What Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve's Reopening Means for Puerto Rico

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will officially reopen its doors in October. General Manager George Sotelo came by Luxury Travel Advisor’s office to talk about what guests can expect.

We were told that while there was no structural damage (meaning no construction during the reparations), that the resort would be entirely “new.” Each of 114 guestrooms and suites received all new furniture, fabrics and color palettes. What’s interesting: All beds will be king-sized, including those found in the former Queen/Queen rooms. Su Casa, the property’s five-bedroom villa, which was originally home to Clara Livingston, is being fully modernized while retaining its unique character and appeal.

In addition, each of the dining venues were reconcepted. The resort’s signature restaurant and bar is being reimagined with a grill theme; it will debut in mid-November. Meanwhile, the family-friendly poolside restaurant, Encanto Beach Club Bar & Grill, will offer coastal cuisine, with a highlight being fresh seafood and authentic Mediterranean dishes. The beachside restaurant, Positivo Sandbar, will debut an Omakase & Ceviche Bar, set right on the beach. For guests who wish to connect with the local culture through food, La Cocina Culinary Center will continue to host cooking classes and private dinners while expanding on its popular Fresh Market concept.

Should guests want to receive their dinner while enjoying their personal pool, that won’t be a problem, Sotelo tells us. Dorado Beach will be introducing a dining option with floating trays, allowing guests to be served in-pool, in-room.

Spa Botánico is also being fully renovated. The facility will see a new spa cuisine concept, which will elevate the wellness experience this fall. (Tip: The spa cuisine will also be available at select dining venues, and some items will be available for in-room dining.) Additionally, the Fitness Center and Movement Studio will receive the latest cardio and weight equipment.

The retail space will also welcome two new boutiques with a selection of accessories and giftware, as well as exclusive resort-wear.

Throughout the property, the resort added more than 300,000 new trees and plants.

Sotelo tells us that the reopening also marks a significant milestone in the overall recovery and resurgence of Puerto Rico, as the first luxury resort to welcome guests back to the island. We’re told the island has made tremendous progress since the hurricanes in 2017 but it will still be months before all of the roads, bridges and utilities are back on the grid. However, it's all about "telling the positive stories," Sotelo says. Any progress from the island should be celebrated.

As for travelers who might be concerned with vacationing on an island that was devastated in such a manner, Sotelo says that the island is gladly accepting visitors—and that the incoming money is much needed. For those who would like to help, The Ritz-Carlton offers its Community Footprints program, allowing guests to help with various projects within the community, which might include rebuilding a school or home. We’re also told that Dorado Beach guests donated $1 million to help its employees get back on their feet. Sotelo says that the hotel even took on additional staff this winter in order to employ more locals who might be in need. 

Dorado Beach is currently available for bookings.

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