Hotel dorado beach puerto rico: Luxury Puerto Rico Resorts | Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Is This The Most Incredible Hotel In The Caribbean?

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The Caribbean is at the forefront of the luxury tourism trend, both due to its world-class luxury resorts and ongoing regional development. Additionally, it is a diverse collective of thirteen destinations, and picking the most incredible hotel between them can be a challenging task. Still, a renowned travel magazine accepted the challenge and named a strong contender.

Image by Dorado Beach

As customary, Condé Nast – CN Traveler has been unveiling its ‘best of the year’ destinations pertaining to numerous subcategories, ranking both top experiences and destinations around the globe based on their greatness. Being America’s favorite sunny getaway, we guessed the Caribbean would dominate these lists, and it turns out we weren’t at all wrong.

So where, exactly, will Americans find the region’s top sunny retreat?

Dorado Beach Is One Of The Most Beautiful Places In The Caribbean

Image by Dorado Beach

On October 18, CN Traveler unveiled its 26 ‘most beautiful places’ in the Caribbean, and out of dozens of turquoise-water beaches, whole nations boasting stunning nature views, and an entire Riviera Maya to consider, they have highlighted a resort. More specifically, Dorado Beach, a five-star Ritz-Carlton Reserve nestled on the northern coast of… Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is famous for its mixed Afro-Caribbean and Spanish heritage, evident in local customs and cuisine, colonial-era cities where History can still be lived and breathed, mountainous hinterlands, and tropical forests. It is also an unincorporated U.S. territory, which means U.S. citizens are allowed to visit whether they have renewed their passports or not.

Much like Cancun, it is a highly sought-after Caribbean hub, especially in the winter season, when sun-seeking Americans flock to the tropics for an extended beach break. This resort, in particular, is located close to the town of Dorado, Spanish for ‘Golden’, only fifteen miles west of the lively capital of San Juan, in spite of its far more relaxed vibes.

Named after the settlement, Dorado Beach is one of the first resorts to have been established in Puerto Rico prior to its own transformation into a major international destination. Originally a coconut and citrus plantation, the luxury haven gained its present shape in the early fifties, and despite redevelopment efforts that ensued, it somehow retained some of its centennial charm and authenticity.

Sadly, the same cannot be said about Puerto Rico’s number one rival, Cancun’s Hotel Zone straddling the Caribbean coast of Mexico, which fails altogether to make an appearance on CN Traveler’s picks. As read on the official website, Dorado Beach is the successful blend of a majestic ‘natural setting’ and a ‘100+ year heritage‘.

An Ultra-Exclusive Oasis With Ocean And Rainforest Views

Image by Dorado Beach

Promoted as a ‘unique and private’ residential resort, it lacks the impersonal character of most 20-story high Caribbean hotels. Here, guests can choose from one of two types of accommodation:

  • A Plantation Resort Residence – a 3-bedroom villa with views of championship golf courses and mountains
  • Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve – either luxury suites or entire penthouses overlooking the ocean

Reservations for the former typically include a complimentary 4-seat golf cart, perfect for trails and beaches, as well as a ‘fully stocked premium kitchen’ and spacious common areas, such as living and dining rooms. Depending on the accommodation selected, the latter option may feature outdoor showers, Spa Botánico access, and 24-hour in-room dining.

Within the property, temporary residents have access to nature walks, where local bird species and other ‘exotic’ wildlife are routinely spotted, a water park, a spa offering massages and other body treatments, a wellness center, a gym, tennis and golf courses, up to seven restaurants and bars on-site, tennis courts and countless other amenities.

Demand For Budget Travel Is Gone, But Dorado Beach May Still Be Off-Limits To Most

As CN Traveler editor Caitlin Morton points out while arguing this is the Caribbean at its most astonishing, ‘this Ritz-Carlton Reserve takes the cake‘. Mrs. Morton was particularly enamored of the resort’s outdoor showers, mentioned above, its easy sea access, and ‘lush greenery’. The only downside? Staying in Dorado Beach may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it also requires a lifetime of savings.

Dorado Beach can easily be one of the most expensive vacation hotspots in Puerto Rico, with a single overnight stay in the high season costing up to USD 2.948 booked months in advance through Alternatively, other Caribbean competitors can be booked for under USD 4.000 per week this winter.

They’re not as trendy, certainly not as scenic, and perhaps a bit overcrowded, but definitely much cheaper in comparison.

We know the demand for budget holidays is fading by the minute, but even the average American who isn’t concerned about money when it comes to leisure and travel will be thinking twice faced with such prohibitive rates.

