Two New Caribbean Spas

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve



Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve opens this month (December 12) on the former Laurance Rockefeller estate in Puerto Rico as a boutique resort. While you may have heard of its three miles of beach along the Caribbean, its four-bedroom Su Casa villa and its Ambassadors of the Environment program by Jean-Michel Cousteau, you may not have gotten the scoop yet on the spa. Well, no worries, we’ve got your back.

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The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton
The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton will use Natura Bisse, ILA , Uspa and Soleil Organique products.

There are 11 large spa rooms set on five acres. Nice Touch: The pampering facility will have its own herb garden with ingredients used in treatments. The herbs, designed for relaxation and medicinal purposes, will be available at an Apothecary Bar, where guests get to select and mix the herbs and ingredients, which will be used in their treatments. Another perk from the local culture? Guests get a “Piragua,” a shaved ice treat, to enjoy while relaxing in the spa’s Purification Garden. Contact the spa manager, Jennifer Wayland Smith ([email protected]) to set up special arrangements at the spa, which will use Natura Bisse, ILA, Uspa and Soleil Organique products.

When you’re all refreshed and relaxed, be sure to head back to one of the guest rooms that have an upper-level terrace with an infinity-edge pool (bookable only by phone for now). If you can’t snag one of those, you’ll still be fine as all rooms and suites face the water.

The closest airport to Dorado Beach is in San Juan (SJU), which is about a 30- to 45-minute drive away; transportation is available via helicopter, town car, Bentley or Escalade.

Note: The hotel has yet to name its luxury travel advisor liaison but expects to soon.

As for Su Casa, that four-bedroom hacienda, it has its own private lawn which can be used for special events; it also has an infinity-edge pool with ocean views. Su Casa guests have access to a private tasting menu provided by the resort’s chef, Jose Andres, as well as private dining on the beach. We say with digs like this, it may soon be drawing A-listers as it did in its former life when it was the Rockefeller enclave, playing hosts to such guests as Ava Gardner, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is run by its general manager, Alejandro Helbling ([email protected]).

When Luxury Travel Advisor visited the Regent Palms on Turks & Caicos last year, we heard that the 18-room, 26,000-square-foot spa was about to undergo some changes. It did indeed, reopening this spring with an East/West blend of cultures that helped to revamp its treatment menu (think ginger-infused salt scrub) and product line, which now includes Sothys and Zents. Even the treatment rooms underwent subtle upgrades in soft goods and the addition of water features by day and fire by night.

Regent Palms
Regent Palms’ spa reopened last spring with an East/West blend of cultures.

The new signature menu item at the spa is the Zareeba treatment, an “indigenous detoxification and meditative ritual designed by a practicing Caribbean herbalist exclusively for the spa.” It goes something like this: When you enter the spa, you’re given a pot filled with herbs, you’re able to stir it all up as much as you like, but you control the intensity of the amount of herbal steam you’re inhaling. That’s just one of the aspects of the treatments at the resort. We suggest you contact Spa Manager Stephanie Rest (649-946-8666) to get the lowdown on other treatments. Note: If you want a truly healthful experience, the resort provides a spa cuisine menu as well with heart-healthy, vegan and gluten-free options. Good to know: Children are welcome at the hotel but the spa is only for guests over 14 years of age.

Be sure you’ve gotten yourself booked into one of the top rooms at the resort, either a Deluxe Ocean Front Room or a one- to three-bedroom Bedroom Suite. They all overlook Grace Bay and all have wraparound terraces. 

Spa Cuisine Menu
A Spa Cuisine Menu at the Regent Palms provides a truly healthful experience.

If you want “people” around you, be sure to check into a Penthouse Suite, which comes with butler service. There are eight in all, with vaulted ceilings, keyed elevator access, private studies, two expansive travertine terraces with a pergola, an interior “water room” with waterfall shower, adjacent SunSuite with outdoor shower, garden and a Jacuzzi. Penthouse Suites can be booked via the GDS, but it’s suggested you get in touch with the resort personally for pre-trip assistance, such as filling up the pantry and kitchen fridge ahead of time or arranging for dinner in the suite with a resort chef. Restaurant reservations, spa appointments and excursions can also be reserved in advance. 

Joanne Hogg ([email protected]), director of travel industry sales, is your onsite contact. General Manager Karen Whitt arranges for a personal greeter at the airport who assists all guests with their luggage and into the taxi cabs. The regulated fare is $11 per person and transfer time is 10 minutes. VIP transfers are also available and there’s an airport for private jets nearby.

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