right in with the colorful tiles and nautical themed pieces throughout.
The hotel Villa Parguera was established in 1968 and it feels like the design has been maintained but not changed since the opening. The effect is at once nostalgic (due to the decor) and modern (due to the meticulous upkeep). Visiting a place like this felt a bit like traveling back into time to a familiar comfortable place. The woman who was working the front desk explained to me that the building had been a school before it was turned into a dance hall when the bay began drawing local tourists and later into the hotel that still operates today.
I was told that the floor has remained the same since the days of the dance hall but despite her kind efforts, she was not able to dig up any photos for me to see the place from this time in its history.
While the place was certainly lovely and a place I would definitely revisit, the vibrant tiles in all their colorful, pattern mixing glory are what sticks in my mind when I contemplate re doing the tile work in my own home.
(Image: Liana Walker)