Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Secluded oceanfront luxury in Puerto Rico
Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve feels singularly exclusive as you first approach its open-air arrival pavilion, which frames the Atlantic Ocean and rises out of a modern-day moat teeming with water lilies, and it is.

Occupying 50 beachfront acres first developed by a Rockefeller conservationist, the resort was the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Americas and only the second in the world when it opened in December of 2012. After a property-wide refresh in 2018 that was overseen by Wilson Associates, the property boasts an even cleaner, more sophisticated look today.

With a staff of personal embajadores ready to fulfill any request and a secluded stretch of swimmable beaches, it delivers on the brand’s vision of a hyper-luxurious boutique resort steeped in its unique location.

At once family-friendly and romantic — the grounds and paths were planned in a curved design so you glimpse less people on your private escape — Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is perhaps above all a haven for discerning nature lovers.

This is where high thread counts meet an evening chorus of coqui frogs, and where you can control your TV with your iPhone while watching a merry band of lizards dart around outside your room. Indulge in flame-grilled fare with a side of ocean views at brand-new signature restaurant COA, and then hit the 11 miles of nature trails that circle the resort. Dorado Beach is the best of both worlds.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The five-acre Spa Botanico stands out as a world unto itself on the island. This hacienda-style Five-Star sanctuary may be as new as the hotel, but it was built to look as if it has stood here for a century, and with an herb-filled apothecary portal, a vine-covered shade house, a pineapple garden and two tree-house treatment platforms, it certainly has an air of the ancient. 
  • Three Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed courses present a variety of challenges and ocean views. The golf courses are distinct to their setting, with each hole of the East Course bearing the name of an indigenous tree such as the uva de playa, or sea grape.
  • Epicures will find a suitable hideaway in Dorado Beach, starting with Encanto Beach Club Bar and Grill, where coastal Mediterranean cuisine, island-inspired cocktails and stunning sea views are the order of the day. Positivo Sand Bar (fresh sushi and ceviche are always good choices here) and a gourmet market offer more Caribbean-influenced dining options, while the newly opened COA steakhouse and its 650-label La Cava wine cellar are sure to impress. 
  • Families also enjoy a full slate of activities around the property. Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program provides hands-on adventures for children and adults, with a focus on the nature and culture of Puerto Rico. A watersports center will set you up with kitesurfing, sailing, surfing and more, and the adjacent Watermill offers an aquatic playground complete with water slides and a lazy river.
  • Retreat to one of the resort’s two pool areas to achieve total relaxation by sand and sea.
Things to Know
  • The luxury hotel is 35 minutes from San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín Airport, and 30 minutes from Isla Grande Airport.
  • In the spa, check out the treatments inspired by manos santas, traditional healers from Puerto Rico. They incorporate local ingredients, heathful oils and affirmations.
  • The aforementioned 2018 makeover called for new furniture in the lobby, brighter colors in the rooms, fresh dining options and more than 300,000 newly planted trees.
  • Inspired by Puerto Rico's indigenous Taino people, the newly debuted COA restaurant takes its name from a traditional wood harvesting tool that allowed agriculture to flourish on the island. The space is appropriately paneled in rich, dark planks, with plenty of windows and alfresco seating to help you soak in those stunning sea views.
  • Through La Cava, you can participate in tasty experiences that range from a sensory evaluation to sessions for those with a pinot noir infatuation.

The Rooms
  • Flanking East and West beaches in 11 buildings, the 114 accommodations this Puerto Rico hotel are large, starting at 941 square feet, and take full advantage of the setting with enormous sliding-glass doors facing the ocean and plenty of outdoor living space.
  • Plunge reserve guest rooms and all suites and residences feature private pools — there are more than 50 on property — where your embajador will prepare your lounge chair each morning.
  • All accommodations offer indoor and outdoor rainforest showers, deep soaking tubs, a French press with local coffee, iPhone docking stations and stocked bathroom cabinets that surprise and delight with not only hair dryers, but also flat irons, diffusers and a wooden “amenity chest.”
  • For something original, book Su Casa, the resort’s five-bedroom 1920s hacienda, tucked behind ample greenery for maximum privacy. You’ll be soaking up history itself as you lounge by the oceanfront infinity pool at an estate that was once home to pioneering pilot Clara Livingston.
The Look
  • In choosing to build where Laurance Rockefeller placed his 1950s eco-resort, Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve gained one huge benefit: It was grandfathered into the footprint of the original hotel, meaning every guest room faces the ocean and enjoys a proximity to the beach that’s not allowed on new builds today.
  • For the 2018 re-envisioning, Wilson Associates’ Dallas studio conceived a look that retained the elegant, residential-inspired aesthetic originated by the Rockefellers.
  • The Five-Star hotel enjoys a protected shoreline courtesy of boulders set out by Rockefeller, and mature vegetation throughout; though all but one structure — Su Casa, the resort’s 8,000-square-foot version of a presidential suite — is new, designers SB Architects preserved the property’s existing, and prodigious, tropical flora.
  • The clean lines and sleek marble found in your guest room wouldn’t be out of place in a world-class city, but step outside, and you’re surrounded by towering palms and mango and almond trees.
24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Getting There
100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646
SJU (40 min)  
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
At This Hotel
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