Deliciously Dorado – Puerto Rico

Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve –

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Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is a destination in itself1

Reserve is a new ultra luxurious brand within The Ritz-Carlton portfolio.

There 2nd Reserve property had now opened, this time in the Americas, at Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico.

Ok, don’t stop reading. I know many people don’t think of Puerto Rico when they are conjuring up a luxurious Caribbean holiday, however, maybe you should now!

The Reserve at Dorado Beach is putting the POSH back into Puerto Rico as the property celebrates a by-gone-era at the site of the former Rockefeller estate.

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Sleek entrance!

The property appeals to those that want a gorgeous Caribbean beach without the hassles of clearing customers and immigration.  The product is perfect for a clientele that is accustomed to paying for a club and suite product at a luxury property,  as the entire resort’s 100 or so rooms are extra large, and deluxe with giant indoor and outdoor bathrooms, very private oceanfront location, and many with private plunge pools on the patio or rooftop.

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Private Roof-Top Pool and Lounge Area in a second floor suite
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Ground Floor Plunge room – All rooms are just feet from the ocean!

Foodie?  The food and beverage here is fantastic with a serious and unique Latin flavor highlighting some of the best things from Puerto Rico!!

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Chicken and Bechamel Fritters served inside a glass sneaker
at Mi Casa, by Jose Andres

Think Yuca fries with a spicy remoulade or and yuca Gnocchi with white truffles, Guavate pork with caremelized mango and aioli, or Puerto Rican-style Cod fish with black garlic and hazleuts!

The highlight is Mi casa by Jose Andres where everything is a festival of flavors and served up as one surprise after another.   Nothing on this menu is boring. The fantastic thing is that breakfast is served here too, normally a meal I don’t spend a whole lot of time on, is not to be missed!  (Of course this is complimentary for clients or Resort to Laura Madrid!).  I loved the Cuban breakfast like ” Jose’s mama made” fried eggs, bacon, fried bananas, tomatoes, ride – all in one. Or the sublime blueberry pancakes with extra virgin olive oil!

Positivo, the feet-in-sand cocktails and lunch bar on the beach is equally wonderful – who could not feel “Positivo” about lounging on a huge linen covered recliner sipping rum and nibbling on fresh ceviche or a lobster wrap in such a stunning setting?  For those wanting more action than the chill surroundings of the Reserve, head down to the lively resort beach club open to the well-healed residence owners and resort guests alike.   This is fun for the kids, some great people watching, and another fantastic lunch and dinner venue. Think lobster tacos, barbecued short ribs, carmelized scallops, himachi sashimi with lime and chili, and crispy pork belly – all wonderful!

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Dorado means “golden” and that is just how the sand looks and feels! Very, Very nice beach!

With the sleekness of the property, couples will feel they can relax and get-a-way from it all, but families with well-behaved children will find the property extremely accommodating.  On property is the Jacque Cousteau  Ambassadors of the Environment program designed to make learning about the environment fun and just adjacent at the Hacienda, kids can enjoy a fantastic (and if I may say, tastefully done) private water park.

For those liking to work out during their holidays, a private fitness center at the resort with top of the line equipment and an enormous fitness club at the Hacienda offers all the bells and whistles including spin classes, pilates, tennis and extensive weight equipment.  Absolutely no excuses here!

However, Spa botanico is perhaps the very best amenity the property offers with truly authentic and special touches and design including tree house massages!

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Tree-House Spa Room

Try a massage in one of the open-air tree houses or enjoy the water features set in the midst of a full bloom tropical garden.

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Even the ceilings at the spa are eye candy – something to see even when you are having your hair done! Such beauty and exquisite taste in the design throughout!

Absolutely no expense was spared in the lush landscaping and verdant gardens throughout the property starting with the stunning lily pond at the front entrance to matured island floral and fauna and rotating garden art around every corner. Cycling around and spotting the many surprises is a delight in itself.

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Stunning LIly Pond Greets you on Arrival to the Entrance to The Reserve

Three 18-hole golf courses surround the property offering a few signature ocean holes.  And let it be known that the spa is truly a destination in itself and perhaps the prettiest, most uniquely designed one I have seen.

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Once on property, it is unlikely you will ever leave until the 45-minute drive back to the airport.  The Dorado Beach reserve is absolute oases where you really do feel the weight of the world melt away in minutes.  It checks all the boxes – haute cuisine with an appreciate of the local flavors, sleek room product, fantastic beach, special spa, golf and fitness, and a terrific, friendly staff that have so much to be proud of.  The property just opened in December 2012 and it is incredible to see how it already has grown into itself, quite an accomplishment in such a short time.  I believe Dorado Beach will truly put Puerto Rico on the map for an entirely different type of traveller who perhaps only transited through on the way to smaller Caribbean islands.  No passport required and if you wish, everyone speaks English, but never lets you forget that you are still in Latin America!  Be prepared for a splurge, but it will be well worth it!  But act now, I have a feeling it soon may be hard to grab a spot.  Resort to Laura Madrid can help with that though!

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Greeted by an engaging veteran General Manager, Alejandro Helbling

Felicidades, Dorado Beach!!

PS – The multimillion dollar 2-5 bedroom residences are nearly complete and some will be available in the resort rental pool

Nothing is as breathtaking though as the former Rockefeller Estate itself, the 4 bedroom drop-dead gorgeous MI CASA is available for takeovers and would possibly be one of the most romantic settings in the world for a wedding!

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Mi Casa 4-Bedroom, former Rockefeller Estate
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Mi Casa, Pool and Beach View

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