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Where to Stay in Puerto Rico — The Best Room At Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Puerto Rico’s spate of natural disasters over the last several years may have deterred some would-be travelers, which is unfortunate on several fronts. First, the economic boost of tourism is precisely what the island needs to promote recovery. Second, some of Puerto Rico’s most gorgeous and luxurious destinations are on the north coast, near San Juan, and thus out of the earthquake danger zone. In fact, we contend that there’s no Puerto Rico resort more alluring than the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve, a 1400-acre paradise that once belonged to conservationist Laurance Rockefeller, son of John D. Jr., who fell in love with the lush land and developed upon it an eco-friendly resort and preserve that opened in 1958.

Dorado Beach’s spa.

David Cowan

Dorado Beach still clings to its conservationist roots—a Jean Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program sits on the property to guide guests through kayak, hiking, and other nature trips—as well as to its status as an ultimate luxury resort, composed of newly renovated (post-Hurricane Maria) beach front villas that sit steps from a private plunge pool which, in turn, is another few steps from the sand.

In this latest installation of T&C’s “The Best Room At” column, we interviewed Dorado Beach General Manager George Sotelo on how to make the most of a stay at his hotel.

Describe the hotel in a sentence.

Dorado Beach is a sanctuary of magnificence and tranquility, tucked away on Puerto Rico’s Atlantic coast and situated on 1,400 acres of the former Laurance Rockefeller estate, providing guests an intimate refuge and offering a true sense of barefoot elegance.

Which room is the best? Why?

All the rooms at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve are wonderful but one of my personal favorites are the one and two bedroom ocean front suites. The suites are extremely popular with guests as they include a private ground-level or rooftop plunge pool, ocean views and a separate living area along with the personal attention of an Embajador, outdoor living space, an open-air shower and artwork capturing the colors of the flora and fauna of The Reserve.

An oceanfront suite.

David Cowan

What’s the average nightly rate?

The average nightly rate at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is dependent on season but typically starts at $1,299.

Who is your typical guest?

Guests of the Reserve often are second generation visitors who are looking for a resort with soul, steeped in history and tradition.

Can you mention any famous guests who have stayed at the hotel?

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton has a storied past and have played host to many notable names. Some of which include Amelia Earhart, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and many more.

Clara Livingston, the original owner of Dorado Beach, with Amelia Earhart.

Dorado Beach

What’s one local recommendation you give first time visitors?

Explore Old San Juan. The area allows guests to experience the rich culture of the island and explore the brightly colored houses lining cobbled streets and shady plazas, alongside cool cocktail bars and renowned Caribbean fusion restaurants.

What’s an interesting story about the hotel’s history?

Originally the home of early female aviator and friend of Amelia Earhart, Clara Livingston, ownership transferred in the 1950’s to Laurance Rockefeller, both a pioneer of venture capital and eco-tourism. Shortly after completing his new resort on the estate, on December 1, 1958, Rockefeller hosted his glamorous opening night, inviting 150 friends and associates he labelled ‘the fabulous 150.’ These hand-picked guests, each one a millionaire, included some of the biggest names of the day such as Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor. The star-studded event initiated what quickly became a favorite hangout of the American beau monde. Since opening as a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in 2012, the resort has retaken its place as a favorite of celebrities and captains of industry.

Laurance Rockefeller, center.

Dorado Beach

Can you tell us about the hotel’s relationship to conservation and the Cousteau family?

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is an active participant in the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment which aims to carry on the family’s legacy and inspires guests to connect with the world around them in hopes that they will work towards preserving it for future generations. The program at Dorado highlights Puerto Rico’s rich native culture and unique ecosystem through immersive experiences designed for children, adults and families.

David Cowan

What do you hope visitors to your property will feel about Puerto Rico when they leave?

I hope that visitors to Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve feel the rich history of the island coming through every element of the Reserve. The former plantation that makes up the property is steeped in the history and development of Puerto Rico and we hope that guests experience that, whether it be through as a spiritual connection of their own or human connection with the people they encounter on the Reserve.

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      First Ritz-Carlton hotel in Puerto Rico to open on 12/12/12 / Puerto Rico : Hotels / Travel.


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      3. First Ritz-Carlton in Puerto Rico to open 12/12/12

      The first Ritz-Carlton opens in Puerto Rico. //

      The opening date of the first Ritz-Carlton brand hotel in Puerto Rico has become known — it will receive the first guests on December 12, 2012. The hotel, located in the city of Dorado (not far from the capital of the country — San Juan), will offer guests 100 standard rooms and 14 suites.

